Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Winter Caulk Wargaming Mat for Flames of War

I recently made a winter wargames mat for my Flames of War terrain collection. In this post I will share some pictures of it, my thoughts on the construction process, and some links to useful tutorials to build your own mat. This mat was built with latex caulk on canvas backing.

I built this mat with latex caulk on canvas drop sheet material. I used the excellent video tutorial from Wargames Consortium to build the mat. I first laid out the roads using a sharpie. I then clamped the canvas to the table and applied a thin layer of white caulk (DAP Alex Plus White) on all of the open areas. For the texture, I rolled an old paint foam roller over the caulk until I got a texture I liked. I tried a sponge but got lots of edges. The foam roller works alright but creates a few too many ridges. Before it dried I dropped a little static grass in a few places for interest.


Once that dried, I mixed some brown caulk (DAP Alex Plus Brown) with black paint (to make it darker) and some sand (for texture). I applied this to the road areas. Before it dried I used the base of an old paintbrush to create ruts and tire tracks through the mud. I added the brown on the mat in a few other places to represent dirt poking through.

I left all of that to dry overnight. I then painted on a little more detail. I airbrushed some brown paint around the roads to simulate dirt. I airbrushed some burnt patches from shells in black and added some depth to the snow with a blue-grey colour. I also drybrushed the roads a little to bring out the texture.

When it was all dry I used some matte varnish to seal it. I used one from the hardware store and it was terrible. The final finish was quite glossy. I used some Testors Dull Cote over that but it still is a little shiny. Very annoying.
A "Foy" layout.

Why build a caulk wargames mat? There are some really lovely winter mats available out there. Unfortunately, they are pretty expensive and cost a lot to ship to Canada. Eventually, I would like to get another premade mat for the ease of storage and durability. This mat was fun to make. As I made it myself I was able to layout the roads how I wanted. I set them out as in the “Foy” Flames of War scenario to create a bit of a location for this table. The mat was quite cheap to make overall (probably $30 in materials).


The mat rolls up for storage but is not the most compact (especially compared to a thin mat like my GW mat). We will see how the durability holds up over time. So far, it is fun to play on and looks far better than the white bedsheet I was using before. Please let me know what you think in the comments below. Thanks for visiting!


16 comments:

  1. Its funny, I once made a bunch of roads like yours out of a big heavy duty drop sheet from home depot. Drew the roads then did the caulk and sand, then added ruts from tanks (I work in the trades, so found some partially spent nail gun reloads, applied the pattern to roads, voila tank tracks!) I still have so much sheet left (Like 20' by 10'(?) for $12 bucks). Sorry about the varnish, Is it possible it was satin coat and mislabelled? I have been burned by that with testors (once), but testors is still my go to stuff. Out here on our west coast (as you know) it is hard to get dry/not humid weather, I have used that outside when its raining under my front porch overhang.....

    Priming my Mechanicus stuff is so easy now with all the krylon stuff from the 'depot, I use a brick colour flat one on all my big stuff, one coat of Vallejo (carmine?) red and basecoat is done. All their military flat camo ones have made my life so much easier with terrain now, its awesome....Take care

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Phil. I've heard good things about the krylon paints. I'll have to get and try some of their matte colors and varnish.

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  2. Great stuff Cameron, I bet you'll soon be getting requests from people to make some for them. Any chance of a picture of it rolled up, i'd like to see how big it is for storage purposes.

    Thanks
    Dave

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    Replies
    1. I'll post a rolled picture on Twitter when I put it away. They'd be easy to make for commissions but pretty big and heavy to ship.

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  3. I've seen Calk mats made on that garden fabric (That's used to keep out weeds - no idea what it's called tho).

    Would be interested to see an update months down the line on how your's has held up to regular use?

    Very nicely done mate.

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    1. Thanks Dai. I'm interested to see how it holds up as well.

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  4. That looks brilliant, mate! I particularly like the grungy snow by the tracks!

    I love how easy you make all this look, y'know...

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    1. Haha, thanks drax. This one was pretty simple. I just followed the tutorial in the link above.

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  5. The mat looks great Cam! Whose american tanks are those?

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    1. Thanks Sean. The Americans are glens and the Germans are kips in that picture.

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  6. Replies
    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Peter.

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  7. This is the first winter mat I've seen using this technique and it looks very good indeed. Wel done sir.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Chris. The good thing about doing a winter mat like this is that you don't really need to paint most of the snow area.

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