Thursday, 11 October 2018


Another scenery project today. Quite a totally different one! Back to the Shadespire project for a while. One thing I knew for sure since the very beginning; I didn't want to play on plain cardboard, I wanted a full three-dimensional board.
My most obvious and closest reference was my pal Hetairoi. Go check the link, seriously. That board is [censored] awesome. You can even get a glimpse of the WIP here. You know what? Check the whole blog, you won't be dissappointed, trust me.
I knew I simply couldn't beat that kind of board, so I didn't even try. I didn't want to replicate the illustrations on the card boards, I chose to make my very own and personal design and make a more generic landscape, if you prefer to call it that way. I tried to represent an old, abandoned town, decrepit and ruined. My inspiration came from imagining an ancient place fallen into oblivion, kind of Osgiliath during the War of the Ring. It suited (slightly at least) the Shadespire theme and allowed me some creativity. In fact the only thing I had to take care of were the blocked tiles and the starting tiles.

So first question. How could this be achieved? I could have taken Heitairoi's approach, but... the guys at Collateral Studio had solved my problem in advance :)

Pretty affordable and good enough for my purpose
Well. Four boards then. I started with an easy one, just for a test. A clear board with no obstacles whatsoever. So I used DAS clay putty and a textured rolling pin from Greenstuff World:

Quick and easy
I didn't try to achieve a perfect cobblestone pavement, perfectly regular everywhere. On the contrary, my attempt was to get an old touch, with the cobblestone going up and down, with irregular shapes, puddles, earth, rubble... whatever.

This is well conserved. Imagine this but at large scale after centuries of deficient public service
I added some tiny ruins and statues for dramatic effect

Then I faced a conundrum. How was I supposed to mark the starting tiles? Should I paint a sign on them? Unlikely, it woldn't be seen. Hmmmm. An then a light bulb came on over my head (a LED one, of course, EU regulations). I recalled I had these markers from the Relic Knights game:

I was finally going to put something from that game to use!

So how about using them as warpstone? Well, OK, that would feel more Mordheim than Shadespire, but not that out of place. So warpstone it is:

Ta daaa
 Let's pour some paint on this!

First stage finished. We'll get back here later
Could it be better? Sure. Could I have spent more time defining the tiles and making it all more regular? Of course. But is this enough so I can play on that? Oh, most definitely yes.

Let's face the second board then. The one with three blocked tiles:

The new GW ruin set is sexy. Besides, it ties it all with this Warhammer universe
Some DAS later...

Seriously, that rolling pin is pure witchcraft
This time I tried to give this board some sense. Buildings forming a street or something like that, not pure randomness. I had some concerns about the ruins. Only the L shaped wall blocks tiles. If lyou look closely, all the other pillars and stuff involve doors and are place on the corners of the tiles. I'll add more rubble on the blocked tiles later, so I make it clear on which ones you cannot stand the minis. Blocked tiles being the exception and not the rule, I hope I can make it visually clear. The rule will be 'can you stand the mini on here? Then it's a clear tile, you are good to go'

We'll get back to this board later on too
Third board. I tried something different here. GreenStuff World also sell these plates:

I was told that I wouldn't be able to cut those resin pieces into hexes, that I would break them, that they weren't designed for that...

Never underestimate my stubbornness

This is another clear board:

Look at all those skulls! Pure GW!

Sand from the beach. I'll be needing more if I keep doing boards like this

Still unfinished, but be patient. We'll revisit this one too. Keep scrolling.
Fourth board. Three blocked tiles, a single one and two in a row.

Will this work?

I certainly hope so
From the other side, with sand
I thought I had it but...
I realised I had made a mistake. The blocked tiles not only were supposed to not allow the minis stand over them, but they also block the line of sight. I had to make it visually clear.

Slight rearrangements had to be made

You know what? Let's leave it this way and... yup, we'll come back later
Now we have four basic boards. But I couldn't leave them that way, of course...

Sprue rubble. The cheapest (yet most tedious) material to get

Honestly, I'm not a shareholder of GreenStuff Worl, but oh, the leaf punch...

I'm getting into Autumn mood

The final ingredient, pure magic, from here
So with some more tufts and stuff, these are the final results. Here you have to pics of each board, from both sides:

With some minis on the board:

BONUS: The game also needs objective markers. I made my own, in the same fashion that the boards. I will be needing five for now, as you only need more for three players games (unlikely for the moment).

The whole lot:

But what do these boards look like when together?

Like this

Extra pic for no reason

The four of them
This is it!
On a perspective, it hasn't been that expensive (at least in relative terms, as everything in this hobby) and just the mere fact of building the boards has been enormously rewarding. The most serious disadvantage of this crazyness is that... Now I want to build full, huge wargaming boards this way!!!
Ahem. Well, for now I only need to convert and play the other band and get some gaming experience...


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you! The vegetation makes it look better than it is :D

  2. Those are fantastic - not only do they look great as terrain pieces in their own right, but they are clearly functionally ideal for the game. Lovely job.

    1. Thank you! That was the difficult balance I tried to achieve. I assume that the ruins can look confusing at first sight, but I've tested the tiles and they apparently work fine. I'm looking forward to having some games on those :)

  3. Te han quedado de lujo, y no quiero mirar otra vez en la tienda de greenstuff, que me compraría todo , aunque otro rodillo no me vendría mal.... :O

    1. Green Stuff World es una maravilla. Me pasa lo mismo, no quiero ni mirar, les vaciaría la tienda :D

  4. You lunatic! Those are brilliant! I'm a Shadespire fan, it's lot of fun.

    There is a lot to be said for wargaming on a large grid. Probably not with Shadespire/Underworlds rules, but it is a lot mechanically cleaner.

    1. Thanks! I agree, the hex system is pretty nice for that kind of game structure. It's a good thing it's been rediscovered lately. I've only played Shadespire on the card boards, I hope I can put these to an use soon!

  5. Replies
    1. Haha, thanks! But trust me, ths is one of those cases in which the final result is more than the mere addition of the elements. The final steps were critical in achieving the look I was looking for. Seriously, I NEED to build a full, large board this way. Oh, I'm so screwed...

  6. Those are brilliant. All the beauty of a well flocked and built tile, with the added bonus of hexes to make gaming go more quickly.

    Great job, Suber!

    1. Thank you! It all was simpler than I expected. The rolling pin is pure magic, and the tiny details were easy to achieve. I've learned a lot, so I'm pretty happy with the whole process :)

  7. So cool! They look even better with all that greenery.

    1. I find it kind of dissappointing that all the ruins on the boards have no vegetation on them, it's like the nuclear winter had come over. Take any real life example, ivy and shrubs grow all over almost any abandoned building, I thought it would be an interesting addition :)

  8. Those are cracking they looked great before you added the greenery but the look stunning with them after you did!

    1. It looks better than I expected. I made lots of mistakes, being my first time with most of the materials, but now I need more ivy for almost anything that comes to mind!!

  9. Brilliant boards! Fantastic skills,lovely finish, and yes you must build more!
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you very much! I'd like to go bigger and see what happens on a full board, but I need to take some drastic storage decisions at home before!!

  10. Those are outstanding Suber! I've been working on 3D Shadespire too, but the project stalled long ago. I've just got the Nightvault set for my birthday though, so I may have to revisit the project. This certainly provides some great inspiration.

    1. Thanks! Oh, I'd love to see your work, get you blog back!! :D

  11. Stubbornness is a great trait to have in this hobby ... until you start painting the same spot again and again just to get the colors right ;) :)

    1. Haha, the thin line between stubbornness and OCD :D

  12. Those boards are amazing, good job!

    1. Thank you! I'm already working on the khorne band, I hope I can use the whole game set anytime soon!