Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Prufrock's Wargaming Blog

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Humming and harring over base cloths.

Like all wargamers, I'm always looking for ways to improve the appearance of the old table.  One of the easiest ways to make sure a game looks good is to have a nice base cloth, but getting the right shade and the right texture is a bit tricky.  As I'm sure we all do, wherever I go I'm always keeping an eye out for cloths or carpets or other terrain pieces that might fit the bill. 

Anyway, the other day I found yet another carpet and picked it up, thinking it could be all right.  To cut a long story short, I thought it might be interesting to ask for opinions on which cloth goes best with the basing style I use for my figures. 

Please comment and let me which one you like best.  Feel free to go into as much detail as you like, and any peripheral advice or sage words of base-cloth wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

So, here are the options, in alphabetical order:

A) This is the first base mat I used.  It's made up of carpet tiles spraypainted various greens and browns.  It served its purpose but I don't really use it much these days.  It does fit my big table, however.

B) This is what I use for the big table these days.  It's a curtain, again with spraypaint added.

C) This is a different carpet (originally a kind of off white), with a fine grain.  I put hexes on it for use with Commands & Colors.  Again, it has been painted.

D) This is my current home table mat.  Green carpet this time with a bit of yellow and brown added to it.  It's the one I use for my Lost Battles games.

E) This is the new one I picked up the other day.  It's again carpet, and this is its store-bought colour. 

So, there are five of my base materials.  I have other bits and pieces I've fiddled around with too, but these are by far the easiest to pull out and set up, so these are the ones that get most use.

Which one would you prefer to see being trampled under hordes of leaden feet? 


  1. I'd say the last one looks like the best option. I wouldn't mind having one that colour myself!

  2. I like the last one too. It works and isn't dark so it doesn't suck the figure colours into it.

  3. Thanks for your comments, gents. They're much appreciated.

    I tend to agree with you both and reckon I'm leaning towards the last one as well. You might be onto something there with the light factor too, Thomo.

    At any rate, there's now no excuse not to cut it to shape and try it out!


  4. I like C (less the hexes as I don't use them) & E (maybe add some sand/brown patches) the best. Great idea - never occurred to me to use carpet. Regards, Dean

  5. Thanks Dean. I like the carpet because it sits well on the table and is pretty hard-wearing. I'd love to have flocked and shaped polystyrene 'diorama' type terrain, but have nowhere to store it (nor the time to build it if I'm realistic!). Carpet seems to do the trick until I have unlimited time and space, money and all the rest of it... :)

  6. I like the last one as well. That said what I have gone to is an old army blanket with liberal dose of woodland scenics sprinkled on. When done I fold in to itself and transport home or put away. I often will vacuum it up with a small hand vac and put back into its container. Just a technique.
    James Mattes

  7. Thanks James. I've heard of others doing that as well. Worth experimenting with, I reckon.

    Thanks for stopping by!



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