Monday, 3 June 2013

The 8th Sea...

Dystopian Wars, for those who have been following my blog, is a miniatures table top wargame by Spartan Games that manages to neatly and succinctly cover three theaters of war in the one game - land, sea and air.

I am predominantly interested in the sea and air parts of the game.  For a while I was content with an old blue sheet thrown across the table top - this was enough!  And then, as so often happens, one stumbles across something someone clever has done on the internet.  In my case it was the following YouTube video:

Thoroughly inspiring stuff for an intrepid explorer feeling his way back into the miniatures game hobby.

So with little forethought and a similar level of planning I decided to try and do the same myself.

Firstly I was in need of the actual board - no sooner had this realisation popped into my head than I was  at the local Bunnings (hardware) store looking for required materials.  I bought two 2x4ft pieces of particle board, as well as the other sundry items featured in the excellent video above.

I undercoated these with some help...

Work minion! Ahh, this is what having children is all about!

A week later, when the weather seemed more appropriate to the drying requirements of paint (tricksy stuff), I base coated the boards with an acrylic blue, then using a torn sponge the lad and I added some turquoise, then a smattering of light blue, and finally a very small amount of white - we were trying for a stippled effect - at least I was.  The minion was simply belting it on.

Base coat...

The turquoise...

...and light blue...

...and the painting element is done.
With the painting done it was time to admire the achievements of the day thus far.  That done, I progressed to the next stage, the use of glass coat.  Glass coat is something I had never heard of until I watched the video above and tried to use it myself.  All I can say is that it is extremely thick and tacky as it goes on, really needs a nice warm environment to dry in, but adds a fantastic effect to the board.

Once the glass coat had been painted on with a brush I dabbed it with a dry sponge to add a stippling effect and to make sure it didn't simply dry ultra smooth like it's meant to.

Overall I'm very happy with the result.  If I had my time again I think I would use a thicker paint for the base, and perhaps roll it on.  I'd choose a slightly lighter mid-tone (rather than turquoise) and be more sparing with the lightest (white).  All that said, I won't be rushing out and making another table tomorrow, I'm very happy with how it's all come together.  Hopefully I'll get a game in very soon, and have a chance to see what it looks like with islands, ships and flying... things... all over it.

Thanks Viv for the inspirational YouTube vid.  Mine isn't a patch on your tables, but is miles better than the old blue sheet!



  1. I've been following your Dystopian wars project and you've made a fabulous job of both the ship and these boards. I've been trying to steer clear of it as I need another project like I need another hole in the head but you're not making it easy! Well done and thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks Al! The ships are very nicely detailed and come up well - I've been very happy with them. Now I have far too many on my want list - really what I should be wanting is somewhere to store everything!