Thursday, 23 January 2020

Simple Gaming Boards

Materials and Equipment:
2 X 4' by 2' 1/2” thick MDF
Black Paint
Brown Paint
Various flocks
Various Static Grass
Various Course Turfs


A gaming board is the basic necessity for battle games.  You can make really elaborate gaming boards based on specific areas such as mountain boards, rolling hills, forest boards etc. but these take up a lot of storage.  A simple and cheap alternative is to use a flat gaming board and place terrain pieces on it to set up your game.

Of course the simplest way would be to cover your board in PVA and roll out a grass mat (such as the ones Games Workshop sell) and you have instant grass  boards.  The problem with this is that it all looks too uniform and nice.  Very rarely in nature does the grass look this manicured. You could try to mix it up by applying glue over the top and covering it in various flocks to break up the uniform of the mat.  Doing this will cause the static grass to be glued down flat thus rendering the use of a static grass mat useless.  A better alternative is to start at the lowest grass levels and work your way up.

Painting  the Boards

If you can get a 4' by 4' board but if not 2 4' by 2' boards and place together.  When creating natural grassed based terrain it is  best to start at the lowest level, in this case the soil, and work up in courses.  You could cover your boards in sand as a starting point but I found this  unnecessary and does not add much apart from extra time and cost.
You want to paint the boards a dark brown colour,  similar to [b]Scorched Brown[/b], of course as you can imagine covering an area this large in GW paints will cost you.  A cheaper solution is to get  some black and brown poster paints available from most craft shops.

Pour on both colours and paint and mix on the board and you will end up with a nice dark brown base. Paint the edges too to aid in the end presentation.  Leave to dry.

The First Layer of Grass

The next layer is the low level grass. This is done by using various green and brown flocks.  Place the boards on news paper or plastic sheeting (here I used an old shower curtain, this will be important to retrieve unused flock). Cover the boards in PVA using a decorating paint brush giving it a nice even coating.

Grab handfuls of flock and sprinkle over the board.  Try to blend all the different colours you use.  You can have one  board more green and grassy and another more barren and muddy.  You can come up with any combination of grass/mud boards you like.  Once both boards are covered allow them to dry, this will probably take about 24 hours.

Once dry shake the boards onto your newspaper or sheeting.  Then careful pour the excess flock into a container.  It will consist of many different mixes of flock but this is okay.  Label it something like “Pre Blended Flock Mix” and it can be used for future terrain projects.

The Next Layer

The next level of grass will be the tall grasses, and this can easily be done by using various shades of static grass.  Now the board is covered in flock you can't just apply the PVA like you did for the last step. Luckily there is an easy option.  You can either buy a scenic glue spray applicator, Woodland Scenics make one, or even better use an empty house cleaner spray bottle.  Pour some PVA and water inside about ¼ PVA to ¾ water.  Shake well until it is all mix and then spray the mixture over the board, this will also have the added advantage of keeping your previous layer in place, sprinkle some static grass in much the same manner as you did before with the flock.  You won't need to use anywhere as near as  much as you did with the flock, but feel free to apply as little or as much as you want.
Once done with your sprayer you will need to run it through with clean water thoroughly   otherwise it will be useless next time you want to use.

The Final Layer

The next level of grass will be the course turf.  You won't need to wait for the previous stage PVA to dry but you may need to apply another spray in places.  Again sprinkle various shades of course turf in places, blending in the colours with what is already applied.  Again apply as little or as much as you think looks good.

Apply another fine spraying of the PVA mixture to hold everything in place and  allow to dry, again this will take about 24 hours.

The Final Boards

There are the final boards.  If you have some hills you can flock them in much the same way so they all look good together, but that's all there is to it but it is a vast improvement on just laying a bright green static grass mat on some boards.

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