I’ve made quite a few gaming tables over the years. Most of them I built up from wood, making them quite heavy and cumbersome. Sturdy yes, but cumbersome. With some fun Fantasy campaign battles coming up I was looking for a quick way to create a new gaming board. Nothing too sophisticated, but easy to make, move around and store. Here’s how I made a new gaming terrain on the cheap!
Instead of wood I decided to use foam boards. Ideally I would use blue or green foam, but I had to settle with the horrible white polystyrene. I cut six squares and taped of the edges with thick black duct tape. All of this was done in about 30 minutes and oh… keep the vacuum cleaner nearby 🙂 With the base ready in half an hour I had 1 liter of matte wall paint mixed up in a brown and green color. Costs about 15,- Then I mixed it with some fine sand to create my own texture paint. Before applying the texture paint I lightly sprayed the foam board with black spraypaint. This erodes the foam a little bit, getting rid of that flat and dead-give-away polystyrene texture.
Apply a solid coat of texture paint and set it to dry. I have no patience so I let them dry on the radiator in the living room. Ten minutes later I applied a second coating, as a lot of the texture will come off again when drybrushing (and gaming on it). I then drybrushed with a light color green. I applied it in a about 3 passes, gradually building up the color. With some black and yellow spraypaint I accented some spots, and create vague trails/roads. One one tile I added a hill, you can add more that can fit together. You know the drill. For now I kept most tiles flat to allow for easy storage. We’ll add seperate scenic pieces to dress up the board anyway. To finish off I added some woodland scenics flock. Its easy to apply with glue spraypaint.
And there we go, in less than an afternoon’s work I’ve knocked out a gaming board. Admitted its not winning any prizes, but it looks decent and for such a low price and amount of time to put together, Im kind of more happy with it than some of the uber-detailed wooden boards, that you are afraid to move around and damage. Hell, if you’re bored of it just put on a new color coat of texture paint or spray it white to get a snow landscape. The only thing I would’ve recommend doing different is having the black tape overlap on top. It holds paint badly and kind of shows too much. Other than that I would recommend knocking together a board like this if you have an afternoon and 20,- to spare!