Alien Altars requires just three basic materials:
- 11/16" insulation or packing foam sheets, available at most home or office supply stores; you'll need about an 11"x17" piece.
- 3/8" foamboard sheet, available at most art and office supply stores; you'll only need a small scrap section, about 5"x4".
- Any sort of random debris and decorations to complete the scene.
Constructing Alien Altars requires only a few comman tools and supplies:
- Foam cutter (bow or hot knife).
- Sharp hobby knife, metal straightedge, and cutting board.
- PVA glue (common white glue).
- Paint, brushes, etc...
- Optional: Rubber cement.
Now carefully cut out the platform templates using a hobby knife and straightedge. For the foamboard stairs and altars, simply cut roughly around the template pieces as shown in the photo here for the stairs. Although the altars were cut exactly here, it is actually better to cut loosely and leave excess to both save time---you'll have to cut them precisely again once mounted on the foamboard---and produce better results---it's better to leave excess and ensure the integrity of the printed lines for cutting once mounted.
Use PVA glue (common white glue) or rubber cement to attach the templates to insulation foam and foamboard as appropriate. Spray adhesive may be used on the foamboard, but do not use on the insulation foam as it will eat the foam! Apply PVA glue lightly to reduce wrinkling.
Keep in mind the properties of your tools when mounting the templates. For example, if your hot knife doesn't cut very thin lines, take that into account in placing the platforms next to each other. That is the reason for the small gap between the adjacent large platforms in this photo.
Cut out all the pieces carefully. Notes on working with foamboard are available at this page: Working with Foamcore. Although not necessary, the platform templates here have been cut out and set within each other to conserve material. Make sure to leave plenty of material inside each platform to overlap and support the platform above it! Another option is to simply print four copies of that page or measure the platforms manually and cut out four solid rectangles for the platforms.
The cult icon has also been mounted and cut out here, though it will be used as a standalone piece rather than on top of the temple. Note that the icon itself has been beveled and edged with the hot knife to give it a more artistic or weathered feel, while the block under it has been left intact to make it more visually distinct.
Now that everything has been cut out, it's time to assemble and paint the temple!