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 Lets play help me make a gaming table

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Joker2and53
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PostSubject: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 8:42

Hello all. I feel a bit of an introductory paragraph is necessary to fully understand the project that I would like to complete. I have spent the past seven years pursuing an undergrad degree and a law degree, and as of July 28th, I am have completely transformed from a long time student into a regular unemployed joe. My wife and I also recently moved into a new house, with lots of space available for all manner of nerdy activities (and drinking and rugby). Thus, for the first time probably ever, I have the time, space, and resources necessary to create a wargaming table.

Some friends of mine picked up playing Mordheim again around the turn of the year, but we have just been making due with whatever space, models and terrain we had available. While it has truely been an enjoyable experience reliving 1999, I feel it is time to embrace the full modeling experience. Thus, I would like to build a modular gaming table, specifically for the border town burning Mordheim supplement.

Let me state my qualifications. I have none. Period. I have never made terrain, let alone even attempted to bite off a project such as this. What I envision doing is making eight 2x2 (2 feet per side) sections out of wood, then undercoating the wood, and then painting and flocking. And there in lies my problem, I really have no idea how or where to actually begin. I have flocked models before, but never a table, is it the same process? So, lets say you have an 8x4 bare wood table. What is the first step to painting and flocking the table?

I guess what I really need is a guide to read up on all these techniques before I attempt them myself. Anyone have any idea where to get such a guide? I have found several of the articles here to be extremely helpful, as well as terragenisis. But this will be my first ever real attempt. Any thoughts?

Thanks,
Eric
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 9:20

First of all, what is the purpose of having 8 2'x2' sections of wood? Are you going to permanently attach buildings? Modify the terrain sections some other way?

Are you looking to build a full table or just a tabletop?

What are you looking for out of the table? How will it be used?

As far as painting and flocking... I'd do it just like any other base. Are you looking to do it with grass? cobblestone? something else?

If you want some ideas, check out the table that we've built here:
http://www.tabletopgeeks.com/the-mostly-finished-table/
and how we're planning on going about making it modular here:
http://www.tabletopgeeks.com/table-with-terrain-blocks/


Last edited by Svenn on Sat 28 Nov 2009 - 21:01; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 9:52

First of all, you'll need to narrow your plans down a bit. Get out there on the net and find a few inspiration pics to show what you're going for.

Once you have a general feel of what the final goal is, start small. You can test products, techniques and colour schemes on barricades and objective markers.

It'll also help us help you if you decide on a very loose budget. Want to go all out, or go as cheap as possible? The only material you've mentioned is wood - what tools do you have available to work with it, and how much experience?

Even if you've never actually built scenery before, you might have applicable skills from elsewhere that helps. I'd argue the one most important qualification for building terrain is patience. Well, either that or a huge budget Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 10:18

OH MY GOD! You're going to play Rugby IN THE HOUSE...no, huh?! Suspect

SUGGESTIONS:

  • first off, if you believe you can do something, chances are you CAN. Other than a bit of self discipline, self confidence IS the most important quality an artist/craftsman can possess.
  • better lumberyards & places like Home Depot will cut a piece of plywood to size...sometimes for a small fee. If you don't have the tools this is a splendid way of getting lumber cut to the sizes you want. Personally I'd go with 3/4" or 1" pink or blue foam for the modular sections.
  • for the base table: if you are going to use modular pieces, having a 1" lip running around the table edge would keep the modular pieces from shifting.

A little more detail as to what you want to make would help with suggestions. Keep the faith, Amigo! thumbsup
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 10:30

Deaf, you just described our table exactly. Wink
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DeafNala
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 10:35

Svenn wrote:
Deaf, you just described our table exactly. Wink

That may be due to the "GREAT MINDS" thingy...or not. Suspect
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Joker2and53
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 13:40

Svenn wrote:
First of all, what is the purpose of having 8 2'x2' sections of wood? Are you going to permanently attach buildings? Modify the terrain sections some other way?

Are you looking to build a full table or just a tabletop?

What are you looking for out of the table? How will it be used?

As far as painting and flocking... I'd do it just like any other base. Are you looking to do it with grass? cobblestone? something else?

The purpose of having eight 2x2 sections is to make them transportable in a single large box. This way I can pack them up and take them to the FLGS. Also, I very much like the look of the table created in the BTB supplement, which had a grass, snow, and mud effect that I thought was great. If you pulled up the picture on page 118 of the BTB supplement, you can see how the three types were combined to make one table. I wanted to do something similar, but the 2 x 2 scheme with each individual piece having no more then two of the three surface types, so that I could create a 4 x 4 table that was mud/grass, mud/snow, snow/grass, or mud/snow/grass. I can see what I am trying in my head, I don't know how well the idea translates into text, but I think you should be able to understand.

I am not trying to build the full table actually, just the tabletop. This would make storage and movement easier, especially after I build the carrying case.

As to the flocking, how do I achieve the effect that is found the three surfaces on page 118? Keep in mind that I have zero experience with terrain building, and I only flock models with one color on the base and then either grass, dirt, or sand, as the case may be.

Thanks for the responses guys, you all are being a big help. I am going to take pictures as I go along so that all can see when the projects gets off the ground.



PS - there will be no 15s rugby in the house. Tight five practice in the living room is permitted however, provided no boots are worn. (how many people on this forum even get this?)
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 13:54

lol! I played some Rugby when I lived in Montreal LONG, LONG AGO...I've got the scars to prove it. I remember when I asked about the rules, the response was "no edged weapons." Suspect
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Wed 5 Aug 2009 - 19:16

Checked the page in question in BTB, and actually read your post.

To flock a table in that style, you can indeed use the same techniques as when you do bases for your minis. I'd suggest a few things.

If you're going with sand as your base material, mix it up with PVA glue & water (and optionally, a base colour) and slab that on your table, rather than first gluing then covering with sand. That way, it'll stay on much better.

Paint your whole table before you start with any grass products. The more you vary your colour at this stage, the better it looks pretty much. What I mean is, don't make too large areas completely uniform in colour. Keep your variations pretty tight in contrast, but make sure it's there. Choose maybe 3 browns close to each other, and mix batches of it with red, blue or green and dab that on areas.

More expensive but timesaving bonus round: Buy flat brown, rust red & olive green spray cans for your base tones.

Variation is key when applying static grass and flock as well. Don't just get 1 shade and dump that wherever you want greenery. Mix it up with both flock & static grass, and mix different shades of 'em. If you succeed in making things look organic and lively, you'll have a winner on your hands.

As an example of mixed grass types (just 1 shade of static and 1 shade of flock here) and way too uniform a ground colour, I present part of a table me and a friend built some time back. Minis arent mine, and I haven't taken the photos. I did do the conversionwork on the dreadnought though Razz



I'll be happy to answer any questions, even if they're 'I see you've done X, how do I do Y instead'.. now get a move on, trooper. We're expecting a status report once you've picked up necessary supplies Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Thu 6 Aug 2009 - 1:51

Hi, Joker. I am flattered that you like the BTB sample table and want to do something similar. Will you be running a BTB campaign as well? (Just make sure you don't allow the Black Dwarfs Laughing ) This was my first ever gaming board, too. In fact, I had never done much scenery before starting with BTB. We had used the horrible paper buildings for years.

Since I too wasn't very experienced with all this cool hobby stuff at the time, the table was done rather simply. Did you read the related threads? You can read the first post of this BTB Scenery thread, buried in the WIP section.

Basically I used grass mats instead of flocking the entire table. It is much easier and faster. I didn't apply the full mat, but tore it to pieces and then filled the remaining space with sand (PVA + water + sand). So the grass part was easy, the sand part was a bit annoying to paint and drybrush. For the snowy parts I used spackle, which I wouldn't do again - it breaks too easily (and the styro board is susceptible to slight bending). I then applied a snow flock (mine was from GaleForce9) on top of the spackle. You can just leave out the spackle and apply the snow effect directly on the board, wherever you like. It doesn't look any worse.

You can also read how I did the forest sections etc in this thread.

For the buildings and stuff, check out this thread.


One final suggestion: I would probably start with some simple forest sections. This way use can start playing sooner (just use a normal table or, heck, the floor). Without scenery you can hardly play but you can place your scenery near everywhere. Also, creating some forest sections gives you a chance at experimenting with flocking techniques, trying several grass mixes, glueing and painting some small stones and rocks, even some simple snow effect. Basically you can try all the techniques you will need for the table on small forest sections. And to boot, working on smaller pieces is more rewarding as you get results much quicker. If you feel confident after two or three forest sections you can start working on the table (it's great to do something different for a change) and when you are tired of drybrushing endless plains of sanded gaming board you can go back to making a new and cooler forest section, then back to the table. This can be very refreshing - at least that's my experience.

So.. I look forward to seeing your project progress. Feel free to ask whatever comes to mind. Smile

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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Thu 6 Aug 2009 - 6:25

I'd like to point you in the direction of the game boards I just finished.

http://boringmordheimforum.forumieren.com/scenery-f13/gaming-board-t2409.htm

And after playing on it I came up with this list.

Things I’d do differently next time


1.
The flock and static grass cover the texture that we spent a lot of
time working on. Either go for smaller patches of flock to show off the
painting and the texture, or go ahead and flock the whole table and
don’t worry about surface texture.

2. If I’m going to show the
texture pick the colors out beforehand and make sure I’ve got them
available before I reach the painting stage.

3. 26 trees with 2”
diameter bases cover a 6*4 board pretty well, and can make a heavily
forested 4*4 board. Irregular shapes and roughed up edges would
probably look more realistic.

4. Having a spare hill to test things out on was a good idea. Remember that for the future.

5. Home Depot doesn’t cut pink foam – bring a knife.

6. Listening to the soundtrack to all 6 Star Wars films while building a table will make you want to watch/play Star Wars.

7.
A 6*4 board takes up a lot of space. An 8*4 board takes up even more
space. I need to set up something to store the board when it’s not in
use so the craft table can be used for other things.

8. Next
time I want to do a river section (or other elevated/depressed
features), rather than carving it out of 2 inch foam, use multiple
thinner layers with the appropriate sections cut out. It’ll look
better.

9. Keep an orc handy to check scale, even for natural
features. 3-5 inch tall trees are pretty big, but also pretty
realistic. Keep a Mumak handy for the same reason. Remember to
reference your scale orc, mumak, and hamster often.

10. Open a
window and run a fan when doing the following: melting pink foam,
sanding pink foam, mixing resin, or any other activity which may
compromise the already dubious air quality of the basement.
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PostSubject: Re: Lets play help me make a gaming table   Thu 6 Aug 2009 - 11:44

Okay, so a new store opened up in my area, called Hobbyworld (as in the chain commonly found in US cities). I had never been inside before, and decided I should stop in and see what they have. Hobbyworld has a whole line of products from a company called Woodland Scenics that is quite affordable, and most importantly Woodland Scenics produces ready made matts that look like they could make the perfect wargaming surface. The website is below. Have any of you guys used matts before (or something similar). A large matt costs under 30 dollars american for a 100 by 50 piece of felt, and is more then sufficient to make an 8 x 4 table.

http://woodlandscenics.woodlandscenics.com/index.cfm

I was going to cut the matts into 24 inch squares, and then mount them on plywood. Does that sound like a plan? Then to create the the mud/grass/snow effect I was just going to paint over the felt.
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