Long Road To The Harbor City Board: Basic Construction of the Hexes

So I continue the project from a stage where I have nicely cut wood and foam hexes. It´s time to figure out how to put the basic structure together.

As I mentioned earlier the basic thickness of the board will be 6 cm, two 3cm foams together. I didn’t remember the reason for this thickness in my last article but I remember it now. It’s 6 cm because this way when I want to go down one “level” I just use 3cm foam that I have in stock. If I used 5 cm foam from the start, I know that there is no 2.5cm foam sheets on the market so I would have to make cuts. And if I have learned something in my terrain years I have learned this:

Less cuts, less mistakes, more happiness

When I got three solid and easy to achieve levels (6cm, 3cm and the surface of the MDF) it´s very easy to build and use different levels anywhere on the board.

Next problem was to figure out how to align the hexes for glueing. I bought some metal supports from local hardware shop, cut two MDF strips and with the help of The template hex screwed these on MDF board. Because the supports were metal, I could use set square and bend the supports exactly at 90 degrees. With this device I can align the hexes pretty fast and accurate.

I also drew the outlines of the hex on the MDF. This is just one precaution step to check again that the whole hex is in right shape. I placed one hex on to the device, spread some PVA on it and then came the second hex. When the glue had dried for couple of minutes I removed the double hex and put some clamps on it to make sure that the join would be nice and tight.

Most of the actual dock hexes will be covered with water so I needed to cut the foam. Again I needed straight cuts so I cut two MDF strips and checked that those had straight edges. Then I drew a guideline on the both sides of the hex and with clamps attached the strips. Now the strips formed a good cutting guide! I used Woodland Scenics foam cutter for the cut.

As you can see I could cut two dock pieces from one hex. Then it was time to make some brickwork!! After little bit of planning I drew the lines, used sharp knife to cut along those and widened the cuts with pencil. It´s the same technique that I used with the houses. When the brickwork was done I rolled a tinfoil ball over the whole piece. This gives the surface of the foam some texture.

Remember always to keep a miniature at hand so you can check that your proportions are right! Above Dr. Arkadius came to check the progress.

I also constructed one piece that will give some variation for the dock. I didn’t use any new techniques, just different design.

I don’t trust that the foam alone will survive all the gaming hazards so now I needed to glue on the bases of the hexes. I used the same alignment device that I used earlier. First the MDF hex, then some glue and the dock pieces on top. Then one wood hex on top of this and some clamps and time, vòila!

The dock is getting some shape!

Until next time!



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  1. Kriegsspiele said:

    I really like your idea of variable parts, but doesn’t the small hex setting make the estimation of distances a bit too easy? 24*24” parts are quite problematic already, but these even smaller parts seem to broaden the problem?

  2. Marth said:

    I don’t think so, because it’s equal – means: all players know those distances. Actually, anybody could go and measure terrain pieces beforehand and therefor gain a probably unfair advantage. Putting the small hexes in does mitigate that advantage, and I don’t think it’ll be so obvious that you won’t avoid using it.

  3. JCooJCoo said:

    @Kriegsspiele: Well, that point is something that always comes up when I talk about hexboard on WarmaHordes.

    This project is for my personal pleasure (building and gaming wise) and when I play something I highly emphasize the mood and the narrative of the game, not the competetive side.

    So your point is valid, you could use the hexes to make accurate estimations but when we play, we just don´t care!

  4. Kriegsspiele said:

    JCoo, for casual gaming it indeed doesn’t matter. In a competitive setting I’d feel duped when playing on your table for the first time. 😉

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