My current wargaming boards/mats/cloths are a bit of hodgepodge, including about six different types of battle board/mats/clothes – none of which I’m happy with. I’m still looking for the perfect solution and also see a chance to rationalise on a consistent approach and colour scheme.
I wanted to try building some wargaming boards with a wooden frame but it all started looking too hard for a carpentry klutz likely myself. Luckily Simon Miller of the Big Red Bat Cave suggested I have look at some of David Marshall’s work at TMterrain. I ended up buying a table from David and I’m very happy with the result.
Table of Four 4’x2′ Boards
When I had a look at TMTerrain’s Facebook page I was very impress by what David gets up to.
This is what I wanted:
- Four boards of 4′ x 2′ (making an 8′ x 4′ table)
- All 50mm deep, which is TMTerrain’s default.
- Double sided: Parched on one side and Urban on the other.
- Both sides flat. Couple of reasons for this: they have to stack and I use modular terrain on top of my tables.
I was worried that the boards would slide around (like my current thin boards). I didn’t have to worry as the TMterrain boards have sufficient heft to sit where you put them.
Here are the boards in action in my Papa Eicke scenario:
David’s boards are built on a carcass of hardboard (or mdf) with baton framing. This makes the boards quite rigid and resistant to warping.
Side 1: Parched side
My my basing and flocking style is for a moderately parched summer setting in the Mediterranean.
I asked David to match this basing and flocking style. That suited him because he uses Dulux house paints as a matter of course. Dulux Paints for Modelling:
- Flat Earth 80YR14140 Extra Deep W45 Painted on
- Dark Sand 23YY48254 Medium W45 Dry brushed on
- Pale Sand 40YY75216 Light W45 Dry brushed on
David had a variety of flock styles available and he kindly sent me same samples. I chose the one that was closest to what I use. David uses flock (rather than static grass) and sticks it firmly down to the boards with PVA glue. This makes it strong but means it doesn’t stick up like grass.
Side 2: the Urban side
I wanted double sided boards, like reversible cloth. Quite often I do an urban Stalingrad-style game or Madrid in the Spanish Civil War. So having the ability to flip over the boards to for this would be great.
I already use hardboard with the bumpy side up and painted, blackened and dusty, for my urban games. See, for example, the 92nd Naval in Stalingrad The effect is vaguely suggestive of cobble stones.
David wasn’t so keen on the idea of a reversible table – he was concerned that would expose the boards to greater damage. “My terrain boards are robust and you will find them tough to do serious damage to them but they will get worn over time and having a side face down will accelerate that ware.”
However, his boards come with hardboard on the back so I could do what I liked with them once I took delivery. I’ve done an initial paint job but will enhance with brick dust when I get time.