This is the first companion page to Episode 24 of the Tabletop Battlefield. In that episode I started building a base for Warhammer 40K or other 28MM scale games. This first part will cover the construction of the base wall piece. Each Segment measures 4 inches long and is about 3 inches high. At their base, the walls are 1.5 inches thick and at the top they are .75 inches thick. To build these walls you will need .75" thick Styrofoam, Plaster of Paris, Aluminum Foil, and Masking Tape.
Start by cutting out two sheets of the .75" thick Styrofoam. Each should measure 3" by 4". The 4" side will be the length of the wall and the 3" side will be the height of the wall. Leave one of the pieces intact and unchanged. For the other piece, cut it in half along its length from corner to corner. The result of the operation should be two triangles. Each triangle should still be 4" long and 3" high, but the base of the triangle should be .75" and the top should slope to a single point.
Time to get out your tape. Place the flat non-sloping side of the triangle piece up against on the flat pieces of the rectangle piece. Wrap the entire structure in tape so that neither piece can move. When finished, you should have a structure which resembles the picture. Just for fun you might want to mark the sloping side as the front and the 4" by .75" side on the top as the top.
Here is where the aluminum foil comes into play. Wrap everything but the bottom in aluminum foil. You may need to use tape to get the aluminum foil to stay together, but DO NOT tape the aluminum foil to the underlying Styrofoam structure. The idea here is to be able to reuse the Styrofoam structure. That is why the bottom cannot be covered. Once the plaster has dried, the Styrofoam structure will be removed through the bottom. Therefore, it is also critical that the base of the wall be the thickest part of the wall.(The side that is 4" by 1.5")
Get out some old newspapers and tear it up into strips! These strips will be covered in plaster and stuck to the aluminum foil. Other types of paper(Such as old letters or magazines) should also work.
Begin the process of the covering the aluminum foil with the newspaper. First apply the plaster to the surface of the aluminum foil, then cover it with the newspaper, and apply another layer of plaster over the newspaper. Cover every square inch of the aluminum foil with at least one layer of newspaper, but ideally a second layer of plaster and newspaper should be applied. There is no need to wait for the first layer of newspaper to dry before applying the second layer. Be careful not to stick the newspaper to any part of the Styrofoam structure. As with the aluminum foil, the bottom should be left uncovered.
Once the plaster has dried, the Styrofoam structure can be removed by first moving the plaster walls just a little bit away from the Styrofoam structure. Next, Stick a screwdriver into the Styrofoam and gently pull the structure out from the plaster walls. As long as no part of the plaster or aluminum foil got stuck to Styrofoam structure, the two pieces should separate easily. Therefore, the Styrofoam structure can be used over and over again. Once the plaster walls have been separated, you may notice that they are a little bumpy. Some types of putty, such as Bondo putty, can be used to smooth them out, but that goes beyond this tutorial.
That is about all you need to build the wall segments. However, you will notice that the walls do not fit perfectly together. So sort of the joint piece will be needed. I will get around to building that part on the Tabletop Battlefield in 2008. For the time being, build some more segments and paint them up. Applying a simple coat of black will be a good base. There is no need to use the Expensive GW Primer here. Then a few layers of gray should give the walls a cool look.