Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Building a (Tiny) Mordheim Board

Right, then.  We need someplace to put on a Puppet Show.
Seeing as I don't have enough projects to keep me busy, I (and my untreated ADHD) decided to start a small, 24"x24" Mordheim board this summer evening.  

Mordheim intrigues me, as it allows for small sets of minis to spar over a smaller board.  Fewer minis, smaller board, sounds like more gaming to be had!  As if I have time for that . . .

Mini-wise, I have acquired a small selection of Witch Hunters (half painted) and an unopened box set of the Possessed warband: 
And I've got a few Skaven and Sisters of Sigmar to start some additional small warbands.  Plus, I'm working on a Chaos Warband for WHFB3rd that can join in the fun.  These hardworking guys deserve some sweet terrain to fight over.  Nice terrain will inspire me to paint my minis, which will inspire me to buy more minis, and then build more terrain.

Since I am already filling up my Tiny Basementtm with all sorts of geek related stuff, I'd like to keep the board very small.  Most boards are 48" square, but I'm aiming for half that size.  Due to such a small size, I need to make sure there are lots of layers and walls and stuff to keep the action all multi-level and close-quarters-like. 

Here we go:

I decided on three sections with canals (or perhaps sewers) separating them.  But, this seemed a bit lame.  Too many right angles.
However, rotate 45 degrees and - Less Lame!
The original sketch which lead to the 45 degree turn.
My plans evolved to include a stone bridge (lower right) and two wooden trellises across the canals.   
I then added in stairs down to the canals, walls for buildings/ruins (to be half-timber, natch) and doorways.  Very quickly, a simple design took on enough complexity to keep some 28mm tall guys busy for a while. 
Done with the planning, I started out with a 48" x 24" base piece of MDF (about $7 at Home Depot) which was cut (nearly) in half for free by a fine gent dressed in an orange apron.  One side is about half an inch too long, but once the canals are carved out in foam and moved around, it should be unnoticeable.  
On top will be some pink insulation foam, which is now sold at Home Depot in 24" pre-cut squares for about $5.  One can buy much larger sheets at a much better rate, but to take advantage of such economies of scale, I need to figure out how to transport the stuff in 8'x4' sheets.  
I then laid out three T-Squares in roughly the same angles as I had planed for the canals, and played around until the dimensions felt right (aiming for the three sections feeling close to equal in size).
I then marked out center lines for the canals/sewers - dividing the terrain into three sections.  
My mother-in-law bought this amazing see-through ruler, marked in one inch intervals, for quilt-making, and left it at my house for when she visits.  Since she only visits a few times a year, whilst she's away I keep it busy with my wee-little projects.  Luckily, she doesn't read Oldhammer blogs. 
I marked off two inches around the center lines for the canals.  That will give me the ability to have one-inch walkways alongside the canals, while leaving two inches for the waterway. 
Marking off space for the walkways, and stairs downward.  Also, blocking out the bridge on the right hand side. 
To cut the foam, I recommend  using a metal straight-edge (to get a nice straight cut) as well as a long bladed, retractable knife.  
The blade will need to extend through the foam.  I find cutting the foam at at as small an angle as possible leaves a cleaner cut.   
The first cut is the cruelest.  
Starting to look like . . . something.  The stairs are marked out for further cutting.  I will need to glue down the foam pieces, once everything is fully cut.  The foam is a bit curved, and so Liquid Nails and some heavy books would work well - but I'm too ADHD to wait for that - I may try a glue gun.
This post has been brought to you by the letter . . . whatever letter this is.  Perhaps "The Artist Formerly Known as Prince?"
Off it goes into the foam pile (under a table) for later use.
Battle of Three Armies.  Unfortunately, one of the armies can't fight its way out of a cardboard box.  Another is busy watching a puppet show.  
 That's it for this evening.  Next up, more cutting, then some gluing, then some tile work.