Sunday, January 18, 2015

Making Rivers for 6mm, Part 2

In part 1, I used foamcore board to make my rivers. I cut out the hexes, drew out the rivers and then stripped off the paper where the river bed would be. I then carved out some of the foam and added striations to simulate the river. In this part of the project, I built up the the banks of the rivers.

It took me awhile to decide on what material I was going to use to make the banks. I settled on tissue paper soaked in PVA glue. Originally, I was going to grind up the paper in the blender, but I think the "da boss" would not have been too happy with that, especially if I gummed up the blender somehow. So, I settled on a slower method of shredding it up with my hands, and then further chopping with a pair of scissors. I then mixed a 2:1 ratio of water to glue into it. Here are some results:

I was not too happy with them for several reasons. First, it took a long time to make the stuff and it was pretty messy, too. Second, it was hard to control the way I wanted it to as I laid it down. Third, it looked too clumpy and there were a lot of sharp points sticking up when it dried. If I had taken the chance and used the blender, it might have solved the second and third issues.

I made about three using the tissue and glue and then switched to latex caulk:

The smaller tubes are more expensive than the larger ones that you put in a caulking gun, but I figured that I would have more control with it than with the larger tubes. They don't seem to make it without silicon anymore, but didn't seem to be a problem when I test-painted it. Here is a test hex showing one bank with the tissue and the other with the caulk:

I had much more control with the placement of the caulk. I was able to smooth it out where I wanted to. I could also build it up very easily. It also went on a lot faster than the tissue did. When it dried, it didn't shrink the way the tissue and glue did. Here a few more with the caulk:

One thing I noticed, the hexes seemed a lot more warped than they did when I first made them. I am not sure if they were warping over time, or if adding the banks warped them more. The point of origin (the strike, in geology terms) is along the center of the river bed. I've deliberately cracked a few long the length of the warp to de-warp them. My next step is to point them. Hopefully, they will not warp further.


  1. Looks great! As for the blender, I use one in my terrain making all the time and can't recommend it enough. Best way to make cheap foliage. I got an old blender at Goodwill that I could ruin.

    Still have been too busy to post my jet rules, but I haven't forgotten...

    1. Thanks for the comments. Maybe I'll sick my wife on the hunt for one at yard sales.

      No worries about the rules. The semester has started so I my hobby activities are sure to slow.


  2. Very helpful post. I just got some 6mm bridges for my Naps and now need a river to go with them. I don't use hexes but I think some other ideas here could be stolen.

  3. Feel free to steal, Michael! Although at this point, I'm skeptical about the foam core regarding the warping. But I'll make my final evaluations when I am done with the project.