Being a) quite keen on naval wargaming and b) a bit of a cheapskate, I've been admiring the excellent sea mats made by Terrainmat, but thought I could maybe make one myself. So I have.
My inspiration came from the tutorial for terrain mats on Tobi's Paint Pot blog. Here's what I started with.
Basically, I used a decorator's dust sheet from Amazon and some tubes of acrylic sealant from B&Q. I didn't use the whole sheet but cut it in half to end up with a panel about 200cm by 140cm. Here is the section with a 1:3000 scale Navwar warship (HMS Inflexible) on it for reference.
I made a spreader from some hardboard with the intention of getting the acrylic as thin as possible, but with some 'wave' textures on it. I used one of those 'sealant guns' that look like a stripped down Sten gun (and probably just as accurate) to dispense the acrylic.
Once the acrylic had dried (I'd left this for about 12 months between application and painting: it doesn't need that long, a couple of hours should do it, but it just turned out that way) I painted it with some gloss blue paint. I ended up using expensive Hammerite Garage Paint because I couldn't find any gloss paint I thought was right. Although this was the desired colour for me ("Oxford Blue") it was a bit of a pain because it took over four hours to dry (and needed white spirit to clean the brush).
Anyway, once it was ready I dry-brushed the sheet with some white emulsion. If I'd been more patient I would have eradicated all fold lines before I'd started to put the acrylic on (using an iron?), but the whole thing was a sort of experiment anyway, so I'll know what to do next time. And here are some posed shots of it in action.
These are Navwar WW1 battlecruisers HMS Inflexible & Inflexible with light cruiser HMS Glasgow on the move (somewhere in the vicinity of the Falklands, no doubt).
SMS Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, with Leipzig and Nurnberg in the background. For my ship bases I'd dry-brushed on some sea-green to tone down the blue before adding the white highlights. I was too lazy to do that for the sheet (also I didn't have enough of the right green anyway) but may revisit it at some point if I think it is necessary.
And here is the Emden, posing by one sinking freighter and about to go after another. Anyway, hopefully we will be seeing more of my new sea terrain and even these models in action before long.