Category: Stadium

East Stand Under Construction

The stadium build has taken a bit of a back seat recently, due to many other activities going on, including playing lots of Subbuteo matches.

Now autumn is approaching fast and there is less opportunity to go outside and get burnt, I mean get a nice suntan, it is a good time to return to the build project.

We have decided to take on the laborious task of painting all the Subbuteo stands grey, so that when we glue the 3D-printed seating, it looks as realistic as possible. We are also painting the stairs a “dirty” yellow, to look like the original White Hart Lanes steps.

This is not the most exciting job in the world and there are a lot of grandstand pieces to paint. This is made even worse by the current cost of grey paint. Yes, we could purchase grey plastic grandstands, but they are also expensive to get hold of these days and we do already have a huge stock of the red/blue ones.

Now we have two grandstands painted, we can start to see who it will look. We do not want to go too far with this job, as we still need to work out how we are going to construct the West Stand, with its two levels of corporate boxes. The other stands will need to be raised somehow to keep inline with the West Stand and make sure that the roof is level all the way around, just like the real stadium.

In the meantime we shall return to the painting job, that will certainly give us plenty of thinking time to try and come up with a solution.

FA Cup Final Configuration

Our stadium has been setup to host this weekends FA Cup Final. The pitch has been changed to a rather tidy chequered pattern, which looks really good. This is actually another Pegasus pitch that has been laid on top of the existing pitch – although we did have to trim the edges to get it to fit between the pitch side barriers.

It does look good, but as it just sits on top of the other pitch rather than being glued, it is a little soft. This may be a good replica of the old Wembley pitch, which was said to be different to many league grounds, but it does make it difficult to play a consistent game of football. That would not normally be an issue, but as this is a prestige final, we do want to ensure we get a good game.

We have also finished painting our marching band which look rather good practising on the centre circle. Although they are called a marching band, they appear to be quite static. Unless we decide to obtain some clear acrylic so we can drag them around the pitch?! They do fit the bill for our big Cup Final, and combined with the VIP set, including the Queen and a mini trophy, we have everything we need to host the match.

Pitch Ready For League Cup Final

This Saturday our ground will host the Year 5 League Cup Final between West Ham and Newcastle. The ground staff have been busy working to implement a special red & white colour scheme, which thanks to our sponsors, will not conflict with the strips of the two teams.

Our plans for digital advertising boards will not ready in time for the game, but that does mean that the sponsors colour scheme can extend all around the pitch. Also, there will be no marching band for this final, as they have been reserved for the FA Cup Final. There will be some decorative flags on the pitch before kick off instead – how exciting!

Digital Advertising Boards

After a long wait for a special delivery, which has come all the way from China, we are now the proud owners of a couple of digital advertising boards. We only ordered a few to test, but plans are afoot to add some more if they prove to be what we need. Thankfully, they do appear to be the right size to go around the pitch and bring a modern touch to my stadium…

They can be programmed to display different wording and have a number of transition effects too. They can only display a single colour due to the limits of technology at this scale, so we need to decide what colours to go with for our stadium.

These are not too expensive, but we are thinking we will probably limit them to the ends of the ground, as this will require 12 units. If we add more to the sides, then we are looking at 30+, which will be too much of a headache to turn on/off individually.

It’s A Goal!

So after much searching for a modern style goal, we have finally managed to snag a unique, custom made set on an auction site, which are just perfect for what we wanted.

Even though the new goals look a lot bigger than our current tournament goals, after some comparisons we have found that they are almost identical in size. We think the perceived size difference is mainly due to the thickness of the goal post, which is a lot bigger. The actual goal mouth is the same size as a standard Subbuteo goal and they look excellent in place.

There was one small change that were going to attempt, and that was to try and replace the green string between the rear upright and the net with black, or even white string. No goal in the world uses green string! Sadly, after closer inspection we have found that it’s partially glued and we cannot risk damaging the goals, so we will leave it as it is!

An alternative option is to try and put some permanent colour/ink on the string and that will hopefully stain it black, which will still give the desired effect.

These new goals look great and we cannot wait to put some stadium stands behind them to really get a realistic picture of them in place. After using these goals for a few matches, there is small downside to them. Due to the rear netting being vertical rather than angled, the ball does tend to bounce straight back out again instead of being angled downwards. It has led to a few disputed goal decisions, where it is difficult to tell if it went in or not. Guess that is the price of progress!

Small Updates To Stadium Area

With the summer months approaching there has not been a huge amount of progress at our stadium. There is only a small update where we have recently installed our goal line technology at both ends of the playing area, We have also added some new folded advertising hoardings at each end, which are moveable so can be angled.

We have also added some nice framed photographs of the real (old) White Hart Lane, so we have something to aim for with our replica build…

It’s Not All About The Football

So it’s been a busy time at White Hart Lane. With spectators being able to return to stadiums after the pandemic, our staff have been working hard to see how other sporting events may work at the ground, to boost income and usage.

This may cause some upset amongst some Subbuteo purists, but it’s our stadium and our rules! Football will always be our main focus, although it is nice to try some other games once in a while.

The pitch was mowed and the groundsman has been painting white lines to see how rugby would work. He has reported back that the pitch now looks great and fits in well with the existing fencing. We have implemented some proper Subbuteo rugby posts and even managed to find some different coloured plastic bits to look like the padding around each post.

Despite owning a number of Subbuteo Rugby teams, we are yet to try a go at the alternative Subbuteo sport. The rules look rather confusing and we are not sure how the game of rugby actually translates into a Subbuteo format. We will give it a go at some point.

Another game we used to enjoy is Test Match cricket. Again, we may be pushing the ‘boundaries’ (did you get that?!) of what is possible, especially as the scale is completely different, but the cricket pitch fits well inside our ground.

We are now working on painting all 18 county T20 (or Vitality Blast) teams uniforms onto numerous Test Match cricket players. We are not even big cricket fans, but we are enjoying the painting and the games can be fun.

The painting has taken some time away from the stadium build for now, but once it is complete, then we can get back to the main job again. We do intend to hold a mini T20 Blast season in between our Subbuteo football seasons, so that will be a nice change of pace. Now we know the ground works for rugby and cricket, we cannot wait to get some grandstands in place to finish the scene.

Stadium Surround Base Begins Testing

Progress in the project has slowed recently due to a mixture of real world activities and Subbuteo league matches taking priority over the build.

There has been a little bit of work on the temporary stand bases, which surround the pitch. These bases can be added when a match is not being played. If anyone has ever tried to play a match with grandstands in position, then they will know just how restrictive they can be.

As our surround areas are only temporary, we have been trying to find a balance between sturdiness and weight. The sides are fixed pieces of MDF and the ends are smaller boards and hinges for the corners. The corners have bene especially challenging as the board is effectively unsupported, so we are trying to design a way to add support from both side pieces.

We hope to hide any additional supports either underneath the boards or under the grandstands. As you can see from the images, our Subbuteo room is not really big enough with the stadium in place, so that is creating some extra difficulties when working around the outside.

Our testing has shown that the 18mm MDF we have been using is just too heavy. We chose 18mm as this would match the height of the pitch, but moving such large, heavy pieces in a small space is proving too much. We plan to replace it with 9mm MDF and then add extra support underneath to maintain 18mm depth. We just hope that 9mm MDF will be thick enough to not bow when in place.

Technology Leads The Way

It is exciting times at Subbuteo Stadium as we move onto the next part of our project.

Although technology did not grace the stadiums in the 1990’s, we have decided to bring some technology into our Subbuteo world.

Not only would we like our Subbuteo stadium to be unique, we hope that technology will help solve some practical issues. As a solo player, it can sometimes be difficult to confirm if the ball crossed the goal line or not. Also, with the speed of some shots, the ball can be deflected out of the goal so quickly, that it can be impossible to know if it hit the post, goalkeeper of the back of the net. If you blink at the wrong time, then you have no chance of knowing and we want to avoid any potential game changing issues.

This problem will hopefully be a thing of the past with our new upgrades. We are adding cameras for goal line technology, along the lines of VAR. We managed to find some cheap ‘Go-Pro’ equivalent type mini-cameras, which are perfect. They come with an option to record in slow motion, then the footage can be replayed if needed.

Okay – we admit they are not quite to scale, but as real VAR cameras are almost impossible to see, this is the best we can do.

We just need to do a bit of experimenting with them now to ensure there is a clear line of slight of the goal during matches.

The other small issue is that as slow-motion records so much footage, we may have to limit use to only goal scoring situations – which may become an issue during matches if we have to pause to switch the camera on/off.

Overall, they are a nice new feature to have and make our Subbuteo stadium a unique and exciting place.

Pitch Fencing Completed

We only have time for a quick update today.

The fencing around the outside of the pitch has been permanently installed now. As you can see from the photo, we have left gaps behind both goals to allow for rodded goalkeepers to be used.

We have also left a small gap along one touchline. Once the grandstands are in place, this will provide space for the dugouts, as well as allow the players to get on & off the pitch via the tunnel.

We have changed the advertisers from the initial setup, to reflect how it would look for a Premier League match and it only took a few minutes to switch these around.