Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game - DIY Asteroids!

Tycho and Arvel negotiate a route through the densely packed asteroid field...

....Only to realise Boba Fett is still hot on their tail...
Hi there, today we're gonna look at making asteroids for your games of X-Wing. Asteroids add a great tactical dimension to the game and look great on the tabletop! You can of course buy a set of asteroids straight from the box, taking the Gale Force 9 set as an example. But at around £30 for a measly 8 asteroids, you're not really getting much value for your money...

So if you fancy making your own, this is what you'll need: 

 - Hobby Knife
 - Hand Saw
 - Metal Ruler
 - Hand Drill
 - Brass Wire Rod
 - Round 25mm Mini Bases
 - Some small coins
 - Black, Dark Grey and White Paint
 - Super Glue
 - Wood Glue
 - Insulation Board (ideally the high density pink/blue stuff, but the yellow stuff will work just as well - grab some from a skip ;) )

Step 1:
Using the hand saw, cut the insulation board into rough cube shapes, generally around 1.5 to 2in sq. You'll be hacking away around a 1/3 of the foam to make your asteroid shapes so bare in mind you don't end up with too smaller blocks!

Step 2:
Grab the metal ruler and start hacking away at the blocks. Dragging the ruler towards you across the sides of the block produces great results and removes 'divets' of foam whilst leaving natural looking results (certainly better than any cuts with a knife)

You'll end up with quite a bit of waste, so best do this outside...

If things have gone to plan, you should end up with a bunch of asteroids of varying sizes...

Step 3: 
Now it's time to base the asteroids - Having chosen a drill bit that matches the diameter of your metal rod, grab your hand drill and drill a hole in the center of your 25mm round mini bases. Don't worry about drilling all the way through as you're now going to superglue a coin to the underside of each of the bases. This acts as both a 'stopper' to the brass rod you're going to glue in next and also importantly adds some weight to ensure your asteroids stand up nice and straight on the table top...

Step 4:
Now cut varying lengths of brass rod at around 2 - 3in long. Superglue one end into the hole in the base you'd drilled out earlier. At this stage, I'd recommend leaving them for an hour or so to ensure the brass rod has time to firmly set in place. When you're ready, push the rod end into the asteroid to create a guide hole. Slide the rod back out and now cover it with a small amount of wood glue. Using wood glue is important because it won't melt the insulation foam! Pop the asteroid back on and leave to dry for at least 24hrs - Wood  glue will take some time to dry inside the foam and you don't want the asteroid spinning off the rod at dry brush stage ;)

Step 5: 
It's now time to crack out the paints - Start by painting the asteroid with a dark grey colour. You will need several coats as the foam will suck the paint in but it will also help the asteroids stand up to any gaming wear and tear. Once your base coat is dry, you can dry-brush this directly with white for some quick and effective results. You may want to consider other shades such as a brown wash to give a bit of warmth to the rock, but the simple approach still does the trick. Finally, paint the rod and the stand black and leave to dry...

Well, there you go, some simple and effective asteroids for your games of X-Wing. 

Happy hunting ;)


  1. would you say this board is good
    or could you put a ling to the board you used

  2. Hi there – That will do the trick, although it can be a little ‘crumbly’... The foam I used and the best type for the job is called EXTRUDED polystyrene or high density insulation board:

    Other manufacturers include: Dow Corning (blue foam), Owens - Corning (pink foam) and Amoco (green foam).

    I think an example from Wickes would be:

    Cheers! TUZ

  3. Great tutorial! I bought some foam boards, called Styrodur C here in germany, and created my first asteroids last weekend.

    1. Hey Frank, they look fantastic! Great job! I really like the brown coloured asteroids mixed in with the grey stone ones. I'm also digging the big size of some of the asteroids! Looking good :). Looking at your pics, I think Styrodur C is very similar to the material I used. It's great to work/model with and is perfect for asteroids ;) Cheers. Tuz.


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