Wednesday 8 June 2016

Mini Gaming Boards

After the success of the Goblin Quest game, I've been looking at making a small gaming board to use when playing with my oldest son. The two 2'x4' gaming boards I have at home are a bit unwieldy and to be honest, after eight years, I'm not too keen on their look anymore.

Instead, I nicked an idea from the excellent Realm of Chaos 80s blog and used two cork pin boards as a base. These were bought at IKEA and cost 40 SEK (roughly £3.50) each. They measure some 40 cm by 60 cm, giving a total playing area of about 80x60 cm – perfect for some quick games on the kitchen table.

VĂ„GGIS pin board from IKEA.
Not very exciting, but cheap and sturdy.
I filled the interior of the pin boards by gluing down sheets of foam board. The sheets were 5 mm thick, but since the depression was a bit smaller than this (approx. 4 mm) I chamfered the edges. Filler was then used to smooth out the transition and the small lip on the frame. (In hindsight it probably would have been easier to just slap on the filler around the frame without cutting the foam board first.)

The edges of the foam board
were chamfered to fit the frames.
Once the filler was dry, I glued on the sand using a mix of different types to get some interesting variety. Watered down PVA glue was then used to fix the sand more firmly in place and stop it from rubbing off later. 

The sand glued in place.
The sand had a mid-brown tone, so to get a nice natural effect I applied an undercoat in the form of a dark brown wash. This was just some artist's acrylic paint heavily diluted with water. I went back and added more wash to certain parts, to get a more varied look.

When the undercoat/wash was dry I did some drybrushing, mixing in some light tan into the original brown. I kept the drybrushing very light, as I wanted a dark, earthy look, like a forest floor. However, after the drybrushing it still looked a bit too bright, so I did a new wash to tone it down.

Happy with this look it was now on to the flocking.

The painted boards.
Once again, I wanted a varied, natural look so I mixed three types of ground cover: Woodland Scenics green blend fine turf, Woodland Scenics earth fine turf and a dark green flock from Javis. I applied this in patches, leaving a path in the middle of the boards, as I thought it looked good.

First coat of flock added.
When the first coat was done, I sprayed the boards with watered-down glue and added some lighter flock (Javis mid green flock) in various spots, to get some colour variations. This got another overspray of watered down glue to fix it all in place.

I had originally planned to stop here, as I wanted the boards to be able to handle some rough going – kids you know! However, looking over the boards I couldn't help thinking they looked a bit flat and uninteresting. So after rummaging through my stash of basing materials, I found some coarse turf that also went on the boards. Satisfied with this new look, all that was left was another coat of water-glue mix to fix it all down, and to paint the edges black to tidy it all up.

The finished boards with some lighter flock
and coarse turf added.

Close-up of the surface.

Some models to show the scale. 

I couldn't resist setting up some terrain. 

That's more like it – a proper mystical forest to explore!

We haven't had a chance to try out the boards yet, but hopefully it won't be too long!


  1. The boards look awesome Jonas!

  2. Superb job, great work Jonas.

  3. Exellent matey, just tell when to come over and take a game.

    1. Cheers mate! Will let you know when there's time for a game! :)

  4. Those turned out really well!

  5. Excellent! I'm really enjoying catching up on all your projects this morning. It reminds me that I need to work on some new terrain!