Friday, February 24, 2012

Fantasy Friday - Movement Trays for Noobs

One thing that has evolved in Warhammer since I first started (4th edition... in middle school) is the creation of the movement tray. Hell, they may have had them back then, but I don't recall. I'd move my 64 goblins along, 4 wide and 16 ranks deep, one model at a time. Nightmare.

Now, we have movement trays. There are various ways to make them. I prefer the GW method because it is really easy and very cheap. For $9 you get enough trays for 200 small based infantry and 128 large based infantry models. They make it easy to keep the models lined up and wheeling nicely.

The key with these movement trays is to map out how you want them from the beginning. With my beastmen, I knew I wanted at least two big Gor hordes, so 4 ranks deep by 10 ranks wide. I put together two sections that would hold 40 gors in it and glued them together.

Then you put corners and sides on. That part is pretty simple. I wouldn't actually recommend corners and sides on the back. Sometimes a unit is a little large by a few models (because of characters, for instance) so you have to have a few models trailing off the back.

See the first instance of a movement tray:

A 30 man small base unit tray with sides and corners.
Flipped over, we can see the larger infantry base size of the unit tray
This is good enough for regular old models, but magnetizing your models makes WHFB so much easier and less stressful. I bought K&S metal sheets at Hobby Lobby and cut them to size. I didn't want to mess around with really thick metal... this stuff is paper thin. I could cut it with scissors.

A 4 x 10 large base tray. This fits my entire Gor horde.
This allows me to use the Galeforce 9 magnetized bases on my infantry. They snap right to it and don't fall off. You could also use regular old rare earth magnets on it. I wish I had known this when I started my Tomb Kings. This method is SO MUCH easier.

After that, I spray primed the whole thing an army green color and glued flock on the outer edges. I wasn't too excited to do this but I had just built it up in my mind to be tougher than it really is. I just drew a large bead of Elmer's glue on the outside of the tray then tossed out some flock in a model box. Press each edge into the flock so it gets covered.

You can go a lot further with the actual basing and flocking... see some examples:


  1. Thank you for the timely article!!

  2. I'm ramping up to fabricate my first trays this week. Timely indeed.

  3. One thing I don't think I mentioned is to check to see if you can make one tray that will fit two functions. Can a 5 x 10 base tray be made so you could do five wide and up to 10 deep, but you could also use it as a horde? Might be worth it then.

    I don't think you'd want any hordes with Skaven though, lol. That just means you're losing more dudes.

  4. The only horde you should run as Skaven is a Plague Monk horde with a Furnace and Plague Banner, or maybe a Storm Vermin horde if playing a combat list.

    I have GW modular trays for my Skaven, but I am experimenting with creating my own out of Plasticard for the new Ogres. I am really liking the extra lip I can create for easier basing of the trays with this method.

  5. I've tried making my own trays using plasticard and sheet metal. The sheet metal works great but can be hard to cut accurately (and GW trays aren't available locally). I couldn't find any of the K&S sheets that I thought would be magnetic, but didn't have a magnet with me to try.

    If I need to do more than Island of Blood I may try this method.

  6. I did look at magnetising the bases on my Undead as a storage strategy, but it ended up costing slightly more than just buying foam for the case. As far as movement goes, I've some balsa wood planks that I line my units up on, and that I'll eventually get around to edging with some Hirst Arts bricks to stop the blighters straying.