Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, May 8th - Small Projects, Great Satisfaction

The tiles used to look like this...
Now, they look like this.

The blue cobblestone room is made up of two sections;
it matches up very well, I think...

Every now and then, I get a small project done that gives me a lot of satisfaction. This week, I'm happy to say that one of these has gotten done, and I'm delighted with the way it all turned out.

As I mentioned a while back, I support three different world-settings - not sets of rules, settings - and so I had wanted some sort of underworld / dungeon / corridor system to use in adventures. I've tried a number of very good systems for this kind of thing, over the years, and the biggest issue I've had with all of them has been set-up time. It really slows adventures down when the GM is fiddling with a kit of parts, so I wanted something that was generic, easy to store, almost indestructible, and easy to use in game play. And cheap, too.

I eventually settled on using the off-cuts of MDF that I had left over from making all the modular terrain tiles for the new game table; these are about a 1/4" thick, and were destined for the trash if I didn't think of a use for them. I originally painted them in the same color that I use for the majority of my figures' bases, but the notion of using a Sharpie Fine-point marker to draw in all the flagstones just left me cold.

What to do? I looked for stencils, and didn't find anything useful; I looked for wallpaper, and didn't find anything in stock - you have to order it, and it's expensive - and finally found 12" x 12" sheets of patterned paper at one of the local crafts stores. (Jo Ann Fabrics, actually!) The price was right: $0.47 a sheet, so I got plenty in order to do the project and still have something in stock for the future. I got three patterns - two blue 'cobblestone' and 'tiled', one 'cork' - for some variety.

After that, it was simple. Coat the piece with a thinned mix of glue - I did 1 part water to three parts Elmer's PVC glue - and press the coated 'tile' down onto the paper. Let dry. I then used a razor knife to trim the 'tile' away from the sheet, and there we are - a set of rooms and corridors, very modular, and very durable.

I'm very pleased with the result, and the price can't be beat. Comments? :)