You see (and this will explain many things), for those of you who don't know, I play Warhammer 40K. Next weekend I'm having a match at my place against someone from San Antonio so I'm preparing for it. Unfortunately, I don't have a board surface large enough (hence the carpentry question) and I don't really have any terrain to speak of, probably because I don't have a board. So last night, I set to making terrain. I decided to begin with a staple of all wargaming of any kind, sandbags. It's actually quite simple. Mix 1 part salt with 2 parts flour and then slowly put in 1 part water and you have a thick dough that will stand molding and shaping and whatnot. Start rolling them into cylinders or appropriate size with your scale and then flatten them out and place them where you want them. Do this enough times on top of one another and you have a wall of sandbags. I have it on good authority that it can also make good adobe for small buildings but that's for another time. Finally bake at around 375F (170C for the Canuckistanis) for a few hours and they come out a golden brown. Paint and Bob's your uncle.
So I mixed and kneaded and liquefied and rolled and shaped. I placed them around the underside of a heavy duty paper plate so I could get a rounded emplacement look. Finally when I had two sandbag walls done, I warmed up the oven and turned it to low heat.
Here's where the problem comes in. You see, I don't exactly have the most high speed oven on Earth. In fact, if you remember back that far, when I moved in, it was missing knobs. But those have been replaced. Not by the best knobs, though. The numbers on the the oven knob are pretty much unreadable. I can see where the markings are supposed to be, I just can't see the settings. Well, simple enough, I thought. All the other knobs on the stove all go approximately from OFF to HOT to MED to LOW. So I'll turn the oven knob all the way so it's not too hot, right? And since it's a fairly low heat (325F isn't all that hot for an oven), the paper plates I have as bases should be fine. I'll even move them to the top rack so they get less direct heat. I set things in motion and then sat and vegetated a little in front of the boob tube, contemplating what I was going to field in my upcoming 2000 point battle.
With the first bit of smoke, I dismissed it. I've never used the actual oven, just the stove tops so I thought a little burned dust won't kill anything. Little by little it got hazier and smokier until I thought to myself "Do I smell something burning?" I went back to the kitchen to find it almost filled with smoke. I grabbed the oven mitts and through my smoke induced tears, I pulled open the oven. Well, apparently, it was on high because the back halves of both plates were both half paper and half ember that was quickly winning the battle against it's paper nemesis. I turned off the oven and opened the window over the sink. Smoke flew out and fresh air blew in. Unfortunately, hot fuel + fresh air =FIRE. The remaining plate halves burst into flame. Now I know what you're thinking. "Atreides, you could have been killed!" Well, no. Being the cool and collected chap I am, I used quick action. Dirty glass + water faucet = doused fire. Disaster averted.
The best part is that the dough itself, while singed and probably still a little soft in the very center, was just fine. I gave it a new less burnt base, threw some paint on it and now I have two sandbag walls. Woohoo!
So I've started changing my thinking about the board. I thought maybe a hard foam would work and then maybe put wall veneer on both side and then felt over that. Anyone ever look at insulating foam? Is it dense enough for this kind of thing? I'll go to Home Depot this weekend and check it out.
I think that's about it. Go be good to each other or some kind of crap like that.
That is all.
1Well, jerky in that it was drier than most meat, but not in any other literal sense.
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