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"Stepping Up My Ground Cloth" Topic

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1,284 hits since 13 May 2015
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Steve13 May 2015 6:05 a.m. PST

I recently took my boring old ground cloth and stepped it up using some left over spray paint and ground scatter. See the process and results on In Cold Lead:



And a bonus review of Serious Play's "Scatter Grass"




Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP13 May 2015 7:57 a.m. PST


I have never understood just using a solid green cloth, whether it is like a billiard table cloth or an old olive green army blanket. It is so easy and inexpensive to get some spray cans and vary the color. Lighter colors are better than darker, in my opinion. The figures show up so much better on lighter colors.

Actually, spraying the cloth is fun. You can overspray to get gradual changes in color so it looks natural.

When one looks at a table, most of the view is the ground cloth. It is worth a little effort and expense to make it look better.

Adding the texture, as you have also done, takes it one big step further.


Steve13 May 2015 8:17 a.m. PST

I think in my case it was just pure laziness, but it literally took me about 30 minutes to do this.

My one concern is when I put down roads and rivers, I'm going to have scrape the scatter away to make them lay flat. Hope that's not going to be a problem.


Yellow Admiral13 May 2015 4:39 p.m. PST

That cloth looks nice in the final photos.

My one concern is when I put down roads and rivers, I'm going to have scrape the scatter away to make them lay flat.

This is why I've been using undecorated cloth for 20 years. I put scatterable stuff on the "blank areas" after I've set down all the roads, hills, farm fields, woods, swamps, towns, farm buildings, etc. Cheap things like kitty litter, road pebbles, leftover sweepings of lichen and ground foam bits from basing projects, etc. all gets in there. It doesn't look quite as nice as your pictures above, but it does the job and can be cleaned off when I'm done.

The spray paint is a good idea. I have a couple large chunks of green felt I decorated this way, and varying greens and browns nicely break up the monotonous green under the scatter terrain.

However, I should note that I have since found the spray paint is unnecessary after I put down all the terrain features I want. I don't usually have giant expanses of "blank grass" after I'm done laying out fences, hills, farm fields, woods, roads, towns, etc. I like scenery. A lot. grin

I now also have some big pieces of green fleece (dull, vaguely brownish, "oregano" green) that I keep unpainted on purpose. I lay these on top of foam hills to get that nice 3D "rolling grassy hills" effect, and I prefer to keep them a somewhat monotonous grass color so I can choose where the "non-greens" go based on the hill shapes. The end result is a little bit like this (but with taller trees):

- Ix

dragon613 May 2015 6:03 p.m. PST

Admiral that's fantastic!

Yellow Admiral13 May 2015 6:24 p.m. PST

If you mean the photo that's not my gaming table, it's some random photo from Google of an actual outdoor scene. I guarantee my miniature terrain doesn't look that nice. grin

In fact I have hardly any pictures of my terrain because I'm a crappy photographer and the table somehow always looks better through eyes than a camera lens. <sigh>

But I will admit that my tables usually get at least a few compliments. (Occasionally I also get complaints like "there's too much terrain". Of course I disagree…)

- Ix

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