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Author Topic: D made a gaming mat!  (Read 546 times)

Online Daeothar

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D made a gaming mat!
« on: April 09, 2018, 09:12:59 AM »
In the Easter weekend, I played my first couple of games of Star Wars Legion, which was really enjoyable. However, because my game table has been stored away due to reconstruction of my game room (ongoing) and will not be deployed any time soon, we had to play on the dining room table.

But that has a glass surface, and as I was not willing to settle for imagining we were playing on some Hoth ice field, I took the fleece blanket my wife and daughter wrap themselves in on the couch when they're cold (which is often, apparently) and laid it over the table before placing terrain.

That improved the look greatly (it was an even dark grey; not very exciting, but vastly superior to sandblasted glass... ::) ), and as a playing surface, it was surprisingly good too. The material was heavy, so it did not shift, it remained perfectly flat and did not make miniatures unstable, even considering that the reverse side of the blanket has another fluffy, cuddly material to it.

I was so taken with this surprise result, that I decided to get me another blanket for dedicated use as a gaming surface, to see me through the time that my gaming table cannot be used. And also because claiming that grey blanket would probably be cause for an uprising at fortress D... lol

So, returning from work last week, I made a small detour to Ikea, on a blanket quest. Regretfully, I only found one suitable one, but it was a whopping €29,- , at which price point, I'd be better off buying a gaming mat online. But the heat of the moment got to me, and I tucked it under my arm anyway.

But just at the end of the maze, there is a discount section, and since my wife trained me well, I swung through there, just in case there was something interesting to be found. Which there was; I found the exact same blanket I was toting along, discounted to a mere €10,- because it had a small tear in one corner. Yay; I took it along, and being the upstanding citizen I am, I undertook the trek back through the maze to return the undamaged one. Yeah; I'm just like that... ::)

Arriving home (late for dinner), I unrolled the blanket, to discover it was huge! 230x250cm huge to be exact. Sweet; that's two full sized matts then.

So last week I prepared for the work ahead, gathering and selecting the appropriate tools, spray paints etc, all the while protecting my huge piece of textile from the preying hands of the womenfolk, who immediately saw the possibilities and were discussing how the entire family could cuddle up on the couch under it.

And yesterday I finally found my window of opportunity and went to work.

I first cut the blanket mat in half, storing one half for later, and stretching the other half out for the application of paint.

The base colour is a light tan colour, which is great for a number of different types of mat. But here, I just went for a simple natural, patched look, just breaking up the even surface enough to make it believable as a gaming surface.

The only pictures I took during the process are from when I was basically finished though; the entire thing went so fast, it was done in about 30 minutes, and I really took my time too. Drying time was also almost nonexistant, as the misted paint dried immediately when it touched the surface. Of course the burning sun really helped in that regard too.

What I did was mist the cloth with different colours of spray paint in irregular patterns. I went from a very light brown, to darker brown (I think I used 4 different colours), using less as the colours became darker. I then went in with a medium green (this is where the only mishap occurred; I wanted to use a dark green can first, and even though I shook it well as usual, the can merely spluttered a couple of very thick drops of green goo on my mat. I quickly wiped those off as best as I could, but they remain visible. Not annoyingly so, but I know they're there. It was an almost decade old can of special graffiti paint, which is made to cover any surface in one go, so is extremely pigment heavy. Apparently, after that long, I should have shaken it for at least 10 minutes...). And then I misted those areas with a pale yellow.

Then some light grey and finally some darker patches with black and I was done.

In fact, making that mat was probably quicker than writing this post... lol

But enough waffle; pictures!

First, here it is, drying in the sun after I applied all the paint. It looks really pale and washed out here, but the colours are much more vibrant in real life.

In the first picture, you can see the remaining traces of the green incident:





And here it is with a corner flipped, so you can see what it originally looked like:



And then some pictures with different types of miniatures and different types of basing, so see how well they work. I use the same bucket of wall paint I had mixed up years ago (approximating the old GW Graveyard Earth) as a base colour for all my bases; just the finish is different on each army. And the sprayed mat works very well with them.



It works especially well as a Kursk-like plain for 15mm miniatures:





Classical green base edges don't work as well. These guys are really old though, and rebasing them has been on my to do list for years now:



The same goes for some unit trays, but in my experience, those never work very well. That partly has to do with the square edges I reckon. Square bases obviously are the same.



Here's and archeological dig being scouted by a group of Fallschirmjäger. Even though the terrain pieces were made to blend into a traditional grass mat, they don't stand out too much:





And finally a shot of some larger terrain pieces. The same applies here; the green does not really match, but doens't really look out of place either. Elsa is courtesy of my daughter, who helped with the setups and wanted to play with her dollies as well... :)



All in all, I'm really happy with this side project. It will enable me to play games at home again, while my game table is out of commission, and I can easily take it along for away missions too.

I am planning on treating the reverse surface in a different finish, and then I have another entire mat, which can be done up in even more different schemes! I was thinking wasteland for the reverse; loads of greys, browns and black patches. And then I could do a snow version and maybe an even more verdant one on the other half?

Yay! :)

'He who stumbles around in darkness with a stick is blind. But he who sticks out in darkness is...fluorescent'

Painting Goal for 2018: 100 miniatures - Tally per 08-09-2018: 67

Offline Gabbi

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2018, 07:14:58 PM »
Looks great. Everything really blend in nicely.
Can you share the (probably unpronounceable) ikea name of the thing?

Online Daeothar

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2018, 08:20:22 AM »
Thanks Gabbi :)

And no problem. The name is even relatively pronounceable too. It's called the Trattviva.

But where I said it was a plaid or blanket, I was woefully off, because as it turns out, it's a bedspread! Why didn't they warn me? Oh, the humanity of it all... lol

Offline The Voivod

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2018, 02:55:03 PM »
Looks cool, always good to have another surface to play on.

But that reminds me, we still have to deal with those germans on that dig site....
'Mercy? I am far to brave to grant you mercy.'

Online Daeothar

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 01:24:08 PM »
So true... ::)

Probably why I unconsiously put that squad and that scenery together in those shots... lol

Offline Gabbi

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2018, 01:52:58 PM »
The name is even relatively pronounceable too. It's called the Trattviva.

Thanks!

Offline Belisarius

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2018, 05:16:21 PM »
Very interesting, l,m tempted to make one myself. You must have spent more on the paint than you did on the mat . 😃

Online Daeothar

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Re: D made a gaming mat!
« Reply #7 on: April 14, 2018, 06:07:52 PM »
I suppose I did at that.

But considering I didn't buy any specifically for this project (most I've had for many years and a variety of projects. Some of the grafitti cans I've had for more than a decade), I think I can stll safely state that the cloth was the only expense on this project... 

That's my story, and I'm sticking with it :D