Thursday, 7 April 2011

Gaming Table Project : Terra Firma

The gaming boards are now finished, after some deliberation (I do after all have the DIY skills of Bloody Stupid Johnson) I decided to try something a little fancier than just sticking the gaming mat to the boards. My aim was to try and make the boards look like some kind of stratagem table, so here's what I ended up doing with them.

Firstly I cut my Mat-O-War gaming mat to roughly fit both 3'x4' boards, taking care to ensure I placed the rougher of the mats sides face down, smoothing the surface out as best I could; then using a glue gun I affixed the edges to the boards.

If I was to do this again I'd probably try covering the surface of the board with PVA glue and affixing the mat this way. Although the glue gun gave strong adhesion and surprisingly didn't soak though the mat (another plus point for Mat-O-Wars product); just sticking the edges has left the mat slightly loose and this results in minor raised areas, not enough to cause any problems with miniature stability, but I was hoping for a uniformly flat surface.

Next using some mirror screws and lengths of shaped wooden floor trim (x1" width) I added a raised border to three edges of each board (both 3' edges and one 4'); the border was chosen to be both practical and aesthetic. It helps protect the edges of the mat, preventing it catching and being pulled away from the board whilst being moved to and from storage, also it forms a small buffer to prevent miniatures near the table edge taking that tear inducing plunge to the floor. It may even stop your double six's from running off and hiding under the table, but this has not been play tested yet.

The mirror screws not only secure the trim in place but also give the illusion of rivets which would hopefully be reinforced after the painting stage.

Once all the borders were in place I trimmed round the excess mat with an Exacto knife, making sure to keep the off cuts for my scenery bitz box; then it was on to the painting. I used a pot of Plasti-kote fast dry, water based enamel, Antique Gold (B34); this stuff went on a treat and dried within 20 minutes, only needing a touch up second coat and was just the sort of colour I was aiming for. Also being water based it cleaned off the brush with a quick rinse, no problems; always a bonus for penny pinchers like me to spare a brush.

So here's the finished article, Ta-Dah! I'm not sure the pictures do it justice, but I'm more than happy with it; for a start it's survived intact as did all my fingers and I think the border does at least look a bit like it's riveted metal. With the boards being separate sections I also have the option of expanding the length of the gaming area from the centre.

Now all I need to do is to build some scenery.

Oi, where's my 3+ cover save dammit?!


The Angry Lurker said...

The border is well done and a nice touch.

Frank said...

The board looks great.

Porky said...

Classic style, and that border is a clean, simple finish.

spaceman said...

To wordy, rename it to just Wu-Tang Corp....oh wait :P

Nice post + blog man. :P

I'm at
if you'd like to check me back :D

Bix said...

Thanks for the support chaps, mucho appreciated as always :)

& Welcome to The Veil's Edge Spaceman, glad to have you aboard.

markeh said...

sooo, when we breaking it in then?

Bix said...

Might not be for a wee while, Skulls is going to use up all my 24hr passes from the good lady for a while and I'll be starting back light duties in the very near future.

We'll perhaps have to make it a special event to blood the turf as it were.

Marcin Ciszewicz said...

Oh, to have enough space for a proper gaming table... unfortunately, my wife might take offense to me occupying our living room. As for terrain, well, I've been admiring a few sets of paper buildings from Worldworks Games lately. Maybe they'd be in line with your tastes, although I admit, I am sorely tempted to rework them a little and make them more three-dimesional.

Bix said...

Yeah I'm lucky to have the space and even more so, permission from the good lady to use it for my little soldiers.

Interesting scenery, I've not seen their site before, it's very clever but I agree it may be in need of a little more 3D.

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