Thought I would share my thoughts on a craze that has been widespread in the Good ole’ US of A for a long time and has started spreading across the pond in the past twelve months or so, I am talking about, of course, the display board.
Now i have to admit I have made a display board for one of my armies, so does that does make me in twitter terms a #displayboardwanker. This is mine.
Now as you can see I made mine so the units fit into it, here is a ‘naked’ picture of it to show what I mean.
So now I will show you how it is quick and cheap it is to become your own #displayboardwanker!
First, planning, lay all your army out on a table, play around with the layout of it, pretend your putting it out for the paint judging, so if you have a centre piece, it goes in the centre, obvious stuff but you get the idea.
Now draw an imaginary box around the army and measure the size of the board you will need, give yourself about half an inch all around the models, remembering to include any movement trays you will be using, that is roughly the size of the frame you will need.
Now the actual building, get yourself down to hobby craft or homebase and check out the picture frame section, the one I used from hobby craft was less than £15, unless you are very lucky you will not find one exactly the size you need so get as close as you can. Once you have picked a style of frame you like head to the wood section of your local DIY store and get yourself a sheet of mdf (remember to check the off cuts bin) you will only need enough to fit inside the frame, I got 3mm thick which slotted into the frame nicely but measure the depth of your own frame as you don’t want the mdf jutting over the top of the frame.
So are you ready to be manly? Get the jigsaw out and measure and cut your mdf to fit snugly inside the frame (i wore a tool belt and a cut off t shirt for extra manliness but that is optional). Now you have a choice, do you want unit cutouts like mine or just a general purpose one for any army, if it is the latter you can skip the next part, still here, right, now lay out your army on the mdf and draw around all the units, once that is done remove the army and pop the mdf out of the frame and get a large drill bit in your power drill (12mm/14mm) and carefully drill a hole in each corner of all unit blocks, being careful not to go outside the lines. Now you should be able to drop the jigsaw blade into the holes and cut the straight edges of all your holes. Once they are all done give all the edges a quick sand to smooth them all out. Give the back if the mdf a good coat of PVA glue and drop it into the frame, put a big pile of books or weights on top of the mdf and get yourself a beer, your done for the day!
So after leaving it to dry overnight you are ready to start basing. I made mine to match the basing on my army, so whatever you did on the bases of your models do on a larger scale!, mine consisted of a layer of sand which I PVA’ed onto the mdf and some slate pieces I stole from the neighbours drive!, I then sealed with two coats of varnish, once that I dried I painted it the same as the bases just using a lot bigger brush!. The edge of the base was painted black and the whole lot was given two more coats of Matt varnish, job done, your now one of us!.
Now I have to say for my next board I am looking at not doing the unit inserts, as once you have done that you can’t really change the army in anyway as it won’t fit anymore!, this will also take away the most time consuming part of the project which is cutting out the inserts.
As you can see it is very easy to make a display board and for the amount of work and effort it really does add alot to am army project.