Post by majorspeirs on Jan 11, 2014 6:16:43 GMT -5
My first run-in with the Zone Mortalis rules was in the back of IA12. Half a paragraph in and it sounded like such a blast that I knew immediately I would need to make a board.
After much thought (and finding this blog to steal the arch idea from), I delved into this project. 75 dollars (Australian) and a crap-tonne of time later (stupid arches) and here we have my marvelous creation:
In the next couple of days I'll write up how I went about putting this together.
Post by majorspeirs on Jan 11, 2014 19:18:32 GMT -5
Okay, so here is a breakdown of how I put these boards together.
The Tiles: I started with two 1200x600x6mm MDF sheets, which I cut into 300mm squares. I then rule up the 5cm grid on all of them. This was both so I could work out the exact wall lengths required, and so I could accurately lay down the top coating in the next step.=. It was important to start with the centreline in each direction and work out, because the tiles aren’t perfectly square are in the realm of 295-300mm; it isn’t a big deal if the outer squares are a little short, but the inner ones needed to be just right or else things wouldn’t line up.
To make the surface I spent a few hours in Fireworks (a program similar to Photoshop but easier to use) creating my checkerboard pattern. Because of the wall lines it was necessary to make each pattern individually. As I mentioned earlier the tiles weren’t precisely 300mm square, so I put a small black border around the outside to absorb any variances. I put an additional black border on them to wrap around to the base of the tile.
These were then printed out on A3 paper in two halves. I used the “cm” image sizing in Word to ensure that they were spot on. When it came to gluing I made a mess of the first tile by trying to do all the gluing at once; my fingers were sticking to the paper and tearing it. I did the remaining 15 in a conveyor approach. First I painted the tile in PVA, then placed the two halves of the pattern. After this had time to set I trimmed the corners, glued and wrapped the edges around. After this set I layered all the edges and folded sides in PVA. Following this I then placed two coats of PVA over the surface of the tile. The paper has bunched into ripples on most of them, but they are small and not an issue.
This was very easy to do, if a little slow in making the pattern and then applying the glue. I indent to print out a second floor type (bulkheads) and glue it on the bottom of each tile so I have two environments to choose from.
The Walls Ah, the walls. The internal part of the walls was a cinch. I bought about 8m of 65x19mm coated MDF skirting board. I then used the drawn up tiles (before I glued to pattern on) to work out all the lengths needed. All it took was a mitre box, a saw and some elbow grease and ‘voila!’ instant walls.
It was the external layer of the walls with the arches that was not quite so friendly. These were made from 3mm thick MDF sheets which I cut as neatly as possibly into 68mm thick strips. I needed twice the length of internal wall, as they are layered on both sides.
The next step was to draw and cut out the arches. I wanted an arch at each 50mm square on the board, but not on the sections of walls near a corner, as these will potentially contain doors. Each arch is 30mm wide and 50mm tall. The picture below illustrates how I went about this process:
1. I started by drawing a horizontal line the length of the strip of MDF at 35mm from the base, and then drew the verticals of the arch and the centre point of the horizontal line. 2. Next I drilled out the centre point of each square. This serves as a guide for step 4. 3. Then the verticals were jigsawed up from the bottom to the horizontal as nearly as possible. 4. To create the arch itself I used a special drill bit with a ring saw blade on it. To cut out the arches I first drilled out the centre point of the arch itself (at the middle of the 50mm length at the 35mm height). 5. With the arch now drilled out I filed all the edges to neaten everything up.
Painting To paint the walls I sprayed everything heavily black. It was important to make sure that this got up into the arches from below. Then I sprayed it with a “terracotta” orange from above, but not as heavily. Then I lightly used a brighter orange over the top, which helped lift the colours up a bit more. I needed 5 cans in total.
[N]Note on safety:[/B] Make sure you wear a face mask and work in a well ventilated area both when working with so much spray paint and when sawing/filing MDF.
It isn’t done yet! Whilst the bones are all done, I still have some work to do. Principally I need to make some doors. The intention is to make 6-8 large doors and 6-8 small doors. These will be made with the same 3mm MDF sheeting I used for the arches and I will print out some kind of bulkhead door with shevrons to make them look pretty. Each door needs three states (closed, open and broken), so instead of 12-16 doors it is actually 36-48. I also want to make a couple of breached wall segments, along with some rubble patches for when someone sets off a demo charge or vehicle explodes. These will contain broken tiles, rubble from the walls and other debris. I also want to add scenery like a throne room, a genatorium, a hanger a gun decks and maybe a bridge style structure with a couple of gantries for additional levels. These are jobs for a bit down the track though. Also as I mentioned earlier I want to glue on a different base underneath the tiles so I can play on either a fancy checkerboard or a metal bulkhead (or a mix of both).
Wrap up Whilst this only cost $75 AUD it required a massive time investment; probably 30-40 hours in all. I wouldn’t say it was technically difficult, but I’m lucky enough to have all the necessary tools (and space at my disposal.
Also this isn’t perfect; the tiles have ripples, the arches aren’t straight and not all the joints match up. This said, I don’t care, because the sum total of the effort is that it gives exactly the atmosphere I was going for. I am very pleased with the result and can’t wait to play both some Zone Mortalis as well as some Kill Team games in the coming months.
Anyway, if anybody has any questions, feedback or suggestions, please let me know.