Friday, June 10, 2016

Making a Zone Mortalis board cheaply

Tim from the Eye of Horus podcast threw out a challenge a few months ago about creating a Zone Mortalis table cheaply. Ok challenge was quickly accepted and I went about planning how to create a workable table and how much I wanted to spend. Budget I decided would be $200 which included materials, paint and a 6x4 Ship Interior FatMat from Frontline Gaming. I picked up my FatMat from Issac Baxter from the Warrior Lodge gaming group in North Brisbane for $100. 


I discussed my philosophy about designing a table on episode 62 of the EOH podcast especially emphasising how you will design your terrain to fit the look and outline of your Gaming mat. The FatMat has a large number of clearly defined rooms, corridors and a large open area that could be a landing bay or ship bridge. Now onto the materials used to create the walls and the doors.

Materials (essential)
2 x A1 sheets of 10mm thick foamcard (800mm x 600mm) $10-$15 a sheet
1 x A1 sheet of 5mm thick foamcard (800mm x 600mm) $8-12 a sheet
1 x sheet of 3mm MDF (600mm x 600mm) $8-$10 a sheet
1 x sheet of mounting board (thin cardboard for edges and detailing) $4-$6 a sheet
White glue used for woodworking $8-$10 a large bottle 
Tamiya Modelling tape (used to keep pieces in place whilst the glue sets) $8 a roll
Cheap Spray paint to basecoat walls (I use cans from Supa Cheap Auto) $3 

Materials (optional)
Airbrush to paint walls and add markings
CNC widgets to add details to walls and doors (pictured below) $16 for 39 pieces

Starting your build:

1. Decide how high you want your walls to be. I went with 8cm to match some MDF walls that I had bought from Battlefield Accessories.
2. Plan your room sizes using the Mat to guide you but ensure you identify where your doors will go. 
3. Remember when planning your rooms that you need to store and move these sections (I use under the bed plastic boxes). The larger rooms are made in several sections that use MDF pieces to connect the walls.

Test room build: 

Below you can see a small room section of our FatMat measured and cut from Foamcard. The MDF sections are doors which will be discussed later on.


Larger room marked out, cut and placed out ready for construction. Notice that the door frame is two pieces of MDF which has yet to be cut to allow the insertion of the door (thinner foamcard or MDF).

Larger room below which will be made in two pieces to allow storage. The MDF door frames will allow the walls to join together.

Board under construction and nearly there.

Another board in progress shot

Notice how all the walls and doors mirror the design of the Mat. Removable walls in the larger room breaks up the open areas and provides lots of cover.

Notice the door frames have been cut and await doors which are simply slotted in when gaming.

Planning out how to break up the open areas in some of the rooms.

MDF pieces (30mm wide) are added to provide strength, weight, shape and walls joints are added to the Foamcard walls.

Foamcard walls nearly done however these still lack the very important thin cardboard strips along the exposed foam edges. The foamcard needs to be covered otherwise the spray paint will melt it and plus it looks much better. 

One of the many separate door frames to slow down and provide cover for our combatants.

First outing of the basic table after adding some yellow markings to the walls. More work on weathering and the adding of MDF CNC widgets needs to be done however.