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Building Another Battle Board

Between work being crazy busy and the holidays fast approaching, I haven’t had much time for blogging lately. I haven’t been slacking on the gaming or crafting though, and I have been working hard on putting together another battleboard.

Here is my previous Battleboard, a grass and cave double-faced board. If you aren’t familiar, I use these as a combination of a terrain board and a setup tool to pre-build my encounters/dungeons so I can carry them to the table in one piece.

My newest board is going to be cobblestone on one side for cities, plazas, castles, dungeons, and the like. On the opposite side, I am going to do a sandy wasteland that can double as a board for Gaslands. I’ll also be playing around using spackle (drywall filler) to expand my repertoire. For now though, the cobblestone side has just been finished after taking way longer than I thought. Who knew carving in all those bricks would take so long?

I split up the board with a central road of bricks drawn in using a ballpoint pen. I used a pen that was no longer writing, thinking to not damage a good pen. But halfway through it found itself and starting putting out ink again, which surprisingly made it much easier to carve bricks compared to doing it ‘dry’.

Three other large sections on the board were done using a regular pencil’s metal eraser holder. Removing the eraser from it and compressing the metal into a vaguely rectangular shape makes for a useful stamp. Using this, I stamped out the areas of tiny cobblestones. My idea behind using multiple types of stone was to give variety to the board for visual interest but also giving distinguishable areas for setting up encounters on.

The next two areas were made up of handfuls of chipboard cut into random rectangles. I did one on a 45 degree angle for aesthetics. A note on the paintjob on this board. Once I had everything in and textured with a ball of foil, I gave it all a thick coat of PVA (Elmer’s) glue mixed with black paint. I then went over everything with a heavy brushing of a dark grey, avoiding the low areas’ black base paint. I then decided to give each area a rough color scheme with some colors tying them together. The street and large cobble got my usual mix of grey, brown, light brown, suede, and tan. The small cobble just got the base of grey. The tiles had one area with a deep blue and suede, while the other had suede and white. The circular plaza used a mix of all of the above (minus the blue) with some gold accents. Everything then got a black wash then a follow up brown wash when I thought it was still too light. Finally, I did a light drybrush of light grey and a very light drybrush of suede.

You can see the angled tile and the circular plaza. I marked off the plaza’s circles with some random lids, then drew in the bricks and a free-hand non-denominational angel-bird. I wanted something that could be used in a city square, a cathedral, or even a dark temple with the right scatter terrain on top. To finish it all off, the whole thing got three coats of sprayed on satin, water-based polycrylic. I want this thing to withstand lots of rough play with everything from paper minis to terrain made from heavy-gauge washers.

Now I’m off to do some tests with spackle before I commit to starting work on the other side of this board. Things are looking good on the tests so far, but they aren’t fully dry yet. I’ll make a post next week about my test dunes scatter terrain.

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