Monday, March 2, 2015

My LVO Dropzone Display Board

by Novus

I was pretty sure I wasn't going to place at the LVO Dropzone Tournament so I set my eyes on winning something that I felt I had a more than fair chance of pulling off... Placing first in the painting/modeling side of things.

I've never made a "real" display board before.  Although, I did mock up a simple one for the LVO 40k Championships last year.  It was nothing but a cheap picture frame, very coarse black sand, and some WHFB bases painted up like paving slabs.

Here's my first draft layout...

I mostly just wanted to try some different painting/modeling techniques.  Scenery is great for that.  Some techniques worked, others didn't.

Also, with this display board I wanted to do a couple of ancillary things, as well:
  • Show off the GSI Destroyed Structure markers, a bit.
  • Show off my beta run of a new 10mm GSI building.  The final version of this building is much different at ground level and much easier to put together.
The only somewhat negative comments I've gotten about my army are about the camo colors.  Folks haven't taken too well to the orangey-red.  So I wanted to illustrate that, for the planet they are on, orange/red over grey is a valid scheme.  It's freakin' Sci-Fi, right?

To me, the best way to show off the DzC troops is to have a building to put them on.  That's their natural state, in game, anyway.  This building is based on an office building in Orange County, CA that I used to drive passed nearly every day, but the colors are changed to match the planet and the weathering scheme.

Troops need transports!  Again, I put them in their natural habitat... next to their troops in that building!  The fall trees were fun to install and really punched up the overall effect of the board.

This is my Athena streaking over a Destroyed Structure Marker I blended into the board using some textured wall covering and Styrofoam rubble.  It's all dry brushed with greys and moderately flocked with "burnt turf."

I tried water effects for the first time, with varying degrees of success.  The sink hole on the left in front of the Erebos turned out OK and I thought it really added to the Life After People feel of the whole thing.

Not to harp on the camo issue, but it's pretty good camouflage, eh?  That Mercury Drone to the left of the Triton A2 is hard to see.

The sidewalks were done using a sheet of Evergreen Plastics 3/8" sidewalk sheeting.  Gave a nice sharpness to the curb and helped delineate the road from everything else.

I sunk the road bed by masking out the area of the building property and then hitting the Styrofoam with a light spray of Acetone (Warning!  Do not try this at home!  VERY DANGEROUS!  Vapors are both poisonous and flammable!!!).  This took about 1/8" off the surface of the road bed.  Then I PVA-glued some very fine sand over the top of it.  Then, of course, painted it up a nice dark grey with a shade or two lighter dry brushing on that.

The crosswalks were done using my airbrush and a home brew stencil I made with very thin Tamiya masking tape and blue painters' tape.

I wanted huge cross walks to hopefully get across the idea that population of this city used to be enormous!  Think crosswalks in downtown Tokyo.

I placed a few large craters, two new and one old.  The old one at the back had water effects and Elephant grass-like plants in it. 

The new ones were empty, like in the photo below.

My favorite part!  The downed Scourge Corsair!

The entire display board was born from this one idea.  I've always had a picture in my head that Phobos walkers stride into an area and own the skies with their long range, high-energy shots.  I really wanted to get that idea across... what better way than a downed Fast Mover?

The scar from the crash extends about 16" across the center of the board and is as much as 0.75" deep.  It crashes on the other side of the road, tears up the sidewalk, the road itself, another sidewalk, breaks a water main, yet more sidewalk, and ends up burying an old car with dirt at the feet of my Phobos walkers.

Creating the scar was, by far, the most fun of the entire project.  If you are in a hobby rut, I suggest making some terrain or a nice display board to bust you out of your funk.  It helps keep your skills sharp and gives you something totally different to do.

I did end up winning/sharing Best Painted with Chris Loomis, who also came in 2nd Overall.  Again, a great and fun event!  Hopefully I'll see you there next year!

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GSI March Release

This is a six-piece office complex set I'm working on, right now.  It should be up on the GSI storefront around the end of March.  It will be packaged as an entire complex set or each part can be purchased separately.  The six separate pieces are...
  • The two Office Buildings
  • The Walkway/Landing pad between them
  • The Level Bridge section
  • The two Bridge Ramp sections

Please feel free to let me know what you think!


  1. That scheme is really awesome, especially on your display board. It pops out immediately. I really like the board details, like the crash and scar across the terrain...that's really well done. Nice job!

    1. Thanks, Greg! The scar got a lot of very positive comments. Pretty proud of this one!


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