Flying characters are a pain in the butt to distinguish from their grounded counterparts when playing on a battle grid, especially if one character decides to move directly over or under another. This weekend, I finally acted on something I've been thinking about for a long time and built myself a cheap but effective flying rig, which allows me to display flying minis above the battle mat in a way that can be quickly adjusted to a wide range of specific altitudes. Even better, it only took a few minutes to build each rig and only cost me a few bucks to buy the supplies.
|Fly my pretty! Fly!|
|The items on the left are for the bare-bones model. |
The stuff on the right is used to improve the mini holder.
Basic Supplies:All of these should be available from a well-stocked hobby/craft store
- 1 doll stand (2 inch base $0.99 at the craft store)
- 1 metal rod (a pack of five 3/32" diameter aluminum rods was $3.50 at the craft store)
- 1 small clothes pin (a 24 pack of 2" long pins was $3.50)
- sticky tack (I had some lying around the house, but you can get it at any office supply or craft store)
- permanent marker
Additional supplies for a better mini holder:
- masking tape
- small paperclips
- cork (I used a coaster from a pack we picked up at Ikea. A bit of shelf liner would work too.)
- craft magnets (I had these lying around the house.)
- matte knife
- glue stick
Building the basic stand:
Step 3: Put the rod back in the doll stand and add a bit of sticky tack at the base and around the top part of the doll stand. Make sure the rod is relatively vertical before placing the sticky tack.
The basic version is finished by adding a bit of sticky tack or double-stick tape to the top of the clothespin for attaching the minis. I found that the sticky tack caused minis to attempt a sort of bungie jump off the stand after only a couple minutes. That's why I went on to experiment with improved platforms.
Improving the Platform:
My solution to the mini holder is still experimental. It works pretty well, but it could definitely still be improved. Here's how to make it.
Step 1: Bend a small paperclip as shown above and check to make sure the end fits through the center of the clothespin's spring. If necessary, add a bit of masking tape to ensure a snug fit. Make sure you use metal paperclips that will stick to magnets.
Step 3: Stick the magnet on the paperclip and attach the clothespin to the rod. You now have an aerial platform for your minis!
Making adjustments:To adjust the altitude, it is probably easiest to remove the mini before sliding the clothespin up or down.
If your mini topples the flying rig over, try bending the doll stand slightly forward to keep the center of gravity over the base.
Now you're ready to fly!