The Galactic Civil War on the Hard Wood Floor…

We (6 year old Jack and myself) spent the morning building an ad-hoc project for the wife (Trisha). Since my parents are coming into town about the same time that Santa is starting his epic journey, my wife likes to re-arrange things for the sake of re-arranging. I wish it stopped there, but of course when things are re-arranged, wall space opens up and things need to be built to fill the gap.

Lucky for me, Trisha picked an object that I had built many times before. The trusty Barnwood Ledge. This little floating shelf retails for $149 per shelf, but can be made for as little as $16. Even less if scrap wood is available, which (lucky us), it was. As we toiled about, Jack fit the role in his hard hat, tool belt, and plumbers moon revealing low hanging pantaloons. It wasn’t all looks;  while toiling, he also learned about using a tape measure, using pliers to remove common lumber staples, and using a chop saw. We managed to crank out two shelves (to appease of the REAL boss of the house… of course).

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These ledges aren’t the reason for this post though. About the time Jacks enthusiasm for woodwork started to wane, he mentioned that he would really like to play some “X-wing”, when we were finished, of course (nudge, nudge, hint, hint). We finished shortly after, and went up stairs to play the best table top game ever conceived: X-wing miniatures (video below for the uninitiated).

This game is part of the fantasy flight series of games, where squadrons of Tie Fighters and Rebel ships have dog fights until one side is annihilated. It’s quite fun, and I’ve yet to beat Jack, who insists on using the Millennium Falcon (every time). This is definitely an exorcise in masochism for me, but, he loves it, so I endure. It occurred to me, about the same time that my 2nd Tie Fighter was lost in a hail of blaster fire, that we were playing on a hardwood floor. No stars, death or conventional, no galaxies or nebula, no Yavin IV or Endor. Just. Plain. Hardwood. We need a play surface. A table top. A mat. Something.

Since this is a blog about making things, I think a fitting project, worthy of an online journal, would be to make suitable galaxy game surface. Now I can buy these things, but I’m not too keen on dropping 75+ on a roll of airbrushed vinyl, so we’ll build this thing from the ground up.

I’m starting out with three goals: 1) it must nice to look at 2) it must be 3’x3′ and 3) I’d like to work some sort of LED wiring into it (we’ll see if I can do this). Overall, the inspiration for this project comes from

Image result for x wing miniatures mat

If you have any thoughts, please share; I’ll reciprocate by posting the schematics and “how to” steps as the build progresses.

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