Saturday 28 October 2017

Terrain Mat Sections plus 'Setting the Scene' Book Update.

First of all I would like to give you an update on my terrain book 'Setting the Scene'. Finally things are moving again as I have joined forces with Steve Lampon, an art director, fellow wargamer and friend, who is doing a wonderful job on the graphic design and between us we have decided to self-publish the book.

 My input was finished a while ago and Steve has been beavering away and is now about 1/3 of the way through doing his bit. The book will be A4 and around 120 pages with step by step guides to building winter terrain.

Just to give me a rough idea of numbers for the first printing run, if you think you may be interested then just leave a small comment at the end of this post. Obviously there is no commitment with this, I just want to get a feel of the potential interest out there in the wargaming community.

Steve will be adding updates of his progress on the design, so watch this space.

                                             FLEXIBLE TERRAIN MAT SECTIONS.(picture heavy)

I have been wanting to make another terrain mat for a while and having recently seen pictures of Lev Vykopal's superb terrain mat with a track/road running through it, I wanted to do something similar.

The only trouble with building features into your mat is that it limits its versatility for game layout, so I decided to make a load of smaller terrain mat sections with features built into them so they could be placed on the table as and where, as you would with any other piece of terrain.

These mats would also be used for hills on my gaming table by simply placing a book or two underneath them but the mat would have to be thick and stiff enough for this to work effectively.

If the mat is too thin then the slopes of the hill can dip/droop and the edges curl up a little. To combat this I gave my mat two layers of builders caulk with 24hr drying time between each layer. Also there was several layers of white glue gone into the mat for the initial sand and PVA mix and then for each layer of flocking, followed by another soaking of PVA white glue to seal everything in.

This resulted in a mat that was stiff enough to bend into shape but still flexible. I also made a load of flexible road/track which again I gave a double layer of caulk to and this rectified the slight curling up of the edges that I have found with some of the previous items that I have made.

For me, a road or hedge line following the contours of a hill helps to give the table a more realistic look and with these mats, hopefully they will give me enough gaming versatility.

I ended up making eight mats of different sizes, the biggest being approx. 24x30 inches and I also made about 30 x feet of track/road. To get everything to match and blend in with my gaming table, I also had to re-flock the surface.

                                           The mats and roads - painted but pre-flocked.

                                                                  Post-flocked mats

                                                   The gaming table re-flocked.
             I have used a 20mm and a 28mm figure to show terrain is suitable for either scale.
                                                            Two scrubland mats.

                                                         Same mat used as a hill.

              I have made a couple of mats as a double field with hedgerow down the middle.

                                                                             As a hill.

                       Rocky ground mat. (not sure if I should add vegetation to this)
                                                                                As a hill

                                                       Y - Junction with fields.
                              20mm PSC and 28mm Warlord Games vehicles for scale.
                                                                     As a hill

                                                          Crossroads with fields.
                                                                            As a hill.

                                                                Bendy road with fields.
                                                                          As a hill.

                                              Roads. 20mm and 28mm vehicle for scale.

                                                                    Storage space.
Although these could probably be gently rolled up, I don't want to tempt fate and as I don't intend to transport them anywhere they will be stacked flat, one on top of the other, so very little storage space used.

                                             The mats placed on the table with joining roads.

                                            Buildings, walls and extras added to layout.

28mm figures and vehicles added to layout to give you an idea of scale and because I like doing this.