Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Frostgrave Table for Cold Wars.

This is not a normal "building battlefield X" post. I am building a Frostgrave table for Cold Wars. If you are a regular reader, you might have noticed my friends and I are also building a battlefield for Eylau.

Where this is different is I am using about 60-70% of the stuff I've already made from my other Frostgrave convention tables. And I am also tweaking the layout, and adding a new board section, the harbor.

I am starting off with the Harbor Section.

 Lowes had 1/2 green insulation 4x8 sheets!!! Yes Please.

 See the big busted board? Turns out, 1/2 inch is not that thick, and a 4x8 sheet is like a big sail in a windy parking lot. I even let one hand go, so the sheet would blow with the wind, still snapped.

 Since my Harbor board will the the lowest board, I need to raise my other boards.

I cut a piece of pink board and score it to make the harbor section join the rest of the boards. This is also the stone quay. Used an X-Acto knife and ball point pen to score the stone blocks.

Since this piece is the board joint to my other boards. I left some area un-scored as if snow covered and will paint it to match the rest.

Here we are playing with foam core cut up into ice chunks. The harbor will be 90-95% iced over.

 Just placing a ship in the harbor to get a feel for size. The harbor board section will feature ship(s) iced in.  This one is too big for what I have in mind. I am working on getting other ships, or will build some out of foamcore.

 Home Depot supplied me with a lovely dark blueish-green color for my harbor. You will not see much water, but some will show through the ice.

 On the right side of the harbor, will be a stone jetty or maybe fortified wall, extending out to a lighthouse. Here I am experimenting with different arrangements. Again, a lot of playing around to see what works, what looks good, what can I actually build, etc...

I got the stone drybrushed and glued down to the Harbor base. 

That's it for now, stay tuned for more updates on Frostgrave and Eylau.


Thursday, February 23, 2017

Building Eylau Battlefield Part 2

     We got more work done on table the last few days. It still feels like we are struggling up hill. Once we get some paint on it I'll feel better. Of course it doesn't help that I'm building 2 tables for Cold Wars, Eylau and Frostgrave. I will start a blog on Frostgrave soon. Eylau is a much bigger project so it is consuming more of my time. 

Ok on to the pics

With the hills cut to shape we now sand them smooth. I'm using a Dewalt Random Orbital Sander, with dust bag. Now this generates a lot of dust, that is not healthy to breathe. We take steps to mitigate this dust. Dust collection, Dust Masks, Air Ventilation. 

 Instead of using the dust bag. We attach a ShopVac hose directly to the sander. The ShopVac also has a cyclonic dust separator to spin at the big particles out of the airstream into a secondary bucket. This prevents the ShopVac dust filter from clogging up.

 Using the sander, it allow us to shape the hills as needed. This helps us make the hills more smooth for game play and more realistic.

The hills are then hot glued to the table.

 The glue sets fast, but we add a little weight for about 5 minutes to get a good bond.

 Once the hills are in place we use light weight spackle to smooth out the gaps where the hill meets the table. This takes about a day to dry.

 All the spackling done.

 We are trying a new method for roads. This tool I made will "carve" or indent the outline of the road into the foam.

 After we have the road network down, we then carve/indent ruts into the roads. I didn't get a close up of that, but we are happy with the results. We felt this gives us a more realistic road than our previous methods.

Now paint is applied to the roads to get it into all the ruts. 

It's starting to look like a battlefield. Next up we have to sand and shape the hills now that they are on the table. Fix the river banks and we can start the main painting effort. 

Stay tuned, Xin/Jeff

Sunday, February 19, 2017

More Treasure Tokens for Frostgrave

I got around to painting up the Treasure tokens from the Barbarian set. I also painted up some other pieces I had laying around, Reaper and D&D Plastics. I really just avoiding making the hard work on Eylau and my Frostgrave board, both of which need to be completed in under a month.

Anyway I love painting up these little pieces. Very quick to do without a lot of thought.

Frostgrave Barbarian Nickstarter Treasure Marker.

Frostgrave Barbarian Nickstarter Treasure Marker.

Frostgrave Barbarian Nickstarter Treasure Marker.

 Reaper Bones Chest and coins. I added gem stones from Bad Squiddo Games

Reaper Miniatures, Adventuring Accessories: Magic Items. It's hard to see in the photo, but I was going for a skin tone, like the Necronomicon.

Dungeons and Dragons prepaintd plastics, Crystal Ball.

 Dungeons and Dragons prepaintd plastics. Brain in a Jar.

 Dungeons and Dragons prepaintd plastics. Brain in a Jar.

Group photo, everyone saw cheese!

Ok I really need to get back to Eylau and Frostgrave.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Building Eylau Battlefield Part 1

Putting the Cold back in Cold Wars, Eylau, a battle during a snow storm. 

We have started construction on our table for our convention game at Cold Wars. This time we are doing the Battle of Eylau. On February 7th and 8th 1807, Napoleon's Grande Armee and the Russian Imperial Army meet in battle at Eylau in East Prussia.

This is my first post, but we started building back in the middle of January. As always we start this process with a trip to Home Depot to get the insulation boards we need. This time Home Depot let us down. They did not have the pink boards we normally get. The did have pink boards, 4x8 but they were scored about halfway through so they could be broken easily. We didn't want that. We wanted the full 4x8 boards. So this time Lowe Home Improvement came to the rescue.

 Here are 3 insulation boards, 4x8, 2 inches thick. We are pretty sure we will be able to get them out of my basement one we add hills, trees and buildings....about 95% sure.

We will cut 2 feet of each board to give us 3 boards of 4x6 for a table size of 6x12

 Normally I just have 5x8 table set up in the basement for playing. But since we are in build mode, I bring out the extra section, for the extra 4 feet in length. The table hangs off a foot on the sides during the build. I don't have room for a 6 foot wide table.

This book is awesome. It's just maps of Napoleon's campaigns and battles.

It has campaign maps in the lead up to the battle and detailed maps of each of the battles. This is our go to map for the battle.

The boards are cut and we are ready to roll

As in past builds we use colored glass beads to lay out terrain features we want to represent on the table. Rivers, roads, towns, forests, hills etc. Using the beads allows us to shift the placement of terrain till we feel we have a fairly accurate representation of the battle.

 Once we have the placement down, we will outline terrain features in sharpie onto the foam boards.

This pic is a little blurry but you can see the lines drawn.

 We have started carving in the rivers and lakes using a Dremel tool with a router attachment. The router allows us to control the depth of the carve and good hand control for following the rivers.

We still havn't found a dremel bit we like for this. The one we used this time, melted one edge of the rivers. Later when we need to sand a bank into the rivers this is a pain in the ass. The melted foam is hard as a rock.

 We made a big improvement on carving the hills on this build. My wife brought home lots of office stuff her company was throwning out. I got 4 boxes of overhead projector clear sheets. So we lay down the sheets, trace the hill outline on the sheet. Then placing the sheet on a piece of foam, we use a needle to punch thru an outline onto the foam that will be cut. Using a scroll saw, we cut out the hills very quickly.

 Hills getting cut and laid out.

Scroll saw on the right. For a rough cut it's a lot quicker than the Proxxon Foam cutter on the left.

Once the hills are cut to shape, they need to be beveled. We use a Stanley Snap Off Knife. The long blade allows big beveled cuts on the foam. We want to cut as much away as we can, so we have less to sand down with the power sander.

Here we are, ready for sanding. 

That's all for now, more to come...

Monday, February 6, 2017

Something stirs in Frostgrave...

Here is a Pathfinder Battles figure I picked up on ebay. It's an Owlbear from the Rusty Dragon Inn set of pre painted plastic figures. Named Beaky. The Owlbear is a classic D&D monster. Great for terrifying lower level parties. 

I loved the model when I first saw it, as I wanted to add it to Frostgrave. I decided to come up with an arctic paint job to make it fit Frostgrave.

As you can see from the picture, he's a big fellow. I think I will add him to the Cold Wars game in March.