Mat attack - part deux

My sixth formers were so impressed with the mat I made a couple of weeks ago that they said I should make another one (i think they are just trying to keep me busy while they make a mess of their own projects) so not needing much encouragement a grabbed a wee bit more paint and some more caulk (as I had stuff already I spent less than a fiver). I thought i'd take some pics of the process this time. Above you can see the canvas clamped down to the board. I'm lucky enough to work in school where there are lots of large MDF boards to use.

Here's the rest of the bits and bobs. Red kids play sand (my kids won't miss it), paint (pound a bottle), Caulk at the top (1.25 a tube), Bird grit/sand (couple of quid) and a big tub I scrounged off the Jannie.

First into the tub goes a good pile of Bird Grit and a load of paint (I put probably a bottle and half worth but I added a bit of black and red from the school supplies to get the right colour) give it a good stir.
In goes the Caulk. In all I used six tubes i think.

This is one of my sixth formers stirring the mix, they basically wanted to play.

After it's mixed I dolloped it out onto the canvas and started spreading it around with my hands. Make sure you wear gloves. At this point the wife arrived (she works in the same school) and she wanted to have a go! So much fun!

Here is the fully spread out splodge. You might be able to see a slight two tone to the table as I mixed up a second batch and the colour was slightly off but once it's mixed by hand it looks like natural gradiation.
Next bit is the fun bit! Again my sixth formers joined in. We basically just threw lots of sand and extra bird grit plus my secret ingredient at the wet mush to create an alien looking environment. Once we'd done we left it to dry overnight.

And here it is the next day after I've cut it out. It was dryer than the previous one and I think this down to me using a bit more caulk in the mix.

After peeling the mat off the backing board I stuck some bits and pieces underneath to give a bit of height to some of the areas. You can see the sparkly bits that the secret ingredient left.

Here is a better view. Basically they were coloured sugar crystals that you can get to decorate cupcakes. Some of them melted onto the sludge and some of them stayed as crystals giving a really nice effect.

And finally, here is the mat all rolled up and ready to go. You can see the amount of stuff left over on the board fro both mats so I wouldn't recommend doing this on the good kitchen table but once it's dry it doesn't leave an residue on the surface you lay it on.

Hopefully get to use this in a couple of weeks. Neil is coming down for his first ever Salute and I'd imagine that my Sensei will have another go at his Renegade in the evening. Better get his cultists painted then I suppose!



  1. Very helpful. I'll have to get started on my own soon...

    1. Okay, I've done mine this afternoon and am now leaving it to dry. The only thing I'm a bit concerned about is that in using hands to spread the gloop around I created lots of lines which look a bit artificial. I'm actually going to dry-brush mine once it's dried out. I'll post results on my blog.

    2. I patted mine randomly with my hand in the places that the lines were most obvious. The stickiness create little bumps and lumps and got rid of the lines.

    3. This seems to work better now that the mixture is drier and starting to adhere to the fabric.

  2. Excellent article, looks very effective.

  3. ahn nah I feel compeled to make myself one. Your post and this one :

    will be very helpful I guess. Thanks a lot! (I love the sugar stuff, it's perfect for RT settings or chaos wastes.

  4. Very clever stuff. I wonder if there are any potential issues with long-term flexibility; ie. will it stiffen and crack over time?


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