Battle Mats on the Cheap

I have recently been looking for a battle mat that I could use for a Caribbean beach. No luck. And mats are kind of expensive. Then, I found this… 

 The grand total for both 3 x 3 mats was just over $53. That’s much better than $40 or more for a single mat!
I looked at tutorials on how to make your own textured mats but that wasn’t really what I wanted and quite frankly, I could not make one for these prices.

I purchased the image files on WargamesVault. The first mat is a cropped image from the Desert Plain. The second mat, the one with the water, is actually a photoshopped combination of the Desert Plain and the Coastal Plain. I wanted the sandy look of the desert and the shoreline of the coastal map. 

With the cropped and altered images in hand, or at least on hard drive, I found BingBanners. They print custom vinyl banners of photos, maps, or whatever. The cost is $1.49 per square foot. That worked out to $13.14 each for the 3×3 size mat plus shipping. 

The total cost of these two mats was: Mats(2) $26.28, Shipping 11.95, Tax 3.44, Images(2) 11.60, Total Cost $53.28.

BingBanners were very quick to complete the order. They printed and shipped the battle mats the same day that I sent the files. They arrived on my doorstep within 3 working days of my order. In short, their service was excellent!

So, how are the mats?

I think they are very good. Image quality is pretty crisp. The mats themselves appear durable. They are meant to be indoor/outdoor advertisements so they should be quite robust. 

There is a slight glare when seen under bright light and at the right angle. This glare also reveals a grid like “texture” or image distortion that is from the vinyl fabric itself. I find it only really obvious under the glare of a light.  

My conclusion is these mats are totally worth their price. I will be having more made. Here is a mat in use with terrain.