Friday, December 13, 2013

My Pipe Dream - Part 3

Fly back with part three of the ongoing quest to create a great playing table suitable for a king. Or peasant. Or a queeeeen or vagabond... can you feel the love tonight?
In the last two parts, I drew up the plans, purchased some materials and got the main components completed. Now I'm going to start carving some shit up. I had already laid down my pipes and made sure they fit, now I need to cut down into the 'earth' to 'lay some pipe.' This was done very haphazardly. I simply traced around the outline of the pipes and then cut the line I traced out with my utility razor. From there, I removed large chunks of styrene from between the cut lines.
Above, I began roughing the edges up by pressing down on the edges with the flat edge of a large screw driver. It gave a really rough appearance that I think that type of earth might have if it was dug out by a tool of sorts.
This part was quite messy and I only show it competed after I had swept up most of the debris. It is worth noting that this makes a big mess, so make sure you have the blessing from your significant other or roommates if you plan on trying this in your home.
The edges were taking on a pretty uniform appearance, so I took my drywall saw at a 45 degree angle to some of the edges also. It made a very pleasing texture as above.
Then I dropped the pipe in. BOOM, perfect fit and it looks great. At this point, I am as giddy as a school boy. I put a dab of glue into each of the elbow corners and laid them in place on top of a dab of construction adhesive. This would ensure they would stay in place during painting and the like.
If I could do this again, I wouldn't glue them in quite yet, as I had to remove them to paint inside the crevice later.
Now, onto those corner hills. These went really easy also, I just used the corners of the 2' by 4' section of sheet styrene I cut off earlier to make them fit seamlessly onto the corners of the board. I did the edges similar to how I did the edges of the trench.
The other corner I added a little more flare and left a little valley between the two hills. I think it gave it a little more character. Also note that I'd been walking all over this thing and created quite a few dimples. Those dimples look great as the project as moved on, giving the playing surface just a little more texture and variance.
My lady also gave me the courage to add in some what will become pools. I had at first decided against it but she has some compelling arguments, the main one being "it would look cool." Indeed. I sawed out rough shapes in kitty corner areas of the board with my drywall saw.
That completes the primary construction of the board. I am very pleased. I have a lot of decent sized chunks of sheet styrene left to makes hills, lots of pipe left over and all sorts of ideas rolling around in my head.
Part four is going to feature texturing and painting the main board, while part five will deal with weathering and part six will focus on making matching terrain.
Thanks again for reading!


  1. Those would also make great blast craters....

    1. True but I'm enchanted by the idea of green goo...

  2. I'm living vicariously through you, Fly! Looking good!

    1. Thank you! I'll try to find more exciting and adventurous things for us to experience!