After almost three years of illness, one of the ways I stave off boredom is by painting miniatures to play Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and the like with my brother. We've been playing on a wonky kitchen table and on a scuffed felt pool table surface for the last few years.
For my birthday this year my lovely wife went out on a limb and bought me a Games Workshop Realm of Battle Board. It's six boards, each 2 foot square. They have various details on them, some have hill segments, some are flat. Because you can rearrange them in so many different configurations you have a huge variety of possible scenarios and terrains.
When you get it, the first thing that hits you is just how large it really is.
Here's a shot with our current skirmish forces put out...
I also put on all of my scenery. As you can see, there is a *LOT* of open space there! Oh, and a Mad Cat for Battletech games. Possibly overpowered vs. goblins.
On the right of the board you can see a painted and textured hill on top of the battle board hill. We had previously thought of that hill as being huge. It sits easily on top of the board hill!
Anyway. Here's a shot with every miniature I own on the board.
Still a lot of space! For those of you who are interested, the painted hill is a Citadel Modular Gaming Hill. The small house is a Village Dwelling from CNC miniatures (comes in mdf flatpack that you glue together then paint). There is a statue and some pillars from the Mines of Moria gaming pack. The jagged rocky outcrops at the front are just tree bark I based and painted. Some of the dark structures at the back are cork boards painted up, and there are some styrofoam walls up the back there too. The mushroom fields are thumbtacks and a bit of plaster painted in smurfy colours and the fence is just some leftover mdf from the building.
My plan is to paint the board in the same scheme as the bases of my minis, a subterrainian or grey mordor-like rocky wasteland. The only main modifications I'll be making are to remove the pits of skulls that the good people over at Games Workshop thought would make pleasant scenery.
Sure I could just cover them up with scenery whenever we play, but we sometimes want to play sci-fi stuff and skull pits and jedi just don't fit. They'd also have to have come from some pretty big giants to fit scale to battlemechs. Anyway, I don't have any power tools, so I nicked off to Mum and Dads to borrow his dremel. Dad picked it up in America when we lived there in the early 80s and it still works just fine. Of course, you need a transformer (which weighs a ton).
Here's a shot to show you the difference before and after the dremel got to work.
Today my brother is taking me out to Military Simulations (milsims) which is where we buy all our miniature stuff from. They are cheaper than Games Workshop as they almost always have sales on. Part of the amusing anecdote is that Tari was ringing them to ask about game boards on the sly but it just so happened that I was actually in the store at the time. Odds are that I heard the shop guy's side of the conversation about my birthday present without realising it!
Well, here's a skull-less shot. Have put a couple of layers of PVA glue to smooth the base of them now. Still not 100% sure on the next step. I have to decide whether to use the texture that's already there on the board, or to glue a layer of sand down first to make it rougher (but heavier).
There are also some scattered skulls still on the terrain, but I'll just use a little greenstuff to turn them into small rocks.
The skull-pits will become lava-filled in an attempt to add a little colour and contrast to the otherwise blandish wasteland. Although I guess it wouldn't really be Mordor or goblin infested underground if it was colourful!