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Display Boards

Hey Folks of the Mortal Realms. There's exciting news doing the rounds. CANCON IS BACK NEXT YEAR!!!!!!!!! Which means. Any goals of competitive gameplay is out the window and its time to grab the bucket list and start chasing my Hobby Goals.

Top of the list - Get on the Short list for Coolest army / Best painted and possibly bring home a hobby related prize at Cancon (or another 100+ player event with a name for having a high standard of hobby)

This is no easy Feat of course, many of Australia's best hobbyist's are usually in attendance, all with their own crazy ideas of taking home the prize. Over the next 6 months I'll be resurrecting my Slaanesh Army with some updates, along with building a brand new display board which will be our main topic of today.

Before we start looking at my early progress, Lets have a discussion about Display Boards and some of the things I've learnt over the journey. And provide a bit of a checklist to work through before you start your next project.

Why Do I want a Display Board?

A good question indeed, Why create more work then we need to when we already have an army to prepare? I can break this down into 2 Main reasons and 1 Auxiliary reason.

  1. You want to make your army stand out in the pack and provide some wow factor to the judges/other players

  2. Your Event pack forces some degree of scoring on you. Usually in the form of a minimum paint requirement with a display board providing a number of points to help reach a required total for full score.

  3. Bonus Reason. Its a handy tray for carting your army around between games and for holding your dead pile during the game

Ok. I want a Display Board, What now?

Display boards come in a lot of shapes and sizes, but if you were to pick a generic option your looking at a 2'x2' Square (approx 60cm x 60cm), your imagination and time is the only limit, although it wouldn't hurt to check with the event organiser before you get too carried away. (but yes, a floor to ceiling Pyrotechnics display with a Dragon flying through it would be AMAZING). In my opinion. I think we can break display boards down into 3 main Variants.

  1. "The Flat and Sandy" This is the most basic of Display Bases and also the most common. If your looking to tick the boxes for a minimum requirement or are looking for that handy carry option mentioned above. This is your go to option. Little more then a flat piece of MDF, a Maccas Tray or any other flat object you find. Add some PVA glue, some Sand, Paint it to match your armies bases and your done. If your feeling especially fruity you can add a grass Tuft or 2. Of course there's nothing stopping you from adding a terrain piece to add visual interest

Top Tip. Play with Textures to make it more interesting. Use a variety of different sized materials on the ground to help give it some life.

Credit: Joel Mcgrath for the Fyreslayers, and NC Dave for the Board under the Death army

  1. "The Foam Hills Special" So. your looking to go a bit spicier then a "Flat and Sandy", but you still don't have hundreds of hours to pour into going for a "Show Stopper". Enter... "The Foam Hills Special". Very similar in design to the above but we are pushing on the vertical axis to create additional visual interest for our viewers along with giving ourselves more space to get creative. Take our Flat board from earlier, cut out some Foam Board or any related product, Glue it to the Board to add some height. Then carve some interesting designs into the foam or add some random props then like our previous version, add your basing material and paint.

Top Tip. Make sure you add shape to your additional height layers. Not many mountains in this world are perfectly rectangular. Keep nature in mind and don't be afraid to get a little bit wild and non-symmetrical with your mountains.

Credit: Joel Graham for the Idoneth Board (@jc_graham)

  1. "The Show Stopper" Its time. Your full of confidence, you want to show off your skills, you want people talking about how much of a nutcase the creator of "That display over there" has to be. Sure. There's a bit of a grey area where the previous two stop being what they are and move into this category. If there's anything that locks you into this group, its the desire to demand attention. There's no typical design idea, other then the creator using every scrap of space to either tell a story or add additional detail. We've all seen those Display Boards, whether it has electronic lighting, is 4 foot tall, has a smoke machine, or simply has an astonishing level of detail, there's no hiding the fact that people will pay attention. Imagination and time are definitely the key considerations here.

Top Tips. Bigger isn't always better. The more you give yourself to work with, the more work you need to do to keep it interesting. A giant mountain painted in 2 colors with a wash and a drybrush is actually quite boring to look at. Part of chasing attention also means people will be looking for flaws (even if they don't mean to)

Credit: Found these ones online. Brilliant work. If you know their owner I'm more then happy to throw their name in here