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Irn Bru 32!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all I've recently had the idea of making a game board that me and my mates could use. The idea that we all want to go forward with is a ww1 trench warfare scenario, you know two trenches and a barren waste ground filled with destroyed buildings and abandoned equipment(lasguns and such lying around). The problem is I have no idea how I'm going to do it. Should I use a citadel realm of battle game board or make my own from mdf or plywood?.

If anyone could give me any ideas or even recommend some kit that I need it would be much appreciated.

Ps. Does anyone know any model company that makes destroyed building models.

Thanks - Bryan
 

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I remember a game I played (way back) with some friends and it had trenches. What we did is use styrofoam, the 3" thick stuff. Once we covered the table with it, we drew with a marker where we wanted what. Once that was all laid out, the work began. It took a bit of work (as any table should), but once it was done, it was spectacular. So that's my suggestion. Use thick foam and you can easily cut/carve the trenches. Then mix up some PVA/water and give it a few heavy wash's. Once that's all dried, then you can paint as normal.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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First suggestion is skip the mdf and use plywood. Mdf is a composite and often includes toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, which off-gas (evaporate and escape from the wood) over time.

Other than that making a trench board should be relatively easy. I would make the base from half inch or quarter inch plywood. I would later insulation foam over this. Insulation foam comes in sheets that are typically 2" or 4" thick, and is baby blue or pink.

The foam can be cut or shaped with a knife, a heat cutter, or heat gun.

You should also use regular wood to create sides to the board. The sides should be easier in the hands than the plywood, and tall enough to protect the edges of the foam (however deep you decide to make it.)

Into this foam you can easily carve/melt trenches and fox holes. The foam can be layered to make hills or ridges. Layers of foam can be assembled using a combination of PVA/wood glue and drywall screws.

Once you have you trenches and landforms created it's time to add a layer of artist's gesso which is a heavy duty acrylic primer traded to stiffen and seal canvases (and/or spackle/polyfill) to create texture and strength. The gesso can even be mixed with Pva glue for extra hardness. You can also mix sand into the gesso to create additional textures.

After the prime coat (or two, or three) you can paint the surface using pretty much any paint. If the gesso is well done, it will protect the foam from melting or otherwise reacting to the paint.

Finally, dress the surface with whatever other permanent materials you want.

You can probably build a table like this, including the basic landforms for less than $100, though I'm not sure what the costs will be like in Scotland.

I hope that helps!
 

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Irn Bru 32!
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First suggestion is skip the mdf and use plywood. Mdf is a composite and often includes toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, which off-gas (evaporate and escape from the wood) over time.

Other than that making a trench board should be relatively easy. I would make the base from half inch or quarter inch plywood. I would later insulation foam over this. Insulation foam comes in sheets that are typically 2" or 4" thick, and is baby blue or pink.

The foam can be cut or shaped with a knife, a heat cutter, or heat gun.

You should also use regular wood to create sides to the board. The sides should be easier in the hands than the plywood, and tall enough to protect the edges of the foam (however deep you decide to make it.)

Into this foam you can easily carve/melt trenches and fox holes. The foam can be layered to make hills or ridges. Layers of foam can be assembled using a combination of PVA/wood glue and drywall screws.

Once you have you trenches and landforms created it's time to add a layer of artist's gesso which is a heavy duty acrylic primer traded to stiffen and seal canvases (and/or spackle/polyfill) to create texture and strength. The gesso can even be mixed with Pva glue for extra hardness. You can also mix sand into the gesso to create additional textures.

After the prime coat (or two, or three) you can paint the surface using pretty much any paint. If the gesso is well done, it will protect the foam from melting or otherwise reacting to the paint.

Finally, dress the surface with whatever other permanent materials you want.

You can probably build a table like this, including the basic landforms for less than $100, though I'm not sure what the costs will be like in Scotland.

I hope that helps!
The materials won't be that expensive. I could get the plywood and the primer paint in BNQ(hardware store) for about £50 ish. For the foam I could just go to hobby craft, I think they sell large sheets of it.

All the other stuff, buildings and whatnots I could probably make from plasticard or buy them from gw or somewhere else.

Thanks
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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You're welcome. Let me know if you get it off the ground, I'd be happy to answer any other questions along the way. I worked on a number of foam terrain boards in years past.

The toughest thing for us was always making sure they were tough enough to stand up to our gamers (I worked for a FLGS). And foam isn't all that resilient so the layers of gesso and pva glue had to hold up to a lot of abuse over time (elbows, dropped/thrown miniatures, spilled drinks, placed terrain being moved/dragged by players, peoples miniature cases digging into the surface, things being dragged across the surface, you name it).
 

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Irn Bru 32!
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You're welcome. Let me know if you get it off the ground, I'd be happy to answer any other questions along the way. I worked on a number of foam terrain boards in years past.

The toughest thing for us was always making sure they were tough enough to stand up to our gamers (I worked for a FLGS). And foam isn't all that resilient so the layers of gesso and pva glue had to hold up to a lot of abuse over time (elbows, dropped/thrown miniatures, spilled drinks, placed terrain being moved/dragged by players, peoples miniature cases digging into the surface, things being dragged across the surface, you name it).
Thank again Krueger, what would you suggest that I do the strengthen the board so it can survive wear and tear?.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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Oh, I already suggested them.

The gesso and PVA glue layers. And make sure you build up the sides with wood to protect the edges from gamer elbows and the board being moved.
 

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Not that I made it, but here are some pictures of the WIP on the trench table I got someone to make for me:





I don't know much about what he did, but I'll be following this thread because I want to make two more 2x2 sections of more no man's land so we can play 6x4 with trenches on each short end.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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I don't know about the GW one, but there are definitely other brands. Woodland Scenics has a couple of products you might check out.
 

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Ugh, a word of caution with the water effect stuff: mine looked great right up until we hit into a nice dry winter. Now many of the pools are cracked and the once clear coat has lightened up the field's colours everywhere. Just...be sure you read into how the stuff keeps, whatever you use.
 

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Irn Bru 32!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ugh, a word of caution with the water effect stuff: mine looked great right up until we hit into a nice dry winter. Now many of the pools are cracked and the once clear coat has lightened up the field's colours everywhere. Just...be sure you read into how the stuff keeps, whatever you use.
Hmm maybe I should just use a varnish on some paint.
 

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Not cracked in a cracked ice sort of way, but you can see what I mean some in the bottom right crater in the first picture. Kinda impossible right now to snap one without glare, I've got SO MUCH window and have yet to put up blinds. All of the light brown is entirely a product of whatever sealant that was used drying up. Not that it looks entirely bad per se, the second picture is a close up of it. I just know it wasn't the desired effect of the dude who made the table, and it was a total surprise to me to bust the table out and find that it went from being a dark brown slop fest to a light brown dry bubbly thing going on. The deepest wet stuff still looks wet though, that's for sure.



 

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Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. I highly recommend the stuff. Even did a tut on it. You put it on in thin layers to let it dry, the stuff becomes hard and will stand up to a lot of abuse. Also, since you do NOT varnish this stuff, if for some reason you get a gouge or something happens to it, you can always add more. It pretty much repairs itself with another coat.
 

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Critique for da CriticGod
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Another option for small amounts of 'water' is using clear epoxy resin. Painting the bottom of the depression the color you want the water to be, then filling with epoxy. Of course resin can be a dangerous substance which can cause allergic reactions.

A great deal of care needs to new used. Also if it isn't mixed properly you end up with goo on the board forever.
 

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Irn Bru 32!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Woodland Scenics Realistic Water. I highly recommend the stuff. Even did a tut on it. You put it on in thin layers to let it dry, the stuff becomes hard and will stand up to a lot of abuse. Also, since you do NOT varnish this stuff, if for some reason you get a gouge or something happens to it, you can always add more. It pretty much repairs itself with another coat.
I checked out some vids of it and me likey, me likey a lot. I'm going to pick up some ASAP.
 
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