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Author Topic: My Table: it is finished!  (Read 3170 times)

Offline Daeothar

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My Table: it is finished!
« on: August 04, 2010, 10:37:54 AM »
That's right; after years of frustration, biding time, collecting ideas, materials and empty promisses/threats to my fellow gamers, my very own gaming table sits downstairs right now, in its very own gaming room!

Last week, I got to finally remove all the storage from the room I had at one point reserved as my game room into the garage. Luckily, the room is situated right next to it (my house is rather strange; the garage and the gaming room are at ground level, the living room, kitchen etc on the 2nd floor and the bedrooms and bathroom on the 3rd floor. It's called a drive-in house. Which sounds workable, until one fills half the garage with boxes, at which point it's more of a drive-up-the-driveway-and-no-further house I suppose) But I digress...

The finish of the room is not, well, finished; it needs a new floor and one wall needs to be redone as well. But at least the bare bones of the gaming room are there now!

The table itself actually is a wall papering table I got for free from a gaming buddy of mine earlier this year, as his wife really wanted it out of the house. He had bought it on a whim in a DIY shop and it was just collecting dust (onderneath his existing gaming table). The table is made from underlayment and made up of two parts, divided lengthwise, and connecting with a tong and groove and two heavy duty clasps on the underside. This allows for easy storage and transport. So I lugged it home after I visited him and set it aside. When deployed, it rests on two trestles, which came with it, but I will be lengthening them a bit, so the table will be somewhat higher and thus easier on the back. Hey; I'm not eighteen anymore...

I had previously stockpiled three rolls of paper grass mat, measuring 120x60cm each. As a normal gaming table is 180x120cm (for us metric types), I figured this would cover the entire table. I didn't even check the exact measurements of the table; it was bought as a gaming table and I didn't even for one second question the dimensions. So I started glueing, one half at a time. It was when laying down the second roll, when I realised that the width of the half was just about 60cm, but the length was considerably more! 20cms more to be exact. So I had about 2400 square centimeters more table than grass mat...  o_o

So that's when I got creative. I cut off some of the remaining mat in a diagonal, undulating line, pivoted the remaining triagular shape 180 degrees and added it to the bare part of the table. With some more creative cutting and pasting, I was able to form a rough shape, which I would cover in sand, feathering that into the grass, and it would look like a dry patch or something. But when in that process, the dry patch sort of grew into a dried riverbed or lake. I glued in sand, spray painted/dusted it with several colours for a more natural colouration (but leaving the original colour of the sand for the most part; that is the most natural colour after all). I added small rocks to the edges and dried grass/reeds as well. I then used a glossy black to paint in a trickle of water still remaining, coming out of two small wells.

I then went to town on the rest of the grass; it was too uniformly green. So copious misting, spotting and drybrushing with shades of tan, brown, yellow and even black ensued. I still found it too bland, so on a whim, I experimented with creating a craterlike shape with black and dark brown spraypaint and some added sand. That worked and I did several (but not too many), to break up the lawnlike grass. I also did something of an angled impact mark, which I feel is the weakest part of the table, but it's still passable. I can always plonk down a large wood/hill/building there after all...

Finally, I went over the entire table with repeated coverings of mat varnish, to keep the assorted textures where they belong. Even the rocks are now so securely in place, it requires a dedicated effort to break one free (I tried of course  :D ). For the final touch and also added safety for the minis during gaming and the textures during transport/storage, I added a raised edge around the table, which is also estethically pleasing, turning the thing from a 'piece of board with some grass and stuff' into a finished whole:

[Bear in mind that the light played some tricks on the colours in this shot; the other pictures give a better idea of the actual colours, but this is a good bird's eye view of the whole thing]

Of course, the table needs to be populated with matching terrain, which I am in the process of creating. It needs to be non game system specific, as games of 40K, WHFB, Confrontation, 1999 and many others will be played on it. So the terrain will be generic Sci-fi or Fantasy, without the obvious Imperial Eagles or Twin Tailed Comets, but still suitable for use within the respective settings. Two pieces completed so far:

First, one of several ubiquous woods. I went for as natural a look as possible, given the available materials at hand. When I said I have been stockpiling materials for years, I was not kidding. The trees in the woods were bought with my allowance and saved up lunchmoney when I was but a wee lad of 13 or 14 or so, for use with my model trains. I remember standing in the store, trying to decide whether or not to buy one 30 cent tree or three 10 cent ones instead (nothing has changed over all these years really, but the amounts...) At any rate, that clocks these trees at well over 20 years old (closer to 25 actually)!

So, if the looks of them are not up to speed, you now know why... I misted and sprayed them as well, to remove the obvious plastic look, but even then, there's only so much one can do to make these glorified pipecleaners look even remotely realistic. I did the best I could though. The one deciduous tree was my prized posession back in the day, costing several guilders I believe, and now neatly breaks up the looks of the woods.

I am fond of little narrative thingies in/on my terrain. Small hints that need to be looked for to find, but which add to the narrative and feel of the terrainpiece. This wood sports a boot that somebody forgot there... ;)  More woods are to follow of course.

Next up is a bunker. It is made from a bit out of my 'interesting shapes box'. A box I store stuff in I might at one time be able to use for terrain. This bunker began life as a wooden tray for a small plant pot but upside down, it is perfectly shaped to be turned into a bunker! I covered the walls in sanding paper, to resemble concrete, and added some window mesh to the roof. It was slightly recessed, so it was very easy to add a plasticard wall next. Some corner profile was then used to cover the corners of the concrete to hide where the pieces of sanding paper meet, and some more to the tops of the plasticard wall, to give it some depth.

I then added the firing slits. I used a length of plasticard as a template, cutting the sandingpaper away and at the same time, using it as a mould to shape the plastic strip frames. Once dried, I glued those in place over the cut away rectangles. I contemplated sawing the slits out of the bunker, but decided not to. The plastic overhang creates enough shadow to prevent direct light falling onto the firing slits and had I done so, I would have forced myself to completely model the interior as well and I wanted to keep my momentum (I know I can get caught up in details very easily, slowing progress to a crawl and then a full stop, as another project beckons).

Finally, I added the door and hatch, made from plasticard and a bit of paperclip for the handles. The control panel next to the door is a RTB01 equipment thingamabob and the vent is a 1/72 F-18 tailpipe, a snap-fix biplane landing wheel, a washer and some plasticard. (I have the weirdest memory; I can look at each bit in my bitsbox, and tell you exactly where it's from, when I got it and what it was used for previously. The abovementioned parts have been in my model plane bitsbox also for 20 to 25 years. I only wish this memory extended to languages, faces and phonenumbers too...)

The entire thing was then sprayed black, then the concrete was sprayed grey and the metal parts drybrushed with Boltgun Metal.
Copious washes and drybrushes of all matter of colours were applied to weather the building, after I stencilled the D1 number on the back of the bunker (D1, as in: The One. The name given to me by my gaming friends, relating not to my devine-ish powers, but to my very real tendency to roll more ones in whatever diceroll than ought to be possible. In any Probability Density Function detailing diceroll results, I would sit solidly in the leftmost 0.01% :(  This does mean though, that when I do win a game, I must have displayed generalship that would shame Alexander, Hannibal, Napoleon or Rommel  lol )

But I digress yet again. The door and the hatch both received black and yellow hazard striping, weathered with grime, bare metal and rust, like the rest of the metal parts. The final part to the bunker is the cautionary poster, hanging yellowed and frayed on its right wall. The photo is not very clear, but it reads: 'WE ARE WATCHING YOU', 'our eyes are everywhere'. I do love me some Orwell at times...

Well; that was one lengthy post again. Hey; what I do not make in frequency anymore, I make up for in intensity ;)  More terrain is to follow, with two woods and a landing pad in WIP stage right now. Also, a Fantasy Wizard's Tower is in the works, using the GW Watchtower as a basis. Also, the bunker will get based soon too, as I do not quite like how it sits in/on terrain right now. So, one more shot of the terrain pieces, from a miniature's point of view:

I didn't know where to post this puppy btw, so the Workbench seemed the most appropriate, even though these pieces are finished...

Anyway; what do you think?  :)
Miniatures you say? Well I too, like to live dangerously...
Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face - Mike Tyson

Offline Aaron

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #1 on: August 04, 2010, 11:16:48 AM »
Very nice! I love your wood. I need to make up a lot of these myself and this is going straight into the inspiration file.

Offline Mad Doc Morris

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #2 on: August 04, 2010, 11:20:22 AM »
Very nice board. The dried out river bed is an interesting idea. Although, since the different part don't seem to be interchangable, it should better not hinder movement. Otherwise about a quarter of your table will be pretty useless. :?
Anyway, nice effort, and I envy you guys for having a dedicated gaming room. >:(

Offline Captain Blood

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #3 on: August 04, 2010, 11:56:55 AM »
Some really nice work there. Congratulations on your new room!

Offline elhion

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2010, 12:53:45 PM »
Nice one!

Congratulations for the table and the room and may the dice gods bless it!

Offline Luckyjoe

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2010, 02:55:24 PM »
Very nice board and terrain. I really like your bunker, too.


Offline Daeothar

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2010, 02:56:25 PM »
Very nice board. The dried out river bed is an interesting idea. Although, since the different part don't seem to be interchangable, it should better not hinder movement. Otherwise about a quarter of your table will be pretty useless. :?
Anyway, nice effort, and I envy you guys for having a dedicated gaming room. >:(
The entire table is flat as, well, a board, and aside from the rocks marking the edge of the riverbed, there is no relief anywhere. So it is there for aesthetic reasons only; no in-game effects. Although those could be agreed upon of course, but as was remarked; then the effects would be too onesided to be fair. Unless a scenario was being played of couse...

And I counter your envy with years of frustration at knowing the room is there, its purpose has been decided and agreed upon, but with circumstances preventing its intended use... :D

Offline Muskie

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #7 on: August 04, 2010, 05:09:09 PM »
It looks good.  Good idea using sandpaper on the bunker walls I never would have thought of that.  What grit did you use?

Offline Mr.J

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Re: My Table: it is finished!
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2010, 05:02:30 PM »
The table and the scenery both look great! Good job. Very jealous of your dedicated gaming room. I long for the day I can have my own room!


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