+ inload: Worldbuilding – the finished article +

+ The Streets of Purefinder Chanterwick +

+ Vox-silence for a few days, but I'm very happy to show the finished board. +

+ The Rubricist Childeric and his compatriots make their way to a rendezvous with Magos Manderghast + 
+ Iron Warriors push through deserted streets +
+ A Pan-Oceanian Fusilier checks his six in this unfamiliar city +

+ How it was done +

+ The building stages can be seen in earlier inloads starting here: [+noospheric datalink embedded+], but the painting technique follows:

_1 Head outside and lean the primed board against a tree. 

_2 Use a large household brush to splash some hot zones over the board. Spread them randomly; aiming to work into some recesses and avoid a patterned approach.

_3 Colour the paving one colour (I used a lighter cream-grey) and the remainder a complementary hue (I used a neutral mid grey).

_4 Work the edges of the wet grey areas into the edges of the red areas, aiming to leave some zones of pure colour (see step 6 for how to blend large areas).

_5 Continue to blend areas into one another to achieve a mottled result as shown. Blend the paving more (footfall and travel will smooth out dirt).

_6 To blend, stipple the brush on the borders of the areas with the household brush. Use a gentle tapping motion with the tip of the bristles, and adjust the angle of the head to avoid creating patterns.

_7 To remove any brushmarks, use a household sponge to dab over the surface. This also helps to blend the colour further.

_8 Leave the main board to dry a little. While you're waiting, paint any other bits you need – in my case, the large building bases and scatter boards. These were done in the same way. Note the splashes of light green on the unworked boards on the right. These come in next.

_9 You can get a bit Jackson Pollock here. Take some contrasting and complementary colours. I used light green, pale brown (made from a mix of the red and light grey paints I used earlier) and light grey; but the principle is to have colours that fit with the palette you've used. Spatter them in a variety of directions over the board by loading your household brush with the colours and cracking it sharply against your palm to flick the paint across the board. For a less controlled approach, simply wave the loaded paintbrush around sharply, as though fighting a lightsabre battle!

_10 Stipple the areas of colour in as above, then lay the board down to dry. At this point, I went in to watch the Rugby, and came out in a bad mood when Wales lost. Black armbands are optional at this point.

Put any additional boards nearby – this is so you can do everything at once, for some consistency.

_11 Open a number of ink bottles – I used red, yellow and green – and pick a large brush. I used a size 16 round, but anything fairly large will work.

_12 Drip the colours over the board, with an emphasis on the paving. 

_13 While the ink remains wet, use the household sponge to smear the inks over the paving area.

_14 Drizzle water over the whole board (don't drench it – just use the household brush to drip lots of water on) then use the ink-soaked sponge to dab and move the colour around the whole board. Tip and tilt the board to encourage the colour to flow and move around. The gesso is waterproof, so don't worry about it soaking into the cardboard paving. 

Once you are happy, leave the board to dry. This completes the basic painting, and you're on to the time-consuming bit; detailing.

+ There's no simple method for detailing – it'll depend on your specific board. For the paving, I used a combination of drybrushing and more careful brush application to colour the area with a variety of stone colours. The manhole covers were coloured with rub 'n' buff gold. +

+ With the colours in place, I used superglue and PVA to attach grasses and drifting leaves (Gamer's Grass tufts and birch seeds respectively) to add a bit of life. This is an important step, and one that makes the board look more 'lived-in'. While a board looks fine without them, it lacks a little verisimilitude; and comes across as artifical – though you might struggle to put your finger on why. + 

+ The shot above shows the leaves and grasses in place, along with a couple of the building baseboards. I've used the same technique on these, and also added patches of greenery with fine turf. In the grim feudal darkness of Cepheus, people still have a scrubby yard to grow vegetables, raise ovi-avians or simply sit and watch the world go by. Again, a little greenery adds life, and it also breaks up the monotony of the board. +

+ You'll also note a couple of bits of terrain – a leaking water/power tank, and a tiny park bench. I'm hoping to add lots of little touches like this to create the sense of a real place. They're both perched on the spare pill-shaped bases I made specifically to hold these details. These are designed to fit almost anywhere on the board to provide cover away from the large main buildings. + 

+ The gutters here show the raised nature of the road itself. They are specifically just wide enough to hold the small scatter boards mentioned above. +

+ So, that's it for the moment. I need to add some buildings, and I'm hoping to get my first game in on the board around All Hallow's. +


Paul said...

Amazing stuff! You've really inspired me to have a crack at a forest based board! Do you intend to travel with the board or keep it in one place? Making mine I'd like to travel with it to a friends but don't know how to manage it without damaging the board, especially as I intend to use foam as the top layer...

Preacher by day said...

Wow! Superb. If you hadn't shown the finished shots at the start of the blog, I would have been very worried at the point you started dripping ink on the board. But boy, it all works a treat.

apologist said...

Thanks – and very glad to have got you excited about your own board. A jungle board is another one I've been musing about (for some far distant future).

I always try and make my stuff as sturdy as possible in case I want to transport it. Being based on the top of a desk, this is very heavy, very tough and very stable. Weight might seem a bad thing for transport, but it's much better to expend a bit of energy getting it somewhere than for it to arrive in pieces.

I'd recommend you try towelling over the top of your board if you're using foam. It's a cheap and versatile surface that helps mitigate bumps and knocks – the towel will hide minor damage if the foam is dented.

apologist said...

Cheers; it was very much an experiment! Mixing lots of colours is a nicer way to get darks than using black, I find. It's good to let things blend more naturally on the surface – and great fun to spatter everything everywhere!

Odie said...

The little touches of grass and leaves make this board. I'm also glad to see someone taking the time to paint cobbles in a varied color scheme rather than just stone gray. Nice work.

Paul said...

Cheers for the reply, is towelling just say a bath towel? Keen to give it a try!

Rory (Stepping Between Games) said...

Great stuff. It was great to see how it came together in the end.

I do want to eventually do a display area for my Thousand Sons. Keeping this on file for that time. Many thanks.

Lasgunpacker said...

Wow! Stupendous work. The ink looks scary when you are putting it on, but the look achieved is excellent.

Please do show us more of your "little bits" coming together, by which I mean all the little scenic elements that make a board feel more real than plonking down a few ruined-but-mysteriously-clean buildings.

apologist said...

Yeah, that's right. Any fabric will work, but towelling's got an interesting texture already, and soaks up paint and ink readily. It's also tough enough to resist knocks without tearing.

It can be a paint to fix to the board, so use high-quality foam and some heavy-duty staples in addition to a strong glue (like wood glue).

apologist said...

It certainly took a while! While they're not individually painted, I think the effect is pleasingly random-looking.

apologist said...

Hey, cool! Any ideas for the Thousand Sons display? Are they 40k-era (Planet of the Sorceror's terrain would be stunning)?

apologist said...

Thanks – and I'll endeavour to keep snapping away while I paint :)

Paint, Pencils & Plastics said...

Really fantastic work, Apologist. You're an inspiring hobbyist to say the least. I love how you've modelled the board in such a way that it will work with multiple systems whilst still remaining characterful.