Wednesday, April 30, 2014

New Warmats from Barrage Miniatures

In an ongoing quest to enhance my terrain I'm always on the lookout to see how others do their terrain and I get lots of inspiration from the blogosphere for this. For a while I've been impressed by the look of those teddy bear fur mats but I could not find a good source to get them. Making such a mat myself is not for me, I just lack the skills to do it so I had almost given up until the blogosphere came to the rescue.
Gaming with TooFatlardies, an excellent blog from Benito in Spain which I follow for some years now attended me to a Spanish company called Barrage Miniatures. They make stunning grassy and desert warmats if you ask me so I sent them an email to see what they could make for me.

What happened next is something I don't experience each day. The Barrage team was not only friendly and responsive, they offered to collaborate on the design of the mat so I would get the exact mat I wanted. So we decided on the size, hight of the grass (to be used for different scales) and colours while Alf and Clara from Barrage where sending me almost daily emails with progress. They had checked my blog and even sent me pictures of my minis on the mat using photo editing software. One thing I added during the process was to cut the mat in irregular shapes at one short end and make it a bit longer. That way it could be used to represent the border of a beach for example using the desert mat underneath the fur one.

Initially I decided to go for the fur mat only because their desert mat could only be folded in one direction. When I mentioned this limitation to Alf he promptly redesigned the mat using different materials. When he showed the redesign a week later and explained what he did to tackle this I was sold on the desert mat as well.
The whole process and interaction with Barrage was lots of fun as you can imagine. In just a couple of weeks the mats were made and with every update I received I got more excited. We have now used the fur mat twice and the desert mat will have it's first outing soon. The guys from our gaming group here love the mats as well and the first one already ordered an even larger mat for when we use our largest setup.

Now I need to take the next step and work on my existing terrain to better blend it into the mat and make or buy some templates to break the green and some new WWII houses and streets. Suggestions welcome.

On to the pictures so you can judge for yourself. I'm more than happy with the mats and can only highly recommend Barrage Miniatures. And no, I don't have any shares or involvement in the company :-)

Recent ACW game. These are confederates from Patrick Diedericks who ran a BP game at my place to get us familiar with the system. I recently met him (he found my blog through facebook) and he happens to live 2 minutes from me in the same village.
Rob's Irish Brigade testing the new ground

Recent CoC game. Jacco forgot to bring his Early Brits so we had to improvise: Early Germans vs US Para's. 

WIP, one of the updates from Barrage

The short side to create the beach

On to the desert mat

After the redesign, a flexible desert mat
They even sent a picture of one of my Chevy trucks on the mat using the magic of photoshop. Nice

For scale

Can you make hills? Yes you can

Rolled out the desert map and took couple of pictures of the mat with some LRDG vehicles and our palm trees

Bought a pvc drainpipe for storage, the mat is over 2x3m

The grassy mat as they call it comes with a free storage bag