Tutorial: making movement trays

 
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The 8th edition of Warhammer rulebook has brought many vital changes to the game. One of those changes was that units are much bigger than ever before – now playable units has grown from 10-20 on foot models to 30-50 models and even more. Such numbers are impossible to play freely without accurate movement tray. Of course Games Workshop is supplying their own solution as a DIY movement trays, but they are lasting for about 2-3 trays, are very made from thick plastic which is cumbersome and in their construction they appear to have wrong… dimensions.
To cope with this problem I would like to show you my method of preparing trays. So, let`s start!

1. Tools & materials

Tools and materials for making movement trays

You need a:

  1. sharp segmented knife (just one as for cutting wallpapers)
  2. metal ruler
  3. cutting mat (especially handy)
  4. gelpen, marker or sth similar to draw points
  5. 3mm plasticard (PCV) - you can easily take some leftovers from advertising agency which makes ad boards
  6. metal rod with sharp end – can be handy to trace line in plasticard
  7. super glue & PVA glue
  8. sanding paper
  9. different kinds of gravel and static grass
  10. paints & brushes
2. Dimensions

 

Dimensions for trays

Before you start cutting plasticard you should put marks according to the tray capacity. For this example I`m preparing tray for 50 man-sized models divided in to 5 ranks per 10 model. As each base is 20x20mm square you easily sum up with the result: 200x100mm. But it`s good to make a bit of free space because most of models won`t fit exactly well within their base size – the extra large weapons, open arms, huge shields, etc. are taking some space. I found that giving an extra 2-3mm per each dimension is enough to make tray usable and not oversized.

3. Cutting plasticard

 

Cutting plasticard

After we put marker lines in right place I take a metal ruler and make an initial cut. This moment is very important - if ruler will slip off from the line than your knife will make a cut which is very problematic to correct. I suggest to make 3 initial cuts with very light pressure almost like drawing line with the knife. After that you should receive quite nice shallow line. Thanks to that you can easily put a ruler aside and following the line make a stronger cut to split plasticard into desired pieces.

4. Borders

 

Borders

For the tray we need two pairs of strips for borders. Because we used plasticard of 3mm and the average GW base has 3mm height than our border will be 6mm up. But of course you can alter this dimension exactly to your needs. For glueing plasticard I use an ordinary superglue.

5. Glueing tray

 

Glueing tray

To help myself during the glueing I use ruler to push the elements together. As you see above I`m cutting strips a bit longer than the dimensions of the base. Thats because you have to be aware that a minor imperfections and slips are possible. If you take this into account than you can freely cut of all the excess material and have a nice border.

6. Sanding and PVA

Sanding and PVA

Before you apply a PVA to the plasticard is good to take a rough sandpaper and scratch all the edges. That make a glue stronger and easier to apply – water based PVA is very hard to put evenly on a slick surface as its tender to go backwards into a bigger points.

7. Basing

 

Basing

On wet PVA we add different kinds of gravel and sand, starting from the bigger gramature and following the smaller. For purpouses of this tray I used 2 kinds of gravel and a very fine sand. It`s essential to leave glue to dry for at leats few hours. At the end I take a huge brush and swipe the excess sand that hasn`t glued into place. I suggest not to make if too hard as we can swipe much to much!

8. Painting

 

Painting

The quickest way to undercoat trays is a paint in spray can – for this example I used a GW Chaos Black in a can but almost each one acrylic paint will be fine. when the trays are sufficiently black I start to apply layers with drybrush technique. In this case they are following ones (GW paints):

  1. Scorched Brown
  2. Snakebite Leather
  3. Bubonic Brown
  4. Bleached Bone

The bigger rocks I paint separately with Adeptus Battlegrey and then following with Codex Grey and Skull White at the very end.

9. Flocking

 

Flocking

Going to the end we once again take PVA glue but this time much more diluted with water. A more diluted glue is less possible to leave a white stains when dries. When we apply all the white pools all around the edges than we have to flock the tray heavily with the static grass. I recommend to leave it for a few hours once again as at this stage nothing would accelarete the process. After the glue dries we take a big soft brush and swipe of the flock that has been left. I strongly suggest to make the whole process on a big sheet of paper as we can collect and re-use the left static grass.

Finished tray!

 

Finished tray

The finished movement trays looks like that. Naturally you can add much more bits to them but be careful with that as movement tray is supposed to be functional.

I hope this tutorial will help  fellow Warhammer gamers and make some armies more neatly organized;)  C&C are warmly welcome as always! Don`t hesitate to ask in comment if you have any questions.

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Date: April 25th, 2011
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