Friday Quick Tip: Nebulas

With the Babad War Campaign build up that went down in 2009 from Bell of Lost Souls, I was bitten by the Battlefleet Gothic bug. It started out by just buying and painting up my Sons of Medusa Battle Barge "The Might of Heracles". As I started reading the rules for BFG, I began to feel the pull of BFG terrain, and I just couldn't help myself. After a quick trip to the local Hobby Lobby craft store, I was ready to start my table.

I knew I didn't want some boring just stars type starfield to battle over. So I broke out the spray paint and got to work!

You'll need a black cloth for this technique, so if you want a hard table for BFG, you're kind of out of luck on this technique, sorry! But I think a cloth cover for normal tables is probably best because BFG is definitely a flavor of the week game, and as such having a dedicated table seems a bit much! For my cloth I purchased an approximately 4'x6' foot section of Black Jersey Knit cloth.

You're also going to need a small selection of spray paints. I did the first trial with reds, but for this I've used a single Rustoleum blue spray.

To start out, flatten out the cloth on a flat surface, and then take up a small knot worth and curl it up like so:

As you can see, these photos are somewhat bright, it's because I opened up the garage door since I'm working with spray paint! Have good ventilation when using sprays people!

When you have something similar to this, just spray the balled up area with whatever color or colors you want the nebula to end up being!

Next just flatten it all back out!

As you can see, the knotting/balling up of the cloth has created a lot of great variation in the paint that gives the nebula a really nice random and natural look!

The final step in nebula creation is to dust the entire thing lightly with an additional spray of blue to add some more glow to the already vibrant nebula.

Flick some stars on using a toothbrush and some white paint and you're good to go!

I hope this little technique was helpful, BFG is very niche, but it's a dedicated group that love the game! This will hopefully find those of you interested in the game well, and hopefully, we see more variation on those starfields for any space based gaming!


  1. I don't play BFG but this is definitely cool.

    Nice job!

  2. I've been fiddling with how to get realistic nebula effects on a flat surface. Fantastic and simple idea!
    This is amazing!

  3. Looks great and not to mention, a cloth table is much easier to store than a hard table!

  4. Fantastic idea! I don't play BFG but I do play B5:ACTA so I might get some use out of this. Thanks, keep up the good work!

  5. I actually had other space games in mind as well. I just don't know what they are! I just know they're out there!

  6. When GW pushed BFG back when we were still in 3rd edition 40k, they shipped some great boards to some of the stores. It was plexiglass cut in a kidney shape. Probably 4 foot by 3 (rough estimate.. it's a rounded shape and was 10+ years ago.

    The painting was awesome on it because it had been reverse painted on the back so it was smooth surface while playing, but looked great. The only problem was the paint got a lot of abuse since it was pushed against the table top.

    If you want a solid surface board, make the star field using this technique and then buy a piece of plexiglass cut to the right size and just set it on top of the cloth. Easy enough to store the plexi, and still can fold up the material when you're not playing.

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