Sunday, April 22, 2012

Terrain cloth for 28mm

I've intended to do a terrain cloth for my 28mm games for some time, but haven't gotten around to it.  The cloth I desired was modeled after an approach Jeff Knudsen uses, and Elliot James has also used.  I've played on these clothes in many ATF (alcohol, tobacco and firearms) games, and they are wonderful.  These games are played with 10mm or 15mm figures, and I wondered if this mehod would transfer to 28mm well.  I highly recommend it for the smaller scales, it looks great!

A thread on TMP ( started with an excellent tutorial helped me decide to try this method to make a cloth for my upcoming Little Wars game.

The method is to spread flexible caulk over a canvas sheet, and then color with flock.  The Lion of the North's tutorial on the method is here (, and I recommend it.  Elliot's tutorial is also useful (  Finally, Jeff's games can be seen here (

My cloth was a learning experience, but I am pleased with it.  I made a 6' by 9' peice, with a river along the portion of one edge.  There is a road intersection, with clearly cultivated areas then other areas.  It  was a weekend project.

Working on the first section in -- you can see a line of lose flocking in the foreground
In the process of removing all the lose flocking before moving on to the next strip.

Same section, with all the lose flocking removed.

Overview of the table, set up for the Viking - Irish game.

Close up of part of the battle.
I used the following materials.  A 6x10' painting canvas cloth, medium weight; ten or twelve DAP dynaflex 230 brown premium indoor / outdoor sealant; and lots of assorted flock.  After I applied the flock, I covered the new area with wax paper and went over it with a rolling pin.  I do not have a comparison to this method, but the flock is certainly integrated with the caulk.  I was suprised at the amount of flocking material required!  So this was not cheap, but certainly different than a standard cloth.

What I like about it is the clarity of the ground -- terrain features are clearly delineated with a minimum of effort, and the way my bases go with it.  Since I used flock on both the game matt and my figures bases they are better integrated than with my standard green gaming matt.

I am looking forward to using it in convention games, and comparing it to other matts used.


  1. Pretty sweet looking. So roughly what did it cost to create? I've thought about doing one for a long time but was reluctent to take the plunge.

  2. By memory, the cloth was $10 to 15, the caulk another $45, the tools i needed were $10, and the flocking must have been $40 to $50. Putting the roads in restricts it somewhat, but I know you could add fields, woods, hills etc., so the cloth could be made to be either more or less generic.

    I do think it looks good, and it matches my bases very well.

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