Sunday, March 16, 2014

On Display

I recently got to play in a Late War tournament.  I ended up taking 3rd place overall and 3rd place in painting.  I was pleased with that as I'm not a super frequent player and I have always considered my painting to be more careful than anything artistic or inspiring.  You can read about my list design and post tournament report here.  As surprised as I was about the painting score I'm giving all the credit to my display board(s).

The display was the last piece to finish this phase of my US Engineer Combat Company army.

I have an older display board that I made for my first ever tournament.  It is rather large coming in at 19" x 25" (18" x 24" display area).  I wanted something different for this recent tournament.

Grass mat by Woodland Scenics

It's not very practical to take to a tournament but it is neat because it was designed to go with my US 3rd Armor Division Tank Company. It incorporates scratch built bocage sections from my terrain collection to depict the force in the bocage country of Normandy.  It was fun and the tournament was local so I used it.

Bocage by yours truly

During that tournament there was no table space other that the game table.  Each table was separated from the other with no additional horizontal surface for anything.  Terribly, inconvenient for managing your army and displaying.  I had a similar thing happen at GenghisCon one year where all the tables were set up one after another in lines of tables banquet style.  Absolutely no space between tables, argh!

After those learning lessons I determined that I was not going to be handicapped by that arrangement again.  It was especially important for me to come up with something that would make running a mess of infantry efficient, being it my first time running them in a tournament.

I'd be driving down to Denver for GenghisCon so the big display board was out of the question.  I decided that my requirement was I had to be able to carry everything from the car in one trip and that I needed to be prepared to have my army display/storage sit on the game table as we play.

You can find all kinds of awesome displays people have made over on the WWPD forums including some really nice ones that USChris made for the community that are very handy looking.   As cool as those were I decided it would be nice if I could fit the display in my Army Kit Bag.  I figured I would have to give up having the display be thematic for portability and capacity.

So I designed and built these 2 trays.

Some basic woodworking here

I scratch built them out of 1/4" plywood and 1/4" x 1-1/2" x 4' hobby boards (poplar) from Home Despot.  I painted them with a can of US Armor Spray paint that I have had unused for ages.  The US Army painted everything Olive Drab so I figured that was fitting.  I cut a piece of Woodland Scenic's grass mat for the bottoms and called it good.  In this case they are not so much intended to showcase my army as to make moving the army from table to table easy.  It ended up being a tight fit for my  9 platoon army but with a little squeezing in they were still able to handle it all including my scratch built barbed wire.

1650 points of slide rule wielding mayhem!
They are also sized perfectly to fit a foam tray inside them.

Finally got to use the artillery tray after all these years
Which fits inside the Army Kit Bag.

Ta Da!  Single handed tournament transport!

I set up my army in them with roughly my expected reserve platoons in one and my non-reserve platoons in another.  Once deployed the empty case sits on top of the reserve tray and is perfect for rolling dice or storing game aids (dice, tape measure, tokens, etc.). They are deep enough that I can stack them and the models stay safely below the top edge.  If you have tall antennas on your teams it may not be tall enough but its not an issue for me since most of my stuff does not have them.

When not in service for tournament display and storage they come in handy for any number of different things in the game room including holding some of my paints as I clear the way for a new project; the topic of my next update!

Why am I moving my paints?

I hope you like them and please follow the blog if you are curious to see what I have coming next.

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