Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Detour to the 40th Millenia

There has been a bit of a delay since my last post. I had been working to get some more gabions and a few pikeman painted when my wife suggested she'd like to paint up and play some 40k again. This was an opportunity not to be passed up. She decided that she would play with her Tyranids again and look into adding some new figures. I looked over the armies I had stored away and choose my Tau to once again see the light of day.

One hurdle facing the project is that I really don't have much terrain for 40k anymore. I have a few Imperial buildings that I kept and an old 4 x 8 board but it needs some serious refurbishment. So the first step would be making something to play on. While I really like big set boards whether modular or not I don't have the storage space for them and they take too long to build. Instead I'm going to make a flexible mat borrowing techniques from the flexible pieces I've been making recently.

Since I've never made a play mat before I decided to make a sample piece first to work out any kinks. I purchased a canvas drop cloth to form the base. For this piece I cut down a piece from a 4 x 5 cloth. I also got a 6 x 9 to use for my final mat.

There's a mix of different colored and size sand and fine gravel applied to the caulk. 
Next it got a coating of caulking. I worked this into the cloth using a drywall tool to get a fairly thin even coat. Then the sand went on for texture and was pressed into the caulk. This was left to dry overnight.

It was painted a red brown with a dark brown wash and then i picked out the larger stones with black and a grey dry brush. Everything then got dry brushed up through a brick red to tan. After that Earth tone fine turf was applied. I think the turf is a bit too green overall so I ordered some yellow grass to use with it on the actual mat.

With this sample piece done I'm ready to move onto the main event. I'm also working on some terrain and trying to figure out how I want to paint my additions to my Tau forces.

The mat is very flexible and easy to roll up for storage. 

Some of my Tau scout out the new terrain.

One of the nice attributes of the mat is its easy to make rolling terrain by simply sticking objects underneath.

Future projects: A test paint for my Tau reinforcements and some more terrain.


  1. I am rather envious of that mat and the fact that you managed to get your wife to roll dice with you - all very clever.

    1. The mat is easy to replicate but I can't take credit for my wife gaming with me. She was already playing before she met me!


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