Tuesday, 19 February 2013

To Build a Board..

Being the hardworking fellows that my friends and I are, it's been a long while since we've had a whole day to spend working on a project. Most of our time spent together 'gaming' usually ends up with procrastinating..

So, we decided to book a day off of work in order to start early and crack out one big project. I present to you the 14 hour Gaming Board Challenge.

10.00 start.
Ben's on time.. Ian's 32 minutes late.

When Ian finally arrives we start drinking tea and procrastinating.. not a good start. But some fiery rhetoric from Ben gets us motivated and we're soon off to B&Q for wood to build what will be a 3'x2' gaming board for smaller scale miniatures (namely 6mm and 10mm).

£40 of wood and poly-foam later we're making our way into town for the various other supplies necessary to create a gaming table (Static flock amongst other things)

We finally get home some 5 hours after we started the challenge (Ive no idea why it took so long) and start work on building the board. (p.s. please excuse the mess that is my house)

Given that we are adding 'intergeral' terrain in the form of hills, we decided to add some battons running along the outside of the board (which you can see) to help protect the foam, this does mean that we won't be able to make it modular by adding other boards along side it, but it was a reasonable sacrifice to ensure that this new gaming table has a long life.

Using the board as a guide, we used a touch of Carpet tape to hold the battons in place and then nailed them together (We didn't have any screws) we then had the delicate task of flipping the whole thing upside down in order to attach the actual board to the battons (again using nails)

After which we got creative and worked out where our hills were going to go, before creating a mess by cutting up all the foam.

(fortunately) the Wife was at work...

Next Up, remove the foam, spray the battons;
We wanted to give the battons the a quick blast of black spray (we used some half empty GW Chaos Black spray) so that we'd only have to 'touch up' the edges once the board was done instead of worrying about getting black all over the flock.

Remember to spray in a well ventilated space ;)
Then stick the foam down with carpet tape and pva glue!
I cannot explain just how fantastic Carpet tape is.. it meant that the PVA could dry in it's own time and we could get on with the job of painting the entire board including hills, without worrying about them going anywhere. 

A touch of poly-filler to seal the edges.
Paint it all brown and wait for it to dry!
This was probably the easiest and longest job to do.. due to some rough edges on our cutting there were a couple of deep pockets of paint that took some time to dry. But it did mean we could get some miniature painting and dossing done in the mean time.

An electric heater really helped, though don't put it too close!
Once we'd finished waiting for it to dry, we started the job of flocking.
This is where it started getting good, as we started to see the final thing coming into shape

Nearly there;
So close yet, so far.. It took several attempts of flocking and sticking to make sure all the gaps were filled. As you can see in the picture above, we used a typical household sieve to apply the flock, this gives a fantastic even coverage that means you spend less time removing the excess to use again. Apparently it helps get the static to stand up on end too.. and it's far cheaper than using these 'puffer' bottle i've seen around lately.

After putting down the flock, we used a variety of other flocks (in small measure) to add some 'texture' to the board, providing some lighter and darker patches that are more realistic of an open area of grass. I'm not sure what they were, but Ben will probably provide a list on his blog. I'll add a direct link when he adds a list. And to finish off we used 'Woodland Scenics: Scenic Cement' in a spray bottle to just add a layer of safety and hold it all down.

Our finished board!
Well, almost.. the 'cliff' edges still need painting.. there was just a little too much loose flock around at the time, thought the black edges have now been touched up!

With some models on it;
The PVA was still a little wet, and we didn't have many painted models to hand, so here's a some of snap shots of a couple of units;

Some 10mm  Normans that Ian is working on, you can see a close up of these guys on his blog here!

My Plasma Blast Orbital Combine tanks, hiding behind the terrain!

Taking aim at the Progenetor tanks rolling down the hill!
Finish Time: 23.30.. final cost was around £60.
If you're interested in what was in our flock mix, then i've added it on another post here so that this one didn't get too much bigger!

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