Playing with Stencils: Modern City Base Boards Part Three

Well it seems like an age, but I finally have some time to get back to work on my modern city base boards.  You can find the first part of this project here: Part One and the second part here: Part Two

I always find it difficult to get my head back into something when it's been left so long.  I think its a hang back to those halcyon days of my youth when I would literally overthink everything until I had finally plucked up enough courage to have a go.  Of course, adulthood doesn't afford us the same luxuries.  And with three jobs and academic studies to juggle with the responsibilities of being a Dad and a hubby, the chance of finding time for doing my hobby, let a lone thinking about it, is virtually non-existent.

So I decided to just go for it.

Which brought on a whole world of hurt.  But it has been worth it.
Let me explain...(And it's all a little retro...)

Two years ago, I made my fist set of modern city boards.

When they finished they allowed such awesome moment as these to take place:



Made of foam core and some very old polystyrene board, they warped.  Badly.  I won't waste any more time on how upsettingly frustrating it all was.  I did enough of that here

So when it came to adding the road markings, I decided to look out the stencil I had made two years ago.  This was my first bad mistake.  After wasting much, much time looking for it in every place it could be, I decided to give up.  Which no doubt means I'll find it the next time I'm looking for something else.  Ho hum.  So I decided to look for the file.  Being clever, I back up my stuff to a whole host of different cloud storage solutions.  So you can guess how long it took to find it, can't you!?!  Then of course I had to rummage about all over the place to find my printable acetate sheets.  I used to use them all the time in those good old pre-PowerPoint days.  Ah, OHP's.  Sorry, got unnecessarily nosalgic all of a sudden.  This was the point that my laptop decided it was no longer on speaking terms with my wireless printer.  Technology can sap your joy pretty fast when it wants to!

Anyhoo, once all those shenanigans were over, I was ready to spend a lot of time cutting out the bits I didn't need to make a stencil.  It looked something like this:
And once the bits were cut out, it looked like this:
I then began work on the first of my junction sections.  I find it easier to start with the crossing as the other road markings are placed in relation to this.
A word of explanation is in order here, I think.  I have 16 boards which are designed to fit together into a 4'x4' gaming surface.  However, like many gamers, my gaming room is my dining room.  Due to the shape of a dining table, it's a lot easier to fit a 5'x3' board on it.  Yes, you can go fir the first option, but you have to be careful how you load out the protruding edges of the boards.  If you don't they have a worrying ability of falling to the floor when you least expect and need.

The logical thing to do with these foot square boards is to view them individually.  By that I mean to say you run a road down the middle of them.  So you have boards with roads and others with either nothing or something else  on them.  Put them together in different ways and you create different layouts.

Now that's all very good, but it doesn't help out so much when you want to use a 3' wide board.  Because a road section in the middle means two rows of buildings.  No space for back alleys.  It makes it pretty dull.

There's also another problem.  I'm making these boards for 28mm wargaming.  I use 1:43 scale cars. Technically as a figure is 1;56 scale, this shouldn't work.  But it does.  Anyhoo, before I digress about scale incompatibility and how 28mm foot to eye is NOT a scale, this means a simple fact.  A road needs to have lanes that are 4" wide.  Translate that to a 12" board and you have a problem.  If you put the centre of the road down the middle of a board, you have 6" either side.  This means that if you want two lanes on each side of the road, you're going to have the join of two boards down the middle of it.  I think that runs the risk of being too unsightly.  Plus it mans you need three boards in total to make this possible.  And with only 16 boards in total, that doesn't seem very economic to me.

So here's what I did.

In America a double yellow line goes down the centre of the road.  Or at least it does in all the research I did about it. I therefore painted a single yellow line a couple of milimetres in on one edge of the board.  Incidentally, it was at this point that I realised how hard it is to do so with the aforementioned stencil I had taken so much time over.  So I eventually ditched it and painted it by hand.  Fiddly, but it looked much better. Now by doing this I can have up to three lanes of traffic on a board.  As my pavement sections and buildings will be 'drop on' terrain, this planning gives me maximum variety in my layouts.  Two boards will make a wide road.
I then went on to apply the necessary lane and junction lines, again using the stencil.  This looked good, but I then began to remember that in my gaming I had decided to make the lane lines wider if I ever made new boards.  I think they look too thin.  If only I had remembered this before I printed, let alone cut out my acetate stencil sheet!

This was also the perfect time to apply a freehand second coat of white paint to the road markings.  It just tidies it all up wonderfully.  This is the final look of the board so far.
Of course, that's only one board done s far to this stage.  Once they are all done I shall be adding some more details such as tire marks.  I'll do this by dry brushing.  This will go over the road markings and help give a greater level of realism.  It wouldn't look right doing it the other way around as it wouldn't mirror what happens in the real world.

Anyhoo, that's all I've had time for today.  I'd have like to have done more.  But there's no point rushing and ruining things.  I just wish I'd remembered to adapt that stencil before I was eventually able to hit the print button...!

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