Epic Armageddon board surface - need some ideas/advice

Raven Morpheus

Gang Hero
Nov 19, 2017
Hey all

I've been trying to work this out myself (including using t'interwebz), but I'm failing, so I am beseeching the Yak for ideas...

I want to make a tabletop surface (board) for Epic Armageddon.

What I have so far or plan on buying -

  • A pack of 19 5mm x 856mm x 600mm XPS sheets - (not flexible) laminate floor insulation underlay.
  • Some Rust-Oleum DIY interior paint - "Sandstorm" colour.
  • Mod Podge - to seal the boards with before painting.

That's it.

It will be sitting on a a 4x4 MDF board (made from 2x 2x4 boards) as the base of the board and will need to be packed away, and transported, via public transport.

I know how to make roads. I know how to make ruins/buildings. It's the surface texture I am struggling with.

I could just paint the XPS foam boards with the Rust-Oleum paint and leave it, but I'm sure that'll look quite dull. I could buy a lighter paint, a couple of inches wide brush, and attempt some drybrushing, but I'm not sure how well that will go with DIY interior paint, or how it will look given the surface texture of the XPS sheets. Ditto trying to drybrush with a roller...

"Back in the day" GW had what looked like a sand covered board, which looked like they drybrushed it.

However I'm not confident of a glued down sand surface being suitable, especially as I will have to transport the board(s) on public transport, nor do I want to spend hours (days?) drybrushing a, at least, 4x4 board.

So, does anyone here have any ideas on how I can achieve an "Ash Wastes of Armageddon" look on XPS sheets, cheaply, quickly, and easily and so that it's transportable in a bag or against the back frame of a trolley along with my box of terrain and my game bag (KR Multicase bag)?

Thanks in advance.
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I wouldn’t use sand, for one it’s super heavy and easily flaked off if you bend the foam even a bit.

Plus then there’s wear and tear on dice, miniatures bases, knuckles etc.

What GW may have done for photography purposes doesn’t necessarily translate into a good gaming practice.

I’m guessing that this foam you’ve ordered is the flexible type, not the stiff insulation type. In which case I’d recommend a rolled up ball of tin foil, some thick gloves and a heat gun.

Heat the foam surface gently and quickly roll the tin foil over it so the texture is embedded. Then paint it with your paint, then quickly drybrush once dry with a lighter colour.

Tada!! Light texture on your mat, no chance of bits falling off, grazing knuckles or sanding dice into spheres.

Plus super light for transport. 👍🏻
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For looks you can’t beat sand etc, but practicality suggests a pre-made gaming mat is the way to go.

So something like a Javis mat (2x to make a 4x4)? Other pre-made gaming mats (printed ones on neoprene/vinyl etc.), like gamemats.eu, deepcut etc. are a bit outside my budget.

That Javis mat would eliminate the need to Mod Podge and paint the XPS sheets though. And I guess I can double stick tape the mat to the XPS sheets then chop it to size...
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I’ve just got some of those as an experiment but haven’t opened the package yet, I’m imagining they will shed a lot.

Yes, having just read some stuff on the internetz it would seem shedding is a problem with Javis mats, even if "sealed" with PVA.

Thought that might be a quick, cheap, shortcut to a half decent looking surface. It probably would be if I weren't having to transport it.

Ho hum, back to the drawing board.
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