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GrandMaster Raziel
I live in Scotland but I'm originally from Texas. I've been an avid gamer since the early '80s and have played just about every game out there. I have a lovely wife and 5 children, so getting the life / gaming balance is always important.
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Saturday, 2 October 2010

Awesome gaming board for less than £100!

Hello folks

I thought I would share my method for creating a cheap, expandable, and most important fun gaming board.  I made mine after searching the net and getting some ideas that way.  But in my case, time was very limited and the budget was almost non-existant.

So with that in mind, I'll start by showing you what you need to start off.  The great thing about this is I borrowed alot of materials from my wife's misdirected DIY of our house.
You'll need:

2'x2' plywood  (I went with 9mm thickness as its not to heavy and only £4 a piece)
White Paint  (I used cheap wall emulsion left over from room decoration)
Colored Paint  (I went to ASDA and bought the £2 bottle of childrens water based paint, you get a full litre)
Foam Core  (The most expensive part, I spent £27 for a 11'x8'x2" sheet, but it makes alot as you will see)
Matt black spray paint  (£3 a can at a local discount store)
White PVA glue (£1 a bottle at a national UK discount chain, don't skimp here get a few extra bottles)

Thats it. With all that bought, borrowed, or found (I did use some foam core found on the side of the road!) you can get to the fun part of putting it together.

Now the first step is to prime the wood white.  I used white emulsion because in these quantities, it goes a long way and makes any colors you add more vibrant.

Okay this is where you have to decide on the theme of your board.  For this tutorial, I am doing a lava-themed board as I have based my Deathwing to match it.  But you can do anything really, another simple color change could make it an ice-themed board or you could do trenches, or lots of various combinations.

I now take the primed board and add the lava coloring (roughly mixing red and yellow together to get the right effect)on the board

So thats the board finished and now you can turn your attention to the detail.  I have here a chunk of foam core salvaged from the side of the road, but if you get a whole section from your local builders merchant you can do more elaborate features.

Now I figured with the shape of this piece it says "roads" to me.  I sectioned it up into road segments and gave it a basic coat of the good 'ol matt black spray paint.  It doesn't have to be the £6 a can GW stuff as the cheap stuff covers just as well.

But you can also use your good foarm core to make designs for the board itself and then the scrap pieces for terrain.

With a simple drybrush the white emulsion you can achive very dramatic results.  One key thing to remember when making a board of this nature is to make sure when glueing the foam core to the board that you make sure you take into consideration flexability of placement.  You wouldn't want to end up with sections that could only be used in certain places like the corners, all pieces should be useable anywhere.

As shown above, it allows for many different layouts and with the excess foamcore I had left over I've make over 40 pieces of terrain like these...

I currently have 9 such tiles completed, I am working toward 12 for a truly apocalypse friendly board.  Hope this has enlightened, inspired some of you to go out and give it a go.  Feel free to share your creations!

Cheers and Happy Hunting


Papa JJ said...

That's a great looking game board, it's impressive what can be done without too much investment. Do you use any special rules for the areas of lava?

GrandMaster Raziel said...

Hi Papa JJ

Thanks for the compliments! We count all the lava flows as dangerous terrain or impassable to foot-sloggers. My Saim Hann ride over it, but my poor Deathwing and Ravenwing do suffer :)