Friday, November 21, 2014

The Road To Adepticon Is Paved With Space Tables

SeerK here.  With UCON done our next big event is going down in March at Adepticon.  Overall our event at UCON went well and the missions were well received by the players.  There are some slight tweaks that need to be done, but nothing drastic.  Registration for Adepticon starts at 8 P.M. Central time this coming Monday the 24th.  The Schaumburg Prime Offensive is on Saturday the 21st of March.  We are limited to 20 slots so register early to reserve your spot.

To prepare for Adepticon, UCON as well, we had to get playing surfaces made to play on.  We could have just used cloth and done something simple.  Spellduckwrong, Dreadbeard and I really wanted an eye catching and robust playing surface for you, the players, to play on though.  I know I am never happy with how my dice rebound on cloth surfaces and I am not totally sold on Fatmats yet due to the cost involved.  So we made up space boards like the ones we play on at our FLGS, Evolution Games.

I like playing on hard boards.  You don't usually find hard board playing surfaces at tournaments.  We want nothing but the best for our players though.  If you played at the UCON tournament or have been to Evolution games you have seen the great looking space boards our group plays on.  These same boards are what we are using at the Schaumburg Prime Offensive.  I thought I would give you a peek at the boards and the process we used in making them.

We use MDF board for our boards.  Its about a Quarter inch thick and is a six foot by four foot board.  So standard war game table size.  We like to do these outside and were lucky enough for the weather to be good when we did the final 4 boards.  You need a pretty decent amount of space to paint these.  If you are doing them indoors I really recommend putting down some drop cloths  as the paint will get on the floor.  We had to prop the boards up with chairs as we had no saw horses to use.

It is important to note that these particular boards have a smooth side and a rough side.  We paint on the smooth side.  This gives a more even surface.  Painting the other side seemed to require more coats and had a texture to it we did not like.

We are using a flat black house paint for the base coat.  This is durable and is a great base for a space board.  I would not buy more than a gallon of paint, as ten boards did not even require the full gallon.  We used rollers to apply two coats of paint to the boards.  The dry time on this particular kind of paint is pretty quick.  We were able to paint the base coat on the four tables we were working on in about an hour and a half.

You want to make sure the paint fairly dry before moving on to the next step.  We generally wait until the paint is not tacky.  You don't want to leave finger prints or smear the paint.

The next step is to get a good star field applied to the table.  We use a good stiff bristle tooth brush.  The application method we have found that works best is to hold the brush as shown and run your finger length wise down the brush.  this flicks the paint in small droplets onto the board.  The application goes a lot more quickly if you have two people doing it.

The real trick to this is to no glob the paint onto the board.  You do not want to put a lot of paint on the brush.  The kind of paint you use makes a big difference too.  On these four boards we used a craft paint that did not work so well.  We had to re apply the star fields on two of the boards because the paint seemed to be to thin and the stars were to small.

Our next step once the stars were dry was to add the nebula's and gas clouds.  These are just for looks and do not affect game play as we have dedicated terrain pieces for gas clouds and other in game terrain features.  We have several different colors of Krylon Fusion spray paints.  These are what we use to paint the nebula's.  It requires a light touch and Spellduckwrong holds the can about a foot and a half above the board and moves it in single passes over the board so the paint is very light and wispy looking on the board.  Multiple passes darkens the colors.  We usually use two colors that are complementary to add some depth to the clouds appearance.

This is basically done to taste.  Spellduckwrong is our Nebula master as he has the technique down for making these look really nice.

This is our finished product.  The board in the foreground was a mix of pastel green and a baby blue.  The table in the background was a mix of three colors red, yellow and orange.  We painted it a little heavier than we normally do.

So we have ten of these boards ready to roll for Adepticon in March.  We will be touching them up and working on some terrain between now and then.  We look forward to seeing you guys at Adepticon.  I am going to be in the Chicago area next week for Thanksgiving so I was thinking about scouting out the new location.  I will snap some pictures and post them next weekend for your viewing pleasure.

Stay tuned for more posts about Adepticon.  We are set on the path and are really looking forward to the destination.

Until next time crush the Alliance and as always.......



  1. Wicked awesome table! Would work for X-wing as well :)

  2. Well they would work well for any spaceship game really. I think they are a bit big for x wing. I have never played it, but I noticed its on smaller tables traditionally.

    Our store only really does Firestorm Armada for Spaceship games.