Monday 2 June 2014

A month of DBA #2 - a gaming board

The opportunity to play a well-regarded miniature wargame on a 2ftx2ft game board is one of the things that appealed. Economy of space; I have three 2ftx3ft pieces of board that get balanced on the dining room table whenever WFB gets rolled out. Which is all too infrequently these days.

So, while waiting for my armies to arrive in the post - probably today, but only nominally, as I'll likely have to collect them from the Post Office - I decided to get started on my gaming board. I wanted to buy four 12"x12" canves boards, but our local Hobbycraft was under-supplied, so I bought two 12"x24" peices of plywood. This wasn't optimal. And I meant to use housepaint, mixed with sand, but I went with a sub-optimal alternative there too. I am an impatient man, and I used what I could find.

First I sprayed the boards with an undercoat. I still had a good amount of Army Painter Army Green left when it was one of my preferred undercoats.  

Hey, job done, eh? Well, It'd certainly be functional, but I wanted to do a little more. I didn't have any miniatures to paint, and it was a lovely, sunny afternoon. In lieu of housepaint mixed with sand, I mixed up some PVA, some cheapish WH Smith's white acrylic, some very fine gravel that I use for basing, and a splash of water. Borrowing a spatula from the kitchen drawer, I smeared it all over the board. 

When I'd covered the board I instantly developed modeller's regret. Why, oh why, didn't I just wait until I had the right materials? Why did I have to improvise and waste my time, energy, and plywood? But I left the gloop covered board to dry in the sun. When it dried - okay, slightly before it had dried, I did tell you that I am impatient - I sprayed with alternate light passes of Army Painter Leather Brown and Army Green, and Humbrol Desert Sand. And as it dried I realised that I had accidentally made something that looked reasonably good. I also threw in a few passes of Liquitex Gloss Varnish in the hope that it would help hold everything together.

And it does seem to hold together.

As a final touch, I liberally stroked Dark Green Model Colour Ink all over the board, to fill in the gaps left where the spray hadn't got through the gravel and add a bit of texture. 

What you can't see here is that the board is slightly bowed. I should have cut the board into 12"x12" tiles. Why didn't I? Because I am an impatient idiot. So this board has spent the night, balancing with one end on Ian McEwan's Solar and the other on Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, with Commands and Colors: Ancients and one of the very heavy collection of Alex Raymond's Flash Gordon weighing down the middle. All in the hope of ameliorating the bend. If that doesn't work, well, I won't need to make any hill terrain in this month of DBA. 


  1. Sorry I completely forgot to mention this when you posted that you were starting DBA - 600mm x 600mm cork pinboard from Staples or similar. Bit late now though. Sorry.

    1. And I have a pristine Staples Reward Card too, from when I needed a bunch of comb binders for making material my pdf collection.

  2. Surely you can use the hill you have from WFB? Also I can lend you my ready made modular hill thing that I made. And some ruins if they're required.

    1. The WFB hill is pretty massive on a 2ftx2ft board. Plus, I'm trying to do everything (more or less) from scratch for this project.

      Now, where is that junior hacksaw.