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What follows is my work on version 2.0 of my 'modular gaming board'. The goals of this project are quite simple:
- The board should be affordable.
- It must be easy to store/not take up to much space.
- Usable for most of my wargaming needs.
- Serve as a prototype for versatile 'themed' boards.
- Sized up to GW standard sizes (i.e. 6'x4')

As a quick background this is version 1.0 of my gaming board:


It worked ok but I made a few mistakes.
- I used a mix of sand and wallpaper glue for the top layer. Unfortunately the sand never quite holds, so I have to vacuum the house after every battle (and I can slowly see my board decompose).
- Mixing the glue and the sand was a mistake. Every time I play I see the drag marks my fingers made splattering the glue/sand on.
- I didn't undercoat the back and sides of the board, making it sensitive to moisture (it is stored in the shed).
- I made some road sections on it, this makes the board a bit predictable (and the roads could be better (so I am on to making separate road sections now).

Keeping the lessons I learned in version 1.0 in mind I mad version 2.0 of the board.

To make this board you need:
- 8 24"x24" sections of 12mm MDF wood (6 is enough, but a standard MDF board gets you 8, i.e. 2 bonus plates to test new ideas on).
- 1 small tin of MDF undercoating
- 1 paint roller+tray
- PVA-glue (about 1000 ml was used, I got mine at a hardwood floor store that manages to sell cheaper PVA glue then the local DIY market).
- 4 spray cans (I used 'chocolate brown' color)
- 1 25kg bag of 'split' (dutch word, I am trying to find an english translation, it is basically very fine gravel you usually put at the base of small trees in the garden, best of all it is very cheap)
- A reasonably large, horribly cheap brush

This is a very simple modular table that requires a real table beneath it (or you can go 'iron man' and play on the floor (I take no responsibility for crushed miniatures if you do that :)).

Making the board modules:
- Have the DIY market cut a standard 12mm MDF board in 24"x24" sections (and buy the rest of your supplies.
- Undercoat all sides of your MDF boards. MDF acts like a sponge so undercoat may seem to be expensive, but it actually saves a lot of money on more expensive paints. It also makes the wood a tad bit more resistant to moisture, and should increase its durability.
- Allow the undercoat to dry for a day or so.
- Water down the PVA glue, I use a ration of 1 part water to 4 parts of glue. It makes it easier to spread the glue on the board and lets the glue seep between the gravel.

- Use the horribly cheap brush to spread the paint on a board. Then cover the board in a thick layer of gravel. Finally use a small plank to push the gravel down.
- Work on one board at a time (otherwise your glue will be too dry by the time you spread gravel on the board you started with).
- When all boards are done, let them dry for a day or more.

- When dry put the board modules on their side and use the duster of a dustpan to brush of a lot of the excess gravel. A lot will come off (my 25 kg bag was about empty when I was done coating 8 board sections, and more then half full again after this step).

- Spraypaint the boards in an appropriate color (I used chocolate brown for mine).


- Allow the paint to dry.

- Game on an (in my humble opinion) nice looking textured table.

When finished your panels will look like this:


My next step will be to drybrush/overbrush all the board sections with an ochre yellow to give it a bit more character and to make the scenery I already
have integrate better with it. Perhaps I will add some static grass to the bits where no gravel was held down. When this is done I will post version 2.5 in this thread.

Feedback/comments/other experiences with making these kind of board is welcome off course.

The cost of this project was about 100 euros (123 dollar, 84 pound) not to shoddy for a fully painted table (and cheaper then the armies that run on it). You can cut the costs down by not texturing the board by and using regular paint in stead of spraycans. The price for the basic board should be around 40-50 euro then (including paint and undercoat).
 
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