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Saturday, June 4, 2016

Gotham City Streets Mk II – Weathering

While the construction of my latest Gotham table continued, I decided to try my hand at implementing two more elements to the table – 
  • Stamped concrete pavement
  • Weathered Concrete

After all the work that was put into the constructionprocess and the painting, it seemed like a bit of a cop-out if I didn't try and make this table as cool as it could possibly be.  Besides, I felt that the concrete was too light in colour and could benefit from a bit of weathering.  Armed with my trusty felt-tip pen and numerous small containers of powdered artist’s chalk, it was time to dive in. 

First thing was to get the pavement stamped and ready to go.  This would provide me with a guide for where to initially run the black powder to create definition in the concreting process.  This was done using a 0.4 black felt tip pen and a 5cm wide strip of 2mm MDF with at least (one) straight long edge.  I decided I would try for a fully stamped look on the smaller section as an experiment since I wasn't really sure how I wanted the entire table to look.  The result was very time intensive and looked a bit... off for lack of a better word.  Since the section was relatively small and would mostly be dominated by terrain so I decided to keep the pattern despite my reservations.  The larger section would receive only a single row of ‘tiles’ along the edge of the road to create a board walk of sorts.  The remaining clear space would be weathered as normal in a bid to replicate alley-ways and other minor traffic areas that would not normally receive the additional attention a main pedestrian thoroughfare would.

I encountered a minor issue when I started the weathering process - the first area I used as a test piece was one of the narrow sections of footpath that are normally not included in the play area (the table is actually 110cms x 99cms).  After applying the black and grey powders, the entire section was given a layer of sealant which uses a resin / alcohol mix to set the powder.  Turned out that the alcohol reacted with the pen ink, causing it to lift off the surface of the table and move about the table, resulting in some highly unusual patterns indeed!  After the initial occurrence, I made sure to seal the remaining sections with a clear spray paint in the hope that it would create a protective layer over the pen.  The idea worked out pretty well for the most part; except for one area where I apparently didn't apply the paint on thick enough because it went squirly as soon as I hit it with the sealant. 

Once the board walk sections were complete, I tried my hand at weathering the large section of empty space between the board walk and the edge of the board.  Not one to mess with techniques that work, I broke the remaining table space into three larger sections and proceeded to weather those using a grey powder because it would darken the paint, but not overwhelm it like the black powder had the tendency to do. 

The results were very promising, however the proof would be in the gaming so the table (and terrain) were loaded into the car and it was off to the local club for a game or two. 

The experiment was a success!  The table performed well and it looked awesome when combined with the rest of the table elements.  The only thing would be to give two of the larger sections a heavier coat of the weathering powder, but that’s something I can do relatively quickly when I have the time / equipment (I lost my weathering brush that afternoon after one of my dogs mistook it for a chew toy...). 

Catch you all later,



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for that! Just need to get the whole thing varnished so it'll survive the rigours of gaming.