Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Game board/mat test #1

Terrain is important for game with toy soldiers.  I continue to work on my collection for the various games that I play, but I found one item that seems to be lacking in my collection.  A game mat.

Normally, I just throw down a green or brown sheet and then place my terrain on that, but I've started to think I need to upgrade.  There are a number of nice looking options available for sale, but I've seen quite a few nice options for the DIYer.  I thought I would test out some ideas and share them with all of you.

Stupidly, I failed to take pictures of the project at different stages, so only have the final work to show you.

For this test, I wanted to texture some canvas and then add some paint.  I've a couple of friends that play DBA and use 24" x 24" painting canvases for their boards.  They have just painted the canvases green and brown and they work well and are very functional, but I wanted to add a bit more detail.

For this test, I picked up a 12" x 12" canvas and some tubes of caulk.  I already had some bottles of cheap craft paint to paint the finished product with.

I applied the caulk to the canvas and spread it around with a putty knife.  I wanted a fairly even coat, thick enough that you couldn't see the canvas texture, but not super thick.

After the layer of caulk was applied, I let it dry just a bit, then took a sponge and used that to add some texture.  I just dabbed the sponge all over the canvas and lifted up.  This gave an interesting texture and made sure that you couldn't see the lines from the putty knife.  I let this dry a bit more and then used the putty knife to knock down the texture a bit.  I just ran the putty knife over everything very lightly.  I didn't want to kill all the texture, but I did want to make sure the surface was pretty flat.

I let the caulk dry completely and then put two of coats of a dark brown (burnt umber) on the canvas. It took two coats to get a solid coat down.  Once that dried I applied a dry brush of tan over the whole canvas.  It was a bit too light, so I went back and added a second (slightly) heavier dry brush of the tan.

12" x 12" board

Close up of the texture

The board with some buildings and troops

"I wonder what's on the other side of these buildings?"

I'm not completely happy with the outcome, but I'm not upset by it either.  I'm trying to decided if I should tone down the color with a heavier dry brush of the tan or if I should add some flock to the board.  I think the flock will work alright on these canvases, but I have plans to do a large sheet (4' x 6') at some point and I don't think I will be able to flock that because it won't hold up when rolled.

I'd like to hear what you think of this?  Does it need more color?  Should I flock it?  Would it be better to paint on some green instead of using flock?

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