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So, thought ol’ Conesy was done with Tomb Kings, well think again. Back when I started the Tomb King army and ended up with the deal to purchase what is the bulk of my collection today I wanted to do something that looked more authentic, more dynamic and had some basing concepts for more unique and deeply edged in real life egypt. This article on the Flames of War website, Flames of War Desert Basing was the inspiration for that basing. When I had the basing down and had a few models done, I thought it would be great to really pull together a mountainous terrain display board some day for this army.
Researching for possible mountainous tombs that were actually used by the ancient Egyptians, I kept coming back to the idea of Petra. If you don’t know about Petra, then take a quick Google image search. It’s been used in several major motion pictures as well, so it’s pretty recognizable and dates back to the ancient world. One of the pictures of Petra that I found really captures what I thought would look cool and work well with my army.
Using this as a basis, I wanted to have a couple of different levels and make some great sandstone ridges that would go where the tombs weren’t carved. Another thing I wanted to do is give the display board it’s own lighting, to make it look as a magical place. Blue is a major color in my army, and I feel like blue lights would tie in well here so I picked up a strand of cheap LED lights on Amazon for the display as well. There are also clear, multi color, and other strands. In case your interested, here’s the strand I picked up: Rtgs Micro LED 20 Super Bright Blue Color Lights Battery Operated
I also want to point out the sandstone technique I used. Terrainoholic put up this great video on YouTube that I caught a while back and have done a couple of pieces for. Check out the video as he does a much better job explaining the technique with a hot wire knife then I will here. Terrainoholic Sandstone Ridges Video
So with a combiniation of techniques, I shaped a number of 1 inch and 2 inch sheets of blue foam to create the arches, hills and sandstone facing on the main board to get the rough shape of the project. During construction, I realized I have a 6 pack of chariots that wouldn’t fit and that I had to cut back the initial raised area from running all the way a crossed the board. I probably should have had better plans, but fortunately that was early in the design phase. In hindsight and moving on down the road for future similar projects I definitely will have a better plan for where units will go and fit on my display board. Disaster averted, I moved on.
Next up for this project was starting to fit in the lights that I had ordered and get an idea of how bright they are going to be and what I could do with them. The strand I bought is 7.5 feet long, so it’s going to be able to be wired to anywhere and everywhere I would pretty much want lights, and the first place I want them is for the archways I carved out. With the lights on I tested them and instantly I was pleased because they are bright enough that they still light things up with a good blue glow, giving it a magical look. With the lights off, these lights really light up the display board.
One of the iconic things about Egyptian tombs and cities, is the statues and columns that make up those places so I know I wanted at least one really cool statue on the board. This was not something I was going to be able to make myself, least not well and not on this time frame so I went back to my old friend the Internets and again found on Amazon a statue of Anubis, an Anubis dog, and an Isis that I really liked. At first I was thinking of having all three on the board, but when they statues came they are much bigger then I had mentally pictures and I am starting to realize I need to limit the stuff I add to the board or I am going to seriously run out of space for the army! Also, when I started dry fitting the statues, the base for the Isis statue seemed to work the best and fit well, so on I went to add it. Since the base is about an extra half inch of hieght on the statue I carved into the foam a hole to set her into. This is going to work two ways because one, it makes the statue flush with the surrounding basing so it won’t look unnaturally raised up. Two, this will anchor the piece into the display board better when complete making it more stable and less chance for breakage or tipping and falling on my models during the course of a tournament.
As you can see, this project is still very much a work in progress. I want to focus next on the back of the display board and starting to work in the rest of the lighting. I also want to, at some point add a lip around the edges of the piece to help ensure that models don’t go sliding off of it if I am bumped while moving to different tables at an event. Finally, the last piece for me to focus on and add is going to be the rough sandy terrain that matches my Tomb King basing. I have a concern here that when complete, this may mean that my models do not stay in place or stand up well on the display board. I am going to do some testing with the material on a large flat surface to see how it holds up, but I think I am hopeful I am going to be ok in these regards.
Looking forward to putting up the next update on this project down the road. I am sure we’ll be talking about it on the show as well so stay tuned.