I got some very good feedback from my previous post where I lamented the failure of my foamcore hex rivers. Messrs. Paul and Pahoota suggested using 1 mm thick styrene plastic as a base. The thought was that the styrene wouldn't warp when I put the caulk down. I have sheets of styrene plastic in the form of For Sale signs. They have gone up a bit in price at Walmart, but $2.75 is still a steal for a fairly large sign. The guy behind the paint counter must be wondering what I am constantly selling.
Before I plunge into the river waters again, I thought I'd test it out by making roads. Here is the result:
The short section of road on the far left is one of my road hexes that goes with my forest hexes. The cross road section and the straight section of road are the test pieces. They are caulked, painted, and flocked, but I have not applied a wash on them yet.
Verdict: no warping, at least so far. One thing I did not do was add a layer of card stock on top of the plastic base. I applied the caulk directly to the plastic. I also applied the flocking that is on either side of the roads to the plastic. The reason why I added the thin card stock on my forest hexes was that I thought I needed a good substrate to hold paint and other things down. I get the feeling that the card stock was responsible for my multi-hex warping, so I might make another multi-hex but without the paper layer. I'm sure that caulk must shrink when it dries, but it could be that paper does more. It does not fully explain why the foamcore warped, but my next step is to start working on the rivers.
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