Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Fields of Glory

This is a short update, but one that I am very, very excited about.

Yeah baby! Mulder house totally has a gaming table! I've got a whacking great 6'x4' slab of MDF and some saw-horses to stand it on for the living room. For photography though, a nice bright October day was better so please ignore all the 1:1 scale foliage in the background (weeds mostly).

As this was the - I'm guessing - 6th or 7th of these I've painted/helped paint (used to work for GW back in the day) I'd had a bit of experience with these. The Realm of Battle is an expensive but awesomely convenient table system. The bag it comes in keeps it tidy and the hill is a lovely design that allows a bunch of configurations. Even matches perfectly with the old 4-part hill - now sadly and bafflingly out of production. From previous ones I'd painted I knew I'd want to erase the skull pits. They look kinda ridiculous (at least add other bones if you want a charnel pit) and take a long time to paint for not a great final effect. We fixed them by using polyfilla smeared in to the pits and then rough sculpted to match the cracked ground their found in. Looks muuuch nicer. On to the painting!

I had the old painting kit that went with the board (yep, it's been hanging around my house a loooong time) so after a quick primer coat, I say quick, a can and a half of primer, I had a big bottle of Calthan Brown to basecoat it with. I can let you in on a trade secret here. Don't prat about with brushes. Get a small paint roller (about 4") and use it to basecoat the whole thing. You'll have it done with no brush streaks in a matter of minutes. Once this has dried - and I really mean dried - you can drybrush on the texture. For me the colours were first, the slightly smaller tub of Tausept Ochre followed by Tausept mixed with a little Val Deck Tan. This gave me the earth tones. It's worth noting that the Realm of Battle boards work great just painted. You don't need the static grass and they look ace as desert boards.

the tufts on the left are much, much lighter in tone than they appear here

Next came rocks. My method started from Skavenblight Dinge, a decent stone colour in these dreary post-Charadon Granite days. A wash of Dinge, Calthan Brown and a bit of black helped bind it to the soil colour. This is important as soil is made of weathered, broken down rock and organic matter. The rocks need to have some of the soil colour in the mix. I drybrushed them up with a couple of increasingly light mixes of Dinge and Deck Tan (hey, notice the same colour used in the soil highlighting and the rock highlighting? Helps too). Finally I used a bunch of different enamel weathering paints (AK Interactive but because reasons I'd recommend Ammo instead as it's the same exact stuff) to put much, green streaks and pale lichen-ey bits all over the rocks. Using odourless turps you can fade out enamels really nicely and creates lovely natural effects.

[EDIT: oh yeah, totally forgot about the grass! Working one tile at a time: decent PVA is spread everywhere I wanted grass, fading out where I wanted the earth showing. Then into a huge tub containing the sack of Scorched Grass from the kit to which I added the smaller bag of Glade Grass and a tub of Antenoceti's Workshop Steppe Grass. This was applied shaken through a sieve which prevents clumps. Once a decent thickness is achieved I pat it down to weld it into the glue. Turn the tile on its end and give it a few good whacks to dislodge the loose grass. Then, when COMPLETELY dry you gently brush watered down PVA (roughly 1:3 dilution) over the grass to make it all but bombproof.]

Finally I added some very short moss tufts to the rocks, some longer grass tufts and a few little bushes with coarse turf and some drifts of leaves with the leaf litter seed pod things from Antenoceti's Workshop. As I've mentioned before a tip with the coarse turf is to "inject" it with a dropper full of watered down PVA. It'll dry firm and resilient.

And that's it! I've got a gaming table! Huzzah! Expect to see more scenery bits on here as I turn it from blasted moorland, first into woodlands and then (hopefully) a rural idyll.



  1. Looks great!!! Looking forward to mini's on it!

    1. Thankee kindly :) One of the things I am most excited about is being able to shoot regiments on scenery rather than the white backgrounds. It's such a pain to process the images and the scenery will make them look waaay cooler :D

      Plus, y'know, GAMES!

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks! It really, really is worth mixing the grasses together, you get random, realistic clustering of colour develop and really improves the final finish.

  3. Nice! I wanna make my Realm Board into something similar. Love that 7th edition aesthetics. But I cannot get that Citadel Scorched Brown Grass. How much does it takes co cover whole table? Do you have any left you could sell?