Here is a neat little gaming table I have been working on, principally for my peninsular war campaign, but it should also be useful for small games of Force on Force or wild west games (or in fact any game involving a dry dusty landscape).
The idea for this came form a tread on Lead Adventure Forum, and it is basically a decorating table (normally a long thin table used for applying wallpaper paste to wallpaper). This was £12.99 in B&Q. By removing the legs, then taking of the hinges and repositioning them on the sides, I was able to turn it from a long thin table into a roughly 4 foot by 3 foot table- ideal for small skirmish games. The hollow inside was then filled with foam card, cut to the contours of the land, then covered in sand. I had some problems with warping, especially on the biggest piece of foam card, but generally it went well. I painted it with an emulation paint that was similar in colour to the way I paint my desert bases. The river was painted with acrylics and then given a coat of clear gloss varnish.
I then used woodland scenic scatter to add a bit of colour to some of the areas, and GW grass tufts for add vegetation.
the whole thing is very light weight and conveniently folds up into a 3 foot by 2 foot case with a carrying handle!
I would consider this a success, and a cost effective way of making a small board. I intend to do the same for Across the Dead Earth and possible a pirate board too... at some point in the future. The use of foam card might have been cheep but blue foam might be better as it is less prone to warping (although it is more expensive).