22 Oct 2013

Building Your Own Custom Battle Boards

Building Your Own Custom BattleBoard

Using a sharpie marker, roughly draw where you want things to go such as roads, plowed fields, towns etc. Having a good plan will make it much easier to construct the field and make it look proportioned.

For this battleboard, I put in a road going across that forks off in two different directions. I also wanted to try my hand at adding some old plowed fields that had been unkept for a good while.

Apply Spackling Paste to the road surfaces and plowed field lines with a putty knife. This will give the surface a slightly raised and well-travelled muddy look. Finished should look like this.

Allow the spackling paste to dry for 24 hours then go over it lightly with sandpaper. Be sure to do this gently because you don't want to remove too much of the paste and not allow it to stand out on the board.

Once the spackling is dry and sanded down, apply Elmers wood glue to the entire board excluding the spackled surfaces. Be generous with your coat because you want to ensure the ground ballast that's applied in the next step hardens firmly to the board.

Sprinkle the Woodland Scenics Fine Ballast over the board so that all areas have a good covering. Allow to dry for 24 hours, this will ensure that the ballast is secure to the board before painting. Once dry it's always a good idea to tilt the board so that any excess ballast falls off.

Its now time to paint the board! Spray paint is recommended because painting the board may cause some of the ballast to come loose. You can spray paint the board brown or for a darker battlefield look, you can spray paint or paint the entire board black first then spray paint or paint it brown.

Now it's time to drybrush the board. Drybrushing is a shading technique where you paint over colours with lighter shades of the same colour to bring out more detail and give it a more realistic view. Mix some flat brown paint with lighter browns or add white paint to get a lighter shade. Put some on a brush and remove most of it with a towel, then gently brush over the board so that just a little bit of the paint sits on the board. You'll begin to see the difference immediately.

Once the paint has dried, it's time to apply some of the Woodland Scenics Fine Turf to show fields and patches of grass. Simply apply more Elmers glue to random areas of your own choosing and then sprinkle fine turf on those areas.

For the last step you can add trees and bushes if you'd like. I usually place my trees on the board permanently, so I drill a hole and insert the tree with some glue.

Another small step that I do is spray some green spray paint over areas of the grass. This gives a little shading to the grass patches.

Now you're all set and ready to go!
Happy Gaming.

Gordon & Hague

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