First Terrain Block Built.
Mean streets are 10” square models of city blocks. They are solid blocks, so they have not been designed for removing roofs and placing miniatures inside, they are very much designed for action on the streets. Each model is supplied as a pdf download file of around 8 – 10 pages which is printed off at home. The period detail is captivating, posters, billboards and other signage is faithfully reproduced in period fonts and styles. The models need to be mounted on 5mm thick foamboard. I printed on to Matte photographic paper.
The first block that I assembled was ‘Block No 2 – which consists of Anastatio’s Apartments, None Finer Diner, Manzarelli’s Market, Helth Ice co, AAA Shoe Shop, Sbarbaro’s Funeral Home and Scott’s Newstand.
Mean street blocks have associated sidewalks, streets and alley sections. Sidewalks and narrow 2” alleys are designed to be mounted on 5mm foamboard. Streets and wide 4” alleys are not. I do not like terrain that drifts apart during play so have designed a system of jigsaw type pieces, cut from 3mm mdf to glue roads, alleys, sidewalks and blocks onto.
Block 2 is designed to have sidewalk or narrow alley around 3 sides, and a wide alley against the 4th side.
Tools and materials.
Using the right tools and materials for the job is very important if you are looking to build a model to be proud off.
Cutting mat – I use an A3 self healing cutting mat, this protects the best dining room table, damaging that does not bear thinking about, and it increases the life of knife blades compared to cutting on a piece of board.
Knives – I use a snap blade knife for general cutting. I find the option to have a long length of blade in use helps to reduce snagging the inner core of the foamboard. I operate on the basis off one building, one blade and snap the end of the blade off before starting a new building so it is good and sharp. I also use a Games Workshop craft knife which holds a surgical scalpel blade. The blunt back of this blade is my preferred tool for scoring, and I use the blade for finishing off cutting runs of doors or windows where there is only a thin pillar between them.
Pastels – Nothing looks worse on a cardstock building than seeing the white edge of the cardstock. Where ever there is an exposed card edge visible, for example where a door or window has been cut out and set back to give a 3D effect the edges of the card insert and the opening have a pastel run around them (black or a matching colour).This effectively blends the two pieces together and hides the joint.
Glue – PVA ‘Tacky Glue and ‘Spray Mount Adhesive). If you use a water based PVA glue to glue the printed wall sections to your sheet of foam board, the foamboard will become warped. Therefore I have started using ‘Spray Mount Adhesive’ for gluing large sections to their backing and have had no warping at all. Assembly of waal sections and gluing smaller parts in place is done using PVA ‘Tacky Glue’
Card – I use Matte Photo paper and 5mm foamboard as my main construction products, although some pieces have been mounted on 1mm greyboard.