A few weeks ago I started working on a 3D version of the poster map from Operation: Damocles, specifically the outdoor portion. It has been a while but I finally was able to get some more work done on it over the past few days.
The first step was give the whole board a nice base coat of black paint. I used some FolkArt acrylic paint that I had picked up from Wal Mart to do this. An 8 oz. bottle is only a couple of dollars making it nice and inexpensive. I did two coats of this to try to get a nice even coat on the board and I was hoping it would also help to seal the board as I was thinking about using spray primer on the hatches. "Hoping" being the key word there.
I taken the board out into the garage and sprayed it in several spots when I noticed that it had started to bubble. I was convinced that I was screwed at this point but luckily it actually did not damage the surface too bad. In fact, I actually like the way that it turned out as it provided a nice texture to the surface as you can kind of see below if you look closely at the surface around the hatch.
Once the primer had dried and I was able to determine that the damage was not serious, I started to finish up the board. First I used a heavy dry brush of Apple Barrel Pewter Grey acrylic paint all over the board. Once I had finished the whole board with this, I went over it again with a lighter dry brushing of Apple Barrel Country Grey acrylic paint. By doing this right after finishing the dry brushing with the Pewter Grey I was able to get the two shades to blend together slightly, creating a nice concrete like appearance.
The various markings in the surface were actually etched in before I put on the black base coat, while the yellow "traffic lines" were painted on as a final step using Apple Barrel yellow acrylic paint (notice a trend here folks?). It is not easy to see from a distance (Grrr...need more pictures!!!) but the yellow paint that I used was not very thick which created a nice worn look even though it was freshly painted. In fact, it took two coats to give it enough of a presence on the board to really look right.
There are still some more things that I am thinking about doing to the board (sealing it with some acrylic sealer to try and make the surface a little more durable for example) but I am really happy with how it turned out. It is close enough to the Damocles map that it can easily replace it in official scenarios and it provides a much more visually interesting piece that a simple paper map.