DeepWars, and its sister game ShadowSea (which, incidentally is on Kickstarter right now: link) are based in an alternate reality of Earth where, in the 17th Century, a fantastic subterran continent is discovered beneath Antarctica, filled with treasures and mystical artifacts. DeepWars takes place underwater in the subterran oceans. The game has a nice mix of fantasy, steampunk, and Cthulu type intrigue. It was their dark mariners that got me interested in the game:
In anticipation of my starter set (I chose the scaly horde), I decided to make a custom gaming mat. I recently saw a tutorial (link) of making one with canvas, sand, paint, and acrylic caulking. I wanted to capture the eerie abyssal feel of the game, so I came up with a few test colours:
For a mat, I used a canvas painting dropcloth from home depot. This one was 4x12 and cut to make a 4x4 mat. It won't quite be 4' long at the end due to the shrinkage, but will be mostly 4x4. Nobody plays on the table edge anyway...
I wanted to do 3 base colours - some purple, deep blue, and green. I got craft paint from Michaels, and bought a bag of playsand from Home Depot, along with their DAP acrylic caulking that contains a bit of silicone. I found the playsand was too fine, so in addition to the playsand, I mixed in some small gravel donated from the side of the road at the end of my driveway. Here is the setup before I got started:
Here are some pictures of the wet board:
What are those tiny coloured bits? I bought some small craft shells from Michaels and scattered a few to make it more 'bottom of the ocean-ish'. Currently, I would agree with your thoughts that the colours are a tad too bright and garish. My plans from here are to drybrush brown over most of the mat, followed by a light, scattered drybrush of aqua green/blue. I am also considering doing a wash of dark brown to add some shading, but I am unsure as to how well that will work. Washes work well on sand bases, but this is more of a paste, so I think it might end up pooling and looking odd. Any suggestions?