Wednesday, December 30, 2015

The Laser Cutter Is Your Friend - Buying Locally

Princess Vrisa goes boating. The oars are separate.

Still in the bags from when The Missus got them for me.

Ah, modern technology! Back in 1994, my Missus did the bases for the Hugo Awards on the powerful industrial laser cutting table she had at the place she was working at. The beast cut through 1/2" maple planks like they were butter, and one had to stand by with a fire extinguisher - it was a mighty beast, and mostly untamed. These days, laser cutters and three-dimensional printers are more user-friendly, and we have two examples of how they make my life a lot easier.

First up, the little boats that I think I mentioned a while back. Don Burl Corleone, the Godfather of RPGs at The Source, 'knows a guy' who makes the boats as seen in the top photo. They have two layers glues together, and four paddles/oars included in the shrink-wrapped pack. These are over-sized, but they do not get lost in play. The boats hold six 25/28mm figures in comfort, and you can get more in if you're like us and desperate. I am making decked sections to go with these, for use as floating bridges.

Second, TRE Games ( does all sorts of useful stuff like bases, gadgets, airplanes, and now these packs of 25/28 mm furniture. That's right - furniture kits. The Missus saw these, and was enchanted; I saw then, and immediately thought of drilling out the sword from an upraised hand and replacing it with a stool from one of the kits.

You never have enough furniture to throw, parry with, or cosh somebody over the noggin with.

There are, at present: two bookshelves, one cabinet, one set of three long tables, and one set of benches and stools. We used to run into this kind of thing all the time in Phil's Jakalla Underworld, and looking in the wardrobe used to be a common occupation for us. We don't have a lot of actual furniture on Tekumel, as we mostly have mats on the floor and such, but these sets provide everything one could want for gracious living on campaign or in the clan house; the stools also double as the little tables one finds next to one's mat or carpet. (Mats and carpets: Google search + color printer)

And these are cut from actual hardwood - ash, the label says. There's nothing like wood to simulate wood, we always said in modeling, and these sets need only a dab of wood glue - or your favorite craft glue - to stick them together and they are ready to go.

And they look really good, too; the bookshelf sets include a color-printed sheet of book covers for the little wooden blocks used for the books, and even some scrolls to leave around to get those pesky player-characters into trouble. The wood is 1/16" thick, so these kits look a lot more 'real' then the old cast-metal furniture items I'm used to; they have very thick shelves, as a certain thickness is needed to get the metal to flow into the mold.

So, a little bit of fun from two local manufacturers; I'll have more photos when I get the furniture built...