Monday, 26 March 2012

The wargames table MkII

Ok, so after losing my temper with the Woodlands Scenics grass mat last week I decided to rethink my table top surface. Those who pass by here regularly will know that originally I inserted a polystyrene sheet topped with the grass mat but after a whole week of trying to get the mat to stop bubbling and actually adhere to the polystyrene I finally gave up and in a fit of fury I ripped the mat off and binned the whole thing!

Anyone thinking of using one of these mats do yourself a favour .... Don't. The vinyl backing is a pig to get to stick to anything and if I'm honest the actual playing surface isn't that great either.

Anyway, after calming down for a while I firstly decided to replace the polystyrene sheets with MDF boards which due to the limited access I have to the loft, had to be laid in 4 pieces. I then took some time to think about the playing surface and the next day while at work I had a brain wave.

As most of you know I'm a self employed carpet fitter and on this particular day I was busy underlaying a house ready for carpeting. During a cuppa I came up with the idea of possibly using the underlay as the base material for my table.

The underlay is made from a dense, highly compressed sponge and is covered with a fine plastic type membrane which is black in colour. Firstly I cut a piece of the spare underlay to fit my tabletop and roughly coated it in a dark chocolate matt emuslion. This I did really quickly and left the black membrane showing through in places. After this I dry brushed the surface with a light stone colour. Finally I sprayed dilute scenic cement over the surface and flocked it with Woodland Scenics Green Blend Turf scatter. After this step I added one or two differing shades of green scatter before finally giving the whole thing a good spray of dilute PVA to seal the surface.

I'm really pleased with the final result. The underlay is slightly textured and where the flock is fine it looks like rough, broken ground. The surface is completely sealed with no loss of flock and still spongy to the touch!

Here's a few pictures to show the final result:

The other good thing about this surface is that should the need arise then the whole thing can be rolled up and moved.

You'll also see my entire scenery collection here which consists of 9 x trees! .... Still lots to do including more figure painting and bases to flock.....

Anyway, I hope this is of some use to any gamer considering a new or replacement table surface.



  1. Steve, looks like you cracked it. The table looks great.

  2. Cheers Phil, I must admit to being pleased with the new look surface!

  3. That looks brilliant! Congrats. I'll have to look into something like that. Thanks for the heads up.

    -- George Krashos

  4. Steve - could you do a 'step by step' on this? I guess a load of wargamers would be interested in this.

  5. Hi Phil
    I need to get more scatter material for my planned contour style hills which will be made from the same material (and in exactly the same manner) . As soon as I start these then I'll pop a 'stage by stage' posting here on the blog.

    Thanks for the feedback everyone!

  6. That does look very impressive and I'll love to see your hills too. Thank you

  7. Hi Steve,

    Nice job mate. Thats a really good finish you have achieved there.


  8. That is really quite impressive Steve, it looks great. You could easily change out the surface for Northern Europe, Southern Europe, North Africa or even Snow. I am going to have to think about it. Do you really believe it will roll, without bits falling off?


  9. Hi John,
    Thanks for your kind words. The surface will definitely roll up should it need to be.


  10. That looks great! Missed this post (and a few others) as I've not fully sorted the feeds out on my new blog yet. Excellent idea that looks really effective!

  11. Howdy,
    Looks very fine. I've been adding some low cost scenery to my table lately by trolling through google search results for "free paper models". There is an amazing number of freebies out there, in pretty much any scale you can name, including houses, bunkers, roads, castles, bridges (stone, wood, etc.), even trees and shrubs. I print the stuff out, glue it to cardboard from cereal boxes, then assemble. It does not take long, and the end results are very professional-looking--and for next to no expense!

    Best regards,

    Chris Johnson


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