SkullStar build part 2: chaos star mosaic

Continuing from Part 1, in which I set the project aside to wait for inspiration to strike.

Some kind of mosaic

To make the board both versatile and distinctive, I decided to build a flat surface with some kind of mosaic pattern. That way, I could put whatever terrain pieces on top, or even cover it with another board. I wanted the mosaic pattern to echo the circular edge of the board and visually integrate with my dining room table.

Over the course of a couple days, my thought process went like this: “hmm… radial pattern… Warcry… chaos… chaos star! (Electric guitar riff.)”

How I built it

I adapted many of the following construction techniques from MSTerrainLab. I had used some of them previously for Frostgrave and loved the result.

I gathered the following:

  • DAP Kwik Seal caulk
  • 1.2 mm thick cork sheet (like for bulletin boards)
  • Straight pins and uniform-width XPS foam spacers
  • A stiff wire brush
  • Layout and cutting tools (ruler, compass, knife, scissors, etc.)
Basic layout

On the cork sheet I sketched out a rough approximation of the final pattern, then repeated variations of the same few actions:

  1. Cut out a shape from the cork sheet, dry-fitting and adjusting as needed.
  2. Roughen the shape edges with a wire brush.
  3. Glue the shape down with the Kwik Seal
Dry-fitting inner circle against spacers
Edge roughing

This process required a few days of “brainstorming with my hands,” adapting to problems and opportunities as they arose. Many decisions stemmed from the fact that I didn’t have quite enough cork to cover the entire board surface without being very thoughtful about geometry.

Extending spacers to the outer ring, one of several little challenges to solve along the way.

It comes together

Laying the mosaic felt like working on a jigsaw puzzle, especially after the last piece was placed and I could step back and admire the result.

Puzzle complete

Much work remained in the project, but this moment marked the point where excitement and momentum would propel me through all the rest. Whenever enthusiasm flagged, this picture charged me right up again.

Next up

The skull trenches started as a joke among my friends, but once I’d seized the idea I couldn’t let it go. Part 3 will be all about their creation.






2 responses to “SkullStar build part 2: chaos star mosaic”

  1. […] wrote about inspiration and design in part 1 and laying the mosaic in part 2. Now for my favorite part: skull […]

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