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May 11, 2019: Constructing A Demo Table For The Fantasy Trip

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At FnordCon last month, we brought the new 30-inch round demo table out for everyone to enjoy. Steve mentioned this table in his after-action report (posted here), but today we're going to share a little background info on how the table was built. My wife, Gina, deserves 99% of the credit for this table; she handled all of the casting and most of the assembly as well as a lot of painting. My contributions were more on the planning side as well as some of the paintwork. 

The image at right, showing the bar table at the early stages, shows how the hexes – created from dental stone and using Hirst Arts molds – were glued to the table and extended beyond the edges. The sides were then sanded down so that the hexes were flush with the metal table. Once everything was sanded down and dry, a black primer was sprayed over the entire table. That was followed with a gray dry brush (and then a tan dry brush) to bring out more details.

The image below shows the LED platforms under construction. In the office, Eric used the laser to cut and engrave acrylic hexes and then at home, using more Hirst Arts molds and dental stone, we built the surrounding hexes and a raised platform. The sides of the platform were built from more Hirst Arts molds; we assembled the first platform and then created a new mold so that it would be faster to build all six of the numbered platforms.

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The six platforms, as well as six stair-step pieces, were painted and kept loose, separate from the table. This allows them to be used in all sorts of configurations, giving the table a different look every time you play. We also used some Armorcast crystals and craters to create other modular terrain parts; altogether, there were almost 20 components built to use with the small table.

One of the first questions asked when the table was first shown: What are the numbers for? The answer is simple: Anything the GM wants! They can be magical portals, or power sources, or dangerous traps – anything that you can imagine! Roll a die at the start of each turn; the number rolled is a magical healing stone for that turn and anyone who is adjacent to – or on – the space is automatically healed by some amount decided by the GM. The goal of the lit platforms was to provide something fun; how they are used is entirely up to the GM.

The final collection of photos, below, were taken at FnordCon. They show the finished table with miniatures in place and ready for action. We're likely to take the table out again – Origins and Gen Con are both on the list of planned appearances – and what we learned while building this is already being applied to a completely new table that we hope to have ready for Gen Con. Pics to come!

-- Phil Reed

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