Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Building the boards for Calamity - Part 1

Building the actual boards for Calamity is likely to be a long process since work is restricting my free time so much. While I have decided that I still like to travel I have decided that I don't like to travel for work and being out of town 3 out of every 4 weeks means I don't accomplish much.

But I would really like to have the boards for Calamity done for Tacticon which takes place on Labor day weekend. I figure I better get started with something to show a little progress. In this case I have some issues I need to solve one how the support for the boards will be built and how everything will go together. Since I want to include both a small creek or river (so I can build at least one bridge!) as well as a slope some planning is definitely in order. The best way to visualize in three dimensions is to build a model. So that's what I'll build first a model of the supporting structure for the boards. For this particular model I decided I would go with 1/8" = 1" so 1 1/2 measured inches is equal to a foot. Its easy to measure out and it won't be huge, but will be big enough to show some detail.

I'm building this out of strip styrene from Evergreen. The base supports will be cut from 1x2 so in my chosen scale these will be cut from 1/8"x1/4" strips. Since I need to show some change in elevation as well, the outside will be made from 1/4" plywood which scales out to 1/32" (again my chosen scale of 1/8 makes the measurements easy). Of course they don't sell plastic strip like this so what I actually purchased was pack 189 (.125x.250) and a package of sheet styrene 9030 (.030 thick).

This is what I ended up with:

Marking out 16" centers for the center supports

All three 2'x4' sections finished. They are pretty close to being identical and they will certainly work for modeling purposes
So with the basic frames in place (which are actually 23 1/2" x 47 1/2") I'm ready to add the "plywood" side pieces.

On the left side its 5" in height on the left its 4" in height so the longer side pieces will have be cut at an angle to match the ends.

Here you can see how the foam will rest on the 1x2 supports and have the edges protected by the plywood. I'm considering going with 1/8" plywood instead but it may not be strong enough for traveling if I do that.

I think I like the slope, but I realized if I go with the current measurements of the plywood sides that I won't be able to include one of the features that I had wanted to add. I may add two more inches to the height but keep the slope the same.

So that's part 1 hopefully there won't be such a long gap in posts in the coming months.


  1. You always do such tidy, professional work Kris. Glad to see you found some hobby time!

    1. Its one of the only things that is tidy! The rest of the workbench is a disaster! I have big plans for this project so its important to keep it all nice and neat to see how it will all come together.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks Ray! Its nice to feel like I'm accomplishing something for a change.