Friday, October 3, 2014

IKEAhammer (tm)

You may not be aware, but the world's largest Scandinavian purveyor of put-it-together-yourself-furniture is also one of the world's largest miniature wargaming supply stores.  And the best part is, you don't have to sneak away from the spouse to get to the FLGS, you can wrap your "personal" shopping between a stop at Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond ("Don't know if we'll have time.")!

Here's a quick rundown of my favorite IKEAhammer(tm) items. As an added bonus, I've included, at no additional cost to you, an excuse to use while throwing it into your cart, so your better-half doesn't suspect the real reason you're buying it.

This $3.50 set of cork placemats is supposed to be for your dinner table. Tell your spouse you want to make sure the next time the guys (or gals) come over, they don't spill their pizza, dip and beer all over the table and make a mess. And play up the "sustainable resource" angle. You'll sound considerate, but the real reason to buy them is that you can tear them up and build mounds of slate for your terrain and mini bases. Just paint black and drybrush grey. I bought two packs of these, and once the kids ripped a mat, I jumped for joy and rushed it to my terrain stash.

Same as above, but these are coasters. Tell your spouse you're worried about leaving water rings on her grandmother's antique side table. But the real reason to get this is to make larger rocks for terrain and bases. They cost a buck. For all four. Some mini companies would charge you a lot more for junk like this.

Speaking of bases, Ikea offers tubes of sand and small stones in varying grit. Tell your spouse you want to express your artistic side by creating a bowel filled with artsy sand.  She'll think you're in touch with your sensitive side. Then, take 'em down to your basement, paint your mini bases with wood glue, and then liberally sprinkle this stuff on, to taste.  Best part, it's already grey and black, perfect for urban battlefields of the 41st millennium. Also comes in colors, I suppose for your Eldar bases or whatnot.  Way cheaper than what you'd pay for sand from a "real" gaming company.  Though, I still just use sand and rocks from the yard.  Whatevs.


Tell your spouse you want to help organize the christmas ornaments, or protect those clay projects the kids brought home from summer camp. Then, use this $3.50 box to store your minis and gaming stuff. Also makes a great dice box for rolling them bones.

This chopping board costs a buck and a half. Tell your spouse that since you started watching Top Chef with her (or him), you want to practice your knife skills. Then use this to cut Orks and Space Marines off their sprues without gouging up your workspace.  

Tell your spouse you need a backup tape measure for the next big home project. Then use it to find out if those pesky nurglings are within shooting distance of a missile launcher.  For $1.29, you can't go wrong.

Tell your wife you want a doormat for the back door. Then cut chunks off it to make wheat fields for your table top games. I think it works better at smaller scales (e.g. FOW at 15mm), but for $10 you can make it work for Ork's Drift too. Just say its Dwarf Wheat (which is actually, like, a thing).
O.k., so, I don't actually have these, as at $35 a pop, they're steep for my tastes. That said, I was eyeing them covetingly, as they look perfect for propping up a gaming table to a decent height. Tell your wife you need a drafting table for designing a new deck or something. Then bolt down a 6'x4' table top and party on!

Alright, here's the finale!  If you're not familiar with the wonder that is the Detolf, you're not paying attention. Ringing in at $65 and requiring some two-person lifting, it's an investment that will require some spousal convincing. Tell her you want to show off her Lladro collection . . . but you're going to fill it with space marines. There are a lot of "modding" examples out there, but this thing works great right out of the box. Well, after you put it together anyway. You need one. I have one. Now, I need two.


Once you have a display case, you'll need lighting. I have one set of each of the above. I used the round ones in my Detolf. I used the strip ones to convert my beloved Aunt Mary's china cabinet into "Nerdvana." I will show both examples in an upcoming post, but trust me when I say a $20 lighting purchase can really make a difference in dramatically lighting up your minis. Meanwhile, tell your old lady you're going to put in new under-cabinet lighting for the kitchen countertops . . . next weekend.

Good luck and let me know if you find any other good buys from Ikea and I'll amend the list!