Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts
Showing posts with label DIY. Show all posts

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Burning Keep

I want to recess windows and doors on my Keep model, but I am 20+ years out of practice. I've already cut myself with a razor and don't want to bust out an iron to melt the Styrofoam.

So, I'll use a chemical to melt the doors and windows into the surface.

Markers are great for marking Styrofoam. In the picture to the left, I have marked out the various levels in black and the stairs in red. I used dry erase markers after testing them to make sure they wouldn't damage the material. I also outlined the windows and doors before starting with my Sharpie.


One caveat here. Not all markers are the same. In the last image series called Rough Cuts, I used a fine line red Sharpie to mark my cut outs. It didn't melt anything. A fine line marker maybe too small, formulated differently or the age of the marker cause it not to melt the Styrofoam. I picked an old marker for this task because this chemical does a number on the nib of the marker.

I cannot suggest alcohol based markers for this. I did try it and it didn't work. First, you'll ruin a perfectly good marker if it does work, and to my knowledge, alcohol doesn't damage Styrofoam. It is often used as a thinner in airbrushes, and airbrushes work fine on Styrofoam models. It's the ink doing the burning, not the smelly carrier.

In the image to the right, you can see how the marker chewed up the surface. I was expecting spray paint like melting, but all it did was coat each cell-like structure of the foam and caused them to pop off. Messy, but exactly what I wanted.

The marker is easily controlled and my lines are sort of straight. My purpose in making an indented windows and doors is to protect and mark those areas from the plaster I will skim over the surface. Later today, I will make a series of light cardboard masks for these spaces, with pull tabs so I can remove any mistakes I make with the plaster.

These windows and doors will have wooden or plastic features and I will need to be able to partially recess them in these spaces. 


The marker was able to melt in about 1/8 of an inch or (3 mm), which should be good enough for my wooden structures.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

The Keep - Rough Cuts

I decided to work on my Keep tonight. Of course, I will do floor plan maps, but tonight, I want to work on the model itself. I'm starting with the crenelation. You'll probably notice that this is bad form, I am making a model with no paper plans, then making a floor plan from an unscaled model. Hmmm... It could work.

To create the crenelations, I "measured" out the walls. I came up with 2 different numbers. 3 inches and 3 1/4 inches. Not bad considering the source of my Styrofoam was upcycled packing material. It wasn't going to be square no matter what I did.

I divided the wall section into five parts, a classic looking crenelation. 3 parts will be empty, 2 parts filled and then the 4 corners of unmeasured sizes. That works out to be about 9 1/16ths for the 3 inch sections and 10 1/16ths for the 3 1/4 walls. Small enough not to matter.

I put an x on the parts that would be cut away. One of the issues with this method is, I have no scale in mind. My brain defaults to 1 inch equals 6 feet, so a cut out of 10 1/16ths is going to be 3.75 feet. So this is 25 mm. This is pretty good, as most of my figures are 28mm. Oh... My brain is so broken.

Anyway, forget scale. I want this to look nice rather than be a particular size.
Although the Keep will not have a scale,
the cat is as close to 1:1 scale as it could get it.
Your cat may vary. 

Let's get cutting. I'm using scraper handled razor. I want to push down on the line. It turns out this cutter was bad for what I was doing and I switched it up with a boxing razor.

The straight down cut allows me to work in two angled cuts. Again, I am not working for a "scale", so I didn't measure how deep I went. I'm guessing that it's also about 3.75 feet in scale.

Let me give you two tips when cutting. First, unless you have a cutting table, work on a finished surface like a table. Wipe it down with a wet rag and do not it dry. The water will make the base of the Keep stick and all of the bits of Styrofoam will also stay in place.. This makes clean up easy. Dry, unfinished wood will also stick to Styrofoam, so that is an option, too.

These look like teeth. The blade is semi flexible, so I can force it into the soft Styrofoam, and end up with a straight cut and a flat surface on the bottom.

As you can see from the pictures, I have some basal wood pushed into the Styrofoam as a floor. I need to plan my details before the next step, which is going to force me to pick a scale. Judging by the size, this Keep will be nothing like a real world Keep. It is all out of proportion.

But I am happy with my results as of now. More tomorrow, I think.