I know, I’m posting a lot about the Road Warrior/White Line Fever game. However, I’m just about done with the major bits. I did promise one or two on terrain and some of the pedestrians and bike gangs. So here we are, how to make 32 feet of Hellish Highway with a relatively cheap buy in.
I wanted a ground cloth for the base– looking like desert with a lot of dark spots and stippling to give it some shadows, and a road right up the middle. Why 32 feet? That’s roughly the size of 4 standard convention tables, which are 5 x 8, laid end to end.
When you are making a groundcloth, go cheap. You won’t be using a 32 foot long groundcloth very often so there’s no need to spend a mint on the base material. I chose a light tan muslin which cost me 2.95 a yard at Joanne’s Fabrics. AND I got a nice 20% off coupon just for looking for a store on their store locator, so it was cheaper than that! We dropped in the Mart of Wal on the way home and picked up 3 cans of spray paint– dark brown, olive green, and a tan highlight. These were Rustoleum for about 2.50 a can. I also picked up two cans of the dirt cheapest flat black spraypaint at 96 cents a can. We got home, laid it out flat in the yard, and started spraying. What??? I didn’t wash it first and dry it? No way. But we’ll get to that.
Start with the Brown. Don’t make a lot of straight lines– there are no straight lines in nature! Then overlay with the Olive to make shadows. Fix the bad spray lines by overlaying with Brown again. Highlight with the Tan.
After about 30 minutes of effort, you’ll have the base done. It dries fast, but do yourself a favor, give it at least an hour before stage two.
There you go, 32 feet of land, done my way. It will be more than enough for a convention game.
Meanwhile, we went to the rubbish kip behind the grocery store, and found a nice sturdy WAXED CARDBOARD box.. the thick kind of cardboard. Using an Exacto, I cut a rectangular space into the box bottom roughly 8 inches across and the length of the box, which is about 24 inches.
After an hour or so, I picked up the cheap black paint (remember the 96 cent cans?) and went out to the yard where the now-dry cloth was set up. Starting more or less in the middle, I placed the rectangular stencil right down the center of the cloth (eyeballing it is fine). How did I know it was the center? Because I didn’t wash the crease out of it first, remember? It made a handy guide for painting the road straight up the center of the entire 32 foot stretch.
Just like this… end to end, with a slight overlap so it is consistently black from section to section.
Gradually, you get a nice long stretch of tarmac
And voila, after about 40 more minutes of effort:
32 feet of Post-Apocalyptic Highway!
The end result isn’t charming, but it looks pretty good from the 3 foot high test. When you consider it’s pretty much a specialized bit of terrain for only a certain kind of game, I think it looks pretty great.
Sadly this pictures is on grass and not very flat, but this will give you an idea of the playing space. If I were doing it again I’d make the road six inches wide, not eight, but I can live with this. Would it look better with little yellow line marks?
Summary: 10 yards of cheap muslin, 17 dollars with a coupon. 5 cans of paint about 12 dollars. 40 USD invested plus the time = End result, 32 feet of Road!