5 September 2020

Review and unboxing: Tiny Wargames - mats, rivers and roads

I stumbled upon Tiny Wargames during Covid-19 lockdown. Save a retweet from then offering a nice discount, because some UK trade show got cancelled. I had already decided to throw some money at smaller businesses being hit by the crisis. 

Anyway it was a good reason to upgrade some of my mat - because I've been using decent (but homemade) mats. You can read more words below on the quality and products I've bought. 

I've also gone ahead and ordered three more mats (being happy with the first ones I got) and unboxed them live on Twitch. Video is up on Youtube, I check out three different mats, compare to homemade stuff and check out colors with my terrain on it. 

Unboxing video

Words on the mats
The best thing about cloth mats is the low price, the price is around half of getting one in mouse mat material. It's also quite easy to store the mats, I just fold them two times on the long end and put them on a hanger in the closet. 

The amount of texture on the mats are pretty good. I've been giving a good amount of effect on my homemade mats, using different spray paints for color play. But the printed effect on these mats doesn't even compare. 

All the mats come with folded edged and to lines of stitching so they won't tear despite heavy use. Mouse mat material is super nice, but some of my very used Deadzone mats the fabric and rubber have started to come apart. Needing me to go over them and repair the edges with my sewing machine.

Below is a 3'x3' desert mat, I've chosen one with a bit of green spots here and there. It's very light compared to all the terrain in my collection. But I've ordered some yellow terrarium sand, to do some proper desert terrain. 

This is a shot of the 4'x6' grass mat. The board is not 4' wide though, it's just short of 3'. But my fantasy terrain fits nicely and the 'texture' in the mat is so much nicer than the homemade green mat I used before. 

A shot showing of the texture in the mat a bit closer to the camera. 

Road and rivers
Tiny Wargames sell 4'x4' sheets of roads and rivers in different styles. You choose the correct scale when ordering it. I've bought modern roads, dirt roads and rivers in 28mm scale. Three different sets. The fabric is easy enough to cut, I but a new long scissor just for this project. '

As you can see by the below pictures, it works fairly well on different boards. And the roads / rivers are easy to store. I've just put the cut out ones beneath a book. 

I have however after some use noticed that the fabric does tear a bit at the edges. White threads coming off, and that shows on the mat below. After contacting Tiny Wargames I've been given the following tip:

- Ironing starch (starch like the stuff in potatoes and corn). Comes in a spray and then iron the fabric. Looking forward to trying it out. Should straighten the roads / rivers and prevent the flossing of the fabric. I'll have to revisit this review after trying it. 

Otherwise it seems an easy fix to spray glue or pva glue the fabric to some thin cardboard. That would prevent tearing as well. But that remains to be seens in the future. 

For something like this, I think perhaps mouse mat material is better, though thicker and standing out more on the mat. If these roads / rivers worth the price? I think they are. Even if I need to do some work to them, the printed detail is excellent. 

Say the modern asphalt road, would be easy to glue on cardboard, then add some sand/flock to the edges. There's more than enough here for a grass, sand and wasteland board - even if giving them different edges. 

Fantasy board show off
Here's a quick little video flying over the 3'x6' setup I made for this review. Still have a good amount of kits, both Renedra, MDF and Terrain Crate - that I want to build for a bigger fantasy board. 


  1. I got a double-sided neoprene rubber mat from these lads last year; semi-desert printed on the reverse, meadow on the obverse. I'm delighted with it; it seems indestructible, the texture's just right, it lies very flat with no folds (since it has to be rolled up for storage), and it feels good under the hand. Recommended.