Wargaming Room

I have had the opportunity to design and built a wargaming room from scratch. This page gives an overview of the design intent and the final result.

Objective: Develop a fully functional game and hobby room with good visual appeal and comfort level.

–          Comfortable hosting of a full sized 8’x4’ game with 2-6 players

–          Large, well-lit painting station with elevated table top for comfort

–          Work area with drawer space for tools and materials

–          Display cabinet able to hold ~40 armies (~6000 miniatures)

–          Visible storage for terrain and skirmish display bases

–          Hidden storage for terrain tiles, game boxes and construction materials

–          Kid-security for each cabinet and the whole room (wide door for entry of larger terrain items).

–          Phone, PC and hands-free intercom (wife’s answer to “lockable door”)

To preserve the visual appeal and “dust-free” status of the room, all heavy duty work is limited to an attached work room not shown in the design. The work room includes a work bench with Dremel scroll saw, drill press, belt sander, various hand tools, a 6’ wide cast iron sink and various hand tools. The work room connects to the exterior and/or garage for summer/winter spray painting.

Design:

The design is custom made in terms of layout and cabinetry to meet the requirements above. The layout divides a work area with multiple stations from the gaming area and the display area where miniatures and terrain are stored.

The colour scheme was inspired by the Games Workshop Museum but with lighter grey walls for practical reasons (painting requires light which makes black walls impractical).

Figure 1: Actual photo and rendering of the Games Workshop Museum (copyright Games Workshop, used without permission)

The primary elements of the design are a work area along the south wall, a display cabinet on the north wall, an accessory cabinet on the east wall and the main gaming table in the centre.

Figure 2: Design drawings for game room including colour scheme and custom furniture

Figure 3: View of east wall with accessory cabinet (terrain glass section on top, closed game book section on the bottom)

Figure 4: View of south wall with work area (paint station on the left, terrain station in the middle and photo station on the right) 

Figure 5: View of west wall with windows and north wall with display cabinet

Painting Station:

The work area is separated into a curved painting station (no drawers for comfortable seating) and a straight work area for bigger projects such as terrain (12” deeper than the painting section to allow for larger activities).

The painting station has a custom made painting rack supporting approximately 150 conventional paint pots and slots for 30 brushes (varying diameter). Lighting is provided by three daylight lamps: a flood light in the ceiling directly above the painting station chair (not shown), a broad beam lamp on the top shelf and a narrow beam lamp with a flexible support (next to the PC). The top shelf serves for active project storage (labelled boxes on the left). The paint area is protected by 16”x16” ceramic tiles (convenient for ad hoc paint mixing as well). The PC is mostly for reference material and podcasts. Apart from the normal Ethernet, TV and phone access, the PC has a hardwired line through the ceiling to a camera mounted in the ceiling above the main gaming table (USB via CAT6e with converter). The camera has a wide angle lens and can be used from the PC to easily capture birds-eye images of ongoing games.

Figure 6: Paint station with PC, paint rack, project store (top shelf) and painting area

Terrain & Photo Station:

The work area is designed for larger projects. The total work surface is nearly 4’ deep and the usual area (excluding the plastic drawers) is about 3’ deep. The drawers on top of the surface contain ready-access material such bits, decals, cleaning supplies, plastic card, balsa wood, etc. The stack of plastic tackle boxes behind the photo box contain sorted bits by army and scale. The shelf holds ready-access terrain material such as flock, static grass, rocks, etc. The small white drawers on the shelf contain compartments with all types of conventional base sizes (GW round & square, FoW, DBA, etc). Lighting is provided by two ceiling flood lights (100W MR16 wide angle) directed onto the counter top. The photo box has independent lighting from two daylight corrected photography lights. The box is 24”x24”x24” in size.

Figure 7: Terrain and photo section

The drawers under the terrain section are 3’ deep and grouped into four columns:

 Model Supplies and Tools(From Top: Sculpting Tools, Wood & Plastic Items, Metal & Magnet Items, Spray Paint, Latex Paint)  Terrain Supplies(From Top: Flock & Grass, Surface Material, Hedges & Bushes, Water Effects & Pumice)
Active Projects6 Drawer for active projects. Example of EPIC Ork and DBA Greek armies shown here. Construction Supplies and Tools(From Top: Hand Tools, Power Tools, Glue & Tape, Casting Material – not shown, Trusty Assistant)

Display Cabinet:

The display cabinet has six columns of adjustable mounts for 24” wide display bases (12” to 18” deep). Each column is 6’ tall (6’8” for the overall cabinet with levelled base). The default configuration is 6 display bases with a 10” spacing (plus the floor of the cabinet).

The columns are illuminated from top to bottom by two vertically mounted low-UV “warm white” LED light strips (to prevent bleaching and give a lighting colour rendering index similar to sunlight). A small reflector barrier prevents direct visibility of the LED strips from the front. Tempered glass doors secured by strong magnets provide protection from dust and kids.

Figure 8: Display cabinet

The display bases are custom made trays with a decorative framing. The trays are ¾” deep to allow for terrain inserts (see “Display Bases” for details on the construction of some display bases). Most display bases are 18” deep (40 bases) to provide enough space for full armies. Ten shorted 12” display bases can be switches in for small armies or vignettes that do not require the deep tray.

Accessory Cabinet:

The accessory cabinet has three 3’ columns each with five shelves of visible storage and two taller shelves for hidden storage. Tempered glass doors secured by strong magnets provide protection from dusk and kids. Two columns hold terrain items. The third column and the curved end piece hold miniatures for skirmish game systems that do not require large display bases in the main cabinet. The closed units on the bottom hold game books, magazines, game boxes and gaming accessories.

Figure 9: Accessory cabinet shown quarter-circle end piece with Man-o-War fleets and island terrain

Figure 10: Skirmish cabinet (from top: Blood Bowl, Mordheim, DBA & Lord of the Rings, DBA, Battlefleet Gothic). Man-o-War fleets are on the open quarter-circle end piece on the left (not shown).

Main Table:

The main table is designed to accommodate full scale games and act as a storage unit for larger components. The table top is 9’3”x5’3” in size with an elevated height of 42” for easy use in a standing position. The high stools provide a comfortable seating option without forcing standing players to bend over during game play. The surface is sufficient for large 8’x’4’ game boards with sufficient space on all the edges for reserve models and game accessories.

Figure 11: Main table surface (in progress Flames of War game shown using 4’x2′ terrain tiles)

The table contains several custom compartments for the storage of larger gaming component and terrain. The top four compartments are designed for terrain tile storage (two compartments per side). Each compartment has three shelves that can each hold a 4’x2’ terrain tile up to 4” in height. The compartment doors tilt downward for easy access.

Three of the four bottom compartments feature standard shelves with a 4’3″x2’3″ surface area each. These compartments hold construction material and longer term storage items. The fourth bottom compartment features custom vertical and horizontal slots for storage of smaller 2’x2’ terrain tiles (e.g. Mordheim, cityfight, space or water tiles).

 Large item storage cabinets on east side of table (bottom)  Top compartment with large terrain tile Storage
Special Bottom compartment with small terrain tile storage

66 thoughts on “Wargaming Room

    1. They have little “anti-slide” rubber feet under them. Combined with the weight of the tile itself this makes them super stable. The tiles are 1/4″ MDF base, 1/2″x1/2″ MDF framing screwed on top of the base, interior filled with 1/2″ foam and spackled out. Net weight is about 2lbs(1kg) per 2’x2′ tile.

  1. This is absolutely spectacular!!! I hope 1 day to have some a grand game room 🙂

    The paint station alone made my jaw drop. By the time I saw the area just for the modular table pieces, I was in heaven

  2. Best. Room. Ever. I often daydream about a games room, but that really is beyond my imagination.

    Your wife must be a very tolerant woman!

  3. Brilliant. Whilst we have a gaming room it’s nowhere near this awesome. I think when we move house our main criteria will have to be that it can fit a 9ft gaming table in it!

    1. It was custom-made, like all the other furniture in the room. That said, it’s one of the easier pieces. Each tier is 1″ wide, so you build a step out of 1″ thick plywood of 1″, 2″, 3″, 4″, etc. lenght. Nail it all together and then laminate everything (the laminate all furniture in the room is heavy duty kitchen laminate with a mottled black pattern (resistant to modelling activities and the odd paint splatter). Lastly, drill in different diameter holes into the top step as brush holders.

  4. This is an astonishingly nice hobby centre you’ve created for yourself! I will hopefully soon have a much modified version of a room that could only dream of being like yours! Well done, and beautiful work!

  5. fantastic! You made my pants wett with you great room! In my new/next apartment I’ll have an extra room for gaming too, but it will be al long way to go, to got such a wonderfull room! thumbs up! hihi

  6. you are a god!!! I have the garage all to myself, and I like my gaming room, but yours…man..you rock. Nice job. I wish I could be in the house. I have like 8 castles, 15,000 28’s, too much terrain, and I am out of room…and the wife wont let me invade the house. Well, I sorta already have. I am “displaying” some of my very best wargamming buildings in the bedroom…but that it it. Although she is letting me make a Alamo Diorama incased in Glass for a coffee table., but I have to buy a new couch to go with it.

    Cheers,
    Tom

    If I win the lotto, I will call you!!

  7. I’m about to embark on a similar, though more modest project, before I lose the room to a potential future nursery… I was hoping I might be able to ask you for some advice on construction materials and techniques?

  8. Greetings,

    I love the gaming room. Any way to get the blueprints/ diagrams for it? What about your custom suppliers website links?

  9. I sold my last house strictly on the basis of the studio we built, double glazed heated and triple skinned for winter warm. 10ft by 25ft there was also a store room built in you could only access from the inside for added security. Yours however takes the biscuit, the paint area will re-appear in the next studio we have planned, which will sit opposite the blacksmiths forge also being built. Should be completed by next summer. Here is the rub the folks, I have to stop my wife Victoria spending on new armies at the show’s. Wont put any pictures up yet but will do so with a weekly blog once we get the project underway. The last cost just under 4k to complete this will be done upon a much smaller budget as most materials are recycled. Again my hat is well and truly tipped to you sir, and the appropriate sideburn tugged.

  10. ….Um…. Wow ! …..uncharacteristically speechless !…. when I grow up …. I want one of these …

    …the room that is … and a wife who will let me do this ….

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  12. Absolutely incredible. I’m totally stealing at least a dozen ideas directly from this design when I build out my games building. Great work!

  13. AWESOME ! I actually think i will build my own room… when i leave my school and i earn money…… i want to build this in my flat. i think i can rebiuld your room? but with different colors!

    YOU ARE AWESOME !

  14. First of fantastic gaming room and amazing pieces! Second what do you do for a living and are they or you hiring because you must be doing pretty well income dept.

  15. What are you? A Millionaire? The ONLY way I could afford something like this is if 1) I won a Billion Dollar lottery 2) Bought/ built a house with a room of suitable size 3) Buy everything needed to put all this together!

  16. Can I get a clean, scalable version of the diagrams you loaded? I am building a gaming “barn” at my retirement house, and I would like to mimic these ideas, but in an English Pub or Gentleman’s Library/Club finish, I love this clean look, but I am looking for more of an antique or vintage look for my own room. My current man cave/game room is about 16’x18′, but no painting or projects allowed, only display and gaming on temporary tables, then back to media room afterwards. All projects/painting are consigned to the garage (Hoarder’s Heaven for Wargamers)

  17. Absolutely gorgeous! I’m trying to figure out how to do something similar in one of our rooms, it’s not quite 20×30. But close. I showed my husband and he also loved it, great area to keep all the gaming stuff. At this point now we have a separate area for painting and such, mainly as we do that in our sitting room with the tv and all.

  18. This is the coolest thing I have ever seen. I wish I could do something like this. Since my home is ruled by cats, my miniatures have sadly been relegated to wire shelving in the garage.

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