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Groundcloths & Battlesheets

captainedanjou writes:

The payoff for a properly customized groundcloth is far in excess of the work involved to make it so. Mine came about thusly.
I already used a deep olive mass of felt, 6' x12', but found it both boring and too dark. What I did was to I vary and lighten (yes, most gamers default to much too dark a green) the cloth with but two simple tools. A rubber glove to save my hand, and a bit of sponge -- I found sea sponge better, but not enough to discourage the use of a regular sponge. You need a daubing surface about 2"x 2" to give the detailed effect, though you could use larger pieces of sponge, which will appear more crude and will use much more paint.
I then used three colors of paint serially, first a lighter olive-ish green (lots of this), then a medium to light brown (less), and then a yellowish tan (yet less). I poured a bunch of paint on a piece of cardboard to use as a pallette, and daubed the sponge in the paint, and then randomly on the felt, which I had spread out on my gaming table. You can go back and add more green over the brown, if you like, to get the interwoven effect. You end up with a somewhat sore back from the bending over (sort of like gaming?), and a mixed color gaming groundsheet, lighter than the starting shade of green. With the blended colors, one on top of another and beneath a third, it looks awfully nice, if I say so myself. I don't know how to post my photos, or I would offer a representative swatch.



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15 August 2008page first published

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There's been a lot of discussion lately about both commercial gaming mats and home-made varieties, so I thought I might share some photos I've taken of groundcloths "in the wild" - in this case, seen at Bayou Wars a few years ago.

Desert camo terrain

For instance, here's a game being played on a few square yards of desert camo - an inexpensive solution.

Desert camo terrain