Thursday, 9 April 2015

Deep-Cut Studio Battle Mats and a Moon

I just received via Lithuanian post today two mats that I purchased a few weeks ago by Deep-Cut Studio.

It only took about three weeks from order to delivery here in Australia, so a big nod to Lithuanian postal service. I have to admit, I was more than a little nervous that these may not make it here as I have never ordered anything from Lithuania before.

Deep-Cut Studio make some incredibly scenic mats for use in wargaming. They are a little pricy, but I believe, having received them now, that they are worth the money.

I bought the 4x6 sized 'Stars' and 'Deep Space' mats in synthetic cloth. I can't vouch for their PVC mats, but the synthetic cloth are a little more expensive and definitely well done.

The synthetic cloth mats come folded, where as I understand from watching some reviews on YouTube that the PVC mats come rolled up in a cylinder. The synthetic mat is rugged enough to withstand usual ware and comes backed as you can see in the image below.

My gaming table is larger than the standard 4x6 table, so I have kept the old black bed sheet I have been using in the past for space battles underneath the mats. Below are a few more images of what each mat looks like. Keep in mind that these photos are taken without a flash at night time and so are a little muted.

'Deep Space' themed mat

Klingon battlecruiser (a D5 Mongoose mini) on patrol

Romulan "Snipe" Warbird on patrol on the 'Stars' themed mat

"Nice crater off the starboard side, Captain!"

You can see that the mat is a little small for my table, as I noted above.

A larger view of the 'Stars' themed mat

Making Moons
The moon featured in these images is a polystyrene ball from my wife's craft collection that I pilfered. I simply sprayed it in Chaos Black with Citadel Spray and then wet-brushed it in a dark grey colour and, when dried, dry-brushed it in a lighter grey colour.

The crater on it was simply made by applying Superglue across its surface in the desired shape and letting it dry. SAFETY TIP: superglue and fingers are mortal enemies, so keep them apart from one-another or there will be grief!

To make the molten lava areas, I was serendipitously fortunate enough to have some of the polystyrene react with either the craft glue I used to stick on the base, or with the Citadel Spray, or perhaps it was the original superglue I used to try to attach the base the first time around. Whatever it was, and I suspect it was the fumes off the first brand of superglue I tried for the base (and it failed), it produced a pithing around the polystyrene joints. This provided some nice areas to show hexagonal differential melting on the moon's surface.

To make it look like lava, I simply applied a dark red paint to the pithed area, followed by an orange paint towards the centre of the molten areas, and then finally a yellow paint to its very centre. If I was to do it again, I would probably have left more black basecoat in that area, then applied a heavy brown dry-brush before applying the red-orange-yellow colours. Having been playing a lot of Borderlands 2 - The Pre-sequel lately, the moon Elpis has plenty of examples of this colour scheme that gives a good guide for how to paint molten lava for your moon.