Scalemates, modelarska baza danych | zarządzanie magazynem
zaloguj | faq | fakty | informacje o nas | prywatność |
modelarska baza danych | zarządzanie magazynem
Choppa Nutta
Choppa Nutta (Choppa Nutta)


Ornamental Stepped Chess Board - Battle Board Diorama Style

This piece is a commission I have recently finished and I thought I would share it here.

Measures about two foot square (600mm) made from cardboard, papier mache', plaster powder for the dirt, static grass, small plants from the garden, cheap poster paints and a discarded For Sale sign post for the wooden frame :)

Whilst stepped chess boards have been done before I believe this particular layout to be unique with five hills, one in the center and one in each corner with a raised plinth for the King and Queen starting positions, the royal plinths as it were.

Thus far I have made three boards of this layout with one of them having a dirt and snow whilst my personal is very similar to the one pictured with the grass and dirt scheme.

I hope you all like it :)

Build thread is here on Genessis Models -

Wyświetl zdjęcia (15): | | Lista


12 | 1. July, 14:17
Show 58 previous comments
Rui S
Interesting & diferent project, well done
Hopefully the King in his long robes doesn't trip over the terraces of the battlefield, otherwise it's checkmate right away ;)
1. July, 14:43
very original chessboard :)
1. July, 15:05
Choppa Nutta
Haha, luckily he only gets to make one step at a time ;)
Cheers Rui for the kind words :)
1. July, 15:06
Choppa Nutta
Cheers Spanjaard ! :)
1. July, 15:29
Nicely done, you get an "En Passant" because I have those same vintage chessmen ;)
Black to move: Bc5 Sicilian Defense
2. July, 04:57
Choppa Nutta
Cheers JD ( Jack Daniels ? :D ) for the kind words and the En Passant !! :D

Nice that someone was paying attention to the position ;)
I'll respond with Nxe5 as I like a gambit !! :D

Anyhow the board was delivered safe and sound to the client today and he was most happy with it, we even christened it with a couple of games and I feel a touch guilty for winning both games :)
2. July, 19:26
I have not played a game in years! Probably because I was never any good to begin with, but this is refreshing, so I play Ne5. Go easy on me, or destroy me, I don't mind losing.. :D
2. July, 21:44
Choppa Nutta
Haha, you mean Nxe5 surely, given that my Knight has just taken your pawn on that square yeah ? :D
Got to get the nomenclature right for the sake of clarity !! :D :D :D

Ok, d4 (as in Pawn to d4) forking your Bishop and your Knight ;)
2. July, 22:08
Scott Dutton
Wow, one of the most innovative things I've seen in a long time, I looked for ages to understand the 3 dimensions you had created, not realising there was 5 hills an 2 points, wow. The blog is very interesting , what a project, you are very creative
2. July, 22:50
Knight takes Bishop. NxC4?
2. July, 23:58
Choppa Nutta
Thanks Scott, you are most kind :)
if you liked this build you might like may Flying Island build too -

Fradge Isle - Flying Island Mk 1 | Album by Choppa Nutta

JD, damn ! .. seems I bolloxed that gambit right up !! ... and that I can't play properly without the board in front of me etc. as I had completely forgotten my Bishop was in such a vulnerable position ! Doh !
thus I shall let have this game and resign accordingly :)
PM me with your opening move if you would to start a proper game and I'll set a board up this end so I can see what is going on etc. rather than trying to play "blindfolded" so to speak ! :) :D
3. July, 10:07
Palo M
Needs plants vs zombies as figures.
3. July, 12:58
Choppa Nutta
Ha, perhaps Palo but I hope you might still like it without them :)

Although I feel the vintage renaissance set suits the board rather well :)
3. July, 18:30
Scalemates chess forum? Maybe other games too? hmm.
Sure, let's have a game, Choppa :D
3. July, 19:20
Scott Dutton
Choppa, had missed your flying island. That is equally amazing, I'm always impressed worth how creative and imaginative people can be. I can generally make and copy but don't have that creative flair to invent something new and unique which is why I admire those that can and do. I tip my hat.
3. July, 23:32
Rui S
@Scott, well Said. And if there is someone that proved to BE very creative here, with unusual scratchbuild stuf, that Mate is Choppa 8)
4. July, 11:17
Greg Baker
Oh, another brilliant execution of another innovative idea... ho hum... ;)
4. July, 14:24
Choppa Nutta
Haha Greg, you phunny phucka :D ..... oh and thanks for the kind words :D

Scott, it's just a matter of giving it a go really, just ask Greg !! :)
I would suggest start by scratch building someone else's designs and before long you'll end up with ideas of your own etc..... learning to draw helps too as it helps with planning an idea out :)

I've been thinking about creating a youtube channel called "Scratch'n'Bash" to encourage others to get into it and if I receive enough encouragement from people to do it I reckon I will, we shall see :)
4. July, 19:45
Greg Baker
Oh, heck yeah! That's a great idea. That needs to happen.
4. July, 23:42
I'd subscribe for sure!
4. July, 23:52
Choppa Nutta
Cheers chaps, once I have a few projects off the bench and sorted out my new computer,camera and video editing software I think I'll have to give it a go :)

Anyhow, added three more pics of my snow and dirt version of the ornamental stepped chess board :)
7. July, 12:31
Scott Dutton
Prefer spring version but appreciate both
8. July, 08:29
Choppa Nutta
Cheers Scott, and I agree but such was the nature of the commission of the second board :)
Originally I tried to make the dirt look like hot coals for a fire and ice theme but I couldn't get it to work properly so I converted it to dirt instead although I may make another attempt at some point :)
But yeah, the spring version has more life to it I feel :)
8. July, 12:41
Greg Baker
You need LEDs for that... version 3!
8. July, 13:28
Choppa Nutta
haha now there is a thought !! .... that adds a new level of complication but could prove effective...
I was thinking perhaps some fluorescent paint and get the painting done in the right order etc....
Perhaps some tests are in order ?
We shall see :)
8. July, 13:45
Greg Baker
If you want hot coals... I'd use red LEDs and then cover them with a silicone caulking mixed with clear Tamiya acrylics (orange, smoke?). That'll give a nice diffused light + texture effect.
8. July, 15:57
Choppa Nutta
Definitely worth experimenting with something along those lines but I would also like to see what I can achieve with just paint too, which may prove to be an exercise in futility but I am sure I will learn something along the way (hopefully :) )
That said an illuminated board would look pretty epic !!

But first I am going to finish my own "spring" version of the board and some of the other projects I have on the go, unless of course I receive more commissions :D
8. July, 17:10
Greg Baker
Now you've got me thinking... you could make a square mould... and use the silicone mixture to make "hot coal" squares that could be applied to the board as sections... and then you could... ;)
8. July, 23:55
Choppa Nutta
ah but I would want every square different though so for something like this I wouldn't go down the molding route etc. :)
8. July, 23:58
Greg Baker
Well... The one square mould would just be for size... each square itself would be different.
9. July, 02:55
Just this one time I recommend listening to a complete nutter... ;)
9. July, 03:29
Choppa Nutta
All ideas are worth considering I reckon :)
I think before I commit to do another board though some experiments are in order :)
I do have some clear perspex sheet that could be cut up in to the right sized squares as a basis for the illuminated board .... anyhow, I need to attend to other projects before returning to explore these good ideas :)
9. July, 11:20
Scott Dutton
You could exploit the translucent and light transmitting properties of acrylic or perspex, have the rocks out of clear or opaque even better resin, then mount on your perspex squares, back light the perspex squares and the light will transmit through. Paint the surface then using the hair spray method and the chipping would then reveal the light. Alternatively use rock salt or whatever you see at those shops that sell salt lamps, pretty good effect just there.
9. July, 22:46
9. July, 22:49
I sense a whole new genre of chessboard making, with all the interest in the subject... :S
9. July, 23:29
Choppa Nutta
Thanks Anthony, glad you like it :)

I also appreciate the ideas and suggestions for the fire and ice theme, definitely some good ideas to experiment with :)

One idea that is floating in my mind is to use a perspex plate with a tin foil lined cavity underneath to reflect the LED light upward and use a relatively thin layer of the plaster powder I have been using and paint with the Tamiya clear red and dry brush black paint on top. If the plaster is thin enough the light will come through and I still have the rough texture I want with each square being unique and I won't have to resort to expensive resins and latex molds etc. Being a peasant budget is a primary concern thus I am very keen to make the most of the stuff I already have !!

I think I will start with the cheapest methods first and work my way up from there :D
The hair spray method and the chipping is not something I have done as yet and I am uncertain how that might work out on a rough surface ... although I understand the principal of the technique :)
One thing that might be a cool effect would be to find a (cheap) way to get the lights to change intensity like burning coals do.

And yes, the level of interest for this comes as a pleasant surprise :)
10. July, 00:02
Greg Baker
You can get the LEDs to flicker using a capacitor, but if you want a really cool effect, I'd suggest getting a Arduino NANO (or MICRO) and using the processing capabilities. You could set all the lights individually. I used them in both my Nausicaa Ohm project to run the motion sensor and eye-colour change, as well as on my Tinin rocket project to run the countdown clock (and other assorted lights via button push). It's some work to figure out, but the results will be FANTASTIC.
10. July, 01:58
Choppa Nutta
Haha now we are really going off the deep end there !!
although ...... it would be cool to get to grips with those Arduino thingy mabobs ... how much are they I wonder ? ... Ball park figures...
Btw, got any videos of your examples working ?
10. July, 07:12
Greg Baker
The Arduino Nano's are about $5 incl. shipping on eBay. ;)

That's what I used to do this:
Youtube Video

10. July, 10:30
Choppa Nutta
yeah that is a lovely piece !! :)

Needs some music though or maybe a quote from the story perhaps ;)

"In a few short centuries, industrial
civilization had spread from the western
fringes of Eurasia to sprawl across the
face of planet. Plundering the soil of
its riches, fouling the air,and remolding
lifeforms at will, this gargantuan
industrial society had already peaked a
thousand years after its foundation:
Ahead lay abrupt and violent decline. The
cities burned, welling up as clouds of
poison in the war to be remembered as the
Seven Days Of Fire. The complex and
sophisticated technological superstructure
was lost; almost all the surface of the
Earth was transformed into a sterile
wasteland. Industrial civilization was
never rebuilt as mankind lived on
through the long twilight years ..."

Hayao Miyazaki :)
10. July, 11:18
Scott Dutton
Choppa, with your idea of a perspex base, I have some experience in backlighting film cells so that light shines through. The easiest way here is to use a block of perspex as you suggested, and spray paint silver or white on all sides except the top where you want the light to shine through. Then spray black so the light is contained inside the slab of petspex with the onlywayout is the one unpainted surface you left. I then drill a small hole and mount the LED inside the block, they typically 5mm, put a few in and have them on the side well out of the viewing area so you don't get direct bright light only the reflected light from inside the light box.youcan get tricolour LED so you can vary the light colour with arduino as mentioned, copies are only about $5 or if just want one colour and constant intensity, wire directly. Other options is Electro Illuminant sheet, it it needs higher voltages, no current, to work with, but you can cut it to various shapes.ofthen thought about using it to illuminate a star trek enterprise or similar. All good fun. Yell if you need tech advise, I'm elec eng.
14. July, 09:53
Choppa Nutta
Thanks ever so much Scott !!

Will be a while before I get around to doing another attempt on the Fire and Ice theme though but there's some good ideas there mate and the tech support is would be much appreciated too ! :)
14. July, 15:28
Scott Dutton
Just yell out, whenever
15. July, 00:40
Bernhard Schrock
This board is the reason for my to learn chess. Great idea!!
15. July, 19:46
Hey Bernhard, Choppa Nutta and myself have started playing chess, You could set up a board and play with us! and anyone else is welcome too!
15. July, 23:07
Choppa Nutta
Cheers Bernhard, glad you like it :)
and I'm pleased my creation has inspired you to learn the great game !!
I have a handful of links that might help you learn the game if you're interested :)

Roger Wilco Scott :)

JD, you do know it is a two player game yeah ? ;) :D
16. July, 19:06
Chess isn't a 3 player game eh? Good one...
16. July, 20:20
Choppa Nutta
hehe :D :D :D
to your credit JD I think you have proven yourself a decent player thus far as you are already two pawns up and I fear I may lose a third in the next move ...
You are forcing me to think very carefully about my moves !! :)
16. July, 21:41
Same here mate! Gets the old gears turning again... but I think you're just toying with me, setting me up for the slaughter :S :D
16. July, 21:50
Choppa Nutta
No no, you are making me work for my meal, so to speak :)
Check my latest PM as I have made a special request etc. ...
16. July, 22:04
Choppa Nutta
Wahoo !!
Appears I have won third place out of 45 entries in the Genessis Models Lockdown GB with this build !! :)
A pleasant surprise indeed and certainly not one that I was expecting at all given the quality of the other entrants, anyhow here's the video of the winners and all the other entrants :)

Youtube Video

18. July, 01:32
Lol! Great job mate! :D Great review of your build and photo of the Chess opening that led to our first game! How cool is that? Round of drinks for Choppa Nutta! :D
18. July, 05:01
Rui S
Congratulations Choopa I did recon it immediately in My first comment on This thread. Well done Mate
18. July, 10:21
Well you should have second place as the first place is clearly wrong in colour scheme.
18. July, 11:50
Chaz Gordon
Are you going to be doing 32 x 28mm custom figures for the Pieces? If only there was a better range of GOT figures out there, Fantasy Chess boards just scream out for GOT sides. Lannisters, Danaerys, Starks, Night King, Ironborn...........
18. July, 12:13
Choppa Nutta
Thanks ever so much chaps !! Much appreciated :)

Oliver, I think Remy's build is a well deserved winner despite being the wrong colour as the rest of the build is a great piece of work and i certainly don't begrudge him his first place award ;) :D

Chaz funny you should mention Game of Thrones as I am rewatching it again, I thought the first four seasons were great, seasons 5 & 6 were good, season 7 was ok but season 8 was a big old pile of steaming shit. From season 5 onwards I kept hoping Danaerys the pompous idiot queen would be killed off but they made us all wait until the last episode ... ah well.

Made me laugh listening to the writers of season 8 waffling on about how they wanted to subvert their audiences expectations, which they did as I was expecting something good ........ !!
So, well done ? .... I guess ?

Nae mind, the first six seasons are worth a rewatch though, shame the writers snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, it felt like watching a racer who has lapped everybody twice only to stumble and fall right before the finish line and get overtaken by everyone and end up plumb last :)

I've been singing this along to the main theme tune when it came to season 8 . . haha :D

Biggggggggggg Pooooooooooo, watta
Biggggggggggg Pooooooooooo,
watta big poo, watta big poo,
watta big poo, watta big poo.....

Firing George RR Martin was mistake, seeing as the story was his invention ....

Anyhow, whilst I like the idea I'm not sure I have the motivation to sculpt 32 pieces for a GOT themed fantasy set. That said there are some good themes to choose from as well as the ones you've already mentioned such as the Corws of the Nightswatch, the Wildlings and their giants, the Boltons, Knights of the Vale, Brotherhood without Banners etc.
18. July, 14:17
Chaz Gordon
Actually, you only need to sculpt 6 unique pieces per side for a chess set, although 9 per side is more interesting
28. August, 23:22
Choppa Nutta
You make a good point there Chaz, I've been wanting to try my hand at mold making using silicon and resin for a while now.
As luck would have it was my birthday last week and I received a slab of modelling clay as a gift :)
There's a few sides to choose from but I guess the obvious choices would be the Lannisters versus the Dragon Queen and her Dothraki hordes, food for thought !! :)

There's a Battle of Britain group build about to start over on Genessis Models and I was thinking of sculpting a 1/4 scale bust of Douglas Bader as one of my entries to go along with a dogfight double of Bader's Spit MkIIa versus Galland's Me109e4 etc.

Anyhow, apologies for the wee rant in my previous comment but as you can guess I was really disappointed with how they finished that show off and all that :)

Cheers for the good idea Chaz, I'll definitely give it some thought, I wonder what brand of silicon is the cheapest/easiest to work with for mold making for resin casting ?
29. August, 09:02
Choppa Nutta
If anyone has any good suggestions about which silicon and resins to use that are both cheap and easy to work with that would be great as this is something I don't know that much about :)
29. August, 09:08
Chaz Gordon
I've only worked with Polycraft silicone and resin so far. Research seems to indicate that it's a bit over priced, there's equivalents on ebay and amazon at around half the price, but I'm having trouble finding anything but crystal clear resin. The main trick I'm working out is how to do two part molds properly, embedding the part in clay for the first mold impression is tricky, as just pushing the part in doesn't leave a clean edge.
If you can make things in two halves with one perfectly flat side, everything is so much easier as you don't have to worry about air pockets in the resin cast, or any kind of fluid channels. A perfect flat finish can be achieved with a bit of greaseproof paper and an old bathroom tile placed on the top of the mold after the pour.
29. August, 10:28
Choppa Nutta

I wouldn't mind using crystal clear resin as I would be painting it anyway, my trouble is that I'm not really sure what I need to get and that I have a really tight budget so I need to be very prudent with my purchases etc. :)

Anyhow, I watched these two videos recently which I found interesting which goes through exactly the issues you're describing. Although he does use some very fancy looking equipment such as pressure chambers and vacuum chambers, way out of my league budget wise ...
I suppose I could jury rig my vacuum cleaner to do the job but I might blow it up or melt it due to overloading the motor etc....

Anyhow, there are still some good ideas in these videos though.
Would be interested to hear what you think :)

Youtube Video


Youtube Video

29. August, 11:15
Chaz Gordon
I don't use a vacuum chamber, but I did make a budget vibration table out of a piece of ply, two cheap 12v vibration motors from eBay, a 12v wall wart , 4 Ikea shelving feet and some plumbing strap. It vibrates the air bubbles out of the silicone nicely, I just pop them with a toothpick as they surface. The resin isn't bad with air bubbles, I use a toothpick to agitate the resin in the mold to get most of the bubbles out. Vibration table wouldnt work so well with the resin as you only get 2 minutes to work it.
29. August, 12:50
Choppa Nutta
Yeah that's a neat idea using a vibration table and if you stir it at the same time too, a nice and easy solution that could really help out.

Only 2 minutes to work the resin ?!?
... that sure is some fast cure resin but then if you need to bang out a load of parts quickly, reckon I'd prefer to go with something that takes over night to cure though just so I have plenty of time to work with it otherwise I might be prone to panicking and then really stuff things up !! :D

Anyhow, did you watch the above videos dude ? :)
29. August, 12:59
Greg Baker
I'll throw my two cents in... I've tried several two part resins and the best one in terms of low door and forgiving set times is SmoothOn. One tip is that resin will go "bad" so don't buy more than you think you can use in a month or two. After that it bubbles up something fierce. I've never had troubles with bubbles in the silicone, just by using the "high pour" technique. If the stream of silicone is small enough, the bubbles are lost in transit from the cup to the mold. I'm thinking about building a pressure chamber though, because getting bubble free castings is very tricky. It will take some trial and error to figure out how to get the resin to flow and allow air to escape the right way.

If you get a resin that blooms after about 10 minutes, you'll probably have lots of time. Once you mix the two parts together, it's just mix and pour... and wait. There's really not that much else that you can do with it.
29. August, 16:21
Alexander Perov
It's a great job, but I think 90% of modelers are unlikely to do it.
29. August, 16:37
Choppa Nutta
Cheers Greg but what do you mean by "blooms" ?

Not to worried about low odor (or low door ;) ) as I can always leave it outside or something :)
But the fact that Smooth On works well is definitely worth a look for me so cheers for the recommendation dude ! :)

At the moment price is probably my top priority, not that I need much anyway for the first experiments although I do have a collection of Star Wars Death Star surface tiles that Ken Kolenovsky very kindly gave me after his epic Star Wars project I'd like to use at some point :)

But I have just acquired a couple of Flames of War 1/100 sets that have spare turrets and tank tops and if I could cast and mold the tracks and a couple of other minor pieces I can put another five tanks on the gaming table :D

I figure the first thing I need to get is the silicon to make the molds and if that goes well for me then I can get some resin, so what silicon has a good compromise between quality and price I wonder ?

The other consideration I guess is what release agents to use ?
29. August, 16:48
Choppa Nutta
Hi Alexander, do you mean that making molds and casting parts is a great but that 90% of modelers are unlikely to do it ?
or were you talking about making chess boards ?
Asking for a friend :D :D :D
29. August, 17:14
Alexander Perov
good evening and yes I meant casting forms
29. August, 18:25
Chaz Gordon
Choppa, most molding silicone doesn't require too much in the way of release agent. But to be on the safe side, I use cheap silicone lubricant spray I got from ebay, works a treat, spray it as if it was paint until you get a glossy finish.
29. August, 18:50
Choppa Nutta
Glad we cleared that up Alexander !! :D
and judging by the cost of getting into mould making I can kinda see why !!

Chaz, good to know because I was think of using olive oil !! haha :D
I need to do some more hunting for stuff though because the Smooth On products whilst high quality are also high prices too £50+ for a starter set and you do not get much at all .... and if you buy the silicon by the gallon it's over £200 !! and the resin is over £100 a gallon !!
Shocking prices !
especially for a peasant such as I !! :)

More research require me thinks :)
But at least I am now a nit more informed as to what I am letting myself in for though thanks to you guys, still something I want to do though :)
29. August, 19:56
Chaz Gordon
Choppa, one thing I have discovered is that the kits are all the wrong way around, you will use a lot more Silicone than resin, at least to start with. 1kg of silicone is about 800 ml, so it does not go a long way, but I am mixing resin 50g at a time to make a full set of 1/24 engine halves and ancillaries.
30. August, 12:16
Chaz Gordon
The videos are interesting, and have given me a couple ideas how to approach 2 part molding.
30. August, 12:16
Choppa Nutta
Yeah I like the videos too, he takes a very practical approach to the whole thing.
Although for the first few bits I would like to cast a one piece mould will work just fine :)
I suppose they give you more resin than silicon so you can use the moulds you've made several times and reproduce a number of pieces I guess.

Hopefully I can find a cheaper alternative from somewhere, I was kind of hoping to find a starter kit for around £30 tops but maybe I am dreaming !! :)

Anyhow, 800 ml is not a lot is considering that a liter is a 4 inch cube but then the first parts I want to mould are quite small etc.
30. August, 13:03
Greg Baker
I'm with Chaz, the main cost is in the silicone. The molds also don't last forever either. I've cut some corners in terms of how much room around the mold cavity is recommended to save costs on silicone too. The resin, on the other hand... a little goes a long way. What I mean by "bloom" is when the chemical reaction starts, the resin starts to turn opaque. You need to be all done well before that happens, because there's nothing you can do from that point. Lower quality resin has less precise bloom times. The first non-name resin I had bloomed in about a minute. So every pour was frantic and I ended up with a lot of wasted plastic because of it.
30. August, 13:56
Chaz Gordon
the medium polycraft kit is 60 quid on Amazon, but I think there is too much resin unless you're planning to cast a lot of parts from your first molds. I find myself thinking carefully about what I'm going to make molds for, if I expect to use the molds alot, then I will make a mold, if it's only a couple of parts, then I'd make a short life mold, either with blue stuff, or i'm experimenting with y DIY store silicone, but it's more involved to get it to cure in a usable way.
30. August, 15:32
Choppa Nutta
I don't mind having extra resin as I have some Star Wars moulds Ken gave me after his epic build :)
And yeah reduce the wall thickness of the moulds to make the silicon go that bit further is a good idea !
The more I think about it the more I would prefer really slow cure resin, 24 hours or so :)
Anyhow, always good to get advice from those who have actually done it and thank you for your input chaps it's much appreciated !! :)
30. August, 20:29

Wszystkie albumy

Wyświetl wszystkie albumy »


We use cookies to give you a great and free experience on our website. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

You can change your Cookie settings at any time. (Essential cookies are for: preferences, security, performance analytics and contextual advertising)

Privacy policy »     Continue