Well my new desert mat seems to work well enough. It behaves like a heavy vinyl sheet but probably a bit more flexible. I slid a couple of old foam hills directly underneath it to see how snug they draped over them.
I found that they draped as well as any cloth really. Normally I'd place a padded blanket over the hills and underneath the top cloth which provides better support underneath and smooths out some of the wrinkles but this looks fine to my eye.
Not content to just look at the terrain I thought I'd record my completed Western Desert Force 'Jock Column' on it for some added perspective.
Guess who? This shot was taken at ground (tabletop) level and illustrates just what I was attempting to replicate in miniature.
Actually, my artillery observation team along with my ATG and Recce A/C squadron have yet to see any gaming action - and not this trip home either.
In fact my Caesarean Roman army in the making will have a trial outing in the next week which will be the desert mat wargaming trial proper.
Just in case anyone was wondering, all models are 1/72 scale (20mm) and all shots were taken with my Tamron wide-angle zoom lens with my Canon set to macro.
Addendum - I scored a very long cardboard roll from a block at the recycling skip for the best price ... free! I cut it down to about 210mm (7') which fits into the Toyota Camry when the passenger seat is fully reclined and rolled up the sheet. I drove to Nowra (NSW) and played two games over two days and the mat performed brilliantly. It drapes very nicely and does not crack and no grit comes off. I couldn't have imagined it would have performed as well as it does. All I need to do is add another 600mm on the end.