Eldar Snow and LED Lit Display Board #1

With only 40 days to go to the first GT of the summer for me, it is time for me to begin my display board.  I have built them before and have had pretty good luck with them.  This time I want to do something a bit different, though, and refrain from using foam.  The foam always gets damaged and has to be repaired before any major tournament which is very aggravating and time consuming. 

This time I want to try to stick to using backer board (peg board but without holes) and try to create a gentle slope to be covered with powdered snow .  I know I want the board to be snowy to match my eldar army and so that will involve me mixing up a metric ton of snow goop so I need to stock up on baking soda and Elmer’s glue.  I have also procured quite a lot of green snowy model railroad trees, so I know these will be included on my board toward the back.  I am thinking of having my rangers lurk within the trees.

Finally, my newest goal for the display board is to try to incorporate some new elements beyond just the board itself .  I want to push my modeling skills and I also want the board to attract attention at tournaments.  I have always had the desire to include LED lights in some of the models I have built and I figured that this time on the display board I would try to learn to use them, since a display board would give me a lot of room to work with.  The wiring can all be hidden underneath the board, and since I solder like a monkey this seems like a good idea to start with.   I have a few plastic translucent plastic crystals lying around and I will try to make these light up in the foreground of my board to make the board pop a bit, by having the LEDS within them.

To begin with I did a bit of purchasing on ebay.  I bought a 4.5V battery pack for about $5 that I could insert and remove double AA batteries from. I wanted to be able to change the batteries out as needed and I didn’t want to mess with a rechargeable battery pack.   I also bought 100 super bright 5V LED lights coupled with 5V resistors for about 7$ shipped.  The 5V matching resistors were included for free, and for this I was pleased. A LED must be lead with a resistor before it can be wired into a circuit. The current from the battery must be the proper amount for the LED to function and a resistor decreases the current to the proper amount (Ohm’s law from physics).    Finally, I borrowed a soldering iron from a friend and bought some 22AUG wire and set to work.

To begin with, I took the cork board frame I already owned and took some measurements on the backer board.  I began by cutting out a square to fit with the frame of the board using a jig saw.  Then I cut out a few other smaller layers to lay in one corner of the board.  Then I put all of this into the frame to make sure the army would lay out correctly over it.  I decided I wanted the army ‘moving’ from once corner to another and didn’t want the traditional static looking straight forward army board.    A also laid out the trees and crystals  to make sure the army and all the elements would fit on the board.  My plan was to remove the furthest back left most corner from the slight hill to make a place for the battery pack to rest.

I would drill holes in the backer board and run my circuit underneath the board.  The LEDs would protrude through the board under the crystals and give them a lit affect.  Once I had everything in place I marked the board for the trees and the crystals.  

Next time I will begin detailing the installation of the LEDS and the battery pack and show you how I went about priming the board and getting in ready for the snow process.