Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Tephra Board and NPC wIps

Now I have that out of my system.. lets move on..

I thought I would pop these up - just a few build  shots of the board - unfortunately I didn't have the camera for  the first week of the build when I drilled  the forgeworld buildings off the board ..

The aim of the build was to build a gameboard with a rogue trader eastern rim & Grimdark  40k vibe.

it had be relativity easy to build ,storable   potentially saleable have lots of cover and open spaces for large vehicles - and be evocative

The board had to be cheap comparative to the ygg- fortunately I reused most things - the only new stuff I bought was the  promethium pipes and the build materials - 

pva glue
liquid nails
bicarbonate of soda

mdf board

spray paint

I also used the casting plaster i had bought for the bromholme project and some RTV silicon for a mold.

everything else I already had.. plasticard, the buildings I traded with Thistle , I cut up the ygg board
and reused the zonemortalis walls  and landing pads ,barrels, boxes etc..

the design took a while to come up with.. but once I settled on a promethium refinery - and received the boards from John everything else fell into place.. the most difficult and time consuming aspect of the build was the bunker house roof and the engine house roof.. these two thing used up two thirds of my build time.. consequently i only had a few days to paint and build miniatures..

great weather blessed me with this build and it was lots of fun..

But for those curious - I just drilled hundreds of holes around the edge of the buildings successively connecting them up - the forgeword boards are brittle and did snap in places so I tried to give myself plenty of room for manoeuvring . it produced loads of resin dust -so a dust mask was essential - I also  placed several sheets of durable big box cardboard underneath the board during the process .

once removed I based the board pieces on 3mm thick Hardboard/fibreboard I picked mine up from B&Q here in the UK..

I used liquid nails to stick the board pieces down and then coated the liquid nails with pva white glue and children's play sand . this became very robust..

after the pva and sand dried ..  (which did not take long in the uk heatwave a few weeks back )

I used a wire brush on the the sand to remove unwanted sand and glue.. this made the whole thing rock solid..

the bunker house ( zone mortalis building ) was put together in the same way - I used 2 left over pieces of forgeworld  realm of battle tiles floor pieces to create the roof.. and I cast up a part of the zone mortalis corner sections to sit atop the original zone mortalis corner pieces.. I then added the aquilla landing pad  barrier to the edege of the forgeworld tiles..

i was left with a huge hole in the centre of the roof where the tiles were mismatched .. i fixed this super gluing strips of plasticard in-between the gap cementing them with a bicarbonate of soda and super glue..mix.

The landing pad was edged with the wall of martyrs kit.. adding a spare landing pad section for the ramp.. i wanted this landing pad to resemble the one from the aphelion complex..

in fact i wanted the whole complex to have echoes of the aphelion base.. the fact the you could enter the interior of buildings and remove roofs..

the engine room was the hardest part of the build.. the roof section took days to complete - making sure the roof was sturdy and looked like it fitted on properly to the base section.. loads of pieces of plasticard had to be measure precisely and placed at weird angles - all superglued in with bicarb for strength - the roof was cut off in the same way as the board sections- drilling hundreds of holes and joining them up.

detailing the interior of the engine was simple and fun..the quantum gothic generator worked well within it imo..

the board was a 6mm mdf 8 by 4 board  that was cut down to 6 by 4 ..

I wanted to create pathways inbetween the added on scenery so i squirted  ( jackson pollock style )

pva glue over where i wanted the pathways to sit.. and created sand banks for untravelled areas of the board.. i then scraped and shaped the glue before sprinkling play sand over it.. after it was dry i used a wire brush to futher shape and harden the sand .

after that used some cardboard to scrape a layer of Liquid nails where i thought the roads would be and other well worn areas..

i sprayed the whole board with cheap grey hobby spray.. ( from Wilkinsons ) the sprayed a black shadows and white highlights - i tried to spray the whole board in one go to get a unified look.. but i had to go back several times after touching up some of the white areas of the buildings..

 the generatum was based with skulls from the bromholme 
board unfortunately the liquid nails covered up the details

 The missile silo was the underside of the yggdrasillium tree  

 the skewered pole man courtesy of Phiq  !

 Minefield and robot torso
Inspired by the film hardware 


I had wanted an Australian outback Vibe and an
1920/30's American bootlegger vibe too.
so the dunny and the wrecked jalopy with spider on it
seemed appropriate.


Merc encampment

I wanted the scenery to be interactive so the bunkerhouse jailbird
 was not just for show- if freed he could have joined the fight.
both the captive stranger  and blip tokens harking back to 
Advanced space crusade rules..


  1. Very nice glad to get a look inside the buildings during the building process. Like the use of space marine back pack parts as gubbins on the minotaurs minigun

    1. Thanks Eli , I totally underestimated how difficult roofing the buildings would be. I wish i had left more time to paint the models tbh.. i like his flame nostrils haha..

  2. So glad you posted this. I've never had the chance to build a table this extensive, and it's nice to get a peek behind the build. There are some interesting techniques and details I never would have thought of for this size of a board.

    1. First time for me too.. the buildings are huge though so that took care of the hard parts.. i forgot to mention shaving the hardboard bases so they were flush with the mdf base board was harrowing.. i went through about twenty disposable craft knives and Stanley knife blades.. i really wanted to get flush so you couldn't tell they scenery was just added on .

  3. Wait a moment...
    You REUSED the Yggdrasilium board?!?!
    Really?!?! :'(

    1. I saved a bit for nostalgia unfortunatey that as the tree the silo sat upon so I cut that up too .. ;-) i think i could salvage enough for a diorama though..

  4. I think your blog ate my last attempt at a comment. Well, I think it is ballsy to chop up Ygg, are you not sentimental about your own models then? I can relate to that, but then I also wasn't upset about the Old World.

    What's the plan for painting? Maybe lush vegetation? Thanks for the tip about drilling, I'll try that one day.

    1. Nah not sentiment .. the fact that got a but miffed about the old world surprised me too .. but then again I spent many moons pouring over the artworks as a formative child

      Yeah a lush deathworld is capturing my imagination at present .. maybe a try and make Lost Patrol with full scenery ?.. full of nasty gribbly monsters and amazonian death cults.. ..maybe..or a fuedal world questing knight ..and retinue.. or the space Minotaur clan..

      i always copy my posts before hitting publish .. it happens all the bludii time..

  5. Logan21 July 2015 at 07:20

    Wait a moment...
    You REUSED the Yggdrasilium board?!?!
    Really?!?! :'(


    Still, it is very nice, but that is quite astonishing. :)


    1. The yyg was full of mould.. and the mndf had warped ..add to that lots the paint had chipped off on the pipes off so it would have been difficult to repaint .. and really dislike gaming twice on a board i have made.. the ygg got three or four games on it so it did really well .. the ice planet is kaput also.. i have no scenery for gaming on apart form tephra .. all others were warped and broken i will probably make a diorama from the ice planet and the ygg at some point - to be honest if i had the money i would have just bought the new citadel 40k board and gone with that.. my casual attitude to big builds and long-term expensive project is gone.. simple and good looking and resalable is my new motto, this build was far from simple .. but had i had the cash it would have been much less taxing and time consuming for me..

    2. Any idea what made it mouldy or warp? Going to be building a board soon and wondering if you had any thoughts on how to avoid that as I have never heard of this happening?

    3. the Model mates spray dyes i used ontop of bicarb of soda whilst storing it in a holdall with no air holes for months over summer made it mouldy.. and the mdf warped because it was to thin.. i think i used 4mm mdf for lightness .. to be fair it mainlt warped on the sump which had a lot of stuff atop it..

      mauldy warps haha it was portent !

      i used the thicker 6mm i think for this board.. i might have to check that though because it feels thicker..

    4. Fair enough, it all makes sense :)

      This new board is just as good but in a more understated way.


  6. It is a wonderful board. I love the desolate, dusty atmosphere of the place.

    1. Thanks Stygian.. it was a gamble to game with what some would consider an unfinished board but hearing you talk i think it mat have worked ..

      My son said " is it supposed to be an ice planet ".. haha ha

  7. You need photos of the loo, too!

    RIP the Ygg :'( although I suppose it was well documented and I have a tonne of happy memories of that place. I still have bits of it (that were never made) mapped out in my mind. Did you keep the tree itself?

  8. yeah kept the tree but its base got de constructed ! will attempt a diorama with it i think..
    loo.. oh crap .. i also forgot to photo the inside of the bunker form above..

    Maybe your vision of the arkke will get an outing at some point in far future.. or past ?

  9. Amazing work - I'm going to show the designer (Blake Spence) what you've done to his terrain tomorrow, I'm sure he'll be most impressed!

    1. or angered !! haha

      Woot ! Big fan Of Mr Spence's work - if he wants me to cut up any more of his beautiful designs feel free send them over ;-)
      Cheers Mr Hoare ;-)

  10. Hey Neil, so glad you got to use some of the bits! I think I spotted some more here and there too ;-) As for the project all up, really impressive. I love that the buildings have removable roofs so you can use the interiors.

  11. Oh yes the skellies and skulls i forgot about them.. thanks.. glad you like it mate.. time to take a well earned break for a few weeks recharge my batteries..

  12. I'll just repeat what I've said before - this is a gorgeous board and seeing how it was built has given me a lot of ideas & inspiration!

    Whilst it's sad that the Ygg board is no more, I can understand your reluctance to game over the same board. It's a difficult compromise between a solid guild, variety of options & storage. Especially when you include something like a sump that is almost impossible to vary!

    As for board thickness, I have always erred on the thicker side (11mm thick MDF) to avoid the dreaded warping. Seems to work; even with something like a sump.

  13. Cheers George ! yes solid /substantial vs modular/light transport and storage.. tricky stuff - had i had the money i would have been happy using the citadel or forgeworld boards - i do like their modularity, lightness and vast size.. boy having said that i am chuffed to have made a 40k building with a roof ;-)

    11mm mdf sounds robust ! i doubt that will warp..

    good luck with you build !