Lava Board VI: Finished! (again)

I lied before when I said it was finished. By finished I meant that I was done painting it for a while and needed a break.

One thing I noticed later on, and compared to other examples, was the lack of contrast in the lava to the surface. It sort of looked like a river of burning cheese, lol. A river of molten cheese sounds cool, but I'll have to try that later.

After going over the lava again with a heavy dry brushing of orange, I added in a little red to the mix and gradually worked up to solid red. It definitely brought a nice contrast to the board.


Once that dried a mix of 6:1 red/medium gray was dry brushed over the surface again. This was followed up with a little pure black over the tips of the lava. I planned on skipping black this time, but I think it adds to the texture.

What lava board would be complete without some chaos-worshiper's ruins? For fun I took some extra foam and melted a few "faces" in it with the hot glue gun.

Lava Board V: Finished!

The Lava board is finished and ready for gaming! It took a few hours a day over the course of three weeks. Most of the time spent was gathering materials and changing the layout (I accidentally glued the wrong pieces down lmao). If I were to make this again, with what I've learned, it would probably take only a week with a majority of the time waiting for the caulking to cure.

This is the first bit of dry brushing. I used a bottle of gray rather than mixing black and white. I find it easier since you have the same exact color every time. I used a 3" brush over the surface areas and a 1 1/2" brush on the edges and lava channel.

A lot more dry brushing. After going over the surface and edges a few more times I added a little off white (bleached bone) to the mix and started dry brushing around the lava area. When the paint was nearly dried up I pressed firmly along the edges to exaggerate the shape of the cuts.

The board from a different angle. Here you can see the edging a little better. Notice the glow on the bridges? The terrain pieces were scrap from the lava areas. I'm planning to make more dynamic pieces later. Somebody asked about the wood bridge; it's actually for something else but it will do for now until I make a more appropriate one lol.

There you have it. A cheap and easy to make lava gaming board. Again I'd like to thank the original author for the inspiration. Had it not been for his great post I probably would have made a very basic board. I'm glad I took the time to make this and I can't wait to play test it!

A few things I'd like to add to his idea
  • The foam doesn't like to bond to adhesives. Be sure to prime it before bonding it.
  • Once the board is finished use a clear coat to seal it. This will help prevent wear-and-tear.
  • Blending the colors will add to the detail.
  • When painting try to paint like objects at the same time. I made the mistake of skipping a section and it was difficult to match it later.
  • Each 2x4 section used about 1 canister of adhesive and acrylic caulking for the lava. I recommend having 1 of each per section you make.
  • The biggest cost was the latex paint; it cost $22 at Home Depot. If you can get it cheaper this will cut your cost.
  • Subscribe to my blog! :P

From here I'm going to start building the area terrain and some taller sections. For the middle area I'm thinking of a making a floating Tzeentch fortress :)

If you decide to make your own I hope you found this tutorial helpful. :)

Lava Board IV: The Lava

Now comes the fun part: Painting the lava! I did mine a little differently than the tutorial. The big difference is I didn't use red (since I ran out and was too lazy to go buy some). I used more orange and a little brown (8:1 orange and gray) which turned out pretty nice.

It's up to you want to paint the lava, though I recommend mixing between the primary colors otherwise it won't look very realistic. Blending the colors in stages may take a few more minutes but the end result is much better.

I used a 1 1/2" brush and painted a liberal amount of yellow to the channels. Once that dried I went back and heavily painted the edges. I found it worked best to pour the paint directly onto the board then dab it with the brush.

Next, some orange was heavily dry brushed over the yellow areas. When the brush is almost out of paint run some around the lower edges of the lava channel. This adds a nice glowing effect to the rocks.

Once the orange dried a little medium gray was added (8:1) which gave it a nice brownish tint. I started by lightly brushing over the high points then gradually applying more pressure. Notice the darker areas had more brown applied to them which gives the impression of the lava cooling faster.

Once that dried I added a little black to the mix and ran it over the tips of the lava. Finally just black was applied over the top. It helps to run the brush over the land area first then test it on a paper towel.

The next update will have completed pictures :)

Lava Board III: painting and texturing

After three coats of Flat Black latex I let it sit for an evening. The next few coats were a mixture of Arena play sand and the same paint. I mixed them in a small plastic container until the paint had a slight texture to it.

The first texture coat was applied in long strokes to keep it consistent. I then went over it again with a thicker coat in the areas with less texture. The third coat was thicker still applied over the edges and random spots.

This may sound like a lot of work, but in fact the first one was almost dry when I got to the last section. I did them all together in an evening in front of the tv :)

The following day I loaded up the acrylic caulking and started pouring the lava. I found it easiest to make a smooth coat then pour another bead of caulking and layer on top of it. Also, it helped to add another bead around the edges and use a smaller brush to fill the gaps. This also helped keep the flimsier sections from peeling up.

For texturing I took a 3" brush (dry) and pulled the lava up. By moving it in certain directions it adds to the detail and continuity of the board. Like the original tutorial said, I took care to make the lava "flow" in a certain direction. Pressing the brush down firmly will make it look like the lava is flowing faster. Smaller vertical strokes makes the lava look like it's bubbling rapidy.

And what would a board be without some terrain pieces! For these I used the same glue for model basing and some fine sand over it. Once the board is finished I'll go back and make some more dynamic terrain :)

The Next update will be detail painting :)

Lava Board II: repeating a step : /

Here's an update on the Lava Board project. Unfortunately the foam board didn't take to the MDF very well. With very little effort it peeled off. Not a big problem, lol, it just adds time to the process.

Taking some advice from a friend I painted the bottom of the board with a few thin coats of Flat Black. This took me about two episode's worth of the Office Season 5.

After the paint dried I repeated the gluing process. This time it took almost 3 cans of adhesive, but I didn't want to take any chances. Make sure to give the corners and edges a generous amount of glue.

Repeating the process I laid the boards on each other face down and put plenty of weight on them. I let them sit for 24 hours before touching them again. This time, fortunately, the boards held and it's off to the next step.

The next update will have the painting and texture process. :)