A hobby blog from DarKHaZZl3; the writer of 'The science of selling yourself short' and owner of 'The Cardboard Cartographer'.
Created from a need to canvas opinions, and keep track of all things hobby related. Anything Warhammer 40,000 to Fantasy to Necromunda.
Two updates relatively close to each other? HOLD THE PHONE!
But semi-seriously I am pumped for this board. It is proving to be fun, and I sincerely hope it will push me to play more game once it is complete.
I've been carrying on with my gaming board.
I'm still trying to keep progress into manageable chunks though. I have
actually done more than I am currently writing about, but I'll save that
for another day.
So, with the planning (mostly) done I think it is time we crack on, yes?
Step two! The layout.
You will need;
Six 2ft x 2ft pieces of MDF (All the same depth. Mine is about 12mm thick),
Twenty four or more 1ft by 1ft Square cork tiles. (I bought 3 packs of 9 tiles),
Cork Adhesive (I used Unibond - Super PVA adhesive and sealer),
Some heavy stuff/clamps might be helpful to ensure the bond,
Steel Straight Edge (To cut against. I used a wood saw),
LET'S DO THIS!
The first bit of this is pretty straight forward...but easy to mess up, so be careful.
Glue the 4 of the 1x1 tiles to a 2x2 piece of wood, ensuring they all match up evenly and cover the board's surface.
Leave to dry. Repeat as many times as necessary (For this board that was 3).
While they are drying it is time to plough straight into phase 2
First off you want to draw out the road. Using the tape measure/ruler/magic find the middle of the board.
Measure out 2.5 inches either side of it and mark it out (I recommend
doing this about 2/3 times along the middle of the board to make the
matching up easier).
Draw up the lines to match the board's edge and you have your road template.
Now do a similar thing with the cork tiles.
Using the template you have just drawn on the board as a guide, mark 2.5
inches from the tile edge onto the tile (I had to use a sharpie as
opposed to a pencil for this). Match them up. Do this on as many cork
tiles as necessary (in my case that was 8).
And voila! Road!
Part two is the cutting.
Line up the steel edge along that line (Whichever side you are
comfortable with, I went with the side that would end up with the most
left on to try and minimise damage to what will be the pavement and
Using the craft knife, cut along the line against your edge. Patience is key. If you go at it too fast you'll tear the cork. This will be more hassle than it is worth to fix latter. Rinse and repeat and you should end up with this;
Here's a shot for height;
Stick it down! Weigh it down or clamp away.
Phase 3. Bend.
This is the most complicated bit of the build thus far (and it isn't even that hard).
It had me stumped for a while (When I figured out how to do it I kicked
myself for wasting almost half an hour trying to be clever about it).
First off draw the road template as normal on the cork (After doing the other two you'll have the knack now).
Then turn it 90 degree and do it again.
You should end up with something like this;
Now to plan the curved bit. Maths maybe...
I'm sure you could use maths to do this. But I am lazy. I used a Spray can lid.
Line up a spray can lid (I used GW's black primer), and draw the curve.
This curve needs to be on the inside out outside edge as seen in this picture
(Note; I drew another square on the inside curve to make it easier to get the
edge; you just do the same for both);
Cutting this out is slightly tricky
Don't attempt the curved bits yet. Just cut out the block shape, taking care not to damage/remove where the curve should be.
Seeing as this hasn't been glued down it should be relatively straight forward.
For the inside corner you start by cutting as you usually would along the now inside road edge.
When you hit the 'corner' you stop, flip the board, and do the other inside edge.
Then you start on the outside edge. Here it is important to stop before the curve.
You can either just go by eye, or mark them as I did in the picture above (I was over cautious with the 'just in case' space);
Instead of trying to do the curve, I cut along line XY. This meant that the core of the road could be removed.
The curves were then just a case of whittling down the remaining cork with the crafting knife;
Shave off the excess form the other corner and you should end up with this;
Glue that bend down!
Core of the board complete.
It has no details yet... but it is a great starting block.
The next stage is basing... but after spending days doing this I reckon
I'm going to have myself a break to do more experimentation/other stuff.
I will post my findings here!
Yup. Boring as it sounds I spent days just thinking about how to do
this thing, experimenting with materials, glues and designing bits and
bobs. I'll break down some of the motions I went through to show you what I mean.
Modular design: The answer that produces ever increasing amounts of questions.
Making a modular board brings a whole heap of problems to the surface. Principally
what kind of features should it have, where should they be positioned,
and how will this affect the modular nature of the board. I'll tackle them here in the order I did.
Obviously, the first thing to think about is how you want your board to look.
I want a board you could swap and change around. The most customisable
board would just be 6 blank squares of greyish emptiness... But who
wants that? really?
So I decided I wanted to add some
permanent features to the board. Not only would these have to fit in
with the urban theme of my board, they would also have to be simple,
generic and quite flat. This would allow easy transport and storage, and would make swapping other terrain features around much simpler.
Q. What to have? A. What says city more than traffic?
I wasn't about to have abandoned cars, but roads!. I
did consider removable roads, but in my honest opinion, the roads I saw
while researching this project were either unconvincing, or tacky (I'm
looking at you Games Workshop!). This brings up many questions, such as shape and size and so on.
More planning then?
This turned out to be fairly straight forward to be honest. (I guessed it and was fairly happy with how it turned out ).
I pointed out earlier I want my urban board to feel..well..urban. Not
just a featureless, blank battle ground, but to actually have urban
features. A such I decided I wanted my roads to have pavements, ya'know, like real roads in a real urban environment.
Most pavements around where I live have enough room for two people to
walk down, with a little room between them, and either side. The same principle applies to cars on most roads. I know this sounds a little obvious, but that is essentially how I got my road and pavement size.
I put 2 Dreadnought/Land speeder basses next to each other and measured
their combined width (adding a little for extra room and to make a
round number). I came out with 5 inches. For the later I put 2
Space Marines next to each other and did the same. It was a bit of a
weird number...but close enough to 2.5 inches. Round enough number? Yup!
The foreseeable problem would be when someone put something like a landrai..NOPE! NOT ONE! ;)
Checked it with a drop pod too!
It actually turned out so much better than I expected! ha-ha.
But the size of the roads posed a new problem; Terrain. Depending on where I put the road would directly affect the space I would have for terrain features on the board.
the solution turned out quite straightforward in the end there were
many factors to take into account; Modular nature of board, space for
For example. To
maximise the space on the square I would have to move the road closer to
one board edge than the other. This meant sacrificing the modular
nature of the board; there would be far less 'natural' configuration...
especially when connecting to other roads.
way to keep it modular would be to make sure all roads connected to at
least 1, if not 2, edges of the square they were to be modelled in. That meant sticking the road right down the middle of the square.
Luckily this meant there would be plenty of room either side for terrain
I've been banging on about 'the modular nature of the board,' but what exactly does that mean?
For those who are unfamiliar with 'modular' things, it is essentially
pieces that can be changed around depending on how you want to make
something look. In the case of the board it means that it has the
ability for numerous different configurations.
An example for
instance is that I can have a road network running through the middle of
a city in one game, and then for the next game I can have a solid urban
block on one side of the board, width he road network on the other.
In this context, what was to be on the gaming squares was obviously
very important. 6 blank pieces would be boring and hard to fill with
terrain without looking like a confused mess. While being modular, it
needed order. I had already decided I wanted roads, indeed, I had already planned them out in previous planning stages. Two questions arose; how many? and what type?
For this I needed to see how many customisable options I could get out of my boards.
The easiest way to do this would be on some form of CAD programme... but I don't have one, and to be honest, you don't need one. I
drew 6 scaled down squares onto pieces of paper, and cut them out. I
then drew the features I wanted on to the squares and chopped and
My first configuration was 3 blank tiles and 3 straight roads.
meant there could be 3 unique combinations when put together. I felt
that this number was very limiting. In addition, no matter the
configuration, there would be a lot of interconnected wide open spaces,
which defied the principle of a modular urban board (i.e.: being able to
choose if you want open ground or a built up city).
My next configuration was 3 blank tiles, 2 Straight roads and a T-Junction/Crossroad.
configuration added another unique combination, the trade off was that
only a small number of combinations looked natural; roads ending going
nowhere. It was the problem the first configuration had, but a lot more
noticeable (cross roads in the middle of nowhere O_o).
this point I had decided that any more than 4 'feature' tiles would
probably detract from the space required by additional terrain (I put
the sky shield on a board piece, and man that thing takes up a lot of
room!). So I went at it again.
This last configuration turned out to be my favourite; 3 blank tiles, 2 straight roads and 1 'bend.'
At first I thought this would have the same issue the crossroads did,
however, I managed to clock up almost double the amount of unique
configurations... most of which didn't look terrible either. Here is a couple of the bets ones;
We had a winner!
Next time around I'll actually be building things!