Gaming Board 4A: Of course I forgot a picture of the board with the glue dry. And here’s a taste of the terrain. More next time.

Board Building Part 4: So I finally got the dry brushing done. Large areas are tricky to dry brush because you want to use a large brush so it doesn’t take forever but its easy to use too much pressure making it very streaky. Some of that can be mitigated by the grass patches that go over top of the dry brushing. As I said before I love the static grass. Covering large areas with static grass does look different than when its on model bases. Wood glue is my adhesive of choice once again. Mix a little water in to keep it from pooling thick.  I’m never happy with the shapes I make when applying the grass, its nice that some awesome terrain will be covering it when I play! Finally done with the board, next time I’ll have some pictures of the terrain I’ve been working on.


Here’s an awesome moment of model train zen courtesy of train enthusiast James Risner, who set up an endless spiral of track for nine model train engines pulling 141 cars.

You might think you’d get bored watching what’s basically just an exceptionally long toy train traveling around a track (there aren’t even any model buildings or trees for the tiny people on the train to look at), but this video is completely hypnotic and strangely soothing.

[via Geekologie]

It’s Crazy Crafts and Hog-Wild Hobbies Day on Geyser of Awesome!

(via thestonecuttersguild)

I love model trains


Here are some simple custom shelves. They are solid wood with shortened ikea shelf brackets. They are built for these beautiful train models. I rabbited out rails for the wheels so they don’t need tracks giving the whole look a smaller profile. 

Part 3: Ooops and lessons I’ve learned. I sanded my table a while ago and  I’d like to share some lessons I learned and some I relearned.

The best sanding material is a small grained sand from your pet store. It is available in many colors but it doesn’t matter which you get because its getting painted. Other options and why they aren’t as good 1) play sand - although it has a very consistent size its too small which makes it hard to dry brush to any effect. 2) kitty litter -

Don’t paint while drunk. I painted the grey on my board while rocking out and drinking. I didn’t do any unrepairable damage but I slopped some paint up on the sanded areas. Luckily I didn’t try to paint any models that night.

I tried RedGard to stick the sand down to the board. It was a mistake. RedGard is an amazing waterproofing product which has the consistency of pudding. It can be sculpted as ruddy mud and it will dry thick so you can add height. What it doesn’t do unfortunately is have the ability to lay a wet coat over a large area and have the sand stick to it. I tried to cover the whole board in one go and got half way through when I realized it wasn’t sticking anymore. So the re-learned lesson is that wood glue is the best. Not only is it cheaper than RedGard, and most likely any other adhesive, its easy to spread, easy to thin, and stays wet for about an hour.

Lastly, I love static grass. It adds a completely different texture to the models. For the board it will add a swathe of green to the dry brushed brown. Woodland scenics offers a variety of colors. I like the Harvest Gold and I mixed in some newly purchased greens for a larger volume.

Next time I will have the board painted and dry brushed with static grass. I’ve been working on lots of cool terrain so there is more to come.

Gaming Boards 2b: Here is a skirmish board I made for games of x-wing. Similar construction methods as the big board but 36” by 36”. One side will be dedicated to x-wing and the other I can sand and paint for games of Malifaux or other small skirmish games

Gaming Boards 2b: Here is a skirmish board I made for games of x-wing. Similar construction methods as the big board but 36” by 36”. One side will be dedicated to x-wing and the other I can sand and paint for games of Malifaux or other small skirmish games

Part Two: The skin went on with a liquid nails and 3/4 inch screws which i predrilled for. I was concerned that because the luan is only 1/4 of an inch I didn’t want the screw twisting through material. Making a free form frame as i did inevitably leads to a not square piece. But because the manufacturer’s edge on a full shed of luan is nice and square all you need to do is start in one corner, attach down the full length of that side  then attach the right angle from the starting point. I used screws so I had a lot of filling to do which wasn’t so much fun but smoothed out nicely with some time with my orbital sander. I used Crack Shot to fill the holes an easy to find  pre mixture which come in small quantities. On feature I was very happy with when designing the board is the built in shelf. Its great for reserves and a dead pile. With a nice large opening the only design issue is the lip because of the 1x2 which adds support to the skin. Lastly, underneath is a 6 foot folding table. The board balances nicely on it and adds to the mobility of the unit. Part three, I’ll talk about texturing and painting the board. I’ll also later get to the terrain you see on the board, theres a lot more of it.

Building a board is one of the biggest challenges miniature gamers face. Finding the balance between cost, utility, mobility, and customizability is not easy. I designed an built the board you see above trying to take all four factors in mind. The frame is pine 1” by 10” planks and the skin which is sitting in the background is 1/4” luan. Total material cost under $100. I had originally intended to use both sides of the board with both being sanded and flocked. Once I got the materials on it (Future pictures) I found its more realistic to keep one side sanded and flocked and the other painted. While not heavy because its a 4’ by 6’ board it is rather bulky so one person can move it but two people can move it easily. Some simple grab holes in each end make for simple transport. Game table with molded hills, valleys, streams  and other vertical features make the most visually stunning boards but limit the players terrain options.

As a template for producing multiple boards I am happy how this design came to fruition. The supports make it very strong, it can easily be expanded on with another for bigger games, and if I were able to make more I would rip birch plywood instead of using pine boards.

Lastly concerning the frame I envision making display quality board by skinning only one side and including built in terrain. with access to the underside a terrain maker could add all kinds of cool shiny bits such as LEDs, hidden rooms, and smoke machines.

This is the first part of ongoing posts I will make on terrain.