SALUTE 2012 progress

Had a great weekend just gone working on the samurai Salute board and for today I'll show you one of the complete 2x2 boards.

The basic layout is shown to the right, about half the board is river with a typical Japanese bridge crossing it and the other half is a more common area of the town.

The parallel lines are the gutters, more on which later. The main construction is of 12mm MDF (generic wood, resin and glue composite) which, although heavy, gives a sturdy platform on which to build and paint.

The MDF doesn't go all the way under the raised bit, just a little to provide the top portion a bit of support. The top is also 12mm with the gutters cut out on the table saw.

The bridge is the main feature on this 2x2 board so a bit of time was spent on it. Finding reference was easy, I didn't even have to look in my reference folder, a quick google image search was all that was needed.

To build something like this the most important thing is to jig it up right at the start.

A 'jig' is a framework, support or construction that aids the building of another piece, usually they are sacrificial but get them right and it makes the whole job easier. Time spent making a decent jig, no matter how small the actual piece will save you a lot of frustration!

As Japanese bridges are on the whole arched each set of legs (five in total) had to have a seperate jig, all that was needed though was to slightly alter the height of the drawing and then cut out the parts on the laser, assemble them and place the balsa parts.

The cross members are from lasered perspex as it will lend strength and you won't see then that much. Once each set of legs is made they are attached to the main 'sleepers' by way of another jig (which I forgot to take a picture of) and then the top planks are glued on. I might go for a hand rail at the sides but as I want to get the main stuff out of the way first this will be a last minute option.

The 'banking' is made from a yellow insulation foam (the same type used in the corner paddy fields). This has been pounded with a suitable rock and then the stonework marked on with a sharp pen.

The ground work was done in the normal way of fine sand, inked over with brown ink and then brought up with several drybrushes of lightening tans. A small channel was cut out of the banking (which was painted light grey, shaded and weathered after) for the gutter water to run out of into the river.

Small 'bridges' were made over the gutters out of thin balsa to give the appearance of allowing the town dwellers access to their houses/shops. The river was also painted at this stage with varying greens and given several coats of yacht varnish.

The shot to the left shows a bit of closer detail of the small bridges and the bank. Some yacht varnish was also applied to the bottoms of the gutters just to add that little bit extra. The bridge was then painted brown with a lot of drybrushing to bring out the wood texture. small amounts of growies and grasses were added in various places to enhance the general look of the area.

As ever, I'll leave you with some more shots of the complete board. A better discription on the whole project will be in the next post in the coming week or so.



  1. James,

    It looks, in a word, fantastic. In fact, absolutely fantastic. Really looking forward to seeing it at the show.

  2. Brilliantly made scenery...looks just great.

  3. Thanks chaps :-)

    I'll have some more to show on the boards progress early next week.