29 September 2018

A Winter Mat

A month or two ago, I decided that I wanted to make my own Winter Mat for gaming. I was not that happy with either of the Cigarbox Winter mats I had obtained and searching the internet did not reveal any other mat I thought would meet my needs.

At the same time I was doing the searching, I was like many other gamers following Wargaming with Silver Whistle's amazing terrain making. I had obtained his 1st book Setting the Scene and was keen to give it a go.

What follows is my first attempt, I am quite pleased with the result; in retrospect I might have done a few things differently. I will let some photos tell the story.

I started with a painter's canvas that I obtained at Home Depot. It was branded  Everbilt Heavy Duty Canvas Dropcloth, coming in a 9 by 12' piece. As instructed I started applying patches  of a brown acrylic chalking. These patches were then painted raw umber. I used less then 1 tube.
Once this was done and the paint was dry, I started to apply white chalking. This was done in about 1x1' sections and then I would sprinkle some Woodland Scenics snow. I found this a little tricky as it was subsequently a little difficult to make smooth transitions between new and dried sections. I probably could have done the whole thing in one go, but I was afraid the chalk would start to dry before I got the whole mat done. Once the snow was applied I followed the procedure in the book to roll in the snow and make it crinkly. I used a little less then 6 tubes of white chalk and two large containers of the Woodland Scenics snow.
Next up was to shake the mat out 24 hours later. I went in and touched up the raw patches with some more raw umber.
Here is the mat at this point.
I then started to work on the patches and the transitions. I used 2 colour mix of Woodland Scenics Flock . I then built up some of the edges with 4-Ground snow, this has a different consistency than the Woodland Scenics snow and it much whiter. I was trying to make it look like drifting snow. Somewhat successful! 
I also added a few winter or autumn tufts and then finally did a like sprinkle of the 4 -Ground snow.
Here is the final result, overall I am quite satisfied. You can see the terrain in action in this AR.  Pat is now working on a Southern Europe terrain book....something to look forward to and I still have lots of canvas!


  1. Very impressive - I have the setting the scene book on order

  2. Very nice. I'm doing 20 boards for our winter operation battle. I'll see if I can copy your technique.

  3. Holy smokes John, that is really something elese! What great work!

  4. Great work, John! Looks like a typical January day in the prairies here... (shudder)

  5. Excellent job on the mat John and thanks also for the mention.

  6. White caulk or chalk? Either way, the results speak for themselves!

  7. Nice work John, looks great for snow terrain.

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    I'm doing 20 boards for our winter operation battle. I'll see if I can copy your technique.