Monday, 3 August 2015

Arena Floor

Hex sheet cut to the size of the arena
My arena floor (the paying area ) was going to be hex based, so the first step to making this was considering the various ways that this could be achieved. Rather than cut-out hexes and glue them in place or buy commercially available ones I opted to carve my own into the foamboard that the arena would be sitting on. The hex size  I opted for has a 30mm side (my figures sit on 30mm x 40mm bases and fit in comfortably).
I also had to considered the orientation of the hexes .
I used eight sheets of pre-printed A3 hex sheets (gleaned from BoardGame Geek an re-sized) and glued them together into a large sheet.
The arena was then centred on the combined hex-sheets and a rough outline was then made of it so I could trim all the excess hexes from it. I didn't want to cut out more hexes than I really needed for the combats and so the area that would be outside the arena wouldn't have hexes.
The hex paper was roughly 'tacked' to the foamboard base (one and a half sheets of A1) using some pva and the real work began.
Starting in the centre hex I worked my way to the outside of the floor,  a circle of hexes at a time.
It took forever, mainly because I didn't want to make a mess of it and I could only work on it in burst of about 40 minutes at a time (back and other problems).
I did the corners of each hex, in each of three directions, before connecting them with a cut along the edges, which I could do four at a time using a ruler.
The photograph on the right clearly shows the indentations made at the vertices of the hexes and some of the later cuts.
Some of the cuts made with the craft knife were very shallow as I didn't want to cut through the foamboard base. Those that I thought were too shallow I went over with a pointed stylus-type too, which opened up those hex sides that weren't defined enough.
Arena, now with added hexes!
Although laborious (probably taking more than four hours overall), the result was very acceptable.
The hexes were by no means perfect
 but they are distinct enough and accurate enough there's no confusion over them.
The Debris
The remains of the paper 'circle'  of unused hex pieces was gently peeled from the foamboard and along with all the cut out hexes,  binned.
After gluing down the foamboard as centrally as possible onto my base board, the next step was to undercoat the hexes with matt black spray (Poundlandworld special).
They were then coated liberally with slightly thinned pva and sprinkled with a sand (again a very thin layer).
The foamboard also had some 6mm beading glued to its edges for strength and finish.
This resulted in a 1mm lip around the whole board to which filler was applied.
Unfortunately I didn't manage to take any photographs of these latter stages of the build.

And that's it for this week and if you're following this blog then thank you and I hope you're taking something from it.


  1. Hardwork it looks but looks with great results!

    1. Thabks Brummie, it wasn't particularly hard. but it was tedious and back problems didn't exactly help.

  2. Looking good Joe - exactly the kind of thing I was thinking of doing myself!

    1. Thanks Colin, maybe your enthusiasm for this will boost mine too, especially if you post some more of your gladiator project !

    2. I will try Joe, but haven't got anything to post atm! I am assembling a 28mm gladiator group - including fantasy gladiators

      However, the 54s (if I ever progress with them) will be having a playmobil arena like yours

    3. Other than the fantasy element, I never saw the advantage in going with 28mms, but good luck with it!