Wednesday, 24 October 2012

DIY scratchbuilt zone mortalis tiles - quick, cheap and easy

Disclaimer: if you decide to build one of these yourself it will look nowhere near as amazing as the zone mortalis sets offered by forgeworld. It will however take less time to build/paint and cost about 10% of the price!

So this is one of my less planned projects and has in fact only been on the cards for the past week. My good friend ‘old two eyes’ is currently building a themed board for game 3 of our 6-part campaign (part 2 being fought tomorrow so batrep up next week). This is a starcraft inspired 3x3 board representing a facility and is built from foamboard and bits. While I know his skills to be vastly superior to mine in the terrain department, I was inspired by the idea of building a cheap zone mortalis to add variety into games of 40k.

My approach was very simple – I bought 5 sheets of 5mm thick A3 black foamboard. Black because it would then not have to be painted. This cost me £10 with free shipping off ebay but I have since found it cheaper elsewhere. I grabbed myself a new 40p hobby knife from a discount store, ruler, chopping board and pen and got started. It took next to no time to cut the 5 sheets of foamboard as follows:

4 x square 297x297mm boards (the tiles)

15 x 297x60mm (approx) lengths  (the walls)

I was then stuck as to how I could make the tiles interchangeable for different scenarios etc. My eureka moment came when I looked at forgeworlds website and found they had 4 different tiles to choose from – I simply decided to copy these. It was easy enough to do – I simply divided the tiles up into a 6x6 grid (50mm per section) in my mind and made sure I put the walls bang in the middle of the second square in on the grid – exactly the same as the zone mortalis just with thinner walls. I then glued them in place with PVA glue, cutting the joins 45 degrees to line up nicely. I checked the tiles lined up against each other as I went just to be safe

So there we have it. This cost me £10 and took just under two hours to do. I have ordered 15 more sheets of foamboard and so in the near future should have a 4x4 zone mortalis board to play on. Not bad for a days worth of time (and lets face it, it would take longer than that to assemble and paint a FW one) and £40. If anyone needs any advice on how to build one please get in touch. Cheers.

1 comment:

  1. Found you via B&C and I've got to say, this is great. Obviously if you want to you can go nuts by chopping up some of the Imperial Sector parts and gluing them to the walls, or if you want to keep it cheap make lots of panels and trim out of plasticard, adding a few monitors and terminals along the walls.