FtW Bloggers Group

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Overpass Made Easy (and Cheap)

There is an original piece of Horus Heresy Art, I think done by Paul Bonner, that has a what was once thought to be Stormbird dropping off assault troops. In the forefront there is a damaged overpass. That and the fact that I live in Texas and they are required to have one every ten square urban miles I have inspired me to make some for ages.

However as a gamer I want something that looked decent but did not cost a lot of money plus was easy to store. I finally came up with a plan that is inexpensive, it just may take a long time if you want to save some money.

Makes: 6 feet of overapass in approximately 2 foot sections
1 2ft x 4 ft MDF board
2 1/2in x 1 1/2in x 8ft length of wood (or similar)
2 1/2in x 3/4in x 8ft length of wood (or similar)
12 deodorant containers
3/4 in long wood screws

Wood Glue
Tape Measure
Sand Paper
Goo Gone(tm)
Dish Soap
Safety Goggles
Water for dehydration
A first aid facility within blood loss distance


If you have a table saw, cut the 2x4 of MDF into four equal corners (should be slightly less than 1ft x 2ft each due to the blade taking out about 1/8 of an inch of wood. Note: If you have your local DIY store cut it for you, they guy, even though you specifically tell him you must cut down the middle, will screw it up slightly.

Cut the 8 foot pieces to match the length of the resultant boards long ways. They will be the rails and the support on the bottom of the board. I made three sections and had some left over. You will use this for additional detail on the bottom. Strongly recommend you cut and label each section to match its specific MDF section.

Using the clamps and wood glue and after deciding how you want the rails (the 1/2in x 3/4in x 2ishft) lengths to fit, glue them in place.

Let dry 2 hours or overnight (I live in south Texas so they baked in well enough to remove the clamps in just a couple hours. Using the leftover 1/2in x 3/4in sections, I custom cut lengths between the bottom support beams. This provided lateral support so the structure does not eventually start to sag down the middle.

 photo 82D52096-A5D8-48FF-90C6-26076122EC04_zpsoamaex1r.jpg

 photo 55273279-5154-4790-AEBF-E1E2E6C62D6A_zpsbbey0cfn.jpg

Remove the lids of the deodorant containers. While the sections are drying, peel the stickers off the side of the deodorant containers. Use the Goo Gone to remove the residue. Wash with dish soap and let dry overnight. You don't have to use deodorant containers. I chose so because 1) they resemble the base of the Skyshield in size and shape 2) Using the lids will make them easy to break down for storage-you'll see in a moment 3)My terrain now smells manly, or at least clean. NOTE: Manly smell no significant enough to overpower M:TG players that may be nearby.

 photo 5589A6F3-D663-4447-BA96-1823A4A86366_zpsaslk7tlp.jpg

Now that the sections and lids have dried, measure out where on the bottom you are going to want to place the supports. I recommend centering them about 1/2 foot from either edges; the effect looks like the supports are about a foot apart when it is all together, but it also distributes the weight evenly so that your heavier models don't flip the whole thing over.

After laying out and marking the center point, drill holes in your lids, then go back and drill pilot holes in the wood to avoid splitting. You will want to do two holes per lid.

 photo 36D098CF-EE4F-4B1B-B138-5F5993799111_zpsmzeqpc6d.jpg

Using the short screws, replace the lids on the holes and screw the lids into the wood. If you feel necessary, you can glue as well but I think for the most part the screws are sufficient to hold it in place.

 photo 36D098CF-EE4F-4B1B-B138-5F5993799111_zpsmzeqpc6d.jpg

 photo F68F1542-6CD9-4F8D-85EB-B9C89E146D98_zpspluqm7yl.jpg

Now you can put the deodorant bodies back into the lids, carefully flip it over (the bodies tend to fall out-after painting this should not be as much of a problem) and viola-you have an overpass. Feel free to bling it up with extra 40K Grimdark Doodads and skullz. Definitely Skulls. You can glue the lids in, but I prefer to leave mine unglued so that I can store them more easily. Use the sandpaper to smooth out any rough areas.
 photo 90F70236-ACA1-441B-A9EB-EF632B0FEF54_zpskijdvqfx.jpg

As you can see-they are pretty sturdy and with some paint will brighten up any 40k game. You can make the road portion seem more like asphalt by using kitchen drawer liners or you can paint it with some sort of textured paint. Be sure to add some garbage for character.

 photo DCE7075C-91FE-4F36-9CA8-F7A8422E2FED_zpsvjnoorot.jpg

At one point I screwed up with the trimming of the sides. If that happens, get a Dremmel, gouge the area up, and just call it battle damage. It will be our little secret.

I'll update with pics after I get it detailed up and painted.