Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Born on the Bayou

I've made more progress on the swamp board over the past week. While I am getting a lot of things done on the board, the pace may seem a little slow since so much of the time is spent letting glue dry between applications. But fear not, things are progressing and starting to take shape. So without dragging this out, let's take a look at what I was able to accomplish this past week.

As you may remember last week, I had finished adding the drywall compound and glued in the metal washers to create a base for using magnetized terrain pieces. The next step was seal the foam board so as to protect it from wear and tear of gaming and storage. The first thing I did (not pictured) was to put a layer of black duct tape around the edge of the board so as to protect it from chipping. Then I applied a watered down layer of wood glue to the entire board and sprinkled on a layer of fine sand over the entire surface of foam and the drywall compound slopes. This step took a few days as I had to do it sections so that I could work around the board easier.

Then, while the glue dried I set about creating the flagstones that will be applied to the surface of the board to represent the foundation of an old and decaying set of ruins. To create the flagstones I simply took 5 or so sheets of plastic card and traced out a series of rows and columns to create 1" x 1" squares. Then I cut them out and ended up with a little over 300 squares.

You will notice that the most of the squares are rounded or "chipped". Well, since this is supposed to represent a decayed set of ruins in a swamp, I wanted the flagstones to have a worn and aged look. I took my exacto knife and slowly whittled down all 300 plus squares so that they had an uneven and aged look.

Next, it was time to start adding the tiles to the board. First I selected one of the board edges to start on and I traced a straight line with a pencil from the edge towards the center of the board. This is so that I am able to set the tiles in a uniform fashion, rather than trying to eyeball it. First, I applied a generous amount of wood glue to the surface of the board...

... and then placed the tile over the glue. I made sure to scrap away any of the larger bits of stone before I applied the glue so that the tiles will sit as close to the surface as possible.

This following steps took a lot longer than I had anticipated as I wanted to make sure I used a variety of different cuts so that the surface maintained a uniform look but still kept the weathered appearance.

Here I am about 3/4 of the way done with this section and it has taken me nearly 2 hours to get this far.

Above is an overall view of the board. Eventually the center island and the right section will contain tiles, just like the left/center section. I will also be applying tiles to the middle sections of each board edge as well.

Here I used some of the smaller, cracked and chipped pieces to transition the flagstone into the area that will eventually be under water. This way I can achieve the look that there used to be a stone path that connected the middle island to the board edge that was eventually flooded over.

In the above picture I used my Joseph Bugman figure for scale so that you can see how big the tiles are.

Once all of the tiles are in place, I plan on adding a thin layer of glue between all of the tiles and then filling them in with sand so that it fills in all of the gaps and exposed areas.

Above is how the board looked after 2 hours of work.

Since we are dealing with swamps and jungles, I figured this would be an easy introduction to my new Warhammer Fantasy army for 2014. As many of you may remember, at the end of last year I was going back and forth about either starting a Dwarf army, an Orges Kingdom army, or a Tomb Kings army. Well, I actually went with something totally different. You see, I had every intention of starting a new Dwarf army and when the new book came out I went to my FLGS to pick up the book but they were out. I've always been a fan of the Fantasy army books as they contain a lot of fluff and are generally interesting to read so I decided to pick up the Lizardmen book and spend the next week or so reading it until the next shipment of Dwarf books came in. Well... I ended up enjoying the book so much I decided I would start a Lizardmen army.

So far I bought a box of Skinks, Saurus Warriors, a Scar Veteran, and Temple Guard to get me started. I plan on getting more Skinks and Saurus warriors in the near future as well as Terradons and some of the big beasties! So once I start assembling and painting the models I will post my work-in-progress shots.


  1. This table is coming along so well!! can't wait to see the next update!!!

  2. Wow! Loving how this table is turning out. :D

    Can't wait to see more, especially once those flagstones are finished up. I've got a soft spot for swampy areas with old, worn stones..

    Also, what scheme are you thinking about for your Lizardmen? Definitely one of my favorite Fantasy armies. Well, next to the greenskins of course. :P

    1. Orzhova, i'm not settled in on a color scheme just yet but i am thinking i want the skinks to be green with red markings on their face. Plus i wanted to try "tiger striping" on the sides of their body. As for the sauruses, i am leaning towards a dark green/ charcoal color like found on some species of iguanas. I'm still in the process of assembling the skinks now so it may be another week or so before you see a test model.

      Glad you like the board so far. Like you, i have always been fascinated by ruins and manmade structures being reclaimed by nature.

  3. I really like the new table, it seems very nicely done so far :)

  4. Table is awesome, are you sure the magnets still bond through all that sand glue and plastic though?