Recently (okay, last year), half a dozen friends and I stopped playing games at our local GW due to unfortunate disagreements with the manager there. We decided to make our own board and start our own club. Five or six of us meet up every week to chat and play and have fun.
To this end, I bought a Realm of Battle Board, some craters, and two Imperial Sectors. We then took a trip to the scrap store to get a whole load of useful things. We started making some terrain, and painting the board. We didn't get all that far. We built enough terrain to play on, and then the project faltered somewhat. Now I've decided to attack is with renewed vigour!
This is the story of that project.
We play games in both the 40k and WFB universes, and we want a terrain collection to represent that. For 40k we want enough to play a Cities of Death game, and for Fantasy we want enough to play a Mordheim game. The eventual plan is to have more than enough scenery so that we can swap and change for different games.
First off, we'll start with the board itself. It is finished now (with the exception of painting the edges black), but I only have pictures up until the second to third last step. I'll get pictures of the completed board up ASAP!
We discussed a fair amount what kind of board we wanted. We did not want plain brown with patches of grass. We did want something that would be useable for a variety of scenarios in both game systems. We wanted something different, something that hadn't been done before (or at least not done properly), and something cool.
We settled on a snow theme. At this time, Space Wolves hadn't been rereleased, and we'd never seen a snowy RoB board before.
That was a fine idea, but didn't really help with any narrative for the games we would be playing.
We changed our minds a little and expanded the theme somewhat.
Now, the RoB board can be separated into two distinct areas. There're the flat plains, and the hills. We decided to separate them even more and turn the plains into a frozen lake, and the hills into the snowy, rocky shore. More on the reasons for this in later posts.
So we had our theme! The next step was actually starting the work.
Note: everytime I say "I" from now on, it was mostly a joint effort between me and one or two other friends at a time. It was getting annoying using that detached style!
The first thing I realised is that a frozen lake would not be full of skulls (I'd realised that any board I made would not be full of skulls, but that's beside the point). So the first day of work was spent removing every single skull from the board. It was a lot of work. Luckily my friend has a Dremel, which made the whole process somewhat more painless!
It took ages, but was definately worth it.
Day two (these days didn't happen in a row, in fact it took around 9 months to see this start to finish).
This was the day of Spraygun madness. I sprayed the board. A lot. It was sprayed white first, then dark blue, then light blue, then light grey, then white, then blue some more, until I was happy with the base coat. Yes, base coat. At this stage, I sprayed the board completely with hair spray to seal it.
What's that white stuff on the board? Is that meant to be snow?
Well, no, it's not. I'd looked at probably hundreds of pictures of iced over lakes, and there's this lovely mottled effect they sometimes get. That's what I wanted. That white stuff on the board is in fact a salt and water paste. It was added randomly all over. The idea is that the salt is a masking tool to retain the colour underneath in crazy patches, while another colour is painted on top. It's how Forgeworld do a lot of the rust and paint chips on their vehicles, but I was pretty sure that the technique would carry over okay. And besides, if it didn't, it's not like it'd ruin £150 worth of plastic!
The salt needs to dry completely before you move on, so that day was particularly short.
Now comes the spraying over the entire board. I sprayed again using light blue, light grey and white. It's done in a fairly random pattern, concentrating more on the flat than the upper areas. You then leave it to dry completely again (over night preferably).
And then you take the salt off! It should flake off alright. If there're any stiff bits, go at them with an old toothbrush. The hair spray coat way back should keep the paint underneath from flaking off. I then added a few more colours. A wash all over of light blue to blend the colours together, and then another light spray of white over the top to bring the colour back up again.
This is the last step I have a picture of at the moment, like I said, I'll get some more shortly. I apologise for the colours on this one, they're still very similar to the last step in real life.
As you can see, this step is all about the raised areas. I sponged over all the rocky bits with a dark grey, then again a few times with progressively lighter colours. I then sponged the area with pure white in several coats to build up the paint. The original plan was to add snow flock to all the snowy areas, but soon realised that plan was silly. It would look a little odd, and all the flock would rub off when the board is stored anyway. The sponged white looks a lot better.
In this stage I also gave a wash of blue around the edges of the raised areas to show a little more contrast to the ice lake. I also added the same wash to the cracks in the ex-skull pits, and painted the pits themselves in a dark blue colour.
So that's the start of the project! There's a lot more in store, so stick around! I'll get more pictures of the board to you soon, and then I can introduce you to the 40k buildings we've started to make and paint. Stop back soon!
If you like what I've done, please comment! If you don't like it, say that too! If you have any questions, requests or demands, feel free to ask, request or voice them!