Homemade Trench Hexes

When we first began playing Canvas Eagles we had a home-made printed hex grid with 1" hexes. Quickly we upgraded to a larger mat made by the makers of the Areodrome game (I cannot find the website I bought it form for the life of me), and we marveled at its larger size and greater detail. It really was an improvement on all fronts, however it still featured the 1 inch hexes.

If you look real close in the upper left hand corner you can just make out the hex grid.
While functional, the problem with the 1 inch hex grid was one of stability. Our telescoping stands from CorSec Engineering, regularly fell over at the slightest bump of the table. The magnet plane mounts at the top also meant that any nearby stands that fell would stick together creating a giant mess. It was a huge pain in the ass, so after 3 years of playing like that I had had enough and purchased a mat with larger Hexes.

I went with Hotz Mats who are the makers of the finest Air-Combat hex grids in any scale. The mat I chose was the European field mat giving me a large green textured space. I chose it for it's genericness and because I was getting into Check Your 6! at the time and the trench mat didn't seem appropriate. However almost immediately we realized that trenches in Canvas Eagles are important markers for determining Anti-Aircraft, and for whether or not your pilot survives the crash. The Hotz mat I purchased did not have them.

And so, I set about creating my own Hex markers to create a modular Trench line in the free photo editing software GIMP.

I began by finding a hexagon frame (which I did with a quick Google search), and sized it appropriately. I then found a free dirt texture, and created a colour scale from dark to light in three separate images. By adding each of these images in a different layer in GIMP (with the darkest colour on the bottom and lightest on top), all I had to do was erase a section of the top two layers to create my trench.

In total I created around 18 different hex trenches and have plans for 12-15 more. This will allow me to create machine gun nests, artillery positions, command bunkers, etc. etc. All of which can be used in reconnaissance and bombing missions in Canvas Eagles.

All in all they worked quite well, staining the landscape of my European Fields with the ugly scars of war. They have also helped us establish enemy lines and their modular nature allows us to create just about every style and type of Trench line we can imagine.

In the future I hope to create some bunkers for the ends of the trench lines, three-way connectors, and specific artillery pits. 

These were simple to make and really useful on my tabletop. If this looks like something you could use, give it a go, it was incredibly easy, and I am sure you can make them to! Of course if you are not so creatively inclined, you can always just buy the Hotz trench mat.

Written by: Andrew Gregory

Homemade Trench Hexes Homemade Trench Hexes Reviewed by JADE Gaming on 5/07/2018 01:30:00 pm Rating: 5

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