Sunday, August 3, 2014

High Elf Display Board

I'm back from the dead with a post detailing how I went about building a High Elf Display Board for a friend.  This project had some interesting challenges as the High Elf Army was already painted (by someone else) which meant I had a color scheme to match (something that I'm horrible at).  Also the army was totally based so I attempted to make the board fit the style of the resin bases used in the army.  Finally, and most fun, was that there would be multiple Phoenix in the army which needed to flying above the board.  Here's how the army looked on the display board at Buckeye Battles this year. 


Well, enough typing let's get on with the show.

To get me going I poured over pictures of the army focusing especially on the resin bases. Here are some photos of the MircoArts Studio bases that the army was mounted on. 


 
After a few design sketches I decided on building a mountain fortress setup to harness the power of multiple way stones.  To begin I cut the base of EPS to size.  As always I prefer to use the pink foam from Home Depot.



Next I started to replicate the stone pattern from the bases to the foam.  Good thing I didn't know up front how long this would take as I probably wouldn't have done it!  I started with an compass to define the size of the pattern. 


I added more curved lines with a compass at different lengths from the center.



I then connected the curved lines with straight radiating from the center using a steel ruler. 



I repeated the process over and over again breaking the stones into smaller increments each time.



As a final step for the stone work I went over the pattern with a sharp pen to enhance the texture.


Here's a few more WIP pix of the stone work in the center of the board.



You may be looking at this and thinking that this took a really long time.  You would be right.


Next to really capture the spirit of the bases I connected the stone circles with stone paths capped by strips of styrene. 


I then created 8 pointed rings for the center of each stone circle.  I added rivets to the styrene strips to really tie the board to the resin bases. 



Next I start to frame out the mountain with a stack of 2" thick EPS.


I used spray foam to build up the mountain.  Inside the mountain I placed several drinking straws which are used to mount the flying stands for the Phoenix.  The mountain was built up with many, many layers.  After each layer I hacked the foam up with a hobby knife and sand paper. 

Next I added a door carved out of EPS.  The pattern was inspired by the Gale Force Nine Elven towers.  The door was secured in place with more foam. 




Next I glued the mountain to the base and added stairs carved out of EPS.  I used more spray foam to build up the connection point between the mountain and the board base.  I covered the entire mountain with several layers of sculptamuld. 





On the flat surfaces not detailed with stone work I added additional texture with various grades of sand and ballast.  I also created a few movable details, including 2 way stones, which can be arranged based on the army setup.



Time for paint.

 

The mounts for the flying Phoenix were made with steel rod capped by a small piece of wooden dowel.  A magnet glued onto the end of the wood cap connected to a magnet on the bottom of each Phoenix.








After painting was complete I added the final touches like flock, static grass, bushes and trees.  Here are a few photos of the finished display board.






 Finally, here is the finished board with the frame.


All told this took me about a month to complete and I'm really happy with how it turned out.
 Until next time Rob Out!

3 comments:

Herman van Kradenburg said...

Fantastic effort! Came out really well. Thankful I prefer the Druchii to HEs. Less fiddly (I think)
Great display board IMO.

Rogers said...

Great idea w/ the flying stands for the Phoenix! Might try out something similar myself...

Ryan said...

Nice work ROB! You've become something of a display board master. Now can you please build another one for me to use at ROCKWARS!? Haha

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