In other news, my 1750 Necron list for this weekend is complete! I'm going to work on getting decent shots of the army on the display board and in the new light box. I should have these posted later today, along with the army list before tomorrow's tournament.
I'm a beginner when it comes to building terrain or a display board. But it's something I'd like to spend more time on. This was the first board I've ever done, and overall I'm really pleased with how it turned out. It really didn't take a lot in terms of time, effort, or money. Here's a quick breakdown of what went into it and some of the cool things I learned along the way.
Step 1: Inspiration. Go to any 40k tournament / convention / event / etc. and you're bound to spot some really incredible works of art. This is what struck me the most at Nova last year and is one of the things I look forward to most of all -- seeing the armies on display. I was blown away by most of the armies in attendance and even felt bad that my army lacked a display board and barely met the 3 paint minimum. Going to an event like this is perfect for inspiration and gathering cool ideas that you can incorporate into your own armies.
Step 2: Theme and color scheme. Usually during list building, a theme or two starts to emerge -- is the list more defensive or up close and personal? These things should be taken into account when designing a display board. It helps you determine overall placement of the models, setting a dramatic scene that is "realistic" for your chosen army (well, as "realistic" as toy soldiers can get anyway). Is your army bunkered up, defending a relic, or mounting an unrelenting assault... etc. Try to get the layout and landscape of the board to match the overarching theme and composition of your army.
Then there is the color scheme. When planning how to base the models in an army, I first consider the actual paint scheme of the army then try to pick colors, textures, etc. that compliment those main colors -- something that really makes the actual models stand out. Once you have the bases locked down, the display board colors will follow suit. Up to this point, it's all planning and coming up with a vision for how you want the army and display board to look at the end.
Step 3: Materials. At tournaments, I noticed a lot of players using serving trays as the base for their display board. It's a great idea really; you've got handles, fold out legs, and something that is easy to transport to an event. It can also be used as a frame for multiple display boards when you have multiple armies to choose from. I found this one at target:
I've used this as-is before, but then it's just a handy carrying tray, not a real display board ;)
Here's what actually goes into the display board that sits inside the tray:
and of course flock, glue, and paint
For this I used standard styrofoam just to raise the main display area up an inch so the models wouldn't be so low within the tray. For anything else, like building hills or jagged scenery, make sure to use foam core instead since it wont melt to spray paint. But for adding height, styrofoam works fine since it will be covered up by a layer of cork that will act as the board's surface. You can get a big roll of cork board like this at Michaels for a few bucks.
Make sure the combined height of the foam + cork layer fits within the walls of the tray and/or is sufficient for the type of landscape you are going for.
Then it's time to think about placement of props, bunkers, buildings, lights, etc. I'm still a kid when it comes to this and think it's awesome when things light up, haha. So I wanted to incorporate some kind of lighting effect on the board. I originally tried to make a blue glowing cavern through the middle of the board, but changed direction when I found a sweet cardboard skull and resin hand at the craft store. The source for lighting would stay the same though. These push LED's are awesome and really easy to build into the board. My board uses one that is held in place by the foam pieces, which also hold the skeleton hand in place.
To get the blue glow effect, I simply hot glued some of these blue glass beads (which I'm using as Reanimation Protocol counters) together to sit on top of the LED.
I also hot glued 3 beads to the painted skull, which catches the light underneath to complete the glowing eyes / nose effect.
For the actual surface of the board, I started by spray painting the cork layer black, then applied patches of glue for the black sand that I used on the Necron bases. For the areas not covered in sand, I thought I would try this interesting product:
It worked pretty well! However, it sprays everywhere, so make sure you use it in a very open area away from anything you don't want speckled with fake snow.
After letting it dry over night, I went back over the snow areas with the earlier snow mixture from Gale Force 9 to more closely match the snow effect on the bases.
That's pretty much it! I'm planning on doing a similar board that fits into the same tray, but next time for my bike army. I think my Dark Eldar will end up needing a larger board than this just to fit the number of models I'm planning on running in that army, but we'll cross that bridge when I get there ;)
The decision has been made. My next tournament (next Saturday) I'll be running a Necron list. Now, before you loyalist/Shrike/Khan/Biker enthusiasts get all upset, no, it will not be a scythe spam, AV13 spam, Wraith wing spam, or Scarab farm spam list. It may, in fact, be the least optimized Necron list this side of 6th edition (hell, I even have a C'tan in there) -- but you know what, it's nearly all the Necron models I own and I'm very excited to have it almost fully painted!
Excuse the poor phone photos, I'm saving the good camera for the final product.
A handful of bases, washes, and highlights remain. I do love the motivation that an upcoming event can bring -- each day I get a little closer to finishing my second army. I'm a few painting sessions away; stay tuned for end results and the 1750pt list.
Here's a few quick shots of my nearly finished Necron display board. It's basically a giant Necron rising from a snow landscape that matches the rest of my Necron Warriors. It all came together last week when I found the skull and resin hand at the local craft store -- gotta love Halloween decorations!
I still have some touch up and highlighting to do, but once that's done I'll take some better pictures along with the new 1750pt list that goes with it. Cheers!
Slowly but surely I'm making my way through 6th edition. I haven't had a ton of time to play with the new rules since they dropped, but I did manage to get a 3rd game in the other week and hoping to get a few more in this month. There's a small 1750pt tournament I'm signed up for at the end of the month, so I really need to figure out what list I'm taking and continue to brush up on the new rules. I had never played this particular points level before, so deciding on what to cut from one of my typical 2000pt lists wasn't easy. I knew I wanted to try out the Storm Talon and at the last minute on a whim, decided I wanted to try Chaplain Cassius as well. It was a hodgepodge list but it was still fun and offered a good learning experience with units I don't normally field.
I played against Ian and his new Astral Claws army, who is also prepping for the same tournament (this was originally supposed to be the Battle at Blob's Park however due to high demand they had to push the date way back in order to make arrangements for a larger-scale tournament/event).
I'm not quite prepared to do full-fledged battle reports since I'm still learning all the new rules and will inevitably make mistakes and forget to do things (like rolling for night fight, etc). But this was the most exciting game of 6th I've played thus far. The mission (the Scouring) kept things interesting all the way to the very end, a full 7 turns. Dice were hot and cold on both sides throughout, but I ultimately lost by 1 victory point due to my own blunders -- could have done more to protect my second objective and should have denied the other 3pt objective with Cassius, but live and learn haha.
This game was a lot of fun and overall felt a lot more engaging than the old 5th edition missions. I still have a few of the new book missions to try out, but overall I'm feeling a lot more comfortable with 6th edition. Enough things have changed in this edition that you can now try anything and everything (at least for the time being) as far as your army list goes, which is the most the fun thing about a new edition. Ian had a really solid list that could pump out a cubic s-ton of firepower and could reliably deal with flyers. I think he's going to fair well with that list in the upcoming tournament. I, on the other hand, really need to nail down what I am bringing then play as many practice games as I can. Right now, I'm between a version of a vanilla marine biker list and my necrons. Other than the small effort I put into the Storm Talon, I've mostly been working on my necron army. I'm now very close to finishing this army which is exciting. I should have some updates on these guys coming shortly.