Thursday, February 8, 2018

Making a Road

I'm honored to be featured on the Goodman Games Community Publisher Profiles this week. The post features some photos of the different play areas I've used for Vehicle Mayhem, so I decided to explain how I made each of them.

Paper play area

For my original playtests, I used a disposable paper playmat with duct tape for lanes. 2" wide grey duct tape is perfect for a road lane: leave a little gap & there's no need to draw vertical lane lines. I then drew a horizontal line in marker every 3" for the zones.

I still have that mat and even though I've added another zone since those early days, it's still usable. But I decided I wanted something a little fancier to show off Vehicle Mayhem for demos.
To build my foam board, I picked up a sheet of pink insulation foam and cut it down to about 30"x20" (to allow for some extra off road space). I built a custom wood frame out of some scrap trim wood. The frame is not strictly needed, but it adds stability and looks really nice.
I measured out my lanes and drew them on the foam in marker (a carpenter's T was very helpful here). I knew they'd be covered with texture & paint, but the impression on the foam continued to provide guidance throughout. During this step, I gouged out some cracks and damage on the road.
Foam board with texture applied

I coated the whole board in cheap school glue and generously dusted this with some miniature ballast (basically very coarse sand). If you plan to use spray paint, it's very important that you coat the entire foam surface with glue or ballast: the spray paint will melt the foam.
Using a rolling pin, I rolled the texture flat over the road surface. I then added a few pieces of foam rubble & rock to the off-road areas (don't go too nuts here- you still want cars to be able to drive through).

I then glued the foam into the frame and sprayed the whole think with black primer. With a piece of cardboard as a shield, I sprayed the off-road areas brown. I dry-brushed the road with grey and the wasteland with light brown.
My daughter providing painting assistance
Using masking tape, I marked off the lane lines and painted them on. Once done, I sprayed on a generous coating of matte for protection and I was good to go!

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