|4' x 4' vinyl; 1.5'' hexes; US$35.00|
If you've read this blog you know I've made a couple of attempts at hand-painting a hex pattern on my DIY space mat. I'm not admitting to being a quitter, but let's just say I took an extended tactical pause on both of those attempts.
In the meantime I used a custom vinyl banner company to make me a hex mat for 1/600 scale jet combat. Since that turned out so well, I decided to employ the same company (Build-A-Sign) to make me a space mat.
As before I took an internet image (NASA public domain) and put it in Powerpoint on a custom 48 inch by 48 inch slide. Powerpoint's built-in shapes allowed me to create the hex overlay; I colored the hexes blue and set the transparency at 85% (I think). Since the NASA image was humongous, it had enough dpi to survive the blowing up to 4 foot square with minimal blurring. Unlike my air combat mat which has 1 inch hexes, the hexes here are 1.5 inch each.
What I really like about the mat (besides the $35.00 price tag), is how subdued the hex pattern is. The pattern shows up much easier in the picture above than in person. Close-up at the game table the hexes are visible enough to allow game-play, but from across the room the mat looks like an expanse of deep space.
I've retooled my game Greater Space Battles and hope to get some play testing in on this new mat. If work allows...