Today the wife and kids were out of the house and that left me free to run wild. I changed into comfortable clothes and then set about to spray paint terrain with carefree abandon.
I had originally planned on using a Hotz Artworks mat for the Salamanca game at Huzzah! but I wasn't able to find one that was bright enough. Grass (especially New Hampshire grass) is a lovely shade of bright green with hues of yellow in it. To simulate that color radiating beneath the bright Spanish sun I felt like I had to opt for an "unrealistically" light hue. Further, the 10mm figures need lots of light to stand out and some of that has to come from reflection. In the end I chose something the hue of pistachio ice cream.
The next step was to paint hexagon borders on the mat, since Commands and Colors uses a hex map. You can buy stencils for hexagons but that doesn't give complete shapes. I opted to lay down hexagon shapes and then spray paint over them creating complete border lines. With memories of far more horrifying projects from the past fresh in her mind my wife stepped up and produced a hundred or so five inch hexagons using paper and her quilting tools. I think she felt this was a vast improvement over airbrushing in the baby's nursery or power sanding insulation foam in the living room.
I went outside, sprayed the game mat with Elmer's spray adhesive and lay down the tiles with a few millimeters gap between each. The adhesive worked like a charm and the whole job sped along nicely. Then the wind blew the hexes into the back yard and I moved the whole process into the garage. Next came a light coat of brown paint and then the whole thing was left to dry.
The end result was a very nice surprise. The hex borders look just terrific and the irregular painting process has left the mat with some nice areas of greater or lesser brown shading. It looks very "organic" and field-like and for a first try I'm just thrilled.
Now to flock hundreds of troops!