Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Revamping my table...

For a very long time now I have played on a 2.8mtr x 1.8mtr (9ft x 6ft) table, painted dark green and been in service for many years. Over the years I and my friends have been content to play on this table with the terrain we have and enjoyed more battles both WWII and Napoleonics than I care to try to remember.

However, over the past few years since checking out the huge volume of blogs, forums and clubs pictures from all over the world I have come to realise that the table top and terrain we use is very inferior in both quality and look to most. I will admit I am very envious of many tables I have seen and the length some guys go to in making their battlefields and the scenery look realistic to fight on. Each blog I see that is beautifully laid out and designed with realistic terrain pieces and very accurate coverings I get more encouraged to finally do the same with my own.

Now, this process is going to be gradual and very painful at times for me I am sure, the imagination I have is not up to the level I have seen from some guys but I have a great group of friends who will be helping me along the way. Hopefully I will one day be able to boast a table top battlefield worthy of some I have seen from all of you. I will put up my work here step by step as I go no matter how good or bad it becomes, hopefully some of you will give comments, support or better yet, advice in how to achieve what I am doing as I go.

Well, after a great deal of thought and advice from my brother and a few friends I have decided that any modifications I make to the table will only be cosmetic, reason being is that eventually I am going to add on an extension to my home, this will be in the form of a large garage which will be my new games room. I have a wife and two young daughters who are growing up fast, they will need the room I already have which is an entertainment area.

I will need to renovate this area anyway so I will build the garage first and move all my war gaming stuff into it (fully enclosed and sealed from the outside) then renovate the entertainment room for the girls when they become teenagers. The wife wants a living area also, so guess I got to keep working hard. In the meantime I have a few pictures of the old table, which has done us great service over the last 20 odd years. It as you can see from above, the table has seen better days and is in dire need of a good touching up.

Shown below I have started to revamp the table, my primary concern was the the previous base green colour was way too dark, several players had commented about this. I was not sure how to fix this, simply going and getting lighter green is an obvious solution but I wanted to do something different. Ground is not always uniformed in colour, you can have areas of light and areas of lighter shading, my hills were flocked with two separate colours of green and brown small rocks thrown in for good measure. I remembered how some home renovators would sponge paint onto walls for a mottled effect, I always liked that and decided to try in for my own table. The picture above and the next couple will show you what I came up with.

This picture above clearly shows a closer look at the surface, you can see the mottled effect and added small areas of brown earth etc. The effect actually looks better before the eye than on this camera, it took me a while to get used to it but I actually liked it once I got figures on the board and set up a little town.

The next project in this re-vamp will be a raised boarder around the table, I am still not sure if I will indeed do this because it makes it uncomfortable for players to rest over the table edge while sitting. Also, trying to write becomes difficult but if I make sure the edge lip boarder is low it might not be so bad. The reason for doing this is two fold, firstly, to stop troops and more importantly, dice from rolling over the edge. Secondly, to hold in place new base plates I am thinking to add to the table.

The base plates will be of three different sizes, Large, Medium and Small. The large ones being 900mmx900mm, the medium ones 450mmx450mm and the small ones 300mmx300mm. This is because these sizes are divisible from the size of the table which is 2800mmx1800mm. I am also thinking of making odd sized one such as 450mmx900mm or 300mmx600mm and so on. I will see how I go with this as I proceed. The 300mmx300mm small bases will form the bases for individual building, fields and so on. I understand that fields need to be odd shaped as well to fit in with your typical country scenery so I will learn as I go. All of these bases will be flocked with static grass and butted together to form a nice flat surface in order to fight battles over.

Like I had previously said, this whole task will be gradual, so do not expect too much too quickly. I am working on an extension to my house for a new garage so that I can use it for wargames but this is going to take time. This new room will be where I end up building my eventual new and permanent war games table and the current one you see here will no longer be in use. But for now this is the task at hand, re-vamping the old table to maintain it until this all happens. My work situation and cash flow will be a deciding factor but I am confident it will happen and I intend to document it all slowly over time.

Thank you for following my progress, or lack thereof, I will add as I go.




glynn said...

Where's the shameless free plug for FSS terrain mate? :)

Shane Devries said...

is a great idea, I might put up a link to it on this blog.