To replace these hill I bought some 6mm thick board and drew on a bunch of 4" hexes. Before I cut out the hexes, I clamped another board to the first and drilled out all the corners of the hexes. This second board provided a template to use to mark the hexes on my new mat. I then cut out the hexes on the first board and sanded the edges a bit to bevel them. I put these aside for now until the game mat was ready to be built...
Before I started blogging I had made a home mead flocked gaming mat. I was not happy with the results and ended up throwing it out. I had followed the advice of some Youtube Gurus and made the following mistakes:
- My home made flock was too course and did not have enough paint in it
- The sand I used was to course and I used too much
- The caulk mixture did not have enough paint and was applied to thickly
- I did not apply a fixative to the finished product
The result was a mat that was bland looking, with cracks in the caulk and weighed way too much. After a year of sitting under my regular game mat, I turfed it out.
With further Youtube research and lessons in hand I am trying the home made mat project again. To start, I prepared the flock. I wanted 3 colors. I still had my bucket of sawdust donated by a neighbor who runs a wood mill. I sifted about 3 litres of sawdust and then ran it through my food processor. My goal was to make it as fine as possible. I wanted to get wood flour but it was hard to get and expensive so DIY.
I divided the product into three piles and added lots of poster paint, a little soup and some water and mixed vigorously. I spread the flock out on newspaper over night and got a nice, rich color of flock that I hope will show up better on my final product.
Next was to find a better sand to add to the mix. I looked at my local DIY shop and Garden Shop but found the play sand too fine to meet my needs. I thought about using cat litter as it is light and near the fineness I wanted but had visions of it clumping into unusable blobs and abandoned the idea. In the end, I splurged and got some Woodland Scenics Ballast. When winter comes, I will see if grit will be suitable for future products as it is way cheaper.
I bought a good quality sheet of canvas from my local fabric store and more poster paint. I bolted the canvas to my table so it would not shrink as the caulk dried. I mixed the ballast, caulk, paint and some water together in a sturdy bucket. I spread the mess thinly on my canvas with newspaper underneath to absorb excess. I also added it to my new hill tops. I sprinkled the three colors of flock onto the mat and gently pressed it into place. After an hour, I spread the flock around some to give it a more blended, natural look. After letting the mess dry for a day or so. I fixed the flock in place by spraying the mat down with a mix of PVA and water, I let this dry another day. I then got my predrilled hex template board and used it to mark the hexes on the mat. These I marked in with brown felt.
I cut the mat to 6'x4'. This will be usable for the Command and Color ranges of games as well as Commit the Garde. If I ignore the discreet hexes, I can use it for other games as well. I will still need my old hex mat for Epic sized games of Command and Colors. Stay tuned for pictures of the new mat and hills in action in future posts!