Help support TMP

"Battle Of Britain Wargame Mat " Topic

8 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the WWII Aviation Discussion Message Board

Back to the Terrain and Scenics Message Board

749 hits since 7 Aug 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

forwardmarchstudios08 Aug 2017 11:21 a.m. PST

I'm curious. I was kicking around ideas for making a terrain mat the other day, looking for ideas that I haven't tried before, and block printing with natural dyes came to mind.


They're more natural looking and "softer" than latex paints, they can be put in the wash and ironed (to get rid of un-sighlty wrinkles and creases) and see like they'd be rather fast to work with. Basically, my idea is to make a bunch of blocks in different shapes, then use these on muslin to create a patchwork pattern of european fields.

One might also use Rit dye to do this with blocks. I'm going to try this out later today and will report back…

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 11:21 a.m. PST


Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 2:02 p.m. PST

Sounds interesting. Keep us posted on the results.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 4:41 p.m. PST

Ed Younstrom did one back in 2008 for the MilleniumCon's SYW big battalions battles. You can see it in the pictures I took:

And I finally found Ed's original post on how he made it:

Good luck on your project!


FusilierDan Supporting Member of TMP08 Aug 2017 4:46 p.m. PST

Sounds like it could work well for making a grid on the cloth as well.

forwardmarchstudios08 Aug 2017 5:53 p.m. PST

Thanks, that's what I'm doing, kind of. He actually bought the same sized muslin as I'm using (96") at the same place (JoAnn's).

Instead of vat-dying, I did something a bit different. I picked up some water-based silk screen inks and watered those down, and died the muslin using a 1" sponge brush.

Here's the stuff I'm using:


I used different shades of green, and blended them together between dark green and light green, and at different ratios of ink to water in an effort to get a somewhat blurred effect. I ran out of daylight, so I don't her any picture just yet. I think it'll look pretty good when it dries out. Also, it SHOULD be washable and iron-able, since silk screen ink is color fast. This mean that creases- the bane of all latex-based mats- should be a none-issue.

I'm also thinking about making some spinach-based natural green dye to add in- I feel like natural dyes may end up giving the best final result. For now though the dyes I'm using seem to be doing ok. Like I said, we'll see tomorrow.

leidang09 Aug 2017 8:06 a.m. PST

You can also check out florists sprays. They are made for touching up the color of dried out foliage for flower arrangements. They come in natural colors and are less "dense" than normal spray paints. Might be another option.

forwardmarchstudios09 Aug 2017 9:14 a.m. PST

My yard is filled with huge pieces of fabric, drying out.

The screen printing inks are pretty cool- much, much better than paints. Upon drying over night (I'm in California so this is possible here) the cloth seems completely dyed through, but remains cloth like as opposed to stiff and plastic-y like when latex paints are used. I'm working on two separate pieces at the moment.. I've already discovered one trick, which is to paint geometric shapes, let them dry, then go back over them with other geometric shapes, as the multiple layers of thinned dye nicely compliment each other. I did have some problems with bleed-over, but this can be fixed by placing another cloth underneath the one you're working on. Also, here, the area where the colors bled together can be fixed by adding more layers on top, to further dye the cloth.

I've yet to throw these into the washer, but that will come later today- the ultimate test, as it were… but so far this is really showing a lot of potential. The other thing is, dyes are very cheap compared to paints- you get a lot of coverage for $6. USD

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.