BUILDING THE SET: A GAMING TABLE WITH DMH/4GROUND BUILDINGS

I was asked by someone at Salute how quick and easy it was to construct a gaming table with the new DMH/4Ground Old West buildings. I replied to the questioner and he duly bought some of the kits. On the drive home I got to thinking exactly how quickly and easily I could do a good gaming area. I’d planned to build a new table anyway, but came to the decision that I would do the whole thing over two days. Excluding drying time, the terrain board took less than 3 hours from raw materials to finish.

Ok, so I am cheating a bit as I’d already put 5 of my 6 buildings together, but you’ll hopefully forgive me for that. Putting the buildings is best achieved if done patiently over several modelling sessions, just to let the PVA glue dry properly between stages.

I’d decided on a 2’ x 2’ (60cm x 60cm) board full in the knowledge that I would be adding further identically sized sections in the future. My local timber merchant had just the piece (a bit of a lucky find, some chain DIY stores will cut to size) of 2’ x 2’ board, and the appropriately sized baton. To cut the baton and screw it to the board literally took half an hour, including the obligatory tea break!

One thing that would make setting up my gaming table super quick is in-built into the cleverly designed buildings. All of the side street and main street building have the same size foundation base that the building sits upon. My idea was to fix these, along with the boardwalks, permanently to the table. The board, being small, would still be flat-ish and easy to transport. With the boardwalk and foundations in place its quick to just plonk the buildings in place, plus I can swap them around, plus no-one can knock the boardwalks about. The foundation bases have a peg at each corner that keeps the building in place. 

Click on the photo to see a bigger version in a new window. This photo shows the foundations and boardwalks glued in place (you can see the still wet PVA in places). It took me about half an hour again, mostly positioning the boardwalks.

Finished

 

I have a 2.5L pot of brown paint for scenery making. Mixed with around 300g of all-purpose filler and a limited amount of fine sand. I didn't want the gaming table to be too stoney, preferring to use pigments for much of the texture. So far I had spent £10.80 on filler and wood; I already had the paint and glue.

Finished

 

The base coat was painted with a Dulux colour called Cookie Dough. Tester pots from the DIY store are the terrain maker's friend. I visited the store and picked the tester pots on special offer and got fifteen, all various shades I might use for the ground. Cookie Dough was the winner and is applied in a varied manner,watered to different degrees so as to give some variance in what I imagined would be very well trodden earth. After drying, Cookie Dough was drybrushed pretty evenly over the ground. Lastly, Natural Hessian was lightly drybrushed on. Excluding drying time, I spent no more than 20 minutes on this stage.

Next stage was the application of Pro-pigment weathering powders. I used three colours from our shop - Raw Umber, Raw Sienna, Yellow Ochre. Raw Umber was the main one, and then the pigment powders were blended and mixed where it looked cool. This all went on dry and then was dabbed with white spirit. This flows the pigment nicely. 

After drying, I use a large, dry brush to blend the pigment even more. This stuff will come of unless you seal it, so a couple of coats of Testor's Dull Cote seals it. When I do the second board for the town, I'll detail the pigment powders part of the project

 

Finished

I dusted a little extra pigment here and there until I was happy and the final stage was adding tufts. I selected two-colour tufts late fall, long tufts early fall and short tufts early fall. Some lovely flowers finished it off. All of these items can be found in the shop: Basing. Take your time on this stage, it's fun! All in all I spent less than 3 hours on the project.

All quiet in Dead Man's Hand...

Finished

A good shot of the boardwalk sections with strategically placed tufts and flowers. The kits are designed so that the buildings overlap and sit perfectly on the boardwalks.

Finished

 

The steps to the two storey building give this alleyway a claustrophobic feel.

Finished

 

Is that gunfire I hear?

Finished

 

Finished

 

Two shots of the gaming area showing that the buildings are interchangeable.

Finished        Finished