I mentioned earlier that I entered Armies on Parade, and here are a few photos. Edit - sorry, this turned into quite a lengthy blog post.
A week ago last friday (the 5th) my board looked like this -
Photo features a guest appearance from my feet. I didn't have a hot wire cutter, so I had to saw the blue foam by hand, which was a lot of work and took a lot longer than I had planned. Getting to this point took all Friday.
From this point, I glued all the foam down with Gorilla Glue (which is incredible stuff), as well as some stones I stole from in front of the leisure centre, before smearing polyfiller over the whole board, smoothing the angular corners of the foam, making the whole thing look more natural, and filling in the gaps around the foam and rocks. Obviously I avoided the rocks with the filler. When this was dry, I glued on a few leftover treemen bits as roots, and then added sand over the top of the board, using some spray glue. Next, I spray painted the whole thing black. This was a necessary step, but I really wish I had found a cheaper black spray paint to do it. The can I used was £8 and I used almost the whole can! Anyway, next I sprayed a muddy brown over the top. This was the reason I sprayed it black first - to vary the tone of the mud over the board, and to have some subtle shading. I could spray lightly on some areas to keep them dark, then spray more paint on where I wanted it lighter. I didn't want a uniform brown. This might have been a bit pointless when you see what I did later, but it was important to me. By Sunday night it looked like this -
This photo features a guest appearance from a View-Master in a plastic tub.
Next, it was time to add the grass. I used my spray glue again, having first bluetacked over the roots and rocks, because I didn't want to cover them in grass. I also covered the river by holding a piece of card in the way of the spray. I used a couple of different types of flock grass to add some variety again. Once this was all finished and stuck on, the next evening I painted the rocks, roots, and river bed. By Monday night it looked like this -
Tuesday night was spent adding a water effect to the river, plus some wash and drybrush to the rocks and roots. Wednesday night I added another coat of the water effect. Thursday and friday, I frantically painted the last five minis I needed to put on the board - three big Kurnoth Hunters with bows, a Branchwych, and a Branchwraith. I was up until 2am both night, I think. Friday in work was painful.
On Saturday morning, I suddenly realised I had never painted the edges of the bases on any of my 40 flipping Dryads. That took half an hour of frantic work. Transporting the whole thing was not easy. My local GW is miles from any car park, so it took a 20-minute walk carrying the board and two large sportsbags with the miniatures in. I nearly died. Of course, when I got there several of the leaves clusters had broken off my Wyldwood, but the GW manager was kind enough to lend me some superglue to stick it back together. It took me so long to set everything up, the staff were taking the piss, saying I was setting up for 2019's competition.
This is how it looked in the end -
I didn't put all the dryads on. It might have swamped the board.
There were quite a few entries - 14 in all. Quite a few were just plonked down on a shop-bought board with shop-bought scenery scattered around, which I thought was a slight shame. Only three or four of us had hand-made boards. One was great - a Blood Bowl stadium, which was quite nicely made, and had the genius idea of a smartphone incorperated as a stadium big-screen. A couple were really nicely painted, one guy had Idoneth Deepkin inside an actual goldfish bowl, one guy had just thrown money at the whole thing and bought a bunch of knights and a £300 Warhound Titan. The overall winner was a load of Imperial Guard and some rather lovely tanks, arranged on a cityscape made of GW buildings on a flat board. It was nicely done, if a bit unimaginative, but it was the highest board there, and often highest board wins AOP. My favorite was a quite small, understated but beautifully-done diorama, but the winner was certainly deserving. He had about eight or nine tanks, all meticulously painted, and about 50 guardsmen, so it must have been a hell of a lot of work. I didn't win any categories, but I did get second overall, which I'm very happy with and quite surprised by. I got a cool medal -
I'm going for going for gold next year!