Saturday, February 21, 2009

Desert Game Matt

I thought I'd post my Desert / Arid game Matt to my Terrain Making section. Pictured are an unfortunate western gun slinger encountering something from beyond, just to give scale for the outcroppings and the surface of the Matt.

The underpayment of the Matt is a heavy felt, started as dark green, but with full coverage it does not show through.

Kel Seal, textured with Non Skid Plastic beads added and stirred in for the basic material that I spread over the surface of the Matt. A fast first coat left a lot of the green felt peeking through here and there but I did the first coat with Smooth Kel Seal to save on the amount of texture material I mixed in to give the final coat. It can be applied in workable areas of a couple square feet at a time and left to dry. The KS can be feathered over existing areas without to much of any meeting ridge showing. I did a 4' x 6' Matt in stages over a couple of evenings.

The dry surface is WHITE when your done. I used a 4" (yep, four inch) brush to apply a wash of dark brown Craft Smart Acrylic paint to the surface and let it dry. A few puddles I dragged the brush through to keep from forming an overly dark area. Then using a 2 inch foam brush I patted high light colors here and there.
The rock out croppings in the first picture are Styrofoam chunks pva glued to plastic bases and left to dry. I hacked them with a knife to take off some of the corners and such, next a coat of the Textured Kel Seal which I left to dry. A couple more coats and after drying was ready for the same wash. A final touch was pva gluing some river stones here and there that I have to wash to match.
As this was my first Matt project, I probably over used the amount of Kel Seal that I actually needed but the final look I feel is first rate. The surface is water proof to leaking spilt soda or other drinkables getting through. I roll the Matt up on a 3inch tube, you could use PVC pipe. This helps it Not form dents and other ripples while its not in use and then rolled out. I tried rolling it leaving a central gap but found that after a couple of days, rolling it out proved to need about an hour to flatten out all the ripples and bumps that had settled into it while lying against a wall.


  1. Yessir, I like it a lot. Would be nice to see a shot of the whole thing - or a wider angle shot.
    Really enjoy the 'quality with no-nonsense' approach you are taking with Armoured Ink.

  2. I don't know why I never thought of it, but you're right: a piece of pipe in the center of the mat would keep it better and make it easier to roll up.

    Genius idea. Consider it swiped. But hey, at least I don't claim to have come up with the idea.