Following the success of my initial experiments, plans are proceeding apace with my games mat.
Warehouse on Swan Lane in Norwich can do me 1.4m wide brown leatherette
at £6 per metre length. I reckon that if I get 2m I'll end up with a
6½ x 4½ foot playing surface. If I trim it to a 6x4 sheet which will be
big enough for all my games, I'll have enough in the off-cuts to make
over 30 2x12 inch tracks or a mixture of tracks and ploughed fields or
whatever I fancy.
Based on the coverage I achieved on my trial
muddy track sections, I think another 3 tubes of brown frame sealant
will be enough to cover the main gaming mat so a quick trip to "QD" at the same time will give me all I need. I've got plenty of plasticard scraps which I can turn into scupting tools to create tracks, wheel-ruts and other low relief featuures.
A 6x4 Zuzzy mat
would certainly be far superior in detail and quality of finish, but at
£32.96 (according to currency converter) plus an additional 22% postage it would be more
expensive than my budget substitute which should come in at less than
£18 (circa $28). Neither of these prices includes paint, but that would
work out the same in each case. With my home-made gaming surface I
won't mind so much if the painting goes wrong because it should be easy
to fix without the worry of damaging an expensive mail order item that
I'd have to re-order from the US!
I'll also have the satisfaction
of having made it myself, and that chance for creativity is one of the
main reasons that I enjoy making scenery and painting models.
If everything goes according to plan, I have ideas for another games matt fro urban games with a low-relief road and pavement layout into which I can drop my existing urban scenery (which has been built using a 10x10cm grid).