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Modelling Games Workshop’s Battleboards to be more like Middle Earth
Equipment and Materials:
Marker Pen
Polyfilla
Slate
Sculpting Tool
PVA
Sand
Black Spray-paint
Brown Paint
Grey Paint
Bleached Bone
Black Ink Wash
Woodland Scenic Flock: Green Blend, and Earth Blend.
Variety of Woodland Scenic flock (the Landscaping Learning Kit provided a good mix of foliage and turf, along with some scenic cement)







Introduction

In this article I wish to show how I was able to re-model a set of Games Workshop’s Realm of Battle boards to boards that I felt better resembled the vibrancy and colour of New Zealand Middle Earth rather than the ‘grim world of Warhammer’.

Why buy the Battle Boards?

It would have been cheaper building my own boards. However, having a young child and neither a shed, garage or spare room to build in limited my options. Games Workshop’s boards attracted me because of the moulded landscaping, and because they are also lighter than wood - an important consideration if you have to keep transporting them around to a wargames club.

But they have a major draw-back. Games Workshop’s obsession with skulls. The boards are covered with skulls and bones! Some with large pits of the things - great if you want boards for Mordor or perhaps even the Mines of Moria, but not really for anywhere else.

I also wanted to try my hand at adding other features, such as areas of rocky terrain, paths, and fallen statues. I wanted to make the boards my own, mine, my precious .....

So first I planned the work, dividing into three stages: Modelling, Painting, and Flocking.

Modelling

Here I wanted to remove the skull-pits, and other unnecessary ‘warhammer’ debris; and texture the surface of the board, adding the rock formations and fallen statue.

1. First I searched the length and breadth of every board, looking for the wretched ‘skulls and bones’, and marked them. They seemed to be everywhere ...

2. I then filled in the skull pits with polyfilla; and then likewise covered over all the marked skulls and bones.

3. I embedded some modelling slate into two of the filled pits while the polyfilla was still drying. I also added a fallen statue, and carved paving stones into other areas covered by polyfilla. All this was then left to dry.

4. To texture the board further, I then sprinkled sand onto the board, again leaving to dry.

Painting

I was now ready to prepare the rocky and earth base on which the grass and shrub would be modelled upon. At the same time, I also sought to bring out the detail of the cliffs.

The boards were first undercoated using black spray paint. I used car paint spray because it was cheap! But it does smell and had to be done outdoors. The undercoat was then left to dry.

2. Next I overbrushed (a heavy drybrush that covers most of the object) the paving stones, pathways, and scree with grey paint.

3. Once that was dry, I then overbrushed rest of board brown, including the cliffs.

4. And after the boards were dry again, I overbrushed the cliffs further with Grey, followed by a drybrush with off-white (bleached bone).

5. When all this had dried, I sprayed matt varnish over the board to seal the work already done.

6. Next job was to Black-ink the Cliffs, stone-work, and scree to bring out some of the detail. I also used thin black ink to cover the rest of board, especially to break up areas where I had painted the brown too thick. I also used some Woodland Scenics Earth undercoat to shade selective areas of brown.

7. Then I had to leave all that to dry.

Flocking

Now it was time to add the base layer of grass to the boards. This takes the place of a grass mat (which would have to be cut into shape). Then I wanted t

Using PVA, I covered the low-lands with Green Blend. And then after letting this dry, I covered the high-lands with Earth Blend, and touched up the edges and corners.

2. I then add clusters of different blended turfs to break up the uniform layers of grass with foliage and bushes and variant grass colours.

3. Finally! once this had all set, I sealed it all again using matt varnish spray.

The very last thing to do - and the most enjoyable part - was to find some fellow-gamers to do battle upon it!

(With thanks to Mithaearon for helping me put together this article)

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