Sunday, August 2, 2015

How to make Warhammer Movement trays with cardboard

My brother and I have try to make movement trays with different materials for some time now, improving our method until we have end up with the version that I would tell you how to do in this post.

A movement tray is a tray that allows you to move your miniatures as a unit instead of moving them one by one. In this tutorial I'm going to show you how to do the movement tray that you can see in the picture below.




Materials & tools:
  • Corrugated cardboard of approximately 1mm thick
  • Masking tape
  • PVA/White glue
  • Glue stick
  • Sand
  • Scissors
  • Old brush for the PVA glue

We use cardboard because is an inexpensive material that you usually could get for free from different sources and it presents a good enough resistance. Some people prefer wood of balsa wood but in our opinion is more difficult to work with it as you need cutters or even saws.

1. Draw the pieces on the cardboard
To make the movement tray we will need a rectangle big enough for the unit and several strips 5mm wide of cardboard for the edges.

Not all the plastic warhammer bases have the same dimensions, even between standard bases, for instance 20 mm square bases before the warhammer fantasy 7th edition where slightly bigger than after it. So you should make the movement tray using the actual measures of the unit bases. So with the number of miniatures in the rows and columns and the size of the base we will have the space that will occupy our unit. Now we add 11 mm to the length and with of the unit and that will be the dimensions of the rectangle for the movement base. For example, the rectangle for a movement tray for 5 horse riders in one row, knowing that a horse base is 25x50 mm, will measure 136x61 mm.

If you are using corrugated cardboard you should pay attention in how you paint the strips for the edges, you should avoid painting them along the lines of the corrugated cardboard.


2. Cutting the pieces
To cut the cardboard you only need a pair of scissors.

The strips will tend to bend a little with but you can restore them to a flat strip easily with your hands.

There will be two rows of strips for the edge, and you should cut the strips so they can overlap between them to strengthen the movement tray.

3. Gluing the pieces
You can use Glue stick to glue the strips to the rectangular base. You should place the pieces before gluing to make sure they fit together.





4. Hiding the holes of the corrugated cardboard
The corrugated cardboard is strong but have a but ugly. So to make up for it we will use some masking tape to cover its holes. This also will strengthen the movement tray more and will cover the joint between strips.

First we place the masking place around the movement tray.




Then we make cuts in each corner with the movement tray upside-down and we stick the stick the masking tape to the base.



Sticking the masking tape in the top is a little more complicated. We start as before making cuts in the four corners.


Then you can make a perpendicular cut or a 45º cut as shown in the image. The 45º cut has some problems as it could leave some "holes" in the corners.



The cut perpendicular to the tape doesn't have that problem.

5. Protecting the edges of the masking tape
The masking tape with the time tends to peel off and we don't want that so we will apply a layer of PVA glue around its edges.

If you are in hurry you should start with the edges inside the movement tray and avoiding leaving any PVA glue on the top of the edge.

Then, you can flip the movement tray without waiting for the PVA to dry and "paint" a layer of PVA glue in the other edge.


7. Sanding the base
Once the PVA is dry, you can flip again the movement tray. Now you should apply some PVA to the top part of the edge.


Then pour some sand on top of the edge and PVA glue.



8. Painting the base
To finish with the movement tray we only have to paint it. You should do these taking into account how the bases of the unit are decorated to give a better effect.





I don't usually paint the inside of the movement tray but you can do it.

If you make movement trays for all your units, your army will have a really good look.

9. Other examples of movement trays
As it is cardboard you can make stranger shapes for your movement trays. For instance, we usually add a mounted hero to some of our infantry units and with 25 mm square bases like the ones of the orcs there is no problem, but with 20 mm ones you have to make some adjustments.





Also it is possible to make a magnetic base quite easily by adding a metal sheet to the bottom of the movement tray and some magnets to the bases of your miniatures.



You can also make bigger movement trays with this method and the will hold perfectly, as the movement tray for 6 Ogres that you can see below.



¡Hope you like this tutorial!

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