Instructables

Mini Island Gaming Terrain

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Step 1: Supplies

Picture of Supplies
I used things I had around the house for the most part.
Styrofoam insulation board (Only because it is very fine grained and is easy to work with)
Plain Clay Cat Litter (unscented or any "extra" additives)
Sawdust (everything has a use) or if you want to buy static grass for model railroads.
Toothpicks (round ones are better)
Sand
String
Thin cardboard or card stock
Foamcore Board
White Glue (like Elmers)
Paints: Black, Gray, White, Green, Blue, Yellow other colors are optional.
Paint Brushes
Water

Step 2: Sub Assemblies

The design of your islands are pretty much up to you but there are some basic parts you can use to make a wide variety of designs

Base
I make this out of the foamcore board, cutting the edges down to a beach like profile.

Rocks(s)
Made from chunks of insulation board either cut to shape or chipped away with your fingernail or other tools.

Trees
Made from the toothpicks and sawdust layered on the top or small strips of paper for leaves.

Buildings
Chunks of insulation board cut to shape then roofs made from card stock. Windows and doors painted on. Chimney may also be added using foam board or toothpics

Misc.
Anything not covered in the above, like a shipwreck, treasure chest, mermaid.

Step 3: Base Construction

Using the Foamcore Board cut out an irregular shape for the island. Then taking your knife CAREFULLY cut at an angle around the edge to give it a sloping cross section for the beach area (leave straight if you plan on putting a rock right on the edge.)
Trim more if desired for smoother slopes and edges
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Jetpack52 years ago
Very well done! I'll have to give this a try!
ilpug3 years ago
this is very well done, but a finishing touch could be to make waves from clear water resin. 10/10.
Wolfinlied4 years ago
ahhh i love you and i love this game. I have almost the set of i think 6 different box sets thats how much i love it. (including the all rare skeletal jack sparrow and ghosted black pearl) i will totally be trying this!! brilliant idea!
nnygamer (author)  Wolfinlied4 years ago
Thanks, I'm glad you like it. I haven't played the game in some time. I started getting them when it first came out and bought quite a few then but I couldn't afford any of the newer sets as they came out too fast. I wish I had at least gotten the Santa one, I thought it was cool. I hope the instructable is clear enough and you use your imagination and make some great islands (and post them here!)
dude, i have a couple of the santa one if your interested in buying one. Just message me let me know i might be able to sort something thru ebay or whatever. Either way let me know!
sorry to double post, just some info on the card: White Beard Holiday Promotional Ships. Includes Captain Whitebeard and the Sleigh ship which has the Joysides Attack. This ship cannot be shot at, and she cannot sink. She begins the game fully loaded with treasure from her controller's collection. Her base move becomes 6L when she has no available cargo capacity. Its a very very VERY hard card to come across.
nnygamer (author)  Wolfinlied4 years ago
Thanks for the offer but I haven't played in years and right now the furture is quite uncertain. I'll let you know in a few months, off to the hospital in a few weeks.
elkalpin4 years ago
Great intractable!! I'm working on one right now!


skiedra4 years ago
OmG, this is so awesome. I really like the idea of "make stuff from what you've got".  And this method opens infinite possibilities.
wenpherd4 years ago
you take very nice macro pictures, oh and of coarse nice tut good job.
nnygamer (author)  wenpherd4 years ago
Thanks on both compliments, only problem is the camera I used died last year and I haven't gotten a replacement. It was a Fujifilm Finepix 2800Z that I got free because it was damaged, I fixed it but something electronic went up on it about a year later.
carthorse6 years ago
This was made by my son using similar methods. Rocks are chipped bark, as used to suppress weeds outside supermarkets etc.
DSC00281.JPG
That bark looks awesome. Thanks for sharing. I'd have never thought of that on my own.
nnygamer (author)  carthorse6 years ago
That looks great, the bark gives some really nice natural shapes and saves a lot of effort.
teorible5 years ago
Great stuff. That palm tree is perhaps the coolest tree I've seen recently. Very impressive. You may want to use the macro setting (usually the little flower icon activates it) on the smaller blurry pics, but otherwise... for old hats like me this was great. I'm doing larger scale, but lots of great ideas that will bridge easily.
probably the best instructable i have ever seen! suck a good idea !!! I am going to make one all in one where everything is connected on one board but i really need to know how to make the ships. any ideas?? really easy plus rating favourited. please show me som ephotos if u make a ship. maybe a possible instructable? thanks.
You mean 'sucH a good idea', yeah?
nnygamer (author)  firefletcher6 years ago
Thanks! The ships are not something I made, they are a game put out by Wizkids and I found mine online (ebay) and at Walmart, the hobby shops used to carry them around here but they seem to be pushing Magic and Warhammer. I probably could do a ship like the Wizkids Pirates one but it would be more of a computer drawn and printed. To make one from scratch I'd carve a foam hull, toothpick masts and cardstock sails. Painting is what would really give it a wooden look, using some of the ways I did for the islands.
You can also find great paper models online for the ships, just look under "Papercraft". My store here in NH still does a lot with Pirates, seems odd that yours is dropping the ball; it's a great impulse buy item, as the boosters are dirt cheap! If you are ever in NH, come trade ships with us! :)
This is a neat howto. I like the technique, low-cost, and creativity angle. Thanks for sharing.
inquisitive6 years ago
Very impressive. I have made miniature scenery for Dept 56 and Nativity scenes and know much of a difference a bit of glue, odd bits, and creativity and make to a presentation. You inspire me.
nnygamer (author)  inquisitive6 years ago
Thanks. I make all kinds of miniatures, a lot of them out of whatever I have handy. I did 4 mini Matrix style ships out of what most people would call garbage. Very rarely do I go out and buy materials, most is just leftover stuff I never throw away. (I'm a pack rat.)
Pack Rats Unite! I come from a long line of pack rats, my friends laugh when I pick up odd containers and bits of things to see what else it could become. I made campfires, trees, and display pedestals out of moss, rock, twigs, and broken marbles for store displays and people kept picking up the display pieces to purchase. I hope your ible gets even more people excited to maybe create from the mundane into something magnificent.
nnygamer (author)  inquisitive6 years ago
Problem with being a pack rat is finding a place to store it all and remembering where you put what. Right now my desk where I usually work is clutter with too much stuff so I've been using a lapboard while sitting on the couch.
I hear that...I just had to pull out the chopping board to put something down. The mantra my friend gives me about being a pack rat is "I just don't want you to die in a box of feathers!" she knew someone who was a hoarder and fell in a box of feathers and suffocated. So let's all purge a little for self survival or create then sell/give/donate while we can! LOL By the way, I think this game board would be phenomenal constructed on a large shadowbox to give depth to the water and ships. Could be hung when not in use?
nnygamer (author)  inquisitive6 years ago
Box of feathers LOL I'd keep them in zip locks if I had a lot of them. I tried getting rid of stuff but that one time I threw something out I found a use for it the next week. Most of my stuff is stored in postal shipping boxes. Nice uniform size and easy to stack. The game board is a good idea, nice rounded corner one would probably be best. To make the islands stick I'd use some blue tack (or sticky tack) stuff.
Doctor What6 years ago
I don't play the Pirates CCG, in fact, I've never even heard of that game. But I love your creativity, and your amazing design from simple supplies. This would be great for all of the school projects that I have to do. It'll give great detail to projects that people usually just use playdoh on. Hell, I might even just do this for the fun of it. This is one of the most creative craft projects I have seen, not to mention the amazing results. Kudos to you. (favorites) (+)
nnygamer (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
The game came out in May of 2003 I think, with new sets coming out every 3-4 months. Although I haven't gotten any new ones or even played in a while it's a fun game. It would be a good basis for school projects, even teaching a bit of recycling stuff that some would throw away. Thanks for the favorite, sometimes the simplest things have the best result.
Thank you for the great instructable. I can't wait for your future projects.
nnygamer (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
I'm not sure I can top this one very soon.
I'm sure you can.

Have confidence!

nnygamer (author)  Doctor What6 years ago
Actually I was thinking of doing a modular dungeon. Halls, rooms and stuff for gaming. Made to be broken down and easily stored. Id' be using a lot of the same skills here but some new ones for doing textures.
Sounds great!
robac6 years ago
i'm a big fan of Pirates! and i've been looking for tutorial like this for ages! thanks man, i'm going to make my own islands soon
nnygamer (author)  robac6 years ago
I had done a similar tutorial on my yahoo group a long time ago. It doesn't get much activity but it was a good start. There are a few others islands there that will help inspire you too http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/pirateislands3d/
robac nnygamer6 years ago
thanks :) any idea on how to make fog, reef or sargasso sea?
nnygamer (author)  robac6 years ago
I'd use the game ones as a base, maybe strip off the printed area so glue will take hold or a thick piece of cardboard like a notebook back. I'd paint them a blue and swirl in a little white while it was wet. For the fog I'd glue some puffs of cotton or polyfil. Reefs I'd glue down some lines kitty litter and paint. The Sargasso Sea I'd do similar but just glue down green sawdust.
nnygamer (author)  nnygamer6 years ago
Something like this that I just whipped up:
reefseafog.JPG
robac nnygamer6 years ago
it looks great ;o btw - is GW's black spray good for a base coat?
nnygamer (author)  robac6 years ago
I don't use spray paint often and when I do I go for whatever is cheapest. GW usually has good stuff but the price scares me. All the stuff I've done lately is just brushed on, it's easier to get into the little nooks and crannies then trying to spray at all angles.

(for those who don't know GW is Games Workshop )
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