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Rusty bionic hand seeks advice!

 Post subject: Rusty bionic hand seeks advice!
PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2011 9:48 pm 
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Sergeant
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Location: Louisville, KY
Well, after an over 2 YEAR hiatus...I'm back! To what extent I'm not sure, but I'm back all the same.

However, aforementioned hiatus saw the purge of EVERYTHING I had. What little terrain I had is long since out of my reach; while I kept my 40K RPG books and re-purchased the old Witch Hunters codex (because I'm an Inquisition nut), I'm basically starting out from scratch again. I've also become a homeowner since I was last here, so I'm not in a position to shell out the kind of dinero I did before (but at the gain of my own home, with a finished basement that will do well for whatever group I get thrown together).

Right now I have a few people on the fence about what they want to do (40K, Necro, or either the Dark Heresy or Rogue Trader RPG), so models aren't really what I'm concerned about right now so much as terrain, as it's something I can cobble together in my spare time, as terrain could be used definitely for 40K and Necro and maybe even the RPGs.

SOOOOO, I have a few questions I'd like to throw out there. Some I know I'll stumble across as I re-visit old threads, but if anyone would like to chime in here I would be most appreciative.

1) What are some of the great "rubbish" supplies you use for building terrain? As I'm not sure what direction this potential group might steer towards I'm leery of putting forth the commitment of purchasing pre-fab terrain or schilling out a bunch of money for the higher-end supplies I see a lot of great terrain builders use. Ideally, the cheaper, the better! I've already gotten back into the old habit of looking at things around my house that can be re-purposed like a servitor, but in moving from a retail bookstore job to an emergency services radio dispatch room, my opportunities for finding materials "on the job" has now dropped to nil.

2) Where exactly can one find reliable materials like MDF, plasticard, and insulation foam (as seen used <a href="http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?catId=cat410004&categoryId=1000016&section=&aId=5800003" target="_blank"> on even the official GW site</a>)? I checked Hobby Lobby today, and they apparently have stopped carrying just about ANYTHING I can use (save for glue and spray paint) since I was last in there. I'll probably check Michael's and other craft/"hobby" stores around town but I'm not terribly optimistic. The only other places in town either stock GW products but are primarily COMIC shops (AKA they know nothing about the non-comic products they sell) or don't stock GW products (like traditional model stores) and pretty much nothing else handy for the DIY builder.

3) As for an overall board, what seems to be (in your opinion) the best base? My old group bought large foam boards and found out the hard way that spray paint EATS them. Right now I haven't bought card tables or anything to support a board (as everything can sit on shelves or my desk until the possible group picks what they want to do), so I'm not confined by dimensions. Rather, I'm looking for something that's durable but lightweight, as I don't plan on leaving the board(s) up all the time.

Those questions aside...I'm excited to be back! Some bad experiences (both gaming and non-gaming) may have pushed me out for a long while, but the 40K bug never died, just remained dormant until the time was right again. :)


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:25 am 
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my gaming table is chip board with 2x2 battons along the long edges. its made of 2 parts that are 6x2', they are then connected by hinges. this folds behind my sofa easily. only bad bit is setting it up as its a 2 man job

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:56 pm 
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I hadn't considered using hinges, that could be nifty. Ideally I'd like something that's one solid piece, though, because more than likely it would just get leaned up against the wall. Not that the room I plan on using has anything else going on in it but you never know, lol.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:36 am 
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putting it away after stopps it getting dusty too. just dont get mdf its very heavy. id stick with cheap chip board for wood. plywood is ok as a base but it will cost more.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 9:06 am 
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I'll definitely have to look into this chip board (if I can find it locally). MDF is great for basing terrain but I couldn't imagine a whole table out of it, like you said it would be HEAVY.

Something else I wonder, how does everyone set their tables up? I know most people use card tables as what goes under the board...but do any of you put any height boosters to elevate the table a bit more? The styrofoam board my old group used was 3 inches thick but unless we took turns sitting down, we'd have sore backs like old men after bending down to meet our models after 2-4 hours of gaming, lol.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2011 6:06 pm 
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i play in my kitchen. its got units either side about 5' appart so we lay it over that like a really cool den :P then i got 2 cheap bar style chairs to sit on for about £20. otherwise decorating tables are good or go and steal about 12 breeze blocks!

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 4:06 pm 
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Location: Auckland
My undersupport mechanism is a trestle table that a mate had lying around (spare!).
The playing table surface is about 2m long by 4ft and is 12mm mdf in a single sheet!!! It weighs a LOT, but has served me well.

It's lasted close to 20yrs, and moved house with me 4 times. The corners and some edges are damaged, but by no means does that impair gaming.

Although the weight is annoying because you can't set up a table by yourself, I think that the board strength is a good feature. It hardly flexes, even when poorly supported by inturned couches in the lounge.


My cousin had a thin piece of hardboard which he nailed some battens for strength. This is adequate, but it can get a serious bounce if you knock it! We reset something almost every game (cavalry fell over, building moved) It's basically a hive-quake!


Overall, I'd say you gotta get what works for you. Your foundation and playing surface have to work together.
Think about the strength (bounce/wobble) vs Weight/convenience to put away/lug around.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 5:15 pm 
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i agree my board does slide at times but isnt a real issue. its a trade off i guess

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2011 6:48 am 
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I'll definitely have to take measurements too, that way I know the exact dimensions I'm dealing with. Heavy might be the way I have to go, though, since no matter what I put the table on top of, my basement is carpeted so there's likely to be an imbalance.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 10:51 pm 
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Alright, next line of questioning (even though I might just be talking into the void): has anyone had any success with actually carving high density polystyrene for larger projects? I think for the terrain pieces I'm good, but I'm wondering if anyone has done anything like whole BOARDS out of polystyrene.

I don't plan on trying such an ambitious task but wondered about, say, maybe sections of board 2'x2' that are carved as something larger than a terrain piece but smaller than an entire board (kinda like a modular sculpted board that can be randomized for fun).

If anyone has tackled such a thing, what thickness of material did you use? I can't seem to find HD poly in anything thicker than 2", which seems kind of shallow if I wanted to carve anything deep.

As always, feedback is greatly appreciated. And for all you unregistered lurkers out there...SIGN UP! I'm sure the EFF could use more voices! :)


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 2:58 pm 
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Heya -

As far as suppliers of mdf and extruded polystyrene, check out your local big-box home improvement store. Lowe's, Home Depot, or your regional option should have good supplies of that stuff. 2" thickness is probably all you're going to be able to find, in my (albeit limited) experience. There is a liquid nails adhesive out there designed specifically for polystyrene insulation board like this. Have not used it personally but hear very good things about it.

You can buy sheet styrene in bulk from places like www.usplastic.com. Probably the most economical way to get large quantities of flat stock. Specialty sheets like ridges/siding, etc. I think you're stuck with the hobby manufacturers like evergreen and plastruct.

As for carving the polystyrene, I've done a bit of it, but mostly for rocky hills. I've never done the elevated board idea you're discussing, though I've considered it a number of times. Buying an old house came with a abundance of modernization projects that took away what little hobby time I had previously :)

This thread over on Warseer.com has quite a lot of large-scale foam work that might be of interest to you: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?t=34105

I have a hot wire cutter and it works pretty well. Smells terrible and isn't exactly a health-conscious vapor, so keep the ventilation going strong! I think the warseer thread above will have some good insight on cutting the deeper pieces.

Hope that helps a bit. Someday I hope to actually get caught up enough to break out the terrain/hobby tools again!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:37 pm 
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Awesome, thanks for the wonderful tips! I'll have to page through that Warseer thread a bit more in depth. It's a great site but it's so busy that it's quite easy to miss things on there...I like how much "quieter" the EFF is (but not as quiet as it HAS been...) so that I don't feel overwhelmed when I visit!


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