Thursday, January 17, 2013

Custom Movement Trays

Given I always use my regulars in Muskets and Tomahawks in a firing line I have been looking to buy some movement trays that allow the miniatures to stay in base-to-base contact (6 wide, 2 deep - 12 miniatures).  There are some options available out there but I figured I would give making my own a go before I bought.

I have lots of 3mm MDF sitting around (I use it for lots of projects/terrain basing).  I also have a nice home drill press along with a 1" (very near 25mm) drill bit.

My drill press and the MDF I used to make the base.
This shows how I plotted out the tray on the MDF (X marks
the spot for the middle of the drill bit).  This is of course
after I had drilled out the holes.

Above you can see how I plotted out the movement tray on the MDF (using a ball point pen).  Each of the squares in 25mm square (since I use 25mm round bases).  The "X" lines through each box would tell me where to align the drill bit (which has a point at it's center - that is what caused the indentation in the middle of the circles).  I aligned each X one at a time, clamped the tray then used the depth measure on the drill press to know just how far down to drill (essentially routing out the base).  Before I started all this I used a test MDF part to figure out the depth I needed to use.  After all this it was just a matter of aligning each hole and drilling to my depth setting.

After cutting out the base using a jigsaw and sanding the edges.

After all the holes got drilled (not all the way through), I used my jigsaw to cut out the base.  I used a 5mm buffer around the edges of the base.  After cutting it out I used sandpaper to take the edge of the sides of the base.

With miniatures.

Next up I checked that everything fit and they did - all in base-to-base contact.  I can use this for the firing line that is 6 wide x 2 deep, or if they are marching down a road it can be 2 wide x 6 deep.  What is great about this is that it is a single piece of MDF and costs next to nothing provided you have the tools.

Lastly I sanded the base, sprayed it black, then drybrushed my normal progression (scorched brown, graveyard earth and foundry base sand 10C).  A few wilderness tuffs from Army Painter and all set!  Completed pictures below --- not too shabby for the effort.

Completed movement tray.

Completed movement tray.


Completed movement tray.

10 comments:

  1. great stuff I was lazy and picked mine up from a company. Loving the F&IW games though
    Peace James

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    1. Thanks ... I usually buy ... not sure what got into my on this one :-)

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  2. Looking realy good, very nice work !

    best regards Michael

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  3. Ohh, thats nice.

    I guess I should get me some new tools and not tell the miss´s why I really bought them...

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    1. Any reason to buy a tool is a good reason :-)

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  4. That is a rather smart looking piece of work. Should also be extremely easy to make some skirmish style trays with that set up too (thinking saga lines here).
    I have a router and a bit which would shape the edges a treat, but no access to the press drill, although maybe some form of jig for the router to run in for the holes could work.
    May have to try one of these for my Saga Levy.

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    Replies
    1. Agree ... Now that I've got these done I think skirmish bases and the likes would work great as you suggest. There are also drill press attachments you can get for hand drills that would do the trick ... I have one I used prior to getting the drill press.

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