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    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette

    One of the beauties of 3mm gaming is that a 3×2 playing space will do you just fine. Megagames can be played on a 6×4 table. Hell, entire campaigns fit nicely into an 8×5 space!

    Here’s a  recent sci-fi battle played on my home-made 3×2 gaming mat…

    This is the base set-up: cut up PVA yoga mats are laid down for contours:

    The mat goes over this….

    My terrain is mostly on very thin card or painted/flocked onto artist’s canvas. It goes down on top of the mat and then I use flocked thumbtacks and push pins to pin it in place:

    Seen from another angle:

    Here’s another 3×2 set-up, complete with minis….

    A close-up of the mecha:

    And finally, here’s a Cold War Commander game between two ca. 1955 imaginations being played out on a 2 x 2 foot space. In this game, each unit was a company and the scale was DRASTICALLY reduced : all measurements being divided by 10. It ended up being something like Flames of War in 3mm, with entire parking lots of tanks, but it at least showed it can be handily done.

    This highlights yet another terrain solution: these are 60 x 30 cm ready-framed artists’ canvases, painted and flocked as terrain modules. They cost about five USD each. I have since given them up for the “pin it to PVA” method, above, as that is more flexible, as well as being easier to store and transport. But the artists’ canvas method works just fine for those who want realistic-looking terrain modules.

    Here you can see the “parking lot” to good effect. It turns out I didn’t even use half the board space! So this is a Soviet-style Tank Division attacking a reinforced NATO-style combined arms brigade, with each stand being a company. Like I said, Flames of War in 3mm, but how else can you fit a division-scale assault on a 60 x 30mm space? 😀

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

    Avatar photoJust Jack


    I’ve been to your blog, so I’ve seen it before, but it doesn’t matter: you’re set-up is absolutely beautiful.  It makes me want to drop everything and try it, though I know I’d only be let down as it wouldn’t look as good as yours.  Hopefully you’re finding time to get some more games in, I look forward to the action shots.


    Avatar photoWar Panda

    TB you blighter! Here I’m happily minding my own business beavering away with my 28mm WW2 skirmish projects and I come across your Site…you should be ashamed of yourself creating such  envy and cupidity in others

    But seriously absolutely beautiful stuff…no honestly…I just love the look of your table. I was never interested in smaller scales as I’ve always felt the ascetics in the hobby are too important and anything lower than 15mm would be too limiting to the effect achievable. Your site completely shatters that myth. I have been toying with the idea of trying out some larger scale battalion type gaming and the quality of your table and pieces are now drawing me towards 3mm.

    It’s a weird concept for me to be even considering 3mm. That’s the best compliment I could give you 🙂


    “The great Gaels of Ireland are the men that God made mad,
    For all their wars are merry, and all their songs are sad.”

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    I’ve always loved your setups, TB.  It’s like a Techno-Khorengal.

    I’m working on a set of Hexon-II tiles myself at the moment, for a Not-Too-Distant-Future Donbas-Bryansk war.  It’s shocking how effective the smaller scales can be!  Ten years ago 3mm scale was fringey and impractical, but providers like O8 and the National Cheese Emporium are really stepping up with some fantastic models, and with limited space, time and money, it really makes it economical in all senses to have these on hand to scratch the gaming itch, not instead of, but complementary to, the other scales.

    Avatar photoAngel Barracks

    I was never interested in smaller scales as I’ve always felt the ascetics in the hobby are too important and anything lower than 15mm would be too limiting to the effect achievable

    You may not be able to get the same level of eye candy in the models (but I would argue against this anyway) but the table is where you can excel in smaller games.

    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette

    Thanks for the compliments, folks. Actually, Mathieu, I started thinking about my fictional planet of Smade’s World after seeing Restepro, so techno-Khorengal isn’t far off the mark.

    And Mike, you’re correct: terrain has to catch the eye in 3mm, but without completely drowning out the figures. I’m still working on getting the best balance here.

    The best thing about 3mm is that it is a “bonus” scale: you can get into it without distracting too much time, energy and money from other projects. 100 dollars will get you two immense armies or four smaller ones. You can store them all in a couple of cigar boxes with a couple others for terrain and stuff the whole kit in a backpack.

    I wouldn´t be able to play miniature games if I had to use other scales (although skirmishing in 6mm is increasingly a possibilty). Other people get this scale essentially for free, however.

    It thus allows you to do projects you wouldn´t do normally. Have you always wanted to do sci-fi, but couldn´t stand the thought of spending the cash on something you´ll only play now and again? 3mm is the answer. I’m finally getting into Napoleonic in the same way. I always wanted to play Napoleonics, but I couldn´t stomach the idea of spending boatloads of cash and years of my life painting only to have some numpty criticize the colors of the buttons on my figs. 3mm allows me to avoid all of that.

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

    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette

    A Revolutionary Army of Salvation column rolls across the high outback on Smade’s World, striking towards Organ Pipe Pass and the lowlands.


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

    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen

    Looking seriously sharp, very well done 🙂

    Avatar photoshelldrake

    Thanks for the topic, it is really selling me on the rules for my 3mm figures (I am building armies for an Indonesian invasion of Australia) as well as giving me hope that the small playing area I have will be ample enough to do it.


    I am also happy to see I am not the only one that has considered framed artist canvas… only you have actually done it, whilst every time I am in the art store I just think about it.

    Avatar photoRules Junkie Jim

    I’d been thinking of using those cheapo framed canvases as terrain bases for a while now, but those look really good… and that’s the best use of yoga mats I’ve ever seen

    Avatar photoPhil Gray

    Absolutely belting set up!


    While I’ve used the drape over formers before the push pins are a very nice touch!

    Sand, not oil, in the gears of the world.

    Avatar photoMr. Average

    Side-note here: TB, I know you’ve been graced with some of the National Cheese Emporium SF 3mm sets recently.  One of his newer units, “Team Falchion,” seems particularly convincing, albeit pricey at $50+ (thank you VERY much, Shapeways!).  I like the “task force” set idea, though, and it would suit my Donbas-Bryansk setup very well, which relies on battalion-sized units with platoon bases.

    What’s your impression of these figures, as compared to 08?  I’ve been tempted to buy a set, even at the increased Shapeways price, just to show support for javelin98 and his efforts.  And I’ve heard he’s looking to produce some of them in metal soon, as well.  The material is the only thing giving me pause – in the past it’s proved too porous to hold paint or primer.  Have you had good results painting NCE’s 3d-printed resins?

    Avatar photoThaddeus Blanchette

    Javelin says he is sendingg me some of his new metal proofs tompaint up, so we might be getting stuff in metal soon. Still, supporting him now is a good idea.

    The Falchion stuff loks pretty good and everytime I have painted up Javelin’s stuff it has come out much nicer than I would have thought. The white strong and flexible material painted up fine, but I’d still go for the detailed material on these.

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

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