Saturday, February 4, 2012

Building modular battle-boards for miniature war-gaming

We were in need of some boards to play Warhammer and SAGA on! And what if we started our Prussian Napoleonic army, what would we do? What a predicament we were in!

Alright, here's what we're going to build. Let's get started...

We decided a 4x6 modular board with a river feature would be the way to go. We wanted to have the option of a river bend so the plan was for three 2x4 sections with a two piece hill. Make yourself a good sketch or cut a small model from spare cardboard so you don’t waste your foamboard. Here’s our model, the bend can be covered with one of the 2 hill sections.

We started with 2 4x8 sheets of polystyrene insulation board and doubled them to enable cutting out the river sections. We used 1 inch thick boards, cut down the center of the river and then used a foam cutter to carve the edges. Using glue to hold the boards then coarse drywall screws to firm everything up and keep them together.

We use a light weight joint compound to fill in gaps and seams. After it thoroughly dries, we based the riverbank with burnt umber and the river with XXXX blue. For the time being we just painted the basic board a light shade of green with some mottling here and there. We’ll add flocking or grass matt in the near future.

Add a wash of black to seep into any crevices and cover any spots you may have missed with the brown. You could prime the boards in black if you prefer, just be careful with the primer you use as some will eat through the polystyrene. Always test on a scrap of foam before spraying your main boards.

We also added some dark wash in the deep parts of the stream and shaded areas around the rocks. Next were successive coats of terra cotta...

and then golden tan drybrush to pull out the highlights. The rocks were also painted in three shades of gray.

You can see where we added some lighter blues were the stream would foam up a bit.

Here are the two river boards after painting.

There are many products for creating water. Many of them are fairly expensive so if you are on a budget, try using a tube of clear silicon caulking. The cost for the brand we picked up was less than 3 dollars. You’ll need a caulking gun if you don’t have one.

You can spread it with a craft stick but a plastic spoon works very well for forming the ripples in the steam.

After the silicon is applied, you can smooth out the high peaks by wetting your fingers in a jar of water and running it over the high spots.

Keep in a warm area for faster drying times and don’t worry, it will dry clear!

Here are the finished boards with all three lined up lengthwise and the hill covering the corner river section.

Another view with the river bend in place and a corner hill.

Here the two hill sections are together.

And there you have it. Plenty of space and variety for any game you want to play! If you have any questions or would like a set built for you please let us know.

Have a Great Battle
The Old Crow

No comments:

Post a Comment