Sunday, March 29, 2015

"Major" Mountain Building Begins!

First, 'homage'.  The 'major' referred to is Major General Tremorden Redderings's site, link to your left as you read - somewhere.  Go to the terrain page and then to the mountain building page.  That is my point of inspiration.  I'd been wanting to build some mountains and when I saw that page I 'knew' the result I wanted.  Only taken about ten or more years to get around to actually getting started.  No, not exactly what you see in the photos on that site.  But something very similar - except made out of wood.

This morning I continued cleaning in the garage and the yard - a spring rite and all - and I just decided it was time to build.  I've been hanging on to bits and pieces of various plywood left overs and other wood just for this project.  I figured to kill two birds with one stone, as it were.  Build the mountains and get rid of the excess wood no longer needed.

The plan?  What plan?  I laid out the sundry bits of plywood and started thinking.  And then I moved things around and did some more thinking.  And a wee bit of deciding.  From one decision came another.  And a few more.  And somewhere in the thinking stage I started making measurements and cuts - and making one fortunately easily recoverable oops.  And, lo and behold, by the time I wrapped up the project for today, I had my core pieces.

So, it works like this:  The central core is about 4"1/2" wide not counting the yet to be cut and glued on contour pieces - and 24" long, 6" tall (well, all the main contour pieces are cut to length but not yet jig sawed to shape).  And then there are two 3" wide 'outriders' at 5" tall, also 24" long.  The core pieces get one profile to either side, the outriders only get a contour on one side (but more below) - all the main pieces get end caps and the longer pieces a central support.  Then there are the longer pieces, 30" (well, one set is 29 1/4" and the other set is 30 3/4" but it still adds up to the desired 60" length - of which more in a moment).  And these have the central pieces at 5" tall, same 41/2" width and the outriders at 4" tall, 3" width.  This gives me a 7' long mountain range - so far.  But need to make that 8' because I will be building end profiles that will step up from table height to the appropriate level so that figures can cross the mountains lengthwise (all of my figures are 15 mm, remember).  And so they can cross the width, I will also be building two special side profiles.  And there will be at least one special side profile - and that will be a waterfall piece - think the scene from Last of the Mohicans.  Oh, and for all the outrider pieces, each will have one or more thicknesses of profile boards lower than the crest to give a more mountainous look to it all.  I might - might - build a total of six end profiles to allow each of the lengths to be used as stand alone mountains.

What does all that give me?  Well, I can put a mountain across a 5' wide table (see above) to divide it in two or place it at one end, scenario dependent; that is why the need for the side profiles.  Or, I can have an eight foot long and a bit over one foot wide mountain range to run down the center of a table (my table is 12') and either have action on either side of the range or run a game that travels the length of the table and then curves around the mountains and down the other side to give a more than 24' run - think chase scenarios, like a wagon train trying to outrun indians or a train trying to outrun robbers.  Or, I can have two ridges that create a pass to be traveled through with maybe another mountain on the other side to hide what's in store once through the pass. Or can I have the mountain range on one side of the table as a back drop for a game - or an objective.  Also, think in terms of climbing up and through the pass - and maybe finding your way blocked my some less than cooperative opponent.  Lots of ways to make these pieces work.  And those are just the thoughts I've come up with so far.

Still lots to do: cut and glue the main piece profiles and glue onto the cores, add the outrider 'mountainous' profiles, build the end profiles and the side profiles - and, of course, the waterfall profile, and then I need the small "step" pieces to make it possible to rise from one contour to another at 1/2" thickness - leaving the 1" height differences as difficult or impenetrable obstacles for varying scenario needs.  Plus a lot of work with a belt sander to create rounded 'noses' out of the profiles.  And, once all is assembled, it will need to be painted.  But that is probably down the road a bit.

At least I've made remarkable forward progress - and got some 'junk' gone and permanently out of the way.  Ought to make the wife happy.

Photos?  Well, of course there will be photos.  After I take them and then load them into the computer and then post them up here.  For now, just relax and enjoy the thought of seeing the finished work.  But don't hold your breath, who knows how long that will be.

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