The process of creating this board so far has been one that has comprised of mistakes, accidents and sparks of insanity. Inspired by the Warhammer world display boards “Mining Facility 42” and “Ferro-Giant Alphus” I knew I wanted to create a gaming board that combined the aesthetics that these boards had whilst also being playable. High levels of detail and functionality where key to the board. The rocky outcrops that feature on “Mining Facility 42” where an image that stuck in my head throughout the project and where a key starting point. The walkways of “Ferro-Giant Alphus” was another element that seemed key to the board as these would provide the main playing areas.
When creating the board I was inspired by several different instragram accounts. Hobbydad was an early inspiration and will become more clear when I reach the painting stage! He is a master of creating gritty and dirty scenes! Slavetothewips amazing necromunda board is another inspiration and will be pushing me towards using resin for the first time on this project! Bjarnidali created a wonderful multi level board whilst others such as sol_vince and hrosshvalur_lunde have gorgeous detailing on their boards that I know I wanted to emulate.
When starting the board, the first thing I wanted to tackle was the rock work. The plan was for several different formations both on the outside and inside of the board. The plan was to then have walkways snaking around. 2 sheets of polystyrene and several cans of expanding foam later I had created some landmass. This proved to be a mistake. The first attempt at adding in the walkways simply didn’t make sense. I was attempting to react to the rock formations and work around them but I found that in doing so (without a plan) I wasn’t able to cover as much of the board with the walkways as I would have liked and as a result had a significant amount of wasted space that was unplayable.
A part of the initial plan was to also create the sump surface using the bottom layer of polystyrene. I very quickly ended up changing this idea. Another issue I noticed with the first attempt on this board was that it was very difficult to make the board playable in terms of line of sight, too many rock formations where getting in the way and I then further realised that if I wanted to add more layers and walkways onto the board I didn’t have enough foundations to build from that would make sense! As a result it was back to the drawing board.
The best course of action was effectively start again! I ripped up most of the terrain and then began cutting away large chunks of foam! I reduced the number of rock formations that where in place and began to think about what I would need to keep in order to maintain the required aesthetic but keep the board playable. Eventually I settled on what I thought looked good.
The next step was to build up a suitable foundation of walkways along the bottom that I would be able to build from. With a plan in mind and several dry fit attempts later I began to work on the lower levels! Knowing where I would be wanted additional walkways and where I would want the towers to go I started to happily glue away. From this point the board started to click. Machinery and pipework started to be laid down and suddenly the board started to make sense. No longer was I adding to the board and hoping for the best instead it started to feel like a real environment.
In the back of my head I still had these nagging doubts. Something still felt wrong with the board. It didn’t seem to look realistic or feel functional. A simple fix soon presented itself! Adding in the barriers to the board truly transformed it.
Another concern I had with the board was the exposed foam and polystyrene that would almost certainly get damaged during game play. To create the rock surface I had used plaster cloth and tile grout to create something solid. With plenty of spare plaster cloth I used this to cover the exposed areas and then gave it a good coating of gorilla wood glue. This created a completely solid backing that will be able to take some punishment and survive any gamers!
So currently the board is largely built. The next major project that needs tackling is a landing pad, this will likely be expanded to include a couple of extra towers to really give the board some height. The next part after the final build parts is to start painting