I had a couple requests from people to show how I turned a soccer ball into a planet for the 40k Narrative tournament I ran at Waaaghpaca. Well, despite what people thought - it wasn't a soccer ball...
The planet was actually a half sphere from Hobby Lobby made of a hard Styrofoam. As you can see in the picture below I also bought a full sphere which would be acting as the moon of Dacronoe. This was the beginning of what would later become the planet.
The first step was to outline what I wanted the map to look like for the tournament. I ended up deciding on 24 tiles as I was planning for a max of 24 players to the tournament. This meant 23 on the actual planet and left 1 for the moon. I set up the original design on a scratch piece of paper and then measured the circumference of the globe to determine how big each of the hexagons could be and still fit on the planet.
Once I had determined the size of the hexagons I created a hexagon out of cardboard. Now my first tip would be to make sure your hexagon you're using to outline all of the hexes was square. Mine had a few irregularities and as I progressed towards the outer areas the small misses were exacerbated and left me with some pretty odd looking hexagons. The end result doesn't matter for the purpose of outlining the different tiles, but it would look better. (Afterwards I thought maybe using a settlers tile would have been a good choice).
Here you can see the hexes mapped out on the globe. Due to the nature of how I planned this out I had some open spots on the four corners.
With the tiles mapped out and the planet done I went over it with some textured paint in several places. This included along the edges of the mountains and some of the plains areas, thinking these would be like foothills. I also used it along the ravine to cover up some of the uglier cut outs of the styrofoam which doesn't cut out cleanly.
After that I bought sytrofoam cover material from Hobby Lobby to protect the styrofoam for when I painted it. Once this was done I used the same green stuff tool to gouge the lines of the hexagons back in. At this point it was important to make sure your lines are very dark or that they are already grooved fairly deep to make sure you can see them after. The other alternative would have been to put the cover material on first then design the hexes.
This is a picture of my Map design outlining special locations and then for the tournament outlining which locations mapped to which table so I could have special terrain for each of the special locations. It also directly matches the layout I used on the planet.
Special locations - I don't have any close ups of these, but for the most part they were made with bits and pieces I had lying around. The command station was made with a wood dowel and a wood half circle piece on top, the populous cities were just a bunch of sprue cut to form buildings, the armorium was a breastplate and helmet of a space marine and the manufactorum was a bolter and meltabomb.
Thanks to all those who made the tournament a success. I am working on getting a campaign using this map going in my local area at the moment so I can use it again!