New from Old (part 1)

I need some new terrain boards for the game I plan to run at Salute. In previous years I’ve started from scratch and built new boards for each game. This year, due to various issues I found myself short on time and in need of recycling old boards rather than splashing out for new ones. The advantage of using the old boards is obviously twofold - expense and time. The old boards had stood the test of time being made of high density polystyrene. 

The boards I chose were ones I made about eight years ago for a series of games with Simon Bargery and Paul Hicks of Bolt Action (as it was then). The boards were painted a green colour and admittedly were a little ‘rough and ready’ - I didn’t use flock mainly because I’d had some disasters with flock in the past - nor had I discovered the beauty of a static grass applicator. They did ‘ok’ for my purposes and served for several demos (from Late Rome to Fall of the Reich). In all honesty, they could have been better. One of the things about working for Jasper at Karwansaray is having to learn to deal with his exacting standards on terrain, models, and in general. That, I must admit, is both a challenge and an opportunity. I have yet to emulate Jasper’s high standards - which can be a little depressing at times - but it has meant that I’m spending more time on getting it ‘right’ rather than ‘that’ll do!’

Old boards.

Last year’s boards were made out of Craftfoam on a MDF base. I used paint from a DIY store (B&Q ‘Clay’) which, with a little black, made the perfect base colour. However B&Q have stopped making Clay so I had to improvise with another colour, settling on a beige colour which would hopefully be toned down to a decent mud colour with the addition of some black. With hindsight a chocolate colour might have been a better choice…

Well, it did turn into a decent colour with a LOT of black, mixed with PVA glue. My friend Ricky popped over to help me and the boards were finished in about an hour an a half to a nice dark mud colour. However the colour changed dramatically in the drying process - what I thought would be an excellent dark colour soon went very light. Ricky and I had talked about the old TV series Space 1999 - when they’d finished drying he wryly commended how they’d be perfect for a lunar game!!! Oh my god! Lesson learnt - buy and try out some of those tester pots first!

Waling on the moon...

However all was not lost. I happened to have a bottle of Woodland Scenics Earth Undercoat - probably left over from when I first did the boards (how long ago?). Diluted with 50% water, these nicely dyed the board back to a decent and more earth-like colour.

The new board finished with diluted Woodland Scenics earth undercoat.

Yes, its still very BROWN, but at least we’re no longer ‘walkin’ on the moon’. The flocking process will bring up the colours with a few shades of green. I’ll show you the results of my progess in part 2.

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