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How to Make Movement Trays for 1/32 Scale Soldiers



How to Make Simple & Cheap Movement Trays for 1/32 Scale Soldiers

Italeri 54mm or 1/32 Scale Romans. Painted and on movement trays

To make deploying my 1/32 scale troops around the table top battlefield as easy as possible I decided to put together some movement trays.

The brief I set myself was that they should be sturdy whilst being as 'low profile' as possible. They should also be fairly cheap and easy to make.

Whilst I am focusing here on trays for large scale figures you could use the same techniques for smaller sized figure trays.

Materials & Tools Needed

* Plastic building card - 80B thickness (About 2mm).

* Old plastic sprue frames

* Plastic glue - Like you would use for Airfix hard plastic kits - I use Revell Contacta cement as it has a handy application nozzle.

* Clippers

* Steel rule & scorer to mark up your plastic card to size. 

* Brown spray paint & matt spray varnish

* PVA glue & static grass for texturing

Note - This blog is intended for adult hobbyists and the above tools & materials should be used with care by adults only.

Step 1

Decide what size trays you want to make.

My 1/32 scale Romans are based on 7cm MDF squares with 4 bases to a unit. So when formed up in line I need trays that comfortably exceed 28cm wide by 7cm deep.

Italeri 54mm or 1/32 Scale Romans. Painted and on movement trays

How much leeway you wish to leave is up to you. I leave several mm to allow for sloppy measuring and excess sand & flock on bases etc...

My Barbarians are on the same sized bases but 8 bases to a unit meaning trays about double the size of the Roman ones and at least 28cm x 14cm.

Step 2

Cut the plastic building card to size. I use a scoring tool and steel rule to do this. When scored deep enough you can just snap the plastic card along the score rather than having to cut it with a knife.

Step 3

Affix the sections of plastic sprue to the edges of your plastic card with plastic glue. Cut the sprue lengths to size as you work using clippers.

The plastic glue is fairly forgiving so you should have enough time to re-position any edges that have not quite lined up as you wish.

Allow to dry. Turning them upside down on a flat surface works well for this.

My favoured sprue frames are those from the Victrix 40mm bases. They are big frames offering lots of plastic edging sections and have rounded corners that are ideal for trays.

At this point your tray is constructed. Note rounded edges trimmed to shape with clippers.

You can get two trays this size from one sheet of 80B plastic card with some left over for other projects. I did try using thin strips of plastic card as edging previously but found it tricky to cut accurately when that thin and it also was quite bendy. Hitting upon sections from old sprue frames was a much better solution.

Step 4

Finishing. I just spray brown. Then when dry I apply flock or static grass to the edges with pva. A coat of matt spray varnish completes the tray ready for use.

Italeri 54mm or 1/32 Scale Romans. Painted and on movement trays

These Italeri Romans I bought mainly painted already so all I needed to do was to touch up any damage, add any extra details I wanted and then base them.

Italeri 54mm or 1/32 Scale Romans. Painted and on movement trays

The slots on the command stands are for dice to unit indicate status.

Using these trays reduces time, hassle and damage when moving individual bases. The plastic card also slides pretty smoothly over most table covering materials and does not snag on fabric fields etc...

That's it - thanks for reading and I hope you found the post of interest.


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