Friday Quick Tip: Raised Grate Walkway

While exploring for ideas for jungle-based terrain, I created this test piece I wanted to share.  The raised grate pathway is nothing more than a sandwich of cereal box cardboard, replacement screen from a big box construction store and plastic drinking straws.

Making the walkway is easy.  First cut two identical pieces of card for the perimeter.  It should be about 1 cm thick, you want it thick enough to have a good surface area for glue when you make the sandwich and wide enough to support the pillars.  Cut a section of the screen so that it just fits inside of the card frame and then put down a layer of PVA or wood glue, making sure that the screen will bond well to the frame.

Once you've got the sandwich glued, put it in a folded piece of wax paper and stick the wax paper inside a large, heavy book for a few hours to dry.  I used the old dictionary-sized 2006-2007 GW Catalog.  The weight is important to keep the glue from warping the card.

When the glue is dry simply cut a few lengths of drinking straws to your desired height and attach them to the bottom of the walkway, either with super glue or a hot glue gun.  From there you can keep the walkways modular, so that you can rearrange them on the table.  Or you can secure them to a hardboard base to make them more durable.

The screen material is pretty cheap.  A $10-$15 roll will allow you to make enough pathway to cover several tables.  If you don't have enough thin cardboard around, stop by the "For Sale" sign section of the big box stores.  Those plastic signs make great stock for a project like this.

You can use additional bits, card and other items to add character to the pathways.  And they'll look fantastic painted with a nice rust effect, sitting over a large piece of water effects terrain.

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