Hey hey, Losties! Miggy back with another installment in my tabletop adventures! So, I’ve got this stack of cardboard squares ready to go but no idea how I’m gonna make them look into a city’s ground floor. To the drawing board!
Literally. I make me laugh sometimes.
I took the time to separate my boards into specific piles. 3 “flagstone foundations”, 3 parking lots, 5 crossroads, 5 turns, 5 two-way streets, and 5 one way streets. Now I originally was only going to do 25 squares but I decided that a little extra variety wouldn’t hurt. Who knows? If this thing goes well, I might even make more boards to spice things up! So now I had to figure out what these were going to look like. I took a throwaway board to map out what I thought would be the best for my tiles.
I intended to use one inch sidewalks for most of the boards. The one way streets were going to use more space for the “concrete” to allow for buildings to be placed. Now was the time to test this out. I tried visualizing what the two ways would look like using some of the vehicles available to MCP players. I also messed with the dimensions of the sidewalks for this two way street, as well as the material that I’d be using. I was originally going to use one inch strips of chipboard (you know the stuff cereal boxes are made of) and just draw the lines to indicate the sidewalk blocks. But just to see what it would look like, I cut a strip out of some foam core. I even used some leftover bases to see what it could look like.
So the first thing I noticed is that the foam has a leg up on the chipboard. While it might be a bit scarcer for me, I do think it could match up to the height of the bases quite nicely. The second thing that caught my eye is that those cars have an awful lot of space to drive around. Plus those sidewalks aren’t nearly wide enough to match the bases. So I upped them to one and a half inches.
Even with the large Oscorp truck, this looks more realistic to an urban street here in the States. (Unless it’s Texas. That place is so big…) So now I wanted to tackle making the sidewalks look just like they’re supposed to. I turned to my good friend YouTube to find some inspiration. As it turns out, Mel from The Terrain Tutor has an old video on just what he did. There were some things that I hadn’t thought about that helped me figure out what I need to do to elevate my craft.
Firstly, I need to think about the asphalt! I hadn’t even given it a thought until this point. Mel used long, wide strips of sandpaper to make up the tarmac. It was so simple and easy that I almost choked on how obvious it should have been. Second was how he turned some simple foam boards into nice looking sidewalks.
He made sure to sand down the edges of the foam down to get rid of the lip. The strips in the previous picture are a little too rigid and don’t look organic enough. So I followed Mel’s example and sanded the edges down.As you can see, I also took a moment to line out the flagstone blocks with a pen. I took care to make sure that the lines were also on the side of the strips facing the street. Next, I wanted to mimic Mel’s indenting technique. He took a knife along the lines, almost cutting all the way through.
I also took a leaf out of Jeremy of Black Magic Craft’s book and used a ball of foil to add some extra texture to the foam. Now, using the corners of my straight edge, I pushed into the foam at random to make sure that there was some variety in the flagstone. You know how concrete can dip and try to trip you as you drag your feet. What do you mean that’s only me?
I added some cracks with a pen and voila! All done with my sidewalks. Now I dry fitted them to the tile to see how they’d look but I also added some strips of chipboard to act as the gutter.
Not bad right? So now it was time to glue this thing down. I used tacky glue for the foam (don’t want to use superglue as that’ll melt the foam) and just some old PVA for the chipboard.
With Doc and Spidey’s approval, I’ll be moving on to finishing up the other 25 tiles and going towards making some tarmac strips. Until next time, Losties!