This year I needed a simple, lightweight display board that would show off my DKoK army well. The DKoK force is so large that I needed to maximize space. To that end, I decided that less was more, and simplified the design. this board cost probably less than $30 dollars to make. This board was fairly easy to build, and if you avoid some of the traps I fell into it can look really good.
Step 1: Cut pink foam to the desired dimensions using home depot wooden yard sticks as a frame.
Step 2: Use a wire brush scrape the detail into the board
Step 3: Make a slurry of magic merlin plaster and coat the entire board thinly. This will dry hard to the touch in 30 minutes. All of the details need to be added now. Add sand, small rocks, balsa wood, jerry cans, oil barrels, and chains as necessary. I just pushed these into the wet plaster.
Step 4: Without priming, mix alcohol with weathering powders and paint on the gunk. I used two types of SWM rust colors, as well as their green color. These were essentially wet mixed.
Step 5: Dust the entire board with weathering pigments. Again, this was done with no primer. Once the board was coated in pigments I dumped a lot of alcohol on the board to set the pigments and get them to run.
Step 7: Steal a pot from the kitchen and melt woodland scenics realistic water in it. It comes in little pellets. Pour the water onto the display board and let it cool. I used popsicle sticks to spread the edges of the water/plastic out so a raised lip was not formed. I also poured the mixture into the craters. This is where all hell broke loose. The craters melted and the water started eating through the display board. One you are happy with the water, using a cooking torch I heated the surface to remove bubbles. It was at this point that I noticed that the debris in the river had started to melt, and that paint had come off large sections of it.
Lessons Learned: Use resin for the water, and don't dump so much alcohol on the board that it requires napkins to soak up.