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!