Monday, August 5, 2013

Creating the Plancenoit DBN Table

For the DBN battle I decided to contract another table for the battle. I used the Shako Scenario Book to design the table from that map.

For this DBN battle we changed the scale so that each unit were battalions.  So I was able to increase the size of the village and forest area to give us a better historical feel.  So this is a 2 x 4 foot table constructed just for this event at the CSGA/CMH 2013 throwdown.

So I built the usual frame using a 2 x 4 MDF board for the bottom and 1" x 2" boards for the frame.  I used #6 1 1/4 inch wood screws to secure the frame.  So I end up with a framed box with 2 inch sides.  I purchased some blue insulation foam from Lowes.  I purchased a 1 1/2" sheet and a 1/2" sheet.  The 1/2 inch sheet was glued to the bottom.  I then added a few foam pieces in on corner to give the next sheet some angle.

I next glued the 1 1/2" sheet (of course cut  a little shy of 2' x 4').  You have to take into consideration the frame.  I used a foam cutter for all the foam cuts by the way.  I let the foam sheets bond overnight with books weighing it all down. Then I added my hill and Village pieces and a few more small pieces to provide some curves in the surface.

The next steps are captured in the pictures below.

I taped it off with painters tape and cut out the Plaster Cloth.  I also gouged out the
stream in the foam before this step.
Then with a water bottle shot sections of the cloth and smoothed out the plaster over the
contours of the board.  

When the plaster sets, I take some of that very thin winter weather tape and
 taped out my roads.   Then using some spackle and a 1" plastic trowel I filled
between the tape lines.  It sets pretty quickly so you can remove the tape and
Voila!  Nice roads.  Then I round out the edges with my fingers so the road
edges are not so sharpe.

And many of you knew about this already but I just learned this from Historicon.
Pre-mixed ready to apply Tile Grout! Oh yeah, my new best friend!  I purchased some Earth
 color.  One small container is all I used.  It was sanded grout but it went on the surface
nicely.  You see the larger trowel I used. Here is the small stream and the village square.

Doesn't that look great?!  Already has color, nice hard surface that has natural
texture to it.  It goes on like thick mud or concrete.  And don't forget to use Surgical gloves!
So here I am trying to size the area for Plancenoit.  And I know there are many
renditions of what this board should look like but we wanted to keep it simple and
 not difficult to play with DBN rules. 
The tree bases were added at the end.  Just dropped a dollop of Grout and stuck
the base  in it.  Made sure the edges were covered and when it dried no problem.
This allows me to remove the trees for transport and then simply plug them in before the battle.  
More trees 
Gave the road a darker brown color as well as the stream.  Then I added water.
The water stuff takes overnight to harden completely. I added some rock to the bottom
of the stream.
I would have loved to leave it the way it dried but I had to add flocking.  I  brushed on
the water, white glue and a drop of dish soap solution to the non road, river or village surfaces
 in sections.  Then I dusted each section with flocking. 
After the first layer was set I then sprayed the same solution from a water bottle over
the entire board.  I did that twice to make sure the flock would stay in place.
Almost ready.  View from Prussian right flank.  You can see I painted the
sides of the table dark brown.
View from Prussian left flank.
Trimmed up the green walls and hot glued them down. 
Another view.
Prussian and French in the thick of it around Plancenoit.
You can't see it from here but eye level you can see the subtle curves I tried to
build in. If you look on the left you can see the handle I attached for easy carrying.
Along with some "bumpers" on the bottom and two on the opposite side of the
handle so you set it on its side.  I also put a handle at the far short end in order to
pull it out of my SUV easier.   I thought the terrain came out well and the game even better. 


1 comment:

NW Crew said...

Great table! It looks very playable too.