Monday, January 19, 2015

Do it yourself Gaming Mat

Last year I followed several threats in different forums which covered DIY gaming mats. Really I was wondering whether it's much work and whether I would be able to create such a thing myself. Finally shortly before Christmas I went to our local hardware store and bought the missing components. I was a bit hesitant so I started with a small 50cm by 50cm test piece.

Here's the material I used:
  • a 50cm by 50cm piece of canvas on a stretcher frame
  • a tube of acrylic sealing compount
  • tinting paint in my terrain base colour
  • some sand and gravel
  • a couple of scoops and trowels
  • some static grass
  • old newspaper to cover our dinner table and prevent severe trouble with usually peaceful Mrs Monty
First of all I prepared the basic pulp for the gaming mat. Therefor I mixed the (whole) acrylic compound with tinting paint, sand, gravel and a few drops of water until it blended to a smooth paste.
Afterwards I and my little helper spread the mixture over the canvas and smoothed it slightly. With the sand and the gravel it becomes a rather rough surface. More or less the same as if you glue sand onto a wooden surface when building usual gaming tiles.

Then we spread static grass, little pebbles and some turf onto the wet pulp and pressed it into it slightly. Most of all I wanted to try which components stay in the mat when dryed and which fall of...
Finally we let the mat dry. It seemed like ages for me but probably it was one or two days really. Then I draybrushed the mat with medium brown and ivory. Just the colours I used for my other terrain tiles. The result is satisfying I think.
Lastly I cut the mat off the frame and rolled it around a piece of pipe insulation foam to store it.
After a couple of days I unrolled it again and the canvas set smoothly after a few minutes. So I think the acrylic pulp works rather well.

As you see it found first use when Viktoria set up our crip under the christmas tree:
Rather soon I'll repeat the experiment on a larger scale to create a playing area for SAGA games so roughly 1,20m by 1,20m or something like that. For this I'll try felt cover sheeting as basic fabric. It's much cheaper than canvas and more flexible.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Panzer Kaput's celebrating !

Pete from Panzer Kaput's Painted Review blog is celebrating that his excellent blog reached 300,000 hits.

Well done chap!
The attention is highly deserved !

To share his joy about that he's organzing a raffle in which Pete offers a nice drawing of a Viking. Of course he reminds me of my Saga warlord Gudmund the Dauntless...

In case that you want to have a look at his excellent work then just follow this link.

Anyway good luck further on, Pete. I'm looking forward to visiting your blog regularly further on.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Painting Challenge Round up - Week 5 - Victorian soldiers and another spreadsheet

Last saturday was deadline for the next bonus round of Curt's painting challenge:

Although the Victorian era hasn't been my cup of tea so far I didn't want to wag this bonus round. Therefor I digged out some very special single miniatures which I bought from Northstar on Crisis last year:
Both are part of their Tea Time Miniatures range and depict British soldiers having a cup of tea. As chaps from the Crimean War they fit perfectly into the Victorean age so I chose to paint them for the challenge.

The paintjob is not too special actually. As usual I used Vallejo Model Colors and built up the coulours in three stages. I'm more or less satisfied with the result although this pictures are far from good... Anyway bonus round passed and still on target for passing all of them.

Thus I'm alredy preparing my entries for the Myth round and the Hot round. Thor is nearly finished so I counted him as finshed in week 7 for the spreadsheet.
Unfortunately the workload bedides the bonus round is standing back currently. My actual plan is to prepare the bonus entries as soon as possible and then use the remaining time to paint as many other figures as possible. Main topics there will be War of the Roses, 2nd Anglo-Afghan War or First World War. All three conflicts are sideshows for me which have wonderful figures which should be rather quick to paint. Perfect for painting under time pressure...
However until now I'm pretty confidant to pass all bonus rounds and achieve my 750 point target in the last furlong.