War of the Ring Movement Trays

100_1319-dwarves-on-trayThis past weekend I received my War of the Ring rule book – yay! But I’d already bought some WotR movement trays weeks ago to use with the skirmish game. Why? They’re an awesome way to move your men around in the SBG game’s early phases, and help speed things up. When you’re too close to the enemy to use them, you start removing your models and splitting them up as necessary.

So, crazy me, I started painting these trays, because I know they’re going to get a lot of use whether I play WotR or not. WARNING: DON’T DO WHAT I DID!! Here’s what happened to the 6 trays I bought:

1 – I glued fine ballast to their tops (like I do with all my models, as pictured above)
2 – I spray-bombed them black (this adds an additional adhesive to the ballast)
3 – I drybrushed the ballast (like I always do)
4 – I painted the edges and some interior well tops brown (like always) and allow to dry
5 – Flock with static grass – done!
6 – Reinsert models into tray and display on shelf – ACK! THEY DON’T FIT!?

WHY?! Because, after you’ve gone through all this work, chances are a couple of things have happened:
1 – Your rock or flock has gotten inside the tray wells, and because they were a perfect fit to begin with, they no longer fit (even by 2mm).
2 – Your spray paint and final colour paint are too thick inside the well to allow a fit without scratching the well’s interior

So I started reaming the tray wells with an Xacto knife and making sure each circumference was clear of debris. But because I’ve glued everything so well (remember there’s a black primer over all the ballast too), the rocks and what-not come off in big chunks; and now I’ve got exposed gray plastic everywhere and chunks of crap all over everything.

Here’s what I’m doing in the future
1 – Glue ballast to the tops, but use sand and/or ream every interior well before the glue dries
2 – Use static grass sparingly in my final step.

Let’s face it,  the model bases in the trays do most of the work of decorating them. Be sparing with the tray’s own decoration and you won’t have the problems I did. You’ve been warned…

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2 thoughts on “War of the Ring Movement Trays

  1. One word – putty.

    In the UK we have a tacky putty called Blutak for sticking posters to walls and what-not. I often use it to mask areas of models I do not want spraying. If you press a blob of it inside each indentation you can go through all the stages you describe above and then voila! remove the putty to have a completely clean space for your miniature :)

    Craig.

  2. That’s a good idea Craig. We have Blutak here too. All you would need is enough for 8 wells – then reuse as necessary.

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