The adventure continues. This post will show how I start down the road to add... errr... roads! Since these boards are designed to fit together which each other in as many combinations as possible, I can't just start drawing anywhere. Referring back to my trusty diagram (from article one), I locate the only flat board I have planned and check the pattern of the road. All of my roads will be two inches wide which will allow most of my collections to fit in march columns. The roads may vary on the board, but they must be consistent at the edge to minimize noticing the join between boards. All of the roads must also enter from a consistent spot, in this case, eighteen inches from a corner. If you refer back to article one, you can see that even though this sounds very limiting, the combinations available are substantial.
Using a ruler to mark the entry points and my trusty diagram for the general layout, I use my trusty Sharpie to mark the roads on the boards.
Back to the sharp knives! After drawing the roads, I trade in the pen for a knife and carefully cut just to the outside of my marker lines.
You want to be sure you cut all the way through the mat. Don't worry if you cut into the foam. We're going to be adding texture to these roads that will hide any small cuts. Press down on the part of the grass mat that's supposed to stay on the board and carefully peel away a corner of the section to be removed. You will find if you were careful about cutting through the mat, you can lift off a section despite the glue. When we add texture to these areas, the roads will have a nice sunken contour. The texture will also blur the edges so the roads are no so neat.
Now we're going to fix the river banks as I mentioned last time. I want to add some variety to the boards with other textures and although I intend to scatter small patches of bare earth on all of the boards, the rivers are a great place to feature more detail. There is no set pattern for this step, but you want your bank areas to make a smooth transition to your roads. After drawing everything out, I break out the knife again and follow the same procedure I used for the roads. Again, if you find loose sections when you peel these areas away, it's easy to apply a little extra glue under the mat, but in the next article we will be adding enough filler, glue and flocking to seal off an rebellious sections.
Notice how the bare areas of the bank narrow at the edge of the board? That again is to make sure it will match up well with any river board that joins with it. The next article will be all about adding texture and detail to the landscape. Only two or three more articles and these boards will be ready to game on!