Modelling and painting tips: Building Movement Trays

In warhammer fantasy you move large regiments over the tabletop. If you've ever tried to do this without a movement tray, you will know how tiresome that is. But not only do movement trays speed up both set up and gaming, they also improve the look of your regiments.

You could of course buy ready made movement trays. But more often than not they don't have the right size for your regiment and cost a good amount of money. So why not build them yoursef?

Here's what you will need:

- a sheet of plasticard with a thickness of 3 mm
- an empty plastic sprue
- your modelling tools (clip, knife, metal ruler and a pen)
- super glue
- PVA glue and sand for the base
- paint

Getting started

You start by cliping the empty plastic sprue apart. You will only need the outside frame. Clip the frame into four long rods and clean them. Make sure you have one clean, smooth side on each of them as these will be on the inside of the movement tray and hence visible when there are no models on it (anymore). I do this by cliping off the larger pieces. Then I clean the rods with my modelling knife. Just be careful you don't cut yourself! And don't cut the frame bits to size yet - we'll do that later.

The next step is to cut the actual movement tray to size. I strongly recomend to use actual models for this - don't measure it. Models often need more space than the 20x20 mm base they are sitting on. So line up your regiment on a sheet of plasticard, add the frame and mark the size with a pen.
Then cut the plasticard to size using your modelling knife and a metal ruler. I prefer a metal ruler for this, as plastic or wooden ones can get ruined in the process. Make long, even cuts along the ruler and repeat this as often as necessary. You won't get through with one single cut, but long, even cuts will do a better job than one strong stroke that's off the mark in the end.

Putting it all together

Now all that's left is to assemble your movement tray. Place one rod along the front side and superglue it to the plasticard. Don't worry about the ends - they will hang over the edges for now. Repeat this on the rear end of the movement tray, but make sure your regiment will still fit. Finally you cut the remaining two rods of the frame to size. I recommend an angled cut, so it fits better on the side of the front and rear frame.
Once you've glued the sidelines on the plasticard, too, you can cut the ends of the front and rear frame to size. The finished product should look like the one on the left.

Finishing touches

Of course this is not how you want your movement tray to appear on the tabletop, is it? So now it's time to base, paint and flock the outsides of the frame. This is done just in the same manner as you base your troops. I do this by gluing sand on the frame with PVA glue. I then prime black, paint the base colour and drybrush the structured surface. The inside of the movement tray is either left black or painted in the same colour as the edges of my troops' bases.As a final touch I add some grass flock and voila, the movement tray is finished.
What design you use for basing the movement try is of course up to you. I use different designs for my armies myself. Here are two examples of regiments on their movement trays:

See? It's really simple. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me.

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