August 30, 2015

In a spur of a moment, or DIY dice trays

So… yesterday I had to make a trip to Systrerne Grene, this peculiar shop with all sorts of cute paper bags, boxes, ‘nice smells’ products, frames, decoupage stuff and dozens, if not hundreds of products that women seem to love to use for that ‘personal touch’. It’s the same place where I found those beautiful transparent plexiglas boxes perfect for my 6mm figures (which by the way have since been withdrawn from their product range Ledsen).

Anyway… as I walked through the shop, this item caught my eye.


The thing is made out of cheap, lightweight wood and plywood and costs 40SEK, which if I am to be perfectly honest, is a bit steep! I have no idea what the original idea for this thing really is, probably some sort of display box.  But I am pretty sure that any wargamer worth his name will immediately have two words popping up in his head when he sees something like this – dice tray! Needless to say, two of these thingies immediately found themselves in my shopping cart.

Today, I gave the ‘trays’ a closer look and came to the conclusion that I wasn’t entirely happy with them. They’re quite shoddy, with very thin bottom and these stripes look a little bit weird. There was definitely room for improvement and luckily I had all I needed at home.


First, I grabbed some wood stainer left over from another project and darkened the frame. I then left the trays outside (stainer smell is just plain awful!) to dry for several hours.

Next, it was time to do something about that ‘striped’ bottom. Lining of some sort was the apparent solution here and what do you know, I happened to have some leftover dark-green felt that fit the job! As for how to fix it into place, the choice was between white glue and spray glue. I decided to give the second option a try.


Cutting the felt to size was the biggest challenge in this little project. I tried to measure and cut the felt to size, in two attempts the hexagonal shape turned out to be both irregular and too small. I then changed my approach and cut out an oversized piece of cloth. Next I sprayed the glue on it and pressed it into place. I paid extra attention to the edges, pressing the cloth into the ‘angle’ with the backside of hobby knife.


Once the felt fit snuggly in place, I started cutting off the ‘surplus’, one hexagon side at a time. I tried to follow the ‘angle’ of the tray as closely as possible, but the end result wasn’t 100 per cent perfect. With practice I am sure that I would achieve the ‘professional’ look, but life’s too short for perfection.


And so, here they are – two large hexagonal dice trays. Total price, a bit over 80 SEK, time expenditure – maybe an hour. What’s not to like! Ler

August 25, 2015

Silicone roads from Total Battle Miniatures

Well, it seems that two things have came here to stay – a complete dry spell when it comes to games and me being stuck with one terrain-related project after another.

Luckily, in this case, it was ‘quick and painless’. As I’ve mentioned on a couple of earlier occasions, one of the things I find really tiresome with those hex tiles from GHQ is the fact that as soon as you make some type of terrain, you need to make a bunch of extra road tiles.

The solution? Why, flexible roads of some sort, of course. Several companies offer this product these days, but since I like the stuff that guys at Total Battle Miniatures, I decided to go with their variant.

The initial batch I’ve ordered is perfect for 6mm – they’re two centimetre wide, long straight bits are thirty centimetre long and there is an assortment of curves, crossroads and T-sections which allow you to quickly set up whatever road system you require. Preparation is dead simple – wash the strips in soapy lukewarm water, leave to dry and drybrush with acrylic paint. I used three shades of wall paint – dark brown mid-brown and cream for highlights. The paint doesn’t really ‘stick’ to the silicone and can be peeled off quite easily, but with an occasional touch-up I should be just fine.