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Armies on Parade 2014

AOP all done and dusted, 3rd place over all in my local store.  Disappointed? Yes.  My entry focused on models, display board second.  I went about this wrong from all the entries I have seen online.  The models of course need to be good (1st and 2nd had great models) but the display board carries far more weight with the general public.  Lesson for next time! The board was fun to make and I don’t regret putting more time and effort into the models, as that’s the core of what I produce and enjoy anyway.  AOP is a great competition for a whole host of reasons; it forced me to finish stuff that perhaps would have dragged on otherwise, I saw some great stuff produced by other people and came away with a whole host of other ideas for the future.  This article runs through what I produced and how I went about it.

First stop B and Q (home depot…) for some MDF wood board 13mm thick and 65 cm x 65 cm.  I bought some inch thick polystyrene to make different layers on the board.

I mocked up the models I wanted for the comp on the board and checked the spacing between them.  The lines assisted with the cutting of the poly boards for the different layers of the board. 

Board all cut out and time to sand up.  I applied Vallejo Black Lava and cork board chunks in the same way I do my model bases to make the corner lava section. 

50:50 water, PVA and a bag of basing sand was all mixed up and spread over with a 4inch decorating brush.  This was really thin and took a good 36hrs to fully dry.  Once it was dry I gently ran my hand across the board to dislodge the bits likely to fall off.

Vallejo Polyurethane Grey Primer was used to seal the board and Vallejo Armour brown was airbushed on the board building up to the shade I desired.

At every stage I would mock everything up again to see how it all fitted together and if any changes needed to be made.  It did not take too long before the final board came together.  The trees and rocks were added along the way – slate from outside with sand used to blend the bits into the board.

The lava was done initially spraying feint white patches onto the black.  VMA Fire Red was then applied (the largest circular patch).  A smaller circle of VMA Orange was allied then a smaller circle of VMA Golden Yellow.  A small white dot was gently laid on top of this before the whole lava heat patch was drybrushed white.  Here is the whole board on display in the shop.  The Forge World mechanicum board behind came second.

And this is the board that won.  Ryan’s CSM were very well painted but his board was clearly next level with all the tiers and even an underground section.

Loads of good entries, will need to up my board if I hope to do better next year.  And maybe enter Eldar as the age old ‘no-one like the Ultramarines’ as one of my best friends pointed out probably didn’t help either despite my best efforts :) HTB.


  1. Awesome models and board, I suppose it just depends on who's voting on the day. You may be right about 'no-one liking ultramarines' though!

  2. Wow...the underground section on that one board...Just coming up with that idea is a contest winner.

    That being said, your board was great and definitely showed cohesiveness between the army and display. I think it also helps (depending on the level of competition), to not just create a board for display, but to create it as a snapshot from an event in the 40k universe.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys. Greg - nice idea, will remember that for next year. Maybe a docking bay or emplaning deck before the marines deploy? Loads of possibilities, but key to pick an image or theme to emulate.


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