Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Simple Movement Trays

A French battalion tucked into its movement tray.
I've always liked movement trays. They can really cut down the time it takes to set up a game as units can come right out of the cabinet ready to play, they allow players to quickly, easily (and safely) move units around the table, and it speeds up the cleanup time as they go right back into the cabinet ready for the next battle.  I asked Sylvain if he could make me up some movement trays for my Napoleonics and so he made me a shed load of these out of simple heavy card.

240mm x 60mm raw card tray.
The way we have based our Napoleonics is that a standard sized battalion in line has the same frontage as a standard sized regiment of cavalry in double line of squadrons (240mm) so this way we can pretty much use the same movement tray system for each troop type.

Battalion in Line in a single tray.
Two trays accommodate a Dragoon Regiment in Double Line.
I used acrylic Liquitex Gel to seal up the perimeter joins and give the edges some texture so the trays were easy for players to grip.

Edges applied with Liquitex gel medium.
Once the gel dried, I sprayed the trays with Krylon Olive Green. I then used inexpensive Americana craft paint to drybrush the edges the same colour tones as my figures' bases. 

I wanted to get away from using flocking on the movement tray edges as they often come off on player's fingers so I opted to use Woodland Scenics green undertone emulsion to give the impression of turf and for the bases to better blend-in with the surface of the table.


There you have it! Simple movement trays for your troops that are as cheap as chips.

The Boys all trayed-up and ready to water their horses in the Danube (or the Dnieper, or the Sambre, or...)
I think I'll do up trays for Attack Columns and perhaps Squares next...


  1. Your trays look very good, but won't the cardboard curl?

  2. Thanks sebastosfig! No, the trays lay quite flat. The top image is of light Victrix plastics in one of the trays and there is no curl. The trick is to spray them evenly on both sides and not to load them up with too much paint at once - two or three light sprays does the trick. While their 'setting up' I place the based figures in the trays to help them dry flat. (Hmm, I should've mentioned all this in the post, silly me...)

    I also find that the Liquitex seals the edges and adds rigidity to the tray. Even if you did experience a bit of curling I find that any metal figures would weigh them down with their mass.

  3. These are really good. Thanks for that.

  4. Those are very nice, I will have to give something similar a try.


  5. Great idea and beautiful figures Curt. Love that 1st battalion, loads of interesting poses.

  6. Thanks guys! These are just simple add-ons but I find they do make a difference when playing.


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