czwartek, 24 marca 2011

Modular board on the cheap

There always was a thing that bothered me in terrain making: making the gaming board itself. 
Back when I was living at my parents' house, I had some space at the attic where I could store two 4'x4' boards for some Warlord and Necromunda games - but when I moved out, it really was no longer an option. So it became obvious that I will have to make a modular board of some sort.

The results up to now were less than pleasing - the tiles you could see in my previous posts are far from perfect: cutting the styrofoam to size (especially for the larger modules) is pain in the ass, and no matter how precise I try to be there - the pieces never fit perfectly and because every tile is ~24mm thick, they make quite a hefty pile when put on top of the other.
But it seems I came up with a solution - at least for the time being. What is it? This:
(people working at the toy stores seem to be quite suspicious about what a bearded grumpy man is doing there. You have been warned ;-) )

These are large (about 1'x1') jigsaw puzzle mats you can get at a toy shop. They are made from an EVA foam - a soft material a bit similar to rubber. A package of 8 pieces goes for about $5 - so it takes $10 to have enough pieces for a 4'x4' board and half a package to make a 15mm skirmish table (2'x2'). And if you want to make a modular hill like the GW one that could be easily fit together - it's a nice way to go too.
After getting the pieces out from the package (mind you: the smell of the foam is awful), I covered a test piece with brown elastic filler to add a bit of weight to the module and to make sure that the happy turtles (or blue foam, as I used the back of the piece) won't stare at me should the PVA and sand fall of somewhere. After that it was an usual coat of PVA and sand, followed by brown undercoat.
The module was then drybrushed earthly brown and khaki and after that I've glued on some grass and flock (taking the chance to cover the areas where I overdid the drybrush). Here's the final result along with two pieces waiting to be flocked and painted too:
(click to enlarge the picture)
Hope you guys like it. Happy gaming!

6 komentarzy:

  1. Nice. I like modular terrain, and that lloks very good. Are you going to do both sides?

  2. @Luckyjoe - I'm not sure at the time. The bunny side has a nice mesh texture, so I may spray paint it black, drybrush with silver and use it for some larger sci-fi games.

  3. Simple effective...genius!

    I use the larger scal matts all the time for Taekwando but would never have though of them as terrain in the making....hats off to the imagination once again.

    What's it like regards warping once you start to add more glue, fixed peices to it?

    Look forward to seeing the whole ...err table?

  4. @Qalpha - thanks!

    Concerning the warping: a single piece does not lay perfectly flat - but when you interlock it with the others, they seem to flatten each other a bit. Terrain pieces as large as 14-16 cm long (I don't have anything larger at the moment to try it out) lay still on the mat, so I guess it's not a big deal.

    I'll post some 'sideview' pictures with the next batch of photos to give you the idea.

  5. This incredible! I like this idea very much! This is a a turning point in wargaming at home. Bravissimo!

  6. @Yori: Errr... I think you're exaggerating a bit - but thanks! :D