I’ve posted some pictures of my existing board (the 1942 edition). Check out my Flickr page:
For the new board, I would like to enhance the construction and artwork a LOT:
Labels engraved/stamped into the wood (no decals)
Hand painted flags for capitals instead of decals
1940 Map instead of 1942 version (with House rules for Communist China added)
Stencil/hand painted lettering for Powers & Metal Artwork stamp/embossing for convoy routes (also reconfigured)
Stained wood frame/edging with beveled edges for complete table-top look
For my own house table I’m going to add the framework similar to what you’re suggesting, Tall Paul, but mine will be a 66" X 121" 3/4" Oak plywood top, 3/4" thick framework infrastructure with slide outs along each side to hold the pieces/charts/dice tower/etc during game play, and a 1/4" plywood bottom. Mine will be made to fit on my pool table during play (as my current one is) and I can place it on a wall/floor stand for display as a mural when not being used. I considered a glass top but decided against due to my own needs (wall display and moveability as one piece) and the though that a 5.5’ X 11’ piece of glass would be precarious to handle at best. Instead, I used ployurethane coating on my last one and will again on this one for the “finished look” - only I am using a semi gloss or eggshell rather than gloss (light reflection in dimly lit room was iffy).
For a full table construction, I would do the same as my house design, only I would find a suitable base on which to permanently attach the structure - shouldn’t be hard to find - if you are able to pick up in the Houston area then I can see the possibility of building one for you to match your specifications such as that.
If people are generally intersted in a shippable version, I am probably going to offer a paneled version, hinged for folding that I can ship and can easily be transported, or a flat single-piece version of the top only. It seems like most people would have more use for the top only (space limitations). Unless you have a dedicated game room or “man cave” you can’t likely use a full table version with legs but almost anyone can have a folding table or something to set this on - I recommend no less than a 3’ X 6’ simple breakfast table or folding table like you get at Ikea or Target or something…more is better!
Once I build my new one, I’ll add pics and more information. Mainly I just need to see if anyone else would want one because I can use a cheaper building process for mine but duplication would be hard - or if I can justify more expensive tools then I can easily duplicate down the road - this is my current dilemma!