Sunday, 29 September 2013

Temple of Mars – part one

No, not the Forum of Augustus. Abwehrschlacht and I talked a few years ago about some kind of 'Cthulhu on Mars' game. I can't remember how it came about but I think we were trying to come up with alternative uses for some Afghanistan terrain tiles that I made. Anyhoo, I have a thing for turning junk upside-down to see what potential it has as terrain for wargames, and I thought several times that the Co-operative's new boxes for their coleslaw had a vaguely Mayan look to it. I was flocking some bases with sand this weekend anyway so I thought I'd also have a crack at making some kind of temple from one of these boxes.

Here's what I started with...


The first problem was that the box has a lip on it for the lid to fit into:


This was easily solved by slicing the bugger off with a Stanley knife:


The next step was to glue the box to a 6'' square vinyl floor tile. I get floor tiles from Wickes because there's a branch within walking distance of where I live. I've used PVA in the past and found that non-porous parts like this can sometimes separate very easily. So, this time, I used Poundland's two-part epoxy resin. It's really good stuff.


I put a weight on top of the box to make sure it was all flush with the floor tile. The resin dried quickly (one of the reasons I like it!), leaving me with this:


I had two of these coleslaw boxes stashed away. The next step came about because I cut too much off the lip of the first box. I decided I would hide my mistake by adding a frame made from a stash of spruce sticks to the base of the temple. I put the first box to one side until I knew what I was doing, so what you're seeing here is the second coleslaw box, constructed in the same way as I intend to fix the first:


I really like working with spruce but I'm running low on wood. Hobbycraft used to have a great wood section but they haven't bothered re-stocking it for several years now, even though I was regularly buying it. And that, Hobbycraft, is why people turn to the internet. Anyhoo, here's the frame glued in position and with all the gaps filled:


The next step was to paint the whole thing with PVA glue and shake sand all over it. I read somewhere on the interwebz that a drop of washing-up liquid or alcohol mixed in with the PVA breaks the surface tension of the glue so it doesn't just sit in little blobs on the plastic, so I decided I'd give it a try. I'm pleased to say that it worked! If you decide to try this, it's worth noting that the glue spreads easily like paint at first but may start to get rather stringy. I don't know if it was because I added too much washing-up liquid (it was a new bottle), or if it does it anyway, or if it only does this when the glue begins to dry. Hopefully, this will become clear when I experiment further with it. Here's where I'm up to:


There are some patches where I didn't spread any glue, which I can't fix until this layer is dry. I intend to add some kind of doorway to one side next, add a few rocks and then just paint the temple black. It's tempting to add a flight of steps, but I'm saving that for a huge box of coleslaw in Marks & Spencer that I think will make a great centrepiece – once I've scarfed all the contents...

4 comments:

  1. Very nice vision of trash-to-treasure!

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  2. The glue side of the floor tile can be 'sealed' by applying a sheet of paper to it. The paper will stick very nicely, if applied evenly, without wrinkles, preventing the glue from becoming a liability. It also can be used to create a more porous surface to build on, with the vinyl side down.

    Vinyl floor tiles are my new, favorite basing material due to low cost, and versatility. I purchased a box of them, for a 2D floor tile basing project, and now I have half of a box left over (20+ tiles), so I am using them for everything I can think of, to avoid wasting them. Thanks for sharing. Cheers!

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  3. Thanks for the tips, Sgt. I've done all of those things on various occasions and I agree with you. Vinyl is great!

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