Saturday, August 31, 2013

Project Kursk 20: Terrain Boards Take Shape

Over the past weeks a small group of dedicated Terraformers and I have been working on some terrain boards for Kursk on Wednesday afternoons after school. We have been particularly fortunate to have great support from the Applied Arts department, who have let us make all sorts of mess and use their glue.

The boards are all based on 600mm x 600mm mdf boards, with terrain built up from extruded polystyrene. Basically, we just glued a layer of the polystyrene to the boards, except where we cut in what will be a dry creek bed, then attacked the polystyrene with files and knives to give the ground some hills and troughs, adding some extra layers of polystyrene for taller hills.

The boards are designed to be modular, and can be arranged in all sorts of configurations, like this:

With the basic landscaping done, the next step has been to add sections of towel dyed and painted green for grass, sections of cut up doormat for wheat fields, a couple of ploughed fields made from DAS and grit in the creek bed and tracks. Then we'll do a fair bit of overspraying to blend the colours and make it look a bit more summery. Sadly exams have intervened, but once they are out of the way we'll get this finished in time for a big holiday game.

God I love my job!


  1. Very nice, I trying to see how big your boards are? Maybe 1x2' and 2x2'. I have used the same construction technique, but in larger boards being 2x4' and 1x4', unfortunately I have been dogged by warping. Do you thing that you will have the same problem?


  2. Hi John, They are 600mm x 600mm, so about 2' x 2'. The warping remains to be seen - I'm hoping that the combination of fairly thick mdf and the polystyrene glued to it might minimise the problem.

  3. Looking very nice indeed! Can't wait to see the final when finished.

  4. Excellent! Very impressive ;)

  5. Alan, your kids are lucky to have you.

  6. Fantastic work, and best of all it looks fun!

  7. Great looking boards. I have to ask, what is the sprayer in the second to last picture?

    1. Hi Sean, It's a garden sprayer that one of the boys brought in from home. We use it to spray very diluted acrylic paint over the towelling we glue to the boards.

  8. What a lucky bunch of kids! Great project which is looking good!