Ok, so my good friend Tim gave me a plaster cast of a Saxon tower which he built himself, and it's so awesome it simply deserves a bespoke game table all of its own. So this is my version of a Mott and Bailey game table, and it will used with some tweaking of the rules for the 'Burgh' scenario in our Campaign. In our rules no one can attack your fort until they achieve Atheling status, so I have a week or two to get it built.
To start I'll be using a 4' x 4' board - so I went and got two 2' x 4' boards and I set a couple of locating dowels and some snap locks on the bottom to join them together - I need the board to be split for convenience and storage.
I sketched out the design - and used some buildings as props to get the sizes about right, again here the buildings will need to be closer than 6" together and less than 6" from the surrounding boundary so another good reason to poo-poo the VS of a building rule otherwise the village at the base of the fort would have been much too large.
Next I quickly carved out the polystyrene shapes using a hot-knife (actually an old kitchen knife heated on a gas hob). I like to collect styrene from any packaging including that left outside by neighbours, but you can buy it in a hardware store.
The styrene is then glued in place with PVA and has to be left overnight because PVA takes so freeking long to set :(
Next task is to toughen up the surface - styrene is too delecate on its own. So I spread the whole table (including the edges) with rapid setting, flexible flooring grout/adhesive which comes as a powder you mix with water. Now you want it flexible so it doesn't crack if you lean on it, and you want it rapid setting because otherwise you might it takes 48 hours to set - and you don't want that.
When the grout has started to set just stipple the surface to lose the stroke marks and produce a nice roughened texture - don't do it too soon or the grout is too sticky it needs to be just turning firm when you do this bit.
The tower and the lower village will sit on removable bases that sit down inside these rings which will be textured into the base - so when the two halves of the board are assembled - the village and tower plop down into their recessed rings so they sit nice and flush into the board - and the village sits over the join in the two boards thus hiding that nasty crack in the board.
The water will simply be plaster of Paris poured in and painted and gloss varnished. I could use clear resin here but that's expensive at this board is on a budget ;)
Every 4 or 5 inches one of the logs is pinned into the board - you can't just use glue as it keeps falling over while the glue sets.
Bridge constructed from coffee stirrers stolen from McDonalds.