Sunday, July 24, 2016

More fun with D.I.Y. Wargame mats, Caution Road Construction Ahead

       Having made a couple of straight bits of road I decided to go whole-hog and make a complete set of roads to go with my fancy new mats. This was made imperative when I realized that my usual roadway material (masking tape) wouldn't work on the fibrous mat surface. And, really, what point is there in having a good looking mat criss-crossed with masking tape roads?

     Construction was very simple, I decided that a road section should measure 3" across, with a roadway surface of about 2 1/2". To go with my 48" x 72" table all roads would be made in 3", 6"and  12"  sections. Curves sections would be cut from 12" squares to ensure that they worked with the other road sections. I drew the planned roads on the back of already dry-brushed 12" square sections of mat. I cut them out using a good heavy sharp set of shears. Then it was off to the paint works. The process is chronicled below.

all sections were cut from 12" squares to ensure that they were compatible

I'm not really sure what color "mistint" is but it certainly looks like a good muddy brown to me!
at nine bucks a gallon it is darned cheap too!

it looks better in person, I swear!

paint is cheap while time and energy are hard to come by, lay it on thick

I buy the disposable dollar brushes at Lowes by the dozen
the 2" brush paints a pretty reliable  2 1/2" swath

once you have worked the paint down into the nap of the fabric  
sprinkle some fine sand onto the wet paint

let the sand set for a few minutes, you will see the dampness rising from the paint ,
 this is a good thing latex house paint is essentially glue with pigment in it, 
the paint will glue the sand to the roadway section

for those unwilling to deal with sand shedding off their terrain you can put the paint down very heavy and let it dry, a second coat should give a workable surface without sanding

a side-view of the mat, the fuzzy upper surface sits on a much denser backing material

once the sand has set for a while and the dampness stops spreading stand the section up on edge and gently tap it on the workbench, the loose sand will fall off

leaving you with something that looks like this, the paint will fully dry in a day or so,
be careful handling the sections until then

I couldn't resist trying to get all of the roads onto the table right away..... looks like some sort of lunatic Formula One raceway or and unfinished land development