Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Terrain Mat part One

Earlier in November, my family was away for the weekend, and I got little done while they were gone, instead spending time with my sister and playing video games. (Classic XCOM).

When they got home late on that Sunday afternoon, my wife encouraged me to involve the kids in a project that I have been wanting to do for quite some time.

In the spring, a neighbor moved out, and for a few days had a bunch of random wall "art" out in front of their house to give away. My wife picked up the last piece with the idea that she would repaint it with the kids, as she has done with other canvases in the past. However, like many projects, no progress was made for a while, and the painting lived in the garage.

After several months, we pulled out the painting, and put it in the backyard where kid painting occurs. The paint was basically falling off, and we began to peel it off as we were doing other things.

After a few weeks of it sitting around, I got serious about peeling off the paint, and realized that it was sticky on one side... was it glued?  A quick soak with the garden hose proved that it was, and everything came off much more quickly after that.

So now we have a 91x119 cm blank canvas, and my idea was to make it into a play mat.

The kids were enthusiastic once they got into the idea, and they wanted to make a design with a road and a river (the maps of the battle of five armies and the battle of the Hornburg I had showed them may have influenced this a bit).

With a pen, they sketched out a plan on the canvas, and then I had my son measure the road segments so that they would be approximately 40mm wide (suitable for a 15mm dirt road or a Warmaster base)

After that we gloved up, and started mixing caulk and paint and smearing it on.  After slapping on a section of caulk, we then sprinkled a relatively heavy coat of the primary flock, followed by dustings of other flocks, static grass etc.  I then crudely rolled it in with an empty caulk tube, although this was not very successful due to the canvas still being on the frame.  Unfortunately no pictures of this phase, my hands were too dirty, and my wife was busy.

After less an an hour (and one change of clothes for the kids), we got to this stage:

You can see here that there are quite a number of colors, and some texture imparted by the caulk.  The roads and river are currently unfinished. After this dried for a few hours, I carefully dumped it off onto newspaper, and put it in the garage to await the next step. The flock and such dumped off was recovered, and equaled about 60% of what went on in the first place, more because of all the other flocks added than because it all fell off!

Tools used:
Paint stirring sticks
plastic tub from the recycling bin

Supplies used:
Two cans of paint, matched to GW Scorched Brown, and Vallejo Earth
Two tubes of flexible paintable caulk
One bag of flock
Various other flocks, static grasses, and herbs

Next step: have enough time to do the road and river sections.

11 comments:

Maj. Guiscard said...

What a great project to do with the kids. Creative, while being incredibly messy. All the good stuff.
Do you have the armies already painted up?

Lasgunpacker said...

No of course not! I do have plenty of things in mind to go on the mat though.

Dai said...

Good start mate. Looking forward to seeing this finished up.

champia said...
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Stew said...

Great job, looks great. Nice to involve the kiddos as well. Few projects go better with kid involvement but this seems to have turned out well. 😀
Interestingly, I think that the next time I do a similar project I was also planning on getting a canvas on frame.

SITZKRIEG! said...

Looks good! It's great to see people making their own boards instead of just relying on premade plastics ones. The latter definitely have their uses but they're cookie cutter by design and it's nice to see more personalized ones.

Suber said...

Wow, most impressive! I'm really looking forward to seeing the final result. I'd like to hear your impressions on the finished product!

Michael Awdry said...

Really taking shape.

Lasgunpacker said...

Thanks all.

Having the kids involved made it a bit more challenging, as they had different design ideas, but it did increase the buy in from my wife, and they were excited to be able to participate.

FourEyedMonster said...

You will be surprised how kids can have excellent ideas as seen from a point of wonder. Sometimes us old geezers ... well me anyway ... can be so jaded that we tend to overlook the obvious. Great project to involve the young ones! :)

champia said...
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