At some point in our lives we all get back into bloodbowl. Its a given. Now were older though, and were allowed to play with things like power tools and saws we can go that little bit farther than we did when we were 13...
This article will give you a good idea of how to make your very own BLOODBOWL PITCH!
Before i write this article on how to build a BB pitch I want to say that i used loads of other peoples pitches as inspiration for mine. though the pitch is all my work, the ideas are taken from a whole host of other peoples sites and images found via google and the talkbloodbowl and specialist games forums. credit where credit is due.
Apologies in advance for photo quality, i'm a modeller not photographer. They will give you the general idea i hope. This is my first article on CMON, so please feedback!
The whole thing took me 6 days (on the 7th i rested) and cost about £60.
STAGE 1 - PLANNNING
I wanted my pitch to:
1) Be transportable ( therefore fairly light)
2) Be 3cm per sq (see much forum debate..)
3) Be raised, so the dugouts can be sunken.
4) Make people gasp when they see it.
5) Have all the markers, counters and stuff included
I did not want it to:
1) Fall apart in a comedy fasion when picked up for the first time
2) give me splinters
3) look tatty
With these things in mind i scoured the net and found loads of pitches made by other people. most were fabulous - i had a lot to live up to!
I started sketching plans roughly, until i decided on a final idea, then drew scaled down on a sheet of A4.
After this, i did a scouting trip to B&Q to check out material costs. If it was to expensive i'd have a nice BB pitch but no wife...
With all my plans thought carefully through and researched (2/3 days later), i went shopping
STAGE 2 - THE CASE
1x sheet 12mm 3 ply @ £10 ish (B&Q)
1x brass handle £3
2x Brass clasps £2
2x 60cm brass hinge £3 ea
bag 30mm screws
Firstly u need to take the massive bit of wood u just bought and take it down a peg or two.
Using your detailed plans, mark out in pencil the pieces you need, and carefully begin to cut them up. I reccomend a jigsaw, but if you need a workout a normal saw is fine:
Your looking to end up with a pile that looks roughly like this:
First glue the long hinges to the two bigger sections which will form the base. This is because the side peices need to sit on top of the ends of the hinges (according to my plans at least - u might be smarter than me..):
I used 3 screws and a splurt of woodglue to attatch each side to the base - after marking out and drilling pilot holes for the screws. I also countersunk these holes, so the screws wouldnt knacker my dining table:
OK you now should be looking somehting like this, the hinges are on, the sides are either attached or ready to be glued and screwed into place:
Keep going until both pieces have 3 wooden 'walls' and a hinge on the open side.
When you get these 2 pieces finished, you are ready to attach the hinges to the center piece, which will form the bottom of the case when you fold it up:
Go into your loft and keep looking until you find half a pot of varnish. If your a kid reading this, trust me your dad has one up there somewhere. If your an adult - You know you also have one from that left over project yuo started last year..
Now wait for a sunny day (not too sunny actually, a dry day is fine.) and go and varnish the beasty case you have made.
Once its dry Paint the inside ( i used black) being careful to mask off the areas you want to stay nice and clean.
et voila - one foldable case for your BB pitch.
STAGE 3 - THE PITCH
The pitch is the tricky (and expensive bit - styro foam is pricey)
I decided to use styro foam (slightly denser than polystyrene, light but still hardwearing) to raise the pitch.
Its quite hard to cut in straight lines, but you need 3 pieces -
each square is 3cm sq.
the 2 bigger pieces need to be 11squares x 15 squares ( the TOTAL pitch is 26x15 squares)
the center strip needs to be 4squares x 15 squares (this is a seperate strip so it can be removed, so the pitch can fold.)
Once the pieces are cut, i marked out the squares with a ruler:
This next stage is a bit mental. I'd reccomend NOT doing it my way and trying to find a safer way of doing it.
Basically i wanted the lines to be intented, rather than 'painting' the lines onto the finished pitch:
The reason its fairly dangerous is that i used heated skewers and bits of metal rod (sandwiched between two bits of wood to form a handle) to melt lines into the styro foam:
I used a ruler to keep teh melting in a straight line.
This is really nasty stuff and gives of a really toxic blue/green smoke. I used a highly protective mask ( a tea towel wrapped round my face) and sophisticated ventilation system ( i opened the windows and got a deskfan) to keep myself from suffereing respitory failure. BE CAREFULL!
It is however the most effective way to achieve the desired result. I then painted the sections black.
After the sections had been painted black, i used a small brush and white paint to mark out the lines by painting in the indents. the Line of scrimage, the wide zones and the touchdown area. Dont worry about being messy with the white, you can always touch it up easily afterwards using the same brush and a pot of chaos black.
With the pitch undercoated you can start flocking. I used 2 different shades of static grass from my local hobby store. I got 2 bags of JARVIS 'summer grass' and 2 of JARVIS 'spring grass' to achieve what i hope looks like a 'freshly mown' look to the pitch.
I flocked in sections over 2 days, being carefull not to get glue in the indented lines, ( this will mean the black shows through to mark the pitch) and also being careful to put the right colour flock on the right squares. I simply used PVA/white clue from the early learning center for this - the black provides enough backing for the little that shows through, i decided it didnt need to be undercoated green.
STAGE 4 - THE EXTRAS
my pitch needed to include :
1) Turn counter
2) Re-roll counters
3) score marker
I made the re-roll counters first, because i'd had a good idea... I wanted to do 'flip up' counters like the game guess who from when we were kids - remember? I bought 12 tiny hinges (19mm ea) and some thin balsa wood and constructed 2 (one per team) little boxes:
which then got a bit of paint too:
These get glued ( not now!) where you can see them in the finished pictures, either side of the dugouts.
The Score counter i also had a firm idea for. I played loads of table football as a kid, and i loved snapping the coloured score beads from one side to the other after scoring a goal. I wanted to use a similar system - so i bought 2 hollow lengths of plastic tube from B&Q. one was 6mm thick , the other ( to be cut up and used as 'score markers' was 8mm thick.
see the master picture for these babies.
I also needed a way of keeping record of the turn. I've always found it a bit daft that GW use 2 rows of 8, one labelled first half, the other second half.
My first idea was to use one row of 8, with a counter that said first half on one side and second half on the other.
the problem with this, was that i didnt want to have loose counters in my carriable case.
I decided that i'd use the same 6mm tubing as i used for the score marker, but would use 8 pieces of flint with numbers painted one them. The tube runs over them and has a 'sliding severed head' which you move to keep turn. cool huh!
The final stage was the dugouts. I used more melted styrofoam for these, and painted them black drybrushed grey. The floor i used modelling sand and PVA, painted black and drybrushed in stages of brown up to bleached bone.
STAGE 5 - NEARLY FINISHED!
OK nearly done.
All you need to do now is glue the pitch sections in place, and add any more details you fancy. My human team is called the ESTALIAN STALLIONS, so i wanted a cool stallion in the center of my pitch. I used a famous car manufacturers horse design, printed it and made a template which i then sprayed CAREFULLY:
And there you have it, a blood bowl pitch in one week. GO FOR IT!