Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Making a Display Board

I'm signed up for the US SAGA Grand Melee at Adepticon in April.  This amazing event has 2 painting prizes-a Master of Brushes for the best painted warband and a People's Choice for the crowd favorite.  For such a big event, I want to put my best effort forward so I decided to make a proper display board.

A display board is one component of a painting score at this and other painting competitions. The purpose of the board is to display your figures at their best in an appropriate setting. You can also use your board to move your figures from table to table during the event.  Display boards seem to have roots back to the Warhammer Fantasy and 40K scene.  These guys really know how to rock it, as evidenced by pictures of boards posted here.  For historical gamers, the bar is a bit lower, thankfully! Not for long though because Warhammer players are migrating to SAGA, Bolt action and other historical games, and they're bringing their awesome painting and boarding skills along.
Desert board for my Mutatawwi'a warband 
Step 1 is to find a good board to build off of.  My first try was a cork-board that turned out to be too small and flimsy (below in green trim).  I found a nice selection of bulletin boards at Michaels Craft Store and selected a steel-backed magnetic calendar for under $30.
Brainstorming board, this one was too flimsy.
At Michaels, I also bought a bunch of cork to use for elevation.  Many display boards are flat and I thought some height might help mine stand out.  In retrospect, it would probably have been easier to build elevation using pink insulation foam.  Mine was done with successive layers of cork and hot glue. I worked a bit of a "wave" in to show off my cavalry shields to good effect.
I painted the wood frame to a suitably desert color.  I used Elmer's Wood Filler to fill the cracks and smooth the transitions.  This goes on easy and cleans up with water.

Next, I covered the board with white glue and covered it with Woodland Scenic ballast.  Once dry, I applied a light glue/water wash to seal the flocking.  Once dry, I painted it with a base coat and 2 highlights.

If I were a terrain superstar, I'd work up a mountain backstop to make it look like Rashid al-din (the Old Man of the Mountain) and his Mutatawwia warband are coming down for a spell. And by the way, Rashid is quite angry!
Finished...or is it?  

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