During the last weeks I've been working on a couple of things: Some more Black Plague survivors, some tribesmen and Brits for Northwest Frontier and a nearly forgotten project of mine: A river.
Actually the realisation of the issue came together by chance. Somehow some pieces of MDF I acquires months ago fell into my hand just in time when peripatetic Mrs Monty spend a couple of days by the sea with those Janus-faced creatures yours truly calls his beloved daughters. However buoyant, joyful and frivolous as I was I collected my trustworthy jigsaw and decided to bring this long procrastinated project into being. A far reaching decision as you will discover later.
Initially things started easy. The MDF board was literally cut into shape in no time. The river banks were constructed of 10mm polystyrene, shaped with our Crème Brulée torch and covered with two layers of plaster bandage. A mix of sand, gravel, pine bark and PVA glue made it a reasonable structured riverside than :
Now I had to decide whether to target for blueish water or to emulate a muddy, brownish river. After some pondering and a series of two experiments I opted the dirtier version. In my humble opinion it looked more credible and it appeared more useful for my ongoing NWF and Congo projects:
After the embankment was humbly colored and planted yours truly had to decide how to recreate the river itself. Robert, a friend of mine and well-known contributor in the Lead Adventure Forum as 'Steam Flunky', designed a awesome 15mm with a river of resin running through it. Since I caught sight of this piece of art I was keen on creating a resin river myself. Thus I consulted a specialist dealer for epoxy resin and saturated polyester resin. The truly kind and helpful salesmen there suggested a two-component epoxy resin called 'Resinpal 2416'. Thus I ordered about three pounds of the stuff and prepared the piece for pouring:
From various online tutorials and Youtube videos I learned that sealing the mould is absolutely essential. Thus I created two clasp pieces for both ends of the terrain piece. They are made of a slat of wood, a strip of sponge rubber and a thin layer of plastic film. The idea was to create a piece which is able to carry pressure (wood), to cling to small irregularities and to provide a surface the resin would not stick to.
After that the resin was to be mixed. Fortunately this Resinpal 2416 needs a very comfortable ratio of 2:1 meaning two pieces of resin and one piece of hardener. Yours truly calculated 225g of material needed to cover the riverbed with 5mm implying 150g of resin and 75g of hardener. No problem with Mrs Monty's trustworthy kitchen scale.
Because I wanted a rather muddy river I added some - namely 15 - drops of Armypainter Quickshade 'Strong Tone' and produced a clear but brownish liquid. Then finally the moment of truth came and the resin was to be poured into the carefully prepared river bed. Please join my and be eye witness of the exiting moment:
Afterwards the most exhausting hours came. The resin had to set and to harden. How would the resin set? Would it really harden dry and non-sticky? Would it remain clear?
Questions over questions... Stay tuned.