Thursday, February 2, 2012

Fixing Wobbly Model Syndrome

How many times when you play 40K do your miniatures end up like the picture on the left? Do you lay your models down and say, "They are right here!" in frustration? A couple guys in our club that play Tyranids and Orks (go figure!) do this more often than not and while we play a pretty lose game, it's still annoying and isn't conducive to a fun game environment.

The other problem is precariously placing an entire unit on a hill or other piece of terrain and as soon as you get the last model in place, they all fall over. This not only slows down gameplay, but also leads to broken and chipped models with no one wants to deal with.

There are some ways to remedy with this: use empty bases, creating terrain that is more model friendly (mine certainly isn't), or just advising your opponent where you models are standing (but this causes issues in more competitive games). Today, I'm going to do a quick tutorial for creating stand in markers for 25mm bases. Below is a list of what you need to get started. Let's go!
  • Felt. Get the kind that is peel and stick as that is the easiest to work with. Color choice is up to you. I got mine at Michaels.
  • 1/8" x 1" washers. You can buy these at any DIY store like Lowes or Home Depot.
  • 1" Hole Punch. These can be purchased at any craft store. I bought mine at Michaels.
  • A computer with a printer and some sort of image editing software. Hopefully, you have a Mac. :-)
  • Card Stock
  • Testor's Dull Cote or some other clear coat spray.
  • Glue Stick
  • Scissors
  • Razor Knife
  • Cutting mat or some other suitable cutting surface.
Step 1: Cut a piece of the felt with the razor knife on your cutting mat. You may want to be more careful than I was and try to minimize excess waste. Peel off the backing and stick the washers to it.

Step 2: Again using a razor knife, cut out each of the washers. You just want a loose cut here we're not looking for precise. I find it to be a lot easier to do the major cuts with the razor knife as the felt will get stuck to the scissors if you are cutting a really big piece.

Step 3: Once the washers are all cut out, use the scissors to trim off the excess by using the washer as a guide. This step is a bit time consuming as the excess pieces will stick to the scissors. I wouldn't recommend using the hole punch for this. I tried and ruined mine so take our time and stick with the scissors.

Step 4: Create an icon sheet with your image editing software package of choice. I prefer Photoshop CS 5.5, but I know everyone won't have access to that. I hear good things about GIMP if you are looking for software to use. If you need icons, you can download various 40K icon fonts here. Below is the image I used for my Blood Angels. I created one icon in white and one in yellow to represent a Sergeant or a model with a special weapon. When creating your icon sheet, be careful to leave enough room between the icons. I'd recommend leaving an 1 1/2" or more.

Step 5: Print out your icons onto card stock. Once the ink dries, spray the sheet with clear coat. This will help protect the tokens them and keep them lasting longer. When the clear coat dries (and you can use a hair dryer to speed up the process) use the hole punch and cut them out.

Step 6: Once you have all of the icons punched out, you want to add a bit of glue from the glue stick and glue the card stock in place. I'd recommend putting something on top of the token while it dries. Other washers work well. Let these dry for a couple hours and you're done!

Below is the same picture from the beginning of this post, but now I am using tokens instead of miniatures. This is far more preferably as I know exactly where my miniatures are, and I'm not worried about them falling over and breaking or chipping. The felt helps the miniatures "stick" into place and you can use the tokens at greater than a 45 degree angle without them sliding off as you can see from the second picture below.

Next time, I'll post some pictures of the desert table and terrain I created for a campaign I am currently running for my gaming club. I'll also be posting the rules I created with the help of someone else in my gaming club for a different way to play 4 player 40K games.

Until then,
–The Harrower