Friday, 12 February 2016

General Purpose Terrain Mat, Roads & Fields.


I will be going to Normandy in June with some friends and as we are leaving our wives behind, it will be a full week of military history with a little beer and wine in the evenings to help us relax after the many miles of walking during the day.

We will be starting with the beaches and then over the course of the week, we plan on working inland. We are staying in a rustic Normandy farmhouse set in typical Bocage countryside and is set central for visiting as much of the area as possible but is quite rural. Due to its location we will probably not be eating out every night so on those occasions, we plan on playing a couple of games of Chain of Command in the evenings along with a couple of bottles of wine to help us with making those tactical decisions.

We thought it would be ideal to try and recreate part of a particular action of some place that we had visited that day, onto the table top, having the benefit of seeing the actual terrain up close of what was actually fought over.

Between us, we had to decide what each of us would bring and what scale we would play the game in. We opted for 20mm as one of the lads, Steve Lygo has a vast WW2 collection in this scale of figures and vehicles, plus it would take up less room than 28mm transporting it in the car. John Warren will be bringing along some 20mm buildings, trees and hedges and I said I will provide the terrain mat and roads.

John stayed at the farmhouse last year and informs me that there is not a suitable table to game on, so I have purchased a couple of fold up pasting tables from a DIY store which won't take up too much room in the car and will give us a playing area of just under 6 x 4 foot.

Having recently made a Snow Mat and flexible roads, I decided to do the same for the Normandy table, making the mat 6 x 5 foot, so I could also use it with my existing 10 x 5 foot table. Also the mat rolls up, keeping storage space down in the back of the car. Hopefully we will have enough room to be able to take some clothes with us for the week?????

Whilst making the terrain mat and roads, I also made a few fields, these were really just test pieces before making the bigger mat and I also promised John I would make him a few fields for his Napoleonics that he is doing in a smaller scale.

I also just realised that I will have to do some flexible river/streams ready for Normandy and will include a step by step guide on methods and materials for these, along with the summer mat, roads and fields in the back of my 'Setting the Scene' book that I am working on.

Flexible roads and fields, ideal for following the contours of your hills.

                      
I have placed a few items underneath the terrain mat to give an impression of rolling countryside and the mat is thick enough that it doesn't crease and the contours are gradual, which is more ideal for placing troops.

To give you an idea of scale, I have placed a few 28mm Perry ACW figures on the table.




With the flexible roads on the table, along with some 28mm Warlord Games, Bolt Action figures and vehicles.




 

35 comments:

  1. Beautiful and realistic...Enjoy June!

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  2. Simple but very effective terrain, very nice.

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  3. Pat - That sounds like an amazing stag weekend! (For someone who cannot drive to WWII battlefields from California.)

    So, you're working on book about wargaming terrain? If I have that right, I think that's brilliant! Your scenic work is at the top of my list (and others' I suspect) for inspiration from around the interwebz. Any timeline envisioned or are you taking it as you take it?

    Respectfully,

    Wade

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    1. PS - Meant to add that I'm very keen to learn about how you made your flexible mat - especially what materials and adhesives work best for both appearance and durability.

      Cheers,

      Wade

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    2. Thanks chaps.
      Wade, that is the plan, hopefully I will have my 'Setting the Scene' book done later this year but to early to more specific with timeline.

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    3. Not to burden you with over-enthusiastic expectations, but you clearly have much to offer our community of hobbyists! Sending you good writing mojo. (Took me forever to complete a masters thesis.)

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  4. Sounds like a plan Pat! Any chance I'll fit in the suitcase as well???
    I'd be very interested to know just how you made the mats they look superb!!

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    1. We can always roll you up inside the mat Ray.

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  5. Sounds like a very interesting trip you all are about to embark on. Looking forward to seeing what you guys play out. Enjoy!

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  6. As expected the maestro produces yet another series of excellent terrain!! It's sounds like a fantastic week of what all wargamers would wish to do!

    Christopher

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  7. Nicely done once again! Enjoy your trip to Normandy

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  8. Awesome work on the terrain Pat! The trip sounds wonderful!

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  9. Those look great Pat. I was in Normandy a few years back for 6th June celebrations great time. Enjoy.

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  10. Clothes? Who needs clothes? Just make sure you've got enough toys with you. Fantastic looking terrain mat and fields. Just the right thing to recreate the fierce fighting around the battlefields you visited during the day. I'm more than a little jealous.

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  11. Looks great to me!!

    Perhaps I missed something but did you mention the manufacturer of the gaming mat?

    Darrell.

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    1. Thanks again chaps.
      Darrell, see 'Setting the Scene' part one, in an earlier post.

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  12. That mat look excellent, well done! Sounds like you have a great trip coming up. /Mattias

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  13. Your terrain is very nice, fantastic mat.

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  14. Fantastic.

    What technique have you used for the mat? I've done quite a few of these myself and have written an article in WSS about it, there also is a tutorial on my (momentarily hibernating - although that is going to change soon) blog: http://www.tobispaintpot.blogspot.de/2012/10/a-new-horizon-tutorial-for-flexible.html

    So between mat-modellers I'm really curios about your experience, especially with the snow mat as I was planning to do one of those, too. Would you care to do a tutorial? I think you'd make quite a few people happy with that...

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    1. Thanks again chaps.
      Sir Tobi, I have visited your excellent blog in the past and checked out your helpful tutorial on terrain mats. The tutorial for the snow mat, amongst other things will be in the 'Setting the Scene' book when it comes out.
      Cheers,
      Pat.

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  15. "of military history with a little beer and wine in the evenings"
    Don't forget the cider! It is well worth trying. Lots of different kinds.
    Looking great, as usual. I'm looking forward to that book. One of them will be mine!

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    1. Thanks for the tip Joakim, I am partial to a good cider so I will check out the local nectar.

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  16. Sorry for the delay in replying to your kind comments chaps but I have only just returned from a very enjoyable long weekend walking in the Cotswolds with my wife. I have been earning brownie points doing the valentine thing, to pave the way for Normandy in June.
    Cheers,
    Pat.

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  17. Sounds like a perfect trip. Enjoy it!

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  18. When is "Setting the Scene" due to be released?

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    1. Working on lots more terrain at the moment, then I have to start on the buildings, vehicles and figures, so it will be a good few months away but I will keep the blog updated with the progress.

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  19. Contemplating making a desert mat for the Sudan. Do you think play ground sand mixed with the latex paint would work ? Then apply fine sand on top of the latex caulk while it is still drying? Trying to think what to use instead of flock for dessert

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  20. Timmy, I have not made a desert mat but I would think a mixture of different grades of sand with the caulk mix and yes, when applied and still drying, apply more sand and the odd small stones.
    I would do a couple of small test pieces first before trying it out on a big mat.
    As for flock, your desert could be fairly arid so apart from the odd grass tuft, you could just use small clumps of rubberised horsehair placed around the table.

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  23. Hi BrigGen Gray,
    I know it has been a long time coming but the book is nearly there, just going through the proofreading stage at the moment, before graphic design and publishing.
    In the back of the winter book 'Setting the Scene' there is a whole section on a 'Summer Setting' for making a mat and other terrain.
    It will be a step-by-step guide with pictures and a list of materials used.
    Pat.

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