Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fireball Island Process Part 1

Here I will detail with the few photos I have of the process, the building of my Fireball Island gameboard. Enjoy.

The island started out as one large brick of extruded foam measuring 24" sq. and 4" thick. This photo shows the initial cuts made with the dremel tool and drywall knife, which were extremely messy. After viewing some of the gameboard maps online, I drew out the routes how I wanted them in sharpie. Because my board is square I allowed myself to make more artistic design adjustments to it.

After I realized how useless the dremel tool was, I began to use a flathead screwdriver to tear away larger chunks of foam. It made great marks and was fairly quick
going. Getting to the right depth within 4 inches for all the trailways was very time consuming due to the need for the fireballs to roll the right way. I also began to test out my smoothing plaster agent seen in these images.

This is a small series of
images taken with a pink lamp on the island. After the roughing out was finished in the previous step, I ran over the entire island with a fine grit sandpaper. This would be necessary to maintain a realistic/natural look to the land formations in later steps.

ere is where things start to really take a more definitive shape. A coat of plaster has been poured/painted onto the entire terrain. This does a couple of things - it strengthens the board; it allows for greater paintability; it corrects minor sculpting errors; and it allows the fireballs to run smoothly down the paths.

Even after you apply the plaster you still have to rework it once it's dry. You may actually have to do this process several times if the levelness of it is not correct. Again, sanding down with a fine grit sandpaper will suffice. Some areas aren't completely covered in a layer of plaster, but that's ok. The acrylic paint in the next few steps will build protection as well.

This detail shot shows a good idea of the scale relationship with an actual playing piece from the original. I decided to hold off on recreating a few of the game pieces while making my own versions of the others. The process of leveling the terrain until the small plastic pieces can rest on them upright is very time consuming, but the dremel tool helps. Note that the caves in my board are actually carved into the island, giving it a much more realistic look than the flat ones from the original.

In the next post, I will cover the following:
  • paint application and technique
  • grass/terrain application and technique
  • idol fabrication
  • water effects
  • final board presentation

1 comment:

Orlando said...

Thanks for the instructional posts.. I'm certainly going to build my own gameboard, just not sure when. This post will go a long way to helping me figure out exactly how I want to do it.