Preparing two more tables for May's Great Swamp Wargamers game night

Preparing two more tables tops for May's Great Swamp Wargamers game night. The table tops are 4'×3' hardboard glued and nailed on a framework made from 2"×1" pine boards. The edges are blue-taped to keep them clean until the terraforming is done. The terraforming is a simple process of

  1. Glue down any surface features. In this case, I am using "splinters" to give the appearance of deadfall found in a bog or forest floor.
  2. Paint the whole surface with an earth brown.
  3. Paint the surface features as needed. In this case a "wet" brown.
The remaining surface features are added in reverse order. That is, if you want daisies then put down the yellow flowers first, then add the grass, and finally add the dirt. The goal is that the items added first will absorb most of the glue so that when you get to step 8 what is on top will fall off.
  1. Using a spray bottle coat the entire surface with watered-down white glue -- about 1 part glue to 3 parts water. Use a spray bottle rather than a brush as it will apply a more even coating. A brush tends to leave ridges.
  2. Using a sieve apply a pattern of grass. When using Woodland Scenics's fine turf add some coarse turf to the sieve to slow the casting of the fine turf. If you don't do this then you tend to get mounds of turf rather than an even application. 
  3. Using a sieve apply to the remaining (non-grass) areas dirt. I use dirt from my yard that has been baked for an hour at 400° F to kill off the microbes. 
  4. When dry, turn the tabletop upside down and tap to remove excess grass and dirt.
  5. Finish with several applications of watered-down white glue or spray clear coat to fix the grass and dirt and make it resilient to playing on. I use a pressurized hand sprayer that is normally used for spraying insecticide. It can apply an even coat of the glue. The tabletop is noticeably wet after each spraying, but I do this outside on a warm day so that the glue drys before penetrating the hardboard.

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