This is the second mat I have been working on, I am not sure if it's quite there yet. Obviously, at the moment there is only half a board's worth, but I am not sure if I want to do thinner darker lines in the gaps between the tiles. For today, I thought I'd explain how I got to this point.
What will I need? Wallpaper, I got some cheap stuff from Wilkinson for about £5 that was enough to do several boards; Masking tape; electrical tape, scissors, rule, mathematical compass, a large enough table to put the mat on, a pencil, a hole punch, string, sponge/foam (stuff out of box of Malifaux figures will do) relevant paint (I use wall paint for terrain and gaming tables) and paintbrushes.
First of all you need to stretch your wall paper, this is so it doesn't ripple and misform whilst you paint it. Cut out the relevant size of wall paper, you want an inch or two more than the desired size, and masking tape all of the edges down to your table whilst the paper is stretched out as tight as you can get it. At this point you might be thinking that your paper isn't big enough to do a whole board, but I do mine in two halves.
Next you want to paint your mat the right colour. I did mine a mix of pure white, with a touch of 'soft black' (or dark grey according to everyone else) and Calthan brown. If you make a mix, make sure you have enough for both halves and a way to keep it usable until you paint the next one! Once this was dry I then tore the foam until there was no straight lines, shown below:
Next up you should add the lines. The more observant of you may have noticed that in the above pics the lines are already present, this is because I am stupid and I thought I would be able to see the lines through the paint. Anyway, after having made a couple of designs I used the following shapes on my Malifaux mat:
- Flank Deployment Zones
- Corner Deployment Zones
- Diagonal Centre Lines
- Orthoganal Centre Lines
- 6"(radius) Recconoiter Centre Circle
- 6"+15mm (radius) Turf War Centre Circle
After this I then filled in the spaces with tiling. I made it so that the shape of the tiles changed when they hit these critical lines. Making you rectangular tiles 1" by 1.5" should mean they fit in all the gaps made and for the circular sections I made several smaller circles (each by an inch) and then just connected the lines up, better explained in the picture below:
Finally, I used the hole punch to make some holes that I can tie strings to so that I can hang it up.
That's half of the mat done, now just rinse and repeat! When making the second I do not tape up one of the sides, but cut it down so it can go over the overlap of the other mat (paper clip the edges) and have the right size playing space.
I'll admit it's not perfect. I considered putting some laminate on it to stop it getting damaged by moisture, but I didn't want it to be shiny. If I have any problems with this in the future I will let you know. I thought it was a quick, cheap and effective way of getting a gaming space made. Hope it's useful to folk.