Friday, 21 September 2012

DIY Hex Mat Lab

I've set up a Bag The Hun 2 mulitplayer game for mid-October, using my North Africa Italian, German and British 1/285th scale aircraft. As a result, I'll be concentrating on finishing off the Hurricanes and Blenheims that I started to paint up back in July, alongside a few extra aircraft that I need for the scenario. This will be based on a scenario I wrote a few years ago for the Battle of Britain, with a few adaptations for the skies over Tobruk in 1941.

I've also been thinking about 'terrain' for the game, as I've been using my Hotzmat sky coloured hex cloth for my BTH games until now. If I'm going to set up a game over the Libyan desert I really should use a hex mat that fits the scenario, rather than my default 'blue skies over the white cliffs of Dover' offering. As a result, I've been experimenting in the lab (that's the garage, to you) using a rectangle of felt, a brown OHP marker pen and a plastic hex that I pinched from the Maths department at school, when they weren't looking.

It took a couple of minutes to knock up this prototype, although I was a worried that the hexes would drift a bit as I ascended from top to bottom of the felt sheet. In the end, there was a bit of a slide but nothing to make the concept unworkable if scaled up to a full on table-sized hexcloth. I have a large light brown felt cloth, which I acquired from EM4 for PITS, that could be converted using this method but I need to work out how to avoid the drift problem if I'm going to make it work.

''Igor, fetch the OHP pen...!''

''Yes, master.....''


  1. I made a template from a mdf planch, drawing the hexagons and drilling at the corners. It has several hexagon rows. I still didn´t try it, but I think that by aligning it with the mat edge, I can avoid the drift. May be to much work, and it is easier to follow your method.
    I´ll try to take a pic and post it on my blog, so you can see it.

  2. I forgot to say that first I draw the hexagons on a paper with a graphics program, and then I glued the paper on the mdf board.

  3. I have tried a few ideas for this. The same method but using a card hexagon with the interior cut out. This alowed me to pint in short vertices for a nice look. Takes a long time though. I also used a larger template cut from clear flexible plastic (like OHP acetate). I punched through the vertices to create a template. It was quicker and more accurate, but i dont like the dot hexes as much. i found that the dots were actually quite larg so it was dificult to paint in short vertices lines over the dots.