Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Making a cheap and easy gaming surface

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  • #20065
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I started 6mm skirmish with a big old heavy chipboard tabletop that was 3’x 3′.
    This was nice but potentially a bit too big.

    Looking around I saw TSS and their 2’x 2′ polystyrene boards, smaller and very light.
    I used them for quite a bit, but eventually came to the conclusion that this was a touch too small.

    So I am trying a 3’x 2′ board.
    However not wood as it is too heavy, and not a TSS tile as they don’t do that size.

    I went and purchased a cheap canvas and some foamboard to pad it with.
    I have cut up the foam board with inserts that sit between the frame.
    The inserts are not as deep as the frame, but they don’t need to be.
    The canvas should have enough give to stop elbows from tearing it, but these inserts are just an added precaution.
    Being impatient and concerned about warping, I have used double sided tape to stick the foamboard bits together.

    £6.00 the canvas, £4.00 the foamboard.

    Next up I will get out my trusty B&Q tester pot and give it a base coat!

    #20067
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    I have thought of doing this as well, my plan was to mount 2 canvas back to back (with support) and do a desert scheme on one side and an urban on the other.

    #20072
    Norm S
    Participant

    I did similar here LINK http://battlefieldswarriors.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/pinboard-wargames-for-small-spaces.html

    but used a large pinboard and then hot glue gunned panels of form bard onto the rear to stop the board from sinking in the middle. A few months on and it is working fine.

    I think the canvas should give you a nice textured surface or at least a nice key if you are adding more texture, but if it is not fully supported below – it will stretch at the points that you put pressure on it and those stretch marks will remain.

    #20079
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Now that I am in my G/F new house, I have the room for my 4×6 table. I also am thinking of building a 4×4 for skirmish gaming. I have a 3×3 box to play 5CC .

    #20082
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    but used a large pinboard and then hot glue gunned panels of form bard onto the rear to stop the board from sinking in the middle.

    Yeah that was my goal for awhile but finding pin boards that were cheap and big enough proved tricky..

    Anywho….
    I undercoated it fine, then ruined it!

    The problem was that I knew the paint would dry quite quickly which meant I would have to do it in sections.
    The problem was that I would slap some paint on the quickly sprinkle flock over the paint.
    That was ok, but when I came to paint the section next to it the brush would go over the flocked section and make it go clumpy.
    So I ended up with a nice smooth surface except for where the sections met and here there is a bumpy ridge.

    I spent a while trying to scrape the old flock off but it is too much of a pain.
    So I am off to Hobbycraft shortly to buy another canvas.

    I am thinking about maybe adding some PVA to the paint and watering it down a bit to prevent it from drying so quickly….

    #20112
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    If you have one close, ‘the works’ can be cheaper than Hobbycraft. You may also be able to sand the lumps down, and if that is all still an issue, try a paint retarder and give it a flat coat before the grit coat as some of the drying speed will be down to the canvas absorbency.

    #20114
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    That is how I did my panels: styrofoam backing in between the bracing.

    The advantage of this system is that you can use my non-patented stick-pin method of holding terrain down on it. Flock some tacks and stick-pins as trees and bushes and use them to pin down mobile terrain pieces.

    The holes the pins leave are hardly noticeable and you can always paint of flock over them ever three or four games or so if they really irritate you.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #20117
    willz
    Participant

    Like both ideas, I was thinking of doing similar myself.  Cheers for sharing.

    • This reply was modified 6 years ago by willz.
    #20129
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    So the second attempt is better.
    I used the paint with PVA and water mixed in, it took longer to dry and gave me time to get a base coat on and covered in flock whilst still wet.

    Once this was dry I did a second layer of scatter.
    I did this by using an eye/ear dropper and applying a PVA/water/washing up liquid over the board and sprinkling the second layer on.

    Here you can see the second layer almost done and a corner that shows the initial layer of flock still to get its second coat.

    Here is the second layer done.

    After this I will add a few bits of sand and grass and then a final sealing layer of PVA/water/washing up liquid.

    #20182
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I took advantage of the sunlight to take the board outside and spray it with some clear plastic.
    It is a tad shiny in the wrong light but it does make the flock so much more heard wearing:

    So, once this is dry, some sand and grass and then the edges.

    #20183
    Fredd Bloggs
    Participant

    It looks like tarmac, excellent.

    #20184
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Ha ha, it is less black and more brown to be fair, but yes, grass green it is not!

    #20467
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    All done.

    Added some sand and grass and sealed with PVA/water/fairy.

    Then painted the edges black.

    #20481
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Now with added stuff:

    #20484
    Earther
    Participant

    Looking good! Consider the idea pilfered. 

    #20491
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    Wowzer!!

    #20497
    Thaddeus Blanchette
    Participant

    VERY nice, Mike.

    We get slapped around, but we have a good time!

    #20498
    Mike
    Keymaster

    VERY nice, Mike.

    It would be a great size for a full on 3mm battle methinks.

    #20514
    Norm S
    Participant

    Is there any give still in the canvas?  it looks pretty rigid from the shots.

    #20523
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Is there any give still in the canvas? it looks pretty rigid from the shots.

    There is a bit but it should totally useable.
    I lent on part of it to take the shots.
    The foam boards stop it from giving too much but it does a little.

    I would recommend giving it a go.

    #20780
    Cerdic
    Participant

    That looks really effective in use! What sort of flock did you use?

    #20782
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Javis number 31 Dark Earth

    😀

    It is what I call wooden scatter.

    See HERE for more ‘details’

    #28833

    I found a canvas\cork notice board in the local hardware store that is 4×2 –  I might buy it and then dye\spay the canvas dark green (the colours were red of blue) or simply upholster it with an existing felt sheet.

     

    #29945
    Sane Max
    Participant

    That DOES look excellent

    I gave some serious thought to just using a sheet of Polystyrene with a few strengthening ribs, but always assumed someone would lean on it eventually. But yours will be light but resilient.

    How taut did you make the canvas?

    #29947
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    As it came from the shop, so errrm it was rated as “ish” on the taut scale.

    😀

    #29949
    Sane Max
    Participant

    ‘ish’ eh? that’s good. what I was groping for was – do figures jump around when someone rolls a big dice on the board?

    #29951
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    Dice on the board, how very common!

    😀

    No, I would not have thought so.
    Without the foamcard support underneath possibly, also possibly without the foamcard support and elbow may tear it.
    But with the foamcard it is pretty sturdy. (ish)

    #29952
    Sane Max
    Participant

    ‘k, I was just pondering shamelessly stealing your idea, but making my own frame and then covering it with teddybear fur. make some 2by4 frames and edge them with velcro….

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Sane Max.
    #29954
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I guess the fur will blend with adjacent sections quite well and fairly seamlessly, would it be easier, to buy some ready made canvas frames and glue the fur on?
    You will get the canvas support under the fur too that way.

    You can get some pretty mahoosive canvas jobs from the Hobbycraft.

    Anyway, please do share, oh and pics or it never happened!

    😉

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 7 months ago by Angel Barracks. Reason: i r useded a comma
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