Devilman Chess Set – Japan

DEVILMAN – Japanese Manga

In my collection of Japanese figures and models, I have an unusual and rare complete set of Devilman Checkmate Chess Set pieces by Fewture. These 4″ approximate, highly detailed figures are chess set figure characters from Devilman. Each Devilman chess piece character package/card also came with a chess piece pawn. Images of this complete set below:

I’m not really into devil type characters; but as I had all of the unique, and highly detailed, mint on card (mocs), 16 figures with the Pawns …I decided to make a custom chess board. Before I share the making of my Chess Board for the above set, I will give you a little knowledge I picked up on this ‘Devilman’ Manga: 

Devilman is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Go Nagi which originally started as an anime adaptation of the concept of Nagai’s previous manga series, Mao Dante. A 39-episode anime TV series was developed by Toei in 1972 and Nagai began Devilman as a manga in Kodansha’s Shonen Magazine, barely a month before the TV series started. The series has since spawned numerous other anime, manga and films.

*for more information please see:

Since Devilman’s creation, many types of character figures have been produced by different manufacturers. Here is a link to some figures:

A selection of figures also below:


Creating & Producing My Custom Devilman Chess Set Board:

I do not play chess! When I think of a chessboard, I think of inlaid woods,textured marbles and ivory figures. The above Devilman figures certainly are not the norm. Their are many custom character chess boards out there. I’ve seen Star Wars and Aliens theme chess sets. So, how was I going to customize mine? …mmm!

My Step Proceedure:

1. I checked on chess board standard sizes and what size board squares would fit my figures. I decided on 2.250 (2 1/4″) (5.7 centimeters). A chess board is 8 squares x 8 squares – total 64 squares. I determined I needed 3/16″ groove between my squares and all around.

2. I cut a sheet of good both sides 1/2″ thick plywood for the board base, sanding it smooth.

3. I mitred a flat 3/16″thick by 3/4″ high wood trim to the plywood’s edge all around (flush to the ply base). I used wood Carpenter Glue and recessed finishing nails to secure. I sanded the top edge, rounding it a little. The chess board is now 20 1/2″ square / 52.1 centimeters.

4. I was considering using a marble or ceramic tile, but for ease of cutting and customability, I chose two different textured colors of self-sticking 12″x12″ floor tiles which are about 1/8″ thick.

5. One of the tiles was a light beige textured pattern and the other – similar, but medium browns in color.

6. With a sharp bladed matte cutter and a good steel rule I cut out all the 2 1/4″ squares. 32 of the light textured tile and 32 of the dark textured tile. The cut tiles shown below:

7. With a ruler and t-square, I penciled out all the squares and spaces on the plywood for positioning the tile squares.

8. I peeled the paper backing of the self-stick tiles and positioned them. With a cloth over, I hammered gently (rubber mallet) the tiles on firmly, checking that they did not shift.

9. At this point I began customizing. It is possible that the self-stick tiles could lift up in the future. The 3/16″ groove/channel between the tiles will be custom grouted – similar to grouting an actual ceramic floor tile. This will hold the tiles in place.

10. Custom grouting: I did not want my grout mix to stain the tiles, so I masked all the tiles in one linear direction and then applied the grout mix with a metal palette knife flush with the top of the tiles. After a couple of days of drying I repeated the process in the other linear direction. After all grout was applied I removed the masking tape, cleaning up any tile edges and any irregularities in the setting of the mix.

My grout mix:

I have a large container of pure, sanitized, very fine, black sand. I purchased this from a Texas hobby/craft store several years ago. It may have been a Ben Franklin store, or one similar. I use this product quite often, in a variety of ways – mixing it with acrylic for textural effects.

For my grout I mixed this sand with 50% Liquitex Matte Varnish and 50% Black Matte Acrylic Paint.

11. The chess board’s theme of this horror manga “Devilman” seemed to require the use of red. I wanted to show the ‘good vs evil’, so I decided to split the chess boards sides with the use of the red (evil/anxiety) plus another color. I chose the complimentary of red – green (good/calm).

I created this by applying a wash of bright red mixed with Liquetex Matte Varnish with a large 2″ flat headed brush in random direction and with various applied brush weights.I made sure when brushing that the original tile color and texture showed through. That is why I mix the acrylic wash with the clear matte varnish (translucent). When dry, I covered the red side and repeated the process with a wash of bright green mixed with Liquetex Matte Varnish.

12. On further observation and decision, I took a brush of pure red paint and flicked it, creating blood like blobs of spatter in a few directions. I smudged some with my fingers also. I let the spatter go on the red and green tiles as well as the grouting and the boards frame.

13. My chess board is almost there! After a good week of drying I applied 2 coats of liquid Flecto Varathane Semi-Gloss Clear Finish over everything gently with a wide soft brush to seal and protect all. Images below:

  1. The information is really useful. Thank you.