tonymccallie

Foam Core Terrain Template

161 posts in this topic

@eypyeash: I'm glad you like them! I actually added a PDF for ladder rungs last night too :P I was going to just cut each rung and glue them over the same image for 3d effect. Simple, but hey, these are supposed to be quick.

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Oo, how about an 8" objective room?

 

Don't think most inkjets would handle it unless split into two halves (4x8), but laserjets usually have only a quarter inch hard margin. 

 

These are things most people need to buy, and of course, terrain is expensive... so having buildings suitable for a tournament is great.

 

Also, any chance you could build a second of either the hex or cube building and see how well they stack?

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@eypyeash: The objective room could be tough.. but an interesting thought. Do you know what the specs for the objective room are? Isn't there something about entrances?

 

The building should stack. I intended them to anyway. I'll build some more tonight and see. I need to fix the dimensions of the wrap for the cube. The math is right, but printed it has gaps... very confusing.

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The interior of the room itself is 8", so a roof would be slightly wider, now that I'm thinking about it (8 3/8", accounting for the 3/16" thickness of usual foamcore). But objective rooms tend to come without roofs since they're usually declared to be "infinite height". It'd just be nice to have a roof for games where you're just using it as a room.

 

At the 4" mark of each side is a door. Two of the doors, facing across from each other, are made to allow a 40mm base, while the other two doors allow a 25mm. I think both are actually more like 45mm and 30mm, respectively, to allow a little extra clearance. 

 

If you really wanted to go nuts, you could just have a wall with a 50mm "door" on each side, then include templates for a door frame that can covers this door with the appropriately sized door. This is mostly for Beacon Race considerations, where all doors are 30mm for that particular mission. This would add some nice texture to a central building, too. Some nutty papercrafters enjoy putting rare earth magnets into foamcore to hold things into place. So you could glue them in place, or you could go earth magnet route and swap door frames as needed.

 

A lot of the rooms available have some kind of design which actually allows for mental distancing. A circle or something in the center of the room is where most objectives sit. The four corners of the room usually have another marking as well. That's more a graphic design consideration, but the center design is pretty significant when trying to make sure you're 24" from each side of the table.

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Ok, I added the missing photos to the tutorial above..

 

Also, I've updated the cube_roof.pdf and cube_roof_hole.pdf templates for a better fitting trim.

http://tonymccallie.com/webroot/terrain/

 

I made the rectangle pattern last night and it's trim will need to be fixed as well. So, the foam core I get isn't the 3/16" thick as advertised, it's much closer to 1/8", thus the gaps.

 

Here's how the ladder looks if you use the ladder.pdf

ladder.jpg

 

@eypyeash: You were asking about stacking:

stack.jpg

 

It's a *really* tight fit. I should probably adjust the design a little to make the more stackable. Just make the roof a little bigger.

 

 

So, my updated complete stuff:

update.jpg

 

I'll try to get to a fix on the rectangle design trim today and there's another pattern I'm working on with stairs. You can see the first try on the bottom left.

 

As always, this is a work in progress for anyone to use, so all comments, questions, criticisms welcome!

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Looking good, man. I think an alternate wall pattern for the stacked stuff, and/or an alternate frame for the roofs, could make those stacks work nicely.

 

Specially I mean:

 

- the roof frame could have a cut-out for the door, in addition to the ladder area (something people can do on their own, since it's just cutting and doesn't really require a special template)

 

- Instead of a door on the stacked stuff, just have a more heavily windowed wall wrap for a guard tower look

 

The tight fit I think would be a good thing, as long as the roofs come off fine. That way you're only removing the roof, not restacking the whole building whenever you pull off a layer. Guess you could loosen it up a bit and just glue the layers together if you absolutely want a static structure, though.

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@eypyeash: currently, the roofs don't come off. It's all glued together. I would have to give the interior some sort of structure to make the roof removable. A floor would work fine.

 

I think you're right, a different design for the upper stories would make more sense than a door there (watch that first step!)

 

Should I redesign the roofs to be removable and put a floor in the buildings? Adds a little to build time, but not a ton to overall cost per unit.

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Thanks for the tutorial, Tony!

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Well, looking at the templates, the roofs are already removable depending on how you glue them.

 

Instead of gluing the roof to the walls and the outer bits to the whole thing, just shift the roof frame down about half an inch to create something that hugs the walls. Glue them directly to the roof, and don't glue the roof in place. Done deal.

 

The roof itself can serve as a floor at this point, I think... it just creates a step up in the interior. But if you really want to make a floor-based structure, moving the door position up 3/16" would account for the floor itself on the base level.

 

On upper levels, having the door isn't a bad thing. It allow expansion into balconies, see. ;)

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Well, looking at the templates, the roofs are already removable depending on how you glue them.

 

Instead of gluing the roof to the walls and the outer bits to the whole thing, just shift the roof frame down about half an inch to create something that hugs the walls. Glue them directly to the roof, and don't glue the roof in place. Done deal.

 

 

I was thinking this same idea last night too

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Tony, i've finished to download the various templates, but the LADDER gives me a message of "damaged file"...

 

Probably i'll do a test with white foamcore, any idea how to paint it?

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@Tox: I'll reupload the ladder file. As for painting, I've had good luck using the Krylon Camo colors as primer, but I haven't tried it on foam core. Anyone else tried it? I can't see any reason it wouldn't work.

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If you're using a spray can, seal the ends where foam is exposed first. PVA glue works.

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I will add this note.. the brand of spray I got, the Loctite.. is pretty awful. My friend is saying the 3M stuff is way better. I'll let you know.

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Hey Tony! Just wanted to say a big Thank You for posting these up. They are excellent addition to the tabletop and very cheap to create too.

 

Im just getting into Infinity with a couple of friends and i wanted to make sure we had some adequate scenery to go on the table. (I read its a must for Infinity!)

 

Your designs were the easiest and simplest way to do this and i have to say they also look great too!

 

My only question would be, is there any chance you could look at repairing the Ladder PDF soon? it's still coming up as corrupt and im eager to add it to the buildings to complete the look.

 

Thanks again and keep up the good work. Would love to see some more of your designs if you ever find the time. ;)

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Consider rubber cement. Glues quick as hell.

 

If you have patience, the dry mount rubber cement method is the single most permanent bond I've ever found in paper, short of sealing it inside laminate.

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Ok, I just reuploaded the ladder.pdf

 

I hadn't thought of rubber cement.... it would probably be less messy than spray stuff (the over spray kind of gets everywhere), good idea.

 

I'm trying some new designs tonight I hope. I've redone the cube with a floor and removable roof to make is stack better and the whole thing fits on an 11x17 which you can get full color from FedEx Office for $1.88. I'm looking into @eypyeash's suggestion for printing on laser with a service. I think the quality will be way better. I'm testing 11x17 (tabloid) too because it's less stuff to line up when gluing, but if everyone still wants regular US letter, I'll add those too.

 

I'm also trying this beast tonight:

stackable.png

 

If it turns out, I'll post the PDF for it with the updated cube.

 

I'm thinking about adding something to the bridges like a claw or something to keep hold them better. Thoughts? Something so they won't knock off so easily.

 

2 of my boys helping me test this weekend with some WarMachine vs Infinity... dice, tape measures, and rules are overrated to them...

boys.jpg

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For those who don't know what the hell I'm talking about with rubber cement, the initial investment is a bit more than a can of spray glue, but it can last a long time. This is the method drilled into me in graphic design school (spray mount was strictly forbidden, both because it has a tendency to become brittle like white glue over time and you can't control the pattern). 

 

Initial setup: 

 - Buy one can of rubber cement, one can of cement thinner, and an alright quality brush. Best Test works great as a cement. 

 - Optional, but good, purchase: a paper roller (Mod Podge sells the one I use).

 - Pour out a little of your cement. I tended to aim for 3/4 a can. 

 - Pour in thinner until relatively full. 

 - Stir with the crappy cap brush that may be included in your can, or a popsicle stick. 

 - If you had the crappy cap brush, tear it off the cap and ditch it, or just promise you won't use it. 

 

Using it:

- The cement is noticeably thinner now. This will help keeping a flat surface. Thick stuff sort of lifts the paper, and as it settles over time, you'll possibly see waves. Spread it all along the back of your paper in a very thin coat with your new brush (should be good enough that it won't release hairs), then set it aside until it dries completely.

- Do the same with an equivalent portion of your foam board (using a 24" metal ruler and t-square is good here for precision, but just the ruler can do it). Let it dry. Recommend about 10-15 minutes. 

- Side note: If you're trying to professionally mount something, precision is absolutely required since you're usually mounting a print in the center of a board. You'll determine your center point by going corner to diagonal corner, since each mounting sheet is considered to have some minor size defect. Measure up, down, left, and right to fit the exact proportions of your print, mark the corners of these points, and use the ruler as a glue shield along these edges (brush onto the ruler, and pull down onto the mounting material, with intend of creating a perfect square/rectangle/whatever shape of glue that will match your print).

- After the glue is dry on both sides, pick up the print and align three sides of it to the glue, hovering slightly over it. Let one edge make contact. If you try to realign now, you're more likely to rip the paper than get it off the foam board. 

- Gently smooth your paper onto the mounting board with your roller (or hand), starting from the edge already secured. If you have the roller, once everything is laid down, roll over everything to make sure complete contact is made all over the back of the thing.

 

That's it! If you have cement around the edges of your paper after all this (especially on the mounting board, which is perfectly reasonable when creating terrain), just rub your thumb over it to start picking it up. You can also use a rubber eraser.

Kinda more of a pain in the ass, but if you don't have a good area to spray glue, it's about what you've got to work with, and it does hold more securely. I don't think either would make a bit of difference in paper terrain, but for long life art prints (like those in the Dire Foes sets?) it does.

 

If you use spray glue, I would even more firmly recommend the roller. Don't try using this method with the spray glue, since its optimum hold is actually achieved by spraying both contact points, letting dry only a few seconds, and pressing together. Wait longer and the curing process will cause some weak points.

 

Oh. If you press with a roller and glue comes out the side, make sure you don't accidentally get in that glue and roll it over your art. It'll start picking up the ink.

 

By the way, I do still use spray adhesive. Elmers hasn't caused me any problems, and I've used it to create custom dividers for Legendary on comic book backing board. Works nicely, but it's sticky as all hell if you go outside the lines.

 

Speaking of which, comic backing board is a nice substitute for mid-thickness plasticard in detailing structures. One side is typically satin finish (smooth and good for outside facing edges), while the other is matte (and holds glue very well).

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@eypyeash.... wow. Incredibly informative and thorough, I love it. Thanks so much!

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So many updates! The results of last night's testing:

11x17_done.jpg

 

I've posted the PDF's for these. http://tonymccallie.com/webroot/terrain/

The files start with 11x17_????.pdf

 

So, here's the stuff I learned last night.

1. Read the directions on the spray adhesive...(duh) I was using it completely wrong. Since @eypyeash's fantastic info about rubber cement, I wanted to try that, but didn't have any yet. It did make me realize maybe I was doing it wrong, so I read, and sure enough, just spraying and sticking is supposed to be temporary... sigh. So this time I sprayed both sides, waited a minute, and viola! So much better.

 

2. Laser is WAY better. So I payed $8 for these 11x17 but the color and paper quality was way better. Again.. thanks @eypyeash!

 

Some pics of the process changes:

11x17s!

11x17.jpg

 

Cube

Laid out

cube_layout.jpg

 

New floor

floor.jpg

 

I used double stacked scraps of foam core to space the lid parts

spacers.jpg

 

Done

new_front.jpg

 

Lid

lid.jpg

 

Moved ladder

new_ladder.jpg

 

Stacked Buildings

Layout

stack_layout.jpg

 

I used double stacked spacers again... NOTE: After building this, 3 would be better for more proper cover

small_spacer.jpg

 

Only glue to here:

step_wall.jpg

 

The steps have LOTS of grooves... 

step_groove.jpg

 

After the first one, which I started I the top, I learned that starting at the bottom is way better

step_start.jpg

 

Done:

small_done.jpg

 

And both together:

stacked.jpg

 

 

The fit where they stack is a little tight. So much so that the smaller piece doesn't fit inside the bigger for storage like it's supposed to. I'll have to adjust that, so be forewarned.

 

As always.. all comments/questions/requests/feedback appreciated. I really want this to be a good resource for people who need decent terrain for pretty cheap just to get people involved in the game.

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Ha, glad I could give some advice. Many years ago a buddy told me he was frustrated with me because I assumed everyone already knew everything I did, and talked on that level. So nowadays I go into pretty expansive detail about most things, as you saw. ;)

 

I don't have much problem just spraying one piece and slapping down, but I DO have to roll over it to ensure good contact overall. The benefit of that is you still have a few seconds to reposition the paper. It's a lifesaver when you're trying to do two-sided stuff. The roller probably won't be very good on foam core... could cause some uneven compression. Haven't tried it out yet. Hell, for all my watching, I haven't tried any of these out (perpetual planning before a massive wave of construction).

 

Actually, I'm pretty interested in trying to retrofit your stairs into something like scaffolding. I never cared much for the stack-to-store terrain idea, especially once big companies started picking them up with their laser cutters, probably because of the natural height limit and weird faux-ziggurat it creates. The building-on-building-on-building with scaffolding and elevators struck me as much more futuristic. Ha. So I'll probably be abusing a lot of your initial templates. 

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@eypyeash: What kind of scaffolding/elevators are you thinking? Any examples?

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These are my main reference photos:

 

http://www.dealspwn.com/writer/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/dehr-hub-540x304.jpg

 

http://www.dealspwn.com/writer/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/deus-ex-hr_aug05_20.jpg_626-540x272.jpg

 

http://i01.i.aliimg.com/wsphoto/v0/1463998829/Deus-Ex-font-b-Human-b-font-font-b-Revolution-b-font-2-Game-Silk-Wall.jpg

 

Note there's always some kind of scaffolding, fire escapes, or some other such thing, and most of it is equipped with advertisements.

 

This is a precursor to my own terrain project in the future. I'm stuck on the idea of a Blade Runner/Deus Ex/Syndicate (Syndicate Wars, specifically) table. 

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