Tuesday, February 28, 2012

To the Blue Foam Beyond Part IIa revetments & duckboards

      Having finished with the shell holes I popped by Lowe's (a local big-box DIY store) and searched through the "mistints" pile in the Paint Department. I found a gallon of paint in a suitably gray color for chalky downland and paid the whopping sum of US$5.00 for it. I quickly painted the entire surface a dismal shade of gray. This left me thinking about how to model the revetments and duckboards, I had little desire to build them stick-by-stick from balsa of bass wood. To save myself from such a fate I called a co-worker who does model railroading, he suggested that I use embossed paper to get the planking effect that I was looking for. This was a great idea but none of the local railroad shops carried thesort of planking that I needed and to order sopmething through the mail did not meet with my desire to get on with it NOW! So I decided to make my own by drawing the planks onto stiff card using a fine-point pen and a soft worksurface. I then set about gluing and staking into place my revetments and duckboards. The results of this frenetic activity you can see below. The jury is still out as I am not sure that this is enough to satisfy me.

       This just might hit the balance between detail and playability that I have been looking for, plus it saves me from trying to build this stuff out of stick balsa. Anybody with other ideas please feel free to fire away. Thanks.


  1. That's really looking great. Can't wait to see the finished product.

  2. Looks pretty good in the photos. Me, I would probably do it the hard way with balsa.I am really enjoying watching the progress of this project.

  3. Rodger,

    With more time and money so would I, the big thing holding me back is that I built a six-inch-long section using balsa; it took nearly three hours of work (admittedly it was a prototype so if I decided to go that route things would speed up), there is more than sixteen feet of trench on the boards, the time commitment would run into midsummer. I also did some "back-of-a-postcard" calculations on the balsa and it comes to, roughly, 170 sticks of 36"x1/8"x1/16" for the revetments and duckboards and another nine sticks of 36"x1/16"x1/16" for posts etc. At local retail prices that is about sixty dollars US. I am trying to do this project on the cheap as it is a very limited-use bit of terrain. So far I am into it for about US$15.00 for glue & paint etc.

    I really would prefer to go all out modelling this but I just don't have it in me. "Good-Enough" is going to have to be the path that I follow.

  4. Restraunt supply stores sell boxes of wooden coffee stir sticks that are terrific for 28mm scale or large planking for 1/72nd scale, very cheap also. I get mine from a chain of stores called Smare & Final. Here's a link to my blog with a building made from those stir sticks :


  5. Alfrik,

    That looks great, and is FAR cheaper than balsa/basswood. I have bought popsicle sticks from the arts and crafts store but it never occurred to me to use wooden stirring sticks (in my defense, in this neck of the woods everybody uses the plastic ones - which have their own modelling applications). I will have to stop by the local coffee supply house to see if they stock them.

  6. Alfrik,

    BTW you have a great site, I am adding you to my list.