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I've started building some canal sections as warhammer 40k terrain and thought I'd share the process with everyone since I've been looting ideas from here since I found the place. Thanks for all the great information everyone. I'm aiming to make enough canal to span about three 6ft tables for use in apocalypse games and eventually plan to expand the project by building a chemical factory. That's still a bit down the road however. This project is a bit simpler than some of the others on the site, but I figured there might be a few people interested.
The bases of the canal sections were cut from 3/16" hardboard tempered on both sides. They were cut to 6"x8". I also prepped a couple 8"x8" squares for use as corners and a T section. The sides for the canal will be made from 1" polystyrene cut about 1/4" thick with a hot wire cutter.
This is my foam cutter. It's made from PVC pipe and an old computer power supply as a resistor.
I clamped the wire cutter to the table you see in the picture and set up a guide to keep the thickness of the foam consistant.
Here's some cut sections. They aren't perfectly smooth, but that'll be fixed when I sand them later.
I ended up cutting a little over 60 8" strips of foam for the canal sections I made. Once cut I glued them down to the edge of the hardboard using wood glue. PVA glue would work just fine, but I happen to own a lot of wood glue, so I used that.
Once both sides were glued on I set another piece of hardboard on top and put a weight on that. I simply stacked each section on top of the previous one to hold the foam in place while the glue dries.
I'm letting the glue dry until tomorrow to make sure everything is secure before I start to fill the gaps and sand. I've also started on a foot bridge made from some copper pipe.
I'd appreciate any feedback/suggestions. I'm planning to create a wider vehicle bridge at some point, but I really don't have any ideas what to make it out of. If anyone has any cool bridge ideas I'd love to hear them.
I'm planning to cut V grooves into the foam to create concrete sections, which wouldn't work as well with the foamcore. I will also be rounding off the edges of the foam with sandpaper which wouldn't work.