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Inspector Vogts, Part 1: Building a Wall & Door




So here I am finally getting going on building the scenery for my boardgame, The Inspector Vogts Game System. At first it was going to be called The Inspector Vagge Game System, but that's one of those things that's funny only the first couple of times.

I've never built scenery before, but I've read a fair amount about it and figured I'd learn more as I went along. I used to paint models for Epic Space Marine and Hero Quest when I was a kid so I have some experience, albeit from about 14 years ago. (yes, I'm almost 29; if you do the math you can also guess that I was quite the ladies' man).

First thing I did was cut a piece of drawing paper to the size I needed, 6" x 4", and cut out a slot for a door as well. Then, I cut 1/4" balsa wood strips for the door frame and 1/2" strips to line the top, bottom, and center of the wall.

I watered down my wood glue so it would soak into the balsa and the paper without making it all creasy. Surprisingly, it held. For the most part.

I did lay an old hard drive across the wall while I built the door, and then afterwards I painted over the joins with the thinned-out glue. That actually worked best for keeping it together. I don't know if that'll have some adverse effect on the future paint job, but I'm sure there's a way around it if so.

I would feel bad about my sort of slack-assness on the technique, but really I'm too excited about actually getting something done to worry about it. As long as I cut the right lengths, I'll be able to find the technique.

One thing I learned is that a chisel blade does a nice bevel job. I went a little nuts with the rough-edge beveling, but it does give the wood a more natural look. And that's what I'm going for with this.

You may have noticed my usual mad camera skills were not in effect this night, and I've done a haphazard color-correcting job in Photoshop. Yes, my day-job is graphic design but I figured, "Hey, if some of these look like they were taken in 1973, so be it."

Honestly, all of my shots of the completed door turned out pretty crap and this is the best of the bunch. But you can pretty much see how it turned out. Simple but efficient. Not at all like a low-rent opening to The Twilight Zone

My big worry at the end was whether or not the door would fit. It was just about 1/32" too wide at the top. Probably because not all of my end cuts were straights. But as with all door-hangings, you can just shave it down till it fits. Busted out the chisel blade yet again and it fit tight as my pants.

Originally I'd thought I could use this first piece on one of the actual buildings in the game, but I don't think that's the case. Upon looking at my map the door width and placement is off, but oh well. It was good practice so hopefully further walls (and photographs) will turn out better.

So what did I learn? Consult your blueprints before you start to build. Very important. Also, a chisel blade rocks pretty hard. And finally, if you screw up, just say you were practicing.

Next time: I don't know if I really explained the game to you.

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