10/08/2016 at 09:22 #46219
I have decided 30+ years of wargaming and not owning a river is shameful*, plus I am bored, so I am making some river using Caulk.
I want to build up the edges. Caulk is messy and a bit hard to work when it’s setting, so I plan to add river banks after it sets, but want something that will remain flexible. I have thought of thickening PVA glue with something organic to see if that will do , anyone any suggestions?
*it’s not really of course. in about 90% of games a river is a PITA. If you have bridging points it becomes a ‘get to the bridge first’ contest, if you can wade it it has little real impact. But like I say I am bored.10/08/2016 at 09:25 #46220MikeKeymaster10/08/2016 at 12:46 #46230
There are a couple of ways of thickening PVA. Leaving the bottle open is the obvious route but funnily enough freezing the bottle can also thicken it (leaason learned from Canadian winters). Neither method is easy to control though and I wouldn’t recommend them.
Another option is to look for artists modelling paste. These are essentially acrylic medium (paint with no colour pigment) with a filler mixed in to stiffen it and allow it to hold its shape. Pricey though.
I have had good success with mixing PVA and dried spent tea leaves to make hedges for 6mm bases. They looked really good and held their shape well, but I am not sure if you could do a 28mm sized river bank with it – you would have to drink a lot of tea. A friend did something similar making monster figures out of used coffee grounds and Gorill glue. I have done other basing work with PVA mixed with sand but that does tend to slump a little before it dries out. I have also used baking soda as a filler / texturing agent – sculpt the soda to the desired contours and set with drops of super glue. Works great for snow and ice but is not flexible at all.
A final option is Oogru – the do it yourself version of Sugru. It is a silicone based modelling clay made by mixing silicone caulking with cornstarch. See this link for more details: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Make-Your-Own-Sugru-Substitute/
Building off of this you may be able to experiment with PVA and cornstarch to avoid working with silicone caulk.10/08/2016 at 12:56 #46231Thaddeus BlanchetteParticipant
I think a problem you might have with PVA is that it shrinks as it dries and this might pull your river into weird shapes. You might want to try what the Yanks call “wood glue” instead. This does not shrink as it dries.
I think you can build up banks with glue, yes, but unless you thicken it somehow, they’ll be too fluid. I like the cornstarch idea and am going to experiment with that.
We get slapped around, but we have a good time!10/08/2016 at 13:42 #46239
Cornstarch, i like the sound of that – I was thinking about wheatflour, but suspected it will swell when wet and thus shrink again when the glue sets
I guess the only thing I can do is experiment. They are going to be very basic rivers, extruded onto greasproof paper, spread very thin, painted and highlighted, gloss varnished to look wet and then the banks built up (the advantage being the water will look wet and the banks ‘dry’) and then peeled off the paper. I was not planning on spending more than an hour a day over three days on the whole task.10/08/2016 at 14:32 #46242
I think a problem you might have with PVA is that it shrinks as it dries and this might pull your river into weird shapes. You might want to try what the Yanks call “wood glue” instead. This does bot shrink as it dries.
Apart from hide, milk and fish based glues, most cabinet maker’s / wood glue is just high quality PVA. I have had no problem with shrinkage as long as I stay away from the dollar store/pound land varieties.
Speaking of which, I just found this very thick PVA on the Lee Valley* tools site. It’s Titebond so it should be easily available elsewhere and for less.
*Lee Valley caters to carpentry oriented retired gentlemen with too much money in their wallets. Top notch stuff but you pay for it.10/08/2016 at 15:33 #46244NoelParticipant
Yes, I believe that wood glue is a thicker pva.11/08/2016 at 06:38 #46291Piyan GlupakParticipant
SOME wood glue is thicker PVA. It is sometimes possible to buy other types of glue for sticking wood together (and very annoying if you want PVA for scenic purposes). Ask me how I know that.11/08/2016 at 10:46 #46304Guy FarrishParticipant
Oh, go on then… How do you know that there are other types of glue for sticking wood together, which is very annoying if you want PVA for scenic purposes?11/08/2016 at 12:26 #46319
Oh, he told me about this – He bought 30 litres of ‘Shergar Brand wood Glue’ used it to glue all his scenery together and now the ‘RA are demanding Hush Money from him every time one of his units enters a BUA and his Games Room smells like the Storeroom at McDonalds.
Not as embarassing as my (True) wargames scenery story, in which I had the brilliant* idea to mix PVA glue and Compost together to texture a wargames table made of Kingspan. I had done 4 boards and ran out of mix, made up another batch and forgot to Boil the Compost. I was the proud owner of 4 very nice wargames boards and one with Mushrooms. If I could have found a way to preserve the mushrooms it would have made quite a good Science Fiction board…
* It is Brilliant. It worked really well too, and I still have it.11/08/2016 at 13:32 #46323CameronianParticipant
There’s that bathroom silicone sealant which remains flexible and comes in a variety of colours as well as clear, indoor and outdoor grades.
'The time has come" The walrus said. "To talk of many things: Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--Of cabbages--and kings--And why the sea is boiling hot--And whether pigs have wings."11/08/2016 at 14:27 #46333NoelParticipant
Oh, he told me about this – He bought 30 litres of ‘Shergar Brand wood Glue’ used it to glue all his scenery together and now the ‘RA are demanding Hush Money from him every time one of his units enters a BUA and his Games Room smells like the Storeroom at McDonalds. Not as embarassing as my (True) wargames scenery story, in which I had the brilliant* idea to mix PVA glue and Compost together to texture a wargames table made of Kingspan. I had done 4 boards and ran out of mix, made up another batch and forgot to Boil the Compost. I was the proud owner of 4 very nice wargames boards and one with Mushrooms. If I could have found a way to preserve the mushrooms it would have made quite a good Science Fiction board… * It is Brilliant. It worked really well too, and I still have it.
This so much sounds like something I would do!11/08/2016 at 21:08 #46366Guy FarrishParticipant
Wargaming was it Sir? I’m sure it was. And those ‘mushrooms’ are just an accident because you ‘forgot’ to boil the compost. Almost ‘magic’ hey? Ahem. Would you mind just coming down the station and explaining that for the Sergeant then?12/08/2016 at 05:48 #46376Piyan GlupakParticipant
Oh, go on then… How do you know that there are other types of glue for sticking wood together, which is very annoying if you want PVA for scenic purposes?
I bought some once. I think that I used it up making baseboards for my toy trains.12/08/2016 at 12:22 #46398
well, I have done some conflour tests, it set like concrete and shrunk very little. A promising technique for future use but not for these floppy rivers.
I am not gonna waste more time, they are meant to be fast and dirty, in fact if they look too good they will make the rest of my stuff look bad, so I am just going to flock the edges, Gloss Varnish and then flock the edges again for ‘Dry Banks’13/08/2016 at 23:02 #4650214/08/2016 at 13:29 #46523
Those look great – especially for a first “fast and dirty” attempt.14/08/2016 at 19:32 #46550
alas, a ‘slow and clean’ approach will only look very moderately better I suspect, hence my similarly ‘fast and dirty’ approach to … well, life in general.18/08/2016 at 09:13 #46796
Wood glue has already been mentioned but I just wanted to flag Resin W Weatherproof Exterior Wood Adhesive by Evo-Stik (the blue bottle).
I use it for all sorts of terrain building but it makes a very useful water, either clear or tinted (for which I use a drop of Vallejo Model Air).
By layering it you can get all sorts of depths and effects.
It’ll also take paint and white or clear silicone sealant (caulk).
River in The North:
Ditch in Belgium:
Images are from my project website:18/08/2016 at 11:24 #46815
<THROWS HOME MADE RIVERS IN BIN>18/08/2016 at 11:51 #46816Rod RobertsonParticipant
You can use a 5% solution of Borax to polymerize the latex in PVA glue which makes a sticky rubbery solid mass. The mass is quite malleable and will eventually dry into a flexible and elastic mass. It bounces well too! The borax comes in powdered crystal form and must be mixed with water to make the solution. You might also want to dilute the PVA with some water before adding the borax.
Rod Robertson.18/08/2016 at 11:52 #46817
Sorry SM, I didn’t mean to offend, if that’s what I’ve done. I just think that the Evo-stick ‘blue bottle’ resin glue is a great product for water, however the river is constructed.
You’re rivers are great. Many would find my system to be too inflexible as the rivers are within 30cm tiles, which limits the choice of layouts. I mostly play solo, so I have only myself to please. 🙂18/08/2016 at 14:57 #46824MikeKeymaster18/08/2016 at 17:42 #46836
Sorry SM, I didn’t mean to offend, if that’s what I’ve done.
Offend???? No, you have certainly not offended – merely brought crashing down on me how bloody ordinary my terrain looks compared to yours. The colour of that ‘afghan stream’ is simply perfection.
Also like the cycling poster. Go on, cheer me up, tell me the terrain in that is ‘Action Man’ scale rather than 28 or 15mm18/08/2016 at 19:50 #46844McKinstryParticipant
Sorry SM, I didn’t mean to offend, if that’s what I’ve done. I just think that the Evo-stick ‘blue bottle’ resin glue is a great product for water, however the river is constructed. You’re rivers are great. Many would find my system to be too inflexible as the rivers are within 30cm tiles, which limits the choice of layouts. I mostly play solo, so I have only myself to please.
I believe anyone else on the planet would be pleased to claim those rivers! Those are gorgeous and has me eyeing mine with disgust.
The tree of Life is self pruning.18/08/2016 at 19:52 #46845
Mike: my incompetence was in image formatting. D’oh!
SM: Phew! All the terrain is 1/56 (Belgium actually uses 1/72 Airfix resin buildings that I upscaled). Here’s a shot with a bicycle in it, though sadly it is partly under rubble (the mini is one of Paul Hicks WW1 range).18/08/2016 at 23:08 #46859Angel BarracksModerator19/08/2016 at 03:12 #46868
I did (do) use the above-mentioned glue as a key ingredient in my SSS snow mix – it’s very versatile stuff (but always the blue bottle, never the green bottle).
Not going to ‘show off’ by bombarding images though, just trying to be helpful.19/08/2016 at 03:27 #46870darthfozzywigParticipant
<THROWS HOME MADE RIVERS IN BIN>
Hahah yeah, that was pretty much my reaction as well.
Dang. Those are amazing water features.19/08/2016 at 08:51 #46882
You’re all too kind. The effect is very simple to produce as, in many respects, it’s just an illusion. I make my terrain on 6mm thick 30cm sq MDF tiles so (other than Belgium, which is raised on plinths for the building basements) there is no real depth. The lack of depth means the technique could also be used for sectioned rivers, though snake-like strips of MDF would probably warp so the base might need to be something more stable (hmmm, not sure what).
Anyways, the bank is raised up using slivers of foam board and plaster:
Then a base texture for the ground level using sifted ‘sharp sand’ onto the aforementioned glue:
Painting (the Afghan river was clear and shallow, so had texture to its bed, whereas The North river is tinted and deep, so the bed is left smooth):
Then the pour:
The pour will overlap and have some shrinkage, which is actually a good thing, as it allows the adding of extra layers including waves and turbulence. For the Afghan river, protruding rocks were repainted as ‘dry’ after the river had cured.
I haven’t got a suitable finished image of the WIP section above but the following is just downstream. In the foreground is a ford and in the shot you can just about make out the texture of the shallower river bed.
In this Afghan/Arizona/Sicily shot you can see the rocks etc underwater:
So, though a long post I’m not advocating anyone doing it this way (horses for courses, each to their own, etc, etc), I just wanted to show that what works for me is the result of what is actually a pretty simple process.19/08/2016 at 11:04 #46893PatriceParticipant
Some rivers made by members of my gaming group (…not by me, if that can comfort Sane Max!)
We use 120 x 60 cm and 60 x 60 cm tiles, 30 or 32 mm thick.
In the following case the coating had shrinked when the liquid was poured on it, it caused unexpected ripples:
A marshy area. The white cotton was magical fog in an Arthurian scenario…
…and was concealing an objective which suddenly appears!
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