Wednesday, 13 January 2021

Dark Skies Over The Harrowmark - part 11, a Harrowmark Warcry board

I've wanted to make a Warcry sized Harrowmark board for a while. But it was only when I realised it was going to be really hard to play the solo campaign I've been planning without one that I started thinking about it in earnest.

I've decided to blog the entire process as a single post rather than spread it out over several parts, as it will be easier for readers to follow.

I looked around online for a suitable cork notice board (A1 sized, framed, and fairly sturdy) for a while before I realised I could order the right type of thing in Argos and pick it up with the weekly shopping in Sainsbury's!

So just before Christmas 2020, I came home with a 60x80cm notice board:

I didn't have much time to work on it before Christmas so I contented myself with testing how much scenery was needed to make it look full, but not too full.

After Christmas I started work on it. I found a handful of old Warhammer movement trays and cut them up as flagstones. I shaved the edges to make them look like chipped and worn stone.

I cut most of them as rectangles but I also cut a few diagonally, so they looked like they had cracked. I stuck them down with PVA wood glue. I also started making a few more pieces of scatter terrain.

I didn't want to have to cover the entire board in textured paint (I was a little worried about warping), so I ordered three 2mm cork sheets from eBay. They arrived on New Years Eve. I tore them into "random" shapes and glued them down with PVA.

Three sheets was not enough! I ordered 6 more - they arrived a week later, on 8th January. I only used 7 sheets in total, but I'll save the last two for use on more scatter terrain.

I glued some sand into the cracks between the cork sheets, plus a few bones from the Crypt Ghouls kit. 

I initially added a few skulls from the Citadel Skulls box, but I took them off again. The cork and the movement trays were all 2mm thick so the scatter terrain will sit flat on them. The skulls spoiled that. There are plenty of skulls on all the scatter terrain bits though! 

With that the board was ready for undercoat.

I sprayed it Chaos Black on the morning of 9th January. This was quick and easy, but it used a hell of a lot of the spray can - almost half I think. I kind of wish I had brushed on the matt black "blackboard" paint as I have a big can of it. It would have taken a lot longer but cost a lot less... I also nearly dropped it as I moved it back indoors. You can see the wiped-off paint on the frame where I caught it! Yes, my hands were then very painty...

Anyway, what was done was done, so I sprayed the flagstones with Mechanicus Standard Grey in the afternoon.

In the evening of 11th January I dry-brushed the flagstones with Ushabit Bone.

Then I used Steel Legion Drab (a big bottle of scenery paint I bought years ago) to paint the cork sheet and sanded areas.

While that was drying I washed the flagstones with Nuln Oil and pooled a little Athonian Camoshade into the Nuln while it was still wet.

Then it was dry-brushing time (12th January). A very light dry-brush of Ushabti Bone all over, then a more focused and slightly heavier coat of the same on the sand in the cracks.

Nearly there! I painted some Plaguebearer Flesh over the blackest parts of the flagstones to counter the pooling of Nuln Oil I wasn't happy with. Once that was dry I superglued dead grass flock and leaf litter into the cracks, in a few scattered areas, trying to keep them looking random and not too evenly spread out.

I still need to do some touch-ups of the black frame and give it a light coat of spray varnish (when it stops raining!) but I couldn't wait to try some of the Gallowmire scenery on it.

I'm very pleased with it. Pretty quick and easy (20th December 2020 to 12th January 2021 - with about a week waiting for the second delivery of cork sheet in between!) and it will look good with any of my Harrowmark scenery. I'm really looking forward to playing a solo campaign on it (and to playing against real people as soon as it is possible!!). 

The Cleavermaws had a look around too.

The board can also double as the Great Oubliette, with a filter added to the photos:


  1. Great looking board, and very playable too, being mostly flat, yet it still looks like it has a ton of texture. The cork tiles worked really well.

    1. Thanks!
      I saw Johan from the Converotorum make one using cork sheet last year, and I stole the idea from him!

  2. That is a lovely looking gaming board, looks great and still gaming/scenic practical!
    And it's something I need to be getting on with too.
    I decided I want to make an effort to get some solo gaming in soon.

    My first cork notice board was a bit of a failure, I thought it was sturdy enough with it having a hardboard back to use the geek gaming terrain compound, but there was enough flex that it started cracking.

    I had two ideas where to proceed for my new one. Either like Johan's (and now yours) torn cork on cork, or possibly try for something a bit sturdier by taking a paste table apart to make two boards out of.
    might do both to see which I prefer.

    1. Thanks Shade. Yeah, my priority was that it had to "work" with my existing scenery, but I didn't want to just glue sand all over it. Torn cork has the advantage of being really flat as well as having a natural texture. I was careful to get the same thickness as the plastic from the movement trays so it was all level. I only put sand, flock and leaf litter in the cracks too.

      I look forward to seeing what you make!

  3. This is great.
    I've been mulling over making a board from a noticeboard for some time now.
    I think your post here might give me the impetus to crack on this year.