Paint it Black

Yep, the most overused title in the miniature painting hobby.  This is actually really important, having made several display bases, nothing cramps your style while doing the final details like pink or white foam poking through.  So this rather large undertaking I vowed to paint it black early and paint it black often.

I’ll paint some more black on these but first I’ll probably put down the timbers inside the trenches.  After that is done I’ll do the sand.  I don’t want to sand all the flat surfaces and I can’t use as much cat liter as I did on my GT display base, it looked good but it isn’t game-able.  This table needs to game-able, that means wider than usual trenches, modularity, less than perfect fits, and lots, and lots of little pieces that can be re-arranged.

Someday I’ll get my other table’s worth of terrain here in Vancouver.  I plan to make a lip to connect the two.  I was thinking of doing a ruined village after this, something vaguely French and World War One.  I’ve also considered Spanish Adobe style buildings or even an Ork Village, but lately seeing the stuff Pardulon is producing if I ever have the money to drop on a gaming table again, plus the time and energy seeing this one is barely started, I might do a shanty town.  Maybe only a 4*4 Shanty town…

Here’s some pics.  I plan to work on just one tile at a time after this, plus I plan to work on my army for Astronomi-con Vancouver.  Note I tested the biggest GW base, the one used by Imperial Guard weapons teams, they fit in the biggest trenches.  I plan to make some machine gun nests and some of them will be big enough to accommodate these 80mm bases, but not all.  I want my table to favor lone models on a single 25 mm base.  Painting even six tiles took up my painting table, all my counter space, and my stove…

Final photo of the pink foam tiles

Painting table with tile

Counter covered with terrain tiles

Stove covered in terrain tiles

Trench Table Beginnings

One of my long schemed for mega projects is a dedicated gaming table more befitting of my tendency to play almost exclusively Warhammer 40,000.  Of course by play I mean occasionally attend a local tournament, say two a year, with one or two in-store games.  I think you play more when you can host, and in order to host you need a reasonably sized place and table plus terrain.

Expanding modular trench line

I have over a table worth of hills and forrests plus some rocks and the odd building, but with the success of one of my tournament display boards and the amount of stuff you can buy online, I decided to build a really nice table and I decided to make it a modular trench table.  I did a lot of research, I collected a lot of resin scatter terrain and bits I would need to build my table, but time and energy proved ellusive. Modular Trench Terrain

Recently unemployed I’ve worked on my dream table, but I discovered my hobby foam cutter couldn’t handle the big thick foam I wanted to work with and it was hard to make long perfect cuts.  I bought a jab saw along with a couple metal squares, but I had to give up on perfection.  Working on terrain pieces takes a lot more space and makes a lot more mess than painting another squad of plaguemarines.

Undaunted I’ve pushed on.  I was originally going to make one or two squares at a time, but in order to get a decent fit and to better lay out the scatter terrain I ended up cutting and carving almost one entire defensive line before I painted anything.  My plan is to paint the white and pink black.  Then I plan to line all the trenches sides and bottoms with little bits of wood.  This is historically accurate and although this table will probably get used mostly for 40K, there is no reason it can’t serve for World War One or even World War Two in a pinch.  I plan to paint up some Germans and Van Doos someday.

Resin scatter terrain

I painted one test dude, you can see him making sure the firing platforms are the right height.  I made my trenches deeper than most and wider than I intended.  The first square I did was the angle one and three inch wide openings and then drawing the lines looked too narrow.  I want to be able to fit 40mm bases in my trenches along with the planks and firing positions and some scattered stuff.  I’ll make some narrower trenches eventually, but the two initial defensive lines will be bigger than scale to make it easier to game.

First two tiles I made

Almost all the scatter terrain will be loose and thus can be rearranged along with the tiles.  I’ll make a dozen or so extra tiles eventually, but to start I’m make 24 carefully planned tiles.  There are some early ramblings on my personal blog about this and likely on the odd forum, but this is the most I’ve revealed my hand.  I need to switch shortly to finishing up my Astronomi-con Vancouver army, so this table will not be at Astro Van this year, but will be next year for sure.

All the resin terrain show on the tiles so far was made by Snapdragon (Moondragons.com) he stopped making them due to injury so I bought rather more than I needed, just before he went out of production, as I thought it would just make things look better.  Other companies I’ve ordered from are listed here.

Constructing Firing Position One

Constructing Firing Position Two