Friday, July 22, 2016

More fun with cheap D.I.Y. table mats

     As a follow up to my earlier article. I suppose that my excitement got in the way of my objectivity in my last note in this regard so this time I will concentrate on a few more specifics.. The matting is about an eight of an inch thick. The nap, or fuzziness, is minimal, particularly so after the surface has been dry-brushed with house-paint. On its own it would work fine with15mm through 28mm figures, perhaps a bit smooth for larger figures. The material is very light and rather rigid, I don't think that the entire 6 x 8 foot roll weighs five pounds. When I measured three of the rolls I had purchased I found all of them about a half-inch oversize in each direction and properly squarely cut.

a penny on the surface to give an idea of the fuzziness of the surface, 
mind you it has been dry brushed with latex house paint

Jacques the Legionnaire wondering where the desert went

the mat folded over the top is marginally fuzzier than the bottom,
 the bottom shows some grain, which is absent on the upper surface

marker works much better than masking tape for guiding my cuts
sharp heavy-duty shears are a must to make long cuts

soon I had six one foot squares to begin experimenting with

in an effort to stay true to the immortal H.G. Wells I piled books 
on the table and covered them with a cloth, note the creases and wrinkles

same piles of books with the mat instead of the cloth, 
sadly it seems that the mat can only bend in one direction at a time 
and isn't "relaxed" enough to allow the folds and wrinkles that the cloth does

I gave one square a light dry-brush of my brown latex house paint, 
just to tone it down, the green is rather shocking

then I began adding heavier stripes of earth color in rows to simulate a farm field

the mat absorbed a significant amount of paint, 
this would probably have been less if I allowed it to dry between coats
but I did like the final result

next some tree bases

very heavily dry brushed with brown

the brutal way I added the brown raised the nap along the edge a little bit

I lined up some of the squares to compare the different effects 
that could be achieved with different levels of dry brushing

then I cut up the last green square to test an idea for roads

there was a little off-cut that I cut into tiny bits 
to see if they would work as plants in the field 
not great but workable

I wet brushed paint onto one of  the long strips and dusted it with fine playground sand
I confess that I was very happy with the results

so much so that I drove as Panzerjager IV down it

and the let some Spanish Militia have a go as well

the tree bases got some sand as well

perhaps a touch less sand and paint and the bases will blend in together

then I dry brushed some very pale olive over the square that I had 
already brushed with brown, the difference was instant and significant

then I threw them all in a pile to get the full impact of the  different effects


  1. Brilliant ideas! Great stuff.

  2. Really clever! Great how to sharing. Off to lowes!

  3. Great pics and ideas. I have seen this material at Lowes and wondered about the gaming viability. Looks quite versatile. Thanks for posting.

  4. What is this stuff? Will continue to look back the previous posts.