From the quill of Bifurgacheffe Stoutdrunkson of the mines of IPA, scratches into this digital format for your delectation and criticism…
So here’s the thing; as you can see from the photos I’ve put up in this blog the gaming board Dwalin and I play the majority of our games on is painted in with a strange light green gloss house paint… I was thinking of attempting to explain this by claiming it was a strange alien world where the surface was covered in a thin layer of pale green slime… Oh yeah, it’s the same world fought over with sword and shield by Dwarves, men and Orcs of the Old World and hard won with Bolter and flame by the Space Marines, Imperial Guard and Orks in the forty first millennium…
I need a new game board. And I’m poor (as may have been mentioned before). So how to create a board I like without costing me a fortune.
My first call is Frontline Gamings Fat Mats. These are amazing. They look brilliant, roll-up for storage, have deployment zones discretely marked. They are however nearly £60 and Mrs Bifur pointed out it would be bad for my health to spend that much on a gaming surface, she has a point. If the delightful boys and girls at Frontline would like to send me a mat to test and do a proper review with I would happily provide them with several bottles of my home-brewed Mead…Seriously guys, its a real offer… Four bottles?… Anyway, with that decision made I hit the turbulent waves of the internet and cast around for ideas to create a budget gaming surface.
- It must be cheap
- It’s going to be six feet by four feet, big enough to play some larger games on
- It should be hard wearing, as I store it up against my spare bedroom wall
- I’d like it to be easy…
Lots of looking around later and I have a few ideas, but most of them involve either a serious amount of modelling ability (there are some magnificent modular boards out there…) or buckets of modelling supplies (sand, cork, rocks, paint, varnish, cheese) of which I don’t have a huge amount and I’m concerned they are not always massively hardwearing (I really don’t want to scatter sand and small rocks about my dwelling.). Then randomly buried in a forum I found an idea…
Stone texture spray paint. Not my idea people, I wish I could remember where I found it but I can’t. If it was your idea and you’re reading this then let me know and I’ll stick credit for you into this article… This sounded like something I could do – Cheap and easy. Just like me.
I already had wood (heh heh…) lying around the mines so I dragged it from its corner and bashed it about a bit until I got into the right shape and then headed down to my local store where magic paint in cans is sold….
Can in hand I returned to my abode and set about spraying. Here’s my kit…
I sprayed up one 3 by 4 and realised I was going to need significantly more paint. Each can will cover one of the boards quite reasonably, but no more, so back to the paint shop I trekked and more paint was purchased. I also realised that the colour produced by the paint was lighter than I wanted so I picked up a can of the dark granite texture paint as well.
Back home I sprayed up the other board and waited the hours and hours and hours for it to dry enough for a bit of darkening with the black granite, I made some patches darker still to break up the colour a bit.
Overall I’m quite happy with the result, I’ve now got a 6 by 4 board for some slightly larger gaming and it is at least vaguely more presentable than Pistachio ice cream world… the paint feels pretty tough and durable, so it should last. The cost? Weeelllll… I already had the wood so that’s free, each can of paint was nearly a tenner, but I had half a tin of the Dark Granite spray which I will use for buildings. Total cost to me – around £25. That’s less than half the cost of a fat mat and I get the satisfaction of playing on a board I created myself. Would I rather have a fat mat? Damn right. But that will have to wait.