Warhammer, How to run a club: Battle Boards

Last time I talked about terrain it was how to make individual bits or movable terrain out of cardboard.

However, despite the new terrain feature certainly enlivening matches, club members were still playing on the good old wooden varnish planet with curiously urban rock formations. It's miles better than the Battle of the Coke Can Forest, but we're still not done yet.

My lab technician is an amazing help at school. He's ridiculously well qualified for the role, and is basically working as a tech for retirement. He's one of those old school engineers who will tend to disappear into a shed with a problem and come out of it with a bolted up solution freshly varnished and smelling of ingenuity. He scrounged up a few old cupboards and gave them to me.

Sometimes I think he's watching and assessing my ability to come out of sheds with solutions. Hopefully the end product will do him proud!

First step: Planning. My initial plan was to make them inter-locking pieces, each edge essentially being half a road with lines running down the very edge. After drawing it out and moving them around, I realised how daft that was, and instead changed the plan to making the edges half of a dual-carriage way. This means we can effectively change the battlefield with just a few bits of wood.

Second step is to create texture on the battlefield, done by gluing down some cardboard onto the surface of the wood. It''s just a little difference in height to make the battlefield more interesting.

Remember that cardboard bends when drying, so stick something heavy on top of it to keep it flat. Wooden boards do well...

In a fit of creativity, I added some speed bumps to the road by putting down lines of thick PVA. In retrospect, don't do this; it takes around a day and a half for the damn stuff to dry...

Once it's all dry, it's time to ensure the grain of the wood isn't too obvious. Whilst a thick coat of decorators paint would do it, I was looking for a much smoother road texture. Thinning down some PVA glue and essentially washing the whole road way means you fill in all the grooves left by the wood, whilst still leaving some of the larger chunks as potholes. The glue takes a while to set, and gravity flattens out everything, meaning you don't get the stroke marks left by thicker paints or varnish.

After that it's time to sand the cardboard plots...

When it's dry spray with the urban colour...

Wash the roads down with thinned black acrylic paint (don't be like me and use Citadel paint, it's expensive. Pick up some cheap acrylic poster paint from your local stationary shop). Dry brush the plots with lighter grey and white...

Yellow lines on the road surface for some colour and we're done!

Here's the finished piece with some terrain pieces on. Looks good right?

Obviously it won't be as mobile as the neoprene mouse mat battlefields, and it won't be as soft on the models. If you can afford those, then take them. As a penniless teacher scrounging whatever he can for his students, this is pretty darn good!

Thanks for reading.

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