In my last post I shared ideas for moving Malta toward completion. Among those is having two game mats for our campaign. The Valetta Grand Harbor mat is done thanks to Tiny Wargames, but the airfield mat I’ll have to make myself.
Neither mat will be a one off. Both will appear in numerous campaign actions. They are really just background to target throughout the campaign.
I decided to model the airfield mat on Hal Far airfield. It is one of several RAF air bases that defended island fortress. There are some useful maps, photos and diagrams of the airfield and vicinity. It remained in service as a RAF base until 1967 when Malta achieved independence.
There isn’t a lot to making Hal Far. It’s basically an X representing the two runways. One of the strips is 6,000 feet. The other is 4,800 feet. I threw out the idea of trying to scale out the facility exactly right. I figured straight lines in approximate proportion would do.
My felt is 9′ X 6′ to fit an 8′ X 6′ table. It’s a nice mottled brown. I got it at Joann Fabrics on sale for $3.99 a yard. A good deal. I decided to put the airfield in the middle of the felt. The long runway is about 36″ X 2″, broadening out to 3″. The short runway is about 30″ by 2″. There were lots of roadways connecting the two runways, as well as taxiways and roads to the various hangars, armories and buildings that housed flying and maintenance crews. I showed a tiny portion of these.
I started with the long runway first. Used a straight edge to help me measure and keep things fairly straight. I painted using Ceramcoat Trail Tan. I used a large inexpensive brush and pretty much tried to blot my way from end to end and then pushed it across to the other side. Not difficult, just tedious. Then I did the same with the other runway.
I didn’t get it right. The runways aren’t at a large enough angle, so they end up too close together. Even so, it’s just a target. Add the Pico buildings, and it will do. The most important thing is it pretty much done and ready to go at a relatively minimal cost. The Felt was twelve bucks and the Pico buildings and flak cost about 20 dollars.