Anyway, I have recently learned about a game called Frostgrave. I haven't played a game yet, but I am assembling a war band. The premise of the game is that a city was cast into a 1,000 year-long blizzard as a result of a magical accident and was abandoned. Now that the blizzard is over, various magic users are hiring henchmen and making their way back to the city to discover the lost treasures and magical items left behind.
I ordered the book and was waiting for it to arrive when I read an article on a Frostgrave Facebook page. I was inspired and immediately made my way to the local hardware store. I purchased 6mm (1/4") thick MDF, 25mm (1") thick rigid board insulation, felt furniture pads, and some dowel. My lovely wife was at Ikea later on and came home with the small dowels for me to use (more on that later).
|My hardware store haul.|
The hardware store was kind enough to cut the MDF into 305mm (12") (more or less) squares for me, giving me 16 tiles to work with. Frostgrave is played on a 915mm (36") square table, so I need 9 tiles for a standard game. If I want to, I can go up to a 1220mm (48") square table.
I pulled out my utility knife and went to work cutting the styrofoam into matching squares to be glued onto the MDF. I measured the foam and drew cut-lines with a ballpoint pen and went to work. Once, I was finished, I had the brilliant idea of using a chalk line to mark the cut lines. I figure that would have been much quicker and simpler. Oh well, too late smart. I then used every last bit of glue we had in the house to secure the foam panels to the smooth side of the MDF tiles.
As you can see, my foam-cutting didn't always line up with the pre-cut MDF. I grabbed a square and a pen to mark out the edges of the MDF. I then clamped a metal ruler on the foam side of the assembly. My intent was to use the metal ruler and the edge of the MDF as straight edge to guide my foam cutter.
|My Handy-Dandy Foam Cutter|
Being a somewhat experience game player, I know that game boards tend to get bumped around during a game, especially when things get exciting. I wanted to develop a system to try to restrain the movement of the tiles while in use. Here's where the Ikea dowels come in. I drilled holes in the side of the foam. When setting up the tiles, the plan is to insert the dowels into the corresponding holes so that, in the event of inevitable bumping, the tiles will remain reasonably aligned. As stated in Murphy's Laws of Combat, a plan is only good until you first encounter the enemy (excited or clumsy gamers)
|The tape is to control the depth of the drilling so the dowels don't get lost to the abyss.|
Finally, we get the the paint! All painting for this project was through my airbrushes. I started with Vallejo Grey Primer and sprayed it, un-diluted, with one of my airbrushes.
|Primed (top) v. Un-Primed|
I then pre-shaded the lines, cracks, and details with Vallejo Black Primer again un-diluted. This is a technique I learned for scale model building. Fortunately, you don't need to be particularly neat during this stage. I also painted the edges of the foam black using the primer.
|Pre-Shaded (top) v. Base Coat|
Finally, I went over the Ironhull Grey with P3 Frostbite.
Once the paint was dry, it was time to finish the board. I gently scrubbed the backs of the boards to loosen any fibres that were caught on the textured side of the MDF and attached felt pads to the backs of the boards. I often play games at the kitchen table and I've grown fond of my wife. Scraping the table would not bode well for me.
|Essential Health and Safety Equipment|
|Installed Health and Safety Equipment|
And, at long last, the finished project. As you can see, there's variation between the panels. I think they will look okay, especially after we get some terrain built and covering the board.
If you've made it this far, I thank you. I had some fun building this board and I look forward to being able to use it in-game. I need to get my war band painted so I can actually play the game. Please leave comments or questions below.
Until next time . . .