Category Archives: Gaming/Battle Mats/Tiles

DIY Gaming Mats revisited – tiles and all.

(Picture heavy post). A good while ago I posted about a fairly successful jaunt into the DIY game mat arena. I was well please with the results. More recently I posted about a similar experiment, also using Pixartprinting when they ran a juicy special offer, but this time on Flag material.

The results on that occasion were less “Wow” and more “Nae Bad” (Scot dialect for okay). Subsequently Vinyl printing at Pixartprinting came around again so I thought I’d have another run at it.

Aside from a couple of standard “roll ’em out and use ’em” mats (images below) I thought I’d try something a bit more ‘flexible’ as well this time. Gaming tiles.

Not a new idea by any means – I’ve made many homespun ones before as will many of you. They work well but the print quality is always going to be restricted by the quality of your printer. Likewise durability by the stock you can print on to. I used to have a great colour laser which was great for this type of printing but it died a few years ago. The inkjet that replaced it, while a good machine, wasn’t so suitable for this purpose. Add to that, some stock that I used wasn’t totally ‘official’ and colour fade to a pinkish hue  not long after printing (and all the work involved with trimming and mounting on to foamcore). Imagine how annoying the same result had on carefully built card building models! Grrr.

On the left, a double tile using the vinyl printing, on the right, one I made earlier using my own printer. In this case it is clear that this is one of the printed stock that suffered from the discolouration I mention above.

So, a few of the images below will at first appearance look odd. Big vinyl sheets with randomly dotted terrain on it (see the coastal set). These were laid out in Photoshop before going off to print to minimise the amount of cutting required and to get as much bang for your buck (i.e. you don’t send off thirty 12″x12″ bits of art to print but one big sheet).

For example. here’s a screenshot of the artwork that went off to print for the City tiles. One big file. One big sheet.

With the coastal one I was looking to get from the big sheet a 3’x3′ plain ‘water’ mat (hence the appearance of pirate and viking ships!). The actual coastal areas and land areas were to be sliced into individual tiles to be used either in conjunction with the ‘water’ or in their own right.

Worked out well.

The City banner, whilst it ‘looks’ like a laid out ready-to-use mat, was always intended for slicing. Which you can see in the later pics. The reason for that was – if the slicing proved problematic then I’d at least be left with a City mat that could be used. The cutting and subsequent mounting was not a problem though.

Print ‘n Play Mats: Red Desert/Planet

Continue reading DIY Gaming Mats revisited – tiles and all.

Waving the Flag for DIY wargame mats. Or Not?

I touched on this in an earlier post but thought the subject deserved a little more dedicated attention and pictures.

Vinyl printing for mat and tiles have worked. I also tried Flag material when Pixelartprint ran a sale on that medium a while ago. I’m sharing the results here by way of a comparison and my view that they are ‘not as effective’ as vinyl printing was.

Flag Material Wargame Mat: Desert

Flag Material Wargame Mat: Frostgrave Themed Winter Mat

I won’t be bothering with Flag material again for this type of application. As previously mentioned they are: Continue reading Waving the Flag for DIY wargame mats. Or Not?

More Terrain Mat experiments, Prang and Desert Felt…eh?

Warning – image heavy post here. Illustrating a few things here (but kinda got snap-happy on this post to be honest).

In the pics below:

Terrain Mat (Flag Material)
Following the success of some Vinyl Terrain Mat printing via PixartPrinting, a subsequent sale came along for printed Flag Fabric. This made me think of what I’d read about Cigar Box cloth mats and some others that manufacturers were starting to produce.

Well, I had various art files floating around and thought I’d take a punt as it was only a few pounds to get these printed and shipped from Italy. The desert terrain mat in the pictures below are one of the ‘mats’.

Terrain mat flag material felt fields 15mm Prang vs Rogue Star Motley Crew of Spacefarers and TroublemakersI’ll maybe do a longer post about this in due course should I take pics of the other two “Flags” (one was Heroic Maps Frost Ruins and the other a larger town layout based of Dave Graffam art) but in brief, here are the conclusions;

  • cheap
  • light-weight, perhaps too light, but light enough that hills etc can be placed with some effect underneath
  • slightly transparent, which also means a loss in vibrancy of colour and saturation
  • as you can see from some of the closer images, there is a pattern to the fabric but to be honest, this is not really visible in situ and not really a deal breaker for me

Over all – a bit mixed. Not as overwhelming successful as the vinyl mats but certainly usable.

The Prang make an appearance
I had promised photos of these guys to Gavin at 15mm.co.uk/Ion Age sometime ago. They’ve been done for a while but not photographed. These are not the ‘mini’ photos – they were handy while messing with the table – but they featured quite effectively I think in this desert environment. Proper pics to follow GBS, and Eli, promise. I think they turned out quite well. Continue reading More Terrain Mat experiments, Prang and Desert Felt…eh?

A City for All Scales: Fantasy Town follow-up

Posting this for the sake of being a completest – I spent some more time ‘evolving’ the fantasy town that I was messing around with on the post I made on the vinyl map printing – so I thought I’d record the finished thing here (if there ever is such a thing in this hobby).

At first glance you won’t notice a huge difference. I’ve replaced some of the smaller ‘true 15mm’  resin buildings with more Graffam houses. These ones are a little less ’15mm’ and more HO/OO or even 25mm in a couple of cases. Here’s the logic – by mixing scales a bit you can;

  • get a certain sense of perspective and irregularity of scale variation across the whole town
  • create (or undermine) a sense of ‘true scale’ thus making the terrain feasible with multiple scales (you’ll see a couple of shots with 25/28mm minis in there)
  • using mostly Graffam and paper models, get a better sense of architectural style. Some of the previous building just ‘jarred’ with the dominating theme.

Anyway, enough blether. Pics.

Graffam paper model fantasy town 15mm
Vampires and Hunters battle it out.
Graffam paper model fantasy town 15mm
I’ve got a post in mind showing the use of some of the old Usborne cut-out-terrain books. These stalls are from a couple of them. HO/OO

Continue reading A City for All Scales: Fantasy Town follow-up

Mat procrastination finally pays off. DIY Fantasy and Sci-fi battle mats.

I’ve resisted buying some a gaming mat/battleboard for a good while. There are very fine specimens available on the market (Pworks and Deepcut spring to mind) but because I am an ‘in-active’ player I couldn’t justify the £30+ price tag on them. Plus, being into both fantasy and sci-fi I know I’d just end up ‘collecting’ a whole bunch. Up until now I’ve trundled along printing out my own boards and tiles and being ‘okay’ with the results. But there is a limit to what you can achieve with an A4 colour inkjet, graphic designer or not.

City Town Terrain for Mordheim or Frostgrave fantasy gamesI’ve been humming and hawing over getting some custom mats printed up for some time. I gathered a few quotes from printers and done a bit of online research. But I faltered. Procrastinated. I simply hadn’t ‘seen’ a finished example so I couldn’t be sure of what I would be getting.

Long story short, I joined Sam and Tim the other week in Falkirk for a rare gaming outing (which was great fun btw chaps). Sam tinkers in similar areas to myself and had had a set of vinyl 2’x2′ mats printed for (Advanced) Song of Blades and Heroes. We played on one and I was suitably impressed by the print quality and material. Sam proffered the printers details (see note 1.) and a printed mat (see below). Back at home  I started digging around for various artwork (see note 2.) that I’d been messing around with previously with a view to getting some mats printed myself previously. Continue reading Mat procrastination finally pays off. DIY Fantasy and Sci-fi battle mats.

Classic Bug Hunt infested with Khurasan 15mm

I mentioned in passing in a previous post that I was planning on trying out using the game tiles from the GW Space Hulk game with 15mm alternatives. Similarly a host of Bugs from Khurasan.

The table I normally set such things up on was clear for once so I thought now’s the time. Here are the Khurasan Bugs.Khurasan 15mm Bug Hunt Aliens and Colonial Marines I’d bought a few packs of these a while ago. Then last year I made a rather rash (for me) “blind” purchase at 2015 Claymore of a rather large plastic storage container stuffed with, well,  stuff. When I say “blind” it wasn’t totally blind as a cursory glance showed ample goodies inside to satisfy the £20 asking price. I’d list the contents but you’d just cry at the bargain. Continue reading Classic Bug Hunt infested with Khurasan 15mm