A few of my games have recently involved players using flying options to help overcome opponents. I’ve used multiple options like old dice boxes, glasses turned upside down, and small pieces of paper to mark someone who is flying. I put a bit of brain power into making something that would serve the purpose and be pretty cheap. So, here are my DIY flight stands.
DIY Flight Stand Recipe
- One pack of Cheap Plastic Pens
- Elevator Bolts
- Plastic Bases or squares
- Hot Glue
The assembly is pretty easy, and the Elevator Bolts are the key to this. With a completely flat head and a wide base with some weight, they make a perfect weighted bottom stand. Just disassemble the cheap pens so you can get to the cheap, clear plastic tube and then find Elevator bolts that fit in at least one side of the pen. Hot glue the bolts into the pen and it is halfway done.
After that, it’s all about finding a top. I used dividers from my storage boxes for miniatures, but you can use old bases, plastic cards, anything with a little stiffness to it. I wanted mine to be storable in a smaller space, so I attached them to screws that would fit in the other side of the pen. That lets me disassemble them for convention travel. Hot-glueing it straight to the plastic tube is fine as well.
Hopefully these are of use to you when your games take to the skies. What other crafting things do you do when your games have miniatures involved? How do you dress the table or add a little visual flair to your games? What’s the coolest thing you’ve made or used in a game?
I usually use poker chips, as they stack easily and are quick to set up. Each chip represents a square (so three chips beneath a character means that she is 15 feet up). In cases where characters could be above or below the ‘ground plane,’ such as space combat, I use two different colors.
I also employ other colors to represent larger distances – if a character is 50 feet up, then I may, for example, use blue chips in 20 foot increments and white chips in 5 foot increments. In this case the character would have 2 blue and 2 white chips stacked beneath her.
I think the chips are perfect for 2-D tokens, while these are better for 3-D miniatures.
That said, one problem that I see with the tubes is that they aren’t adjustable. One would think that you’d need a lot of variants in 1-inch increments for any sort of dynamic aerial combat.
Yeah, adjustability isn’t a super viable option. One thing you could do is have a base height, and then build multiple pens (or pens cut in half) together. There is room for tinkering in the design. For me, I’ve been using them for the Tarrasque game that I run and this puts the minis right above the “miniature’s” head. Usually I just put a post it note on the pen to denote height.
That is, if actual exact measurements are required. In most games I’ve run that aren’t straight tactical combat, it has been enough to denote that one person is flying while another is not.
I don’t use mini’s any more because we’re playing Dungeon World, but when I was running Savage Worlds I used the “grass” side of my Warhammer 40K play mat for nature, and the back, black side so all other cases. Then I’d use Legos to quickly build a customize room or area. It definitely wasn’t the prettiest, but it worked.