Display Board: “Ritual to extend 2020”

After my modest success in 2018 with my “Sophie’s Garage” Display Board, I upped my game in 2019 with “Sophie’s Choice Rock Concert” Display Board. I entered that board into Armies on Parade at my local Games Workshop store and got “Best Themed Army” and 2nd Place overall. I wanted to go even bigger and better for 2020 and started planning immediately. The end result is not what I thought I’d have, but I’m quite happy with it.

2020 has been a complicated and memorable year, to say the least. I had been very focused on my two Loyalist armies: Imperial Fists and Astra Militarum. When the first COVID-19 lockdown hit home in March, I found myself not worrying about painting to play, but instead having the freedom to try something new. That’s when I started painting Death Guard models.

My 2020 Display Board: “Ritual to Extend 2020”

To match the bases I had been giving the Death Guard models, I decided it would be a more forest/nature-like environment. My two previous boards had been urban environments, so this was quite a departure for me. But, it was a nice opportunity to try something new.

Now, on the actual construction of the board. The base is actually a bamboo drawer organizer from Ikea. I wanted to have a variety of heights and different levels, so there are lots of boxes and platforms. All of the shapes are boxes from Dollarama that I have disassembled, cut and re-assembled as I needed. Once I had a layout I liked, I added the steel.

LED’s added to the upper platform.

It wouldn’t be one of my boards if it didn’t features lights. The lighting on this board was actually rather modest: Just two flickering green LED’s on the upper dias.

LED’s on the upper platform

There are a lot of practical elements to this board. First, it fits perfectly on the foldable cart that I bring to tournaments. I installed handles to make it easy to transport. And, every horizontal surface is clad in sheet steel, so that models with magnets in their bases stick to the board.

Early construction photo of my 2020 display board. The sheet steel is still quite visible.

I used an “ebony” wood stain to make it really dark. Then finished it with three coats of a shiny polyurethane.

Staining the board

The board has lots of corkboard for texture. And I used the bases of the trees from the Souldrain Forest kit.

I wanted to add some texture to the steel. I mixed sand, white glue, and water and intended to smear that over all the horizontal surfaces to mask the steel. I didn’t get the ratio quite right, so that sand started collecting into bands. That turned out to be a nice, rippling effect.

Adding texture


I used spray paint on most of the board. It’s like a poor man’s airbrush.
As you’d expect of me, there are lights on the top balcony flanking where the Great Unclean One would go.
The band is set up with their own little nook. I was planning to have them on top of the Land Raider, but didn’t have time to finish the stage properly. That Land Raider will get some more interesting treatment and I’ll share that soon.

After spraying some layers. I even managed to get a bit of gradient.

I had custom nameplate engraved for the board. It’s a brass plate reads:
“Ritual to extend 2020”
Nurgle Daemons / Death Guard
by Paul Radcliffe
The gentleman at the engraving store gave me the funniest looks when reviewing the order…It’s very tongue-in-cheek, but I think the Noctilith Crown, and instruments, and green waterfall and daemons running amok fit them theme of wanting this pandemic year to continue. And Chaos / Nurgle Daemons / Death Guard are supposed to be the “bad guys” right? So they’d have some sort of sinister plot like this!

Engraved plate for my 2020 Display Board

Another little touch was the adding of a leather banner. My neighbour has a leatherworking business and I commissioned her to laser-etch the Nurgle symbol into a piece of leather. I then weathered the heck out of it and hung it from the upper platform of the board.

Laser-etched leather banner by Springbok Craft Co

A definite focal point on this board is the Nocticlith Crown featured on the upper platform. I painted it to look more Nurgle-like and rusted. I like that the crown looks like some sort of malefic portal or stargate. To play on that, there is a plasma disk suspended in the middle of the ring. It’s actually supposed to be a belt buckle. It is hung on fishing line which very difficult to see.

Noctilith Crown terrain features on my 2020 Display board with a plasma disk suspended in the middle. I used fishing wire which is almost invisible.

There are a lot of great models and elements on this board. But I think one of my favourites is some Nurglings on the base of the Great Unclean One overseeing the “procession.” In a very ironic twist, these little daemons that serve the Daemon God of Disease and Decay, are wearing masks.

Even Nurglings wear masks in 2020, apparently.

The board features a few trees that also came from the Souldrain Forest kit. I painted them to look like cherry blossoms, because my wife loves cherry blossoms. She was less impressed with the tree that I converted to look more like a Feculent Gnarlmaw. They had magnets installed in their bases so they would attach to the steel sheets on the board.

Work in progress pictures of trees for the 2020 Display Board. The one on the left has a bit of an infection….

This display so features a sort of ragtag Nurgle Band dropping some sick beats:
-Spoilpox Scrivner on lead vocals
-Tallyman on guitar
-Sloppity Bilepiper on bagpipes
-Plaguebearer on drums
-Noxious Blightbringer on bells (naturally)
-Nurglings on French Horn, Trumpet, Flute, and Strings

Nurgle band dropping some “sick beats”

I wanted to exceed the Rock Concert from last year. The previous board had lights and sounds. So, to exceed that I decided to add RUNNING WATER! I bought a terrarium piece meant for lizards that has a built-in pump. This was always going to feature on the board. For the final product, I put green food colouring in the water. The effect is green water coming out of the glowing skull!

Picture of my 2020 display board, with glowing skull and running water featured on the left.

There was music too from a speaker in the display. It’s playing the Red Hot Chili Pipers‘ cover of “Highway to Hell”. Not Peppers, Pipers, as in the Celtic Rock Band that features bagpipes. It’s a nod to the Sloppily Bilepiper’s bagpipes.

My 2020 Display Board
My 2020 Display Board: Predominant in this picture are a lot of Nurglings, A Daemon Prince, Poxwalkers, Plague Marines, a Hellbrute, A Myphitic Blight Hauler, and a Land Raider
A view of the upper levels of the board featuring a Great Unclean One, Typhus, Malignant Plaguecaster, Lord of Contagion, and Foul Blightspawn.
My 2020 Display Board: A horde of Nurgle Daemons

The board regrettably win any prizes from Armies on Parade 2020. But, It did was featured on an article by Warhammer Community.

A picture of my 2020 Display Board that was featured in an article by Warhammer Community.