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 My 3D XPS foam boards (Img heavy) *TUTORIAL update* 
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Ninja Corps
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Joined: September 4th, 2012, 12:10 am
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Very cool. It looks clean and very well done.

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September 5th, 2015, 4:12 am
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Denizen
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That stilt town tile and house is outstanding. I picked up some of the XPS foam recently after seeing this thread. Not used any yet but ill be making a racetrack from it :D

Cant wait to see it painted!

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September 21st, 2015, 8:19 pm
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Wow, very very nice!

I especially really love the tree, house and water effects a lot! One of the nicest custom boards I've seen thus far! =D
Only thing I would advise is to use some more inks/drybrushing to give it all a little more contrast and accents.

But overall: impressive!


January 4th, 2016, 8:03 am
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Denizen
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Hello;

First and foremost, that's pretty darn amazing. Im really impressed and love the work you did.

\question: What kind of paints did you use?

Thanks in advance.

Edit: Realized the foam is in the title.


January 8th, 2016, 11:40 am
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Hey there, amazing work, really great stuff!

What kind of foam are you using? I've never worked with foam before and that looks like it might work for an idea I have, so any help and pointers would be very appreciated.

Lastly, how sturdy is it? Is it easy to dent or mar by accident? Thanks, keep up the great work!

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January 10th, 2016, 12:58 am
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Minion
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Tsurera, he is using XPS foam. It is the kinda of insulation they use when building the framework of buildings. You can find it at most hardware stores in massive sheets. There are varying degrees of thickness. I use the pink 2" thick foam usually for stuff like rocks and bigger scenery, and the blue thinner stuff for structures. It doesn't take being knocked around too well, and can chip easily. I haven't tried Fibretips technique of mixing wood glue with acrylic paint to make it more durable though. I plan on doing that, once I build some more tiles.


January 18th, 2016, 1:03 pm
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frawgenstein wrote:
Tsurera, he is using XPS foam. *snip*


Thank you! I figured it was something you could get at a hardware store, I just didn't want to go there and be like "yo! I need that castle building-rock-forming foam, please."

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January 18th, 2016, 7:09 pm
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Minion
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I know am late to the party, but I am stunned how cool this is! Wow Wow Wow. I actually read the entire page; then sent the link to a friend, and came back and looked at the pictures a second time. Nicely done.

The only question I have is, where do you store this?


January 22nd, 2016, 5:08 pm
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Mini-Boss
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Dude, amazing work. I'm inspired to try some myself. I've worked with insulation foam myself doing other terrain projects. Do you have any problem with the tiles warping at all? Do they still end up laying flat?


January 23rd, 2016, 1:05 am
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Hey there, apologies for the radio silence... been crazy busy.

Eternaldream... The tiles are over a year old now and haven't warped in the slightest. They've been stored in the coldest room of the house and right next to a radiator at various times and haven't changed. I guess because they are made from insulation foam they are pretty resistant to heat and moisture which are the main causes of things warping most of the time. On the first boards I made the bases were 3cm thick foam because I was worried about warping... this turned out to be overkill so I now use 2cm foam all over.

Guyon... I have a four compartment Ikea cabinet in our dining room that we put plates and cereal boxes etc in... I "negotiated" the fourth compartment with my wife and that became the SDE compartment lol. The tiles aren't "regulation" size... they're only 10x10 squares rather than the official 12... this is due to the size of the cabinet I store them in. I built them these specific dimensions in order to stack up inside neatly.

Image

Tsurera/Frawgenstein... It's sturdy enough for SDE in my experience because the models are plastic. My son is 8 years old and has been playing on these boards since he was 6 and they haven't been broken or chipped in any way. My house has tiled and wooden floors and if you drop the tiles on their corner... you will crush the corner in, but the interior details won't be affected. The PVA coating has protected them from many dropped models and over excited dice rolls so far, but I wouldn't want to drop a metal model on them from any height. If you dropped a sharp heavy metal model onto them I would think a sword or spike or something would probably pierce the foam pretty easily. As I say though... we haven't had any problems so far. The only way they've deformed at all was on the river sections. I made a mess covering the foam due to the PVA disaster and airbubbles from the foam have gradually worked their way through the water effects so it's a bit bubbly in places.

Dsdrew... I just use cheapo craft paints for painting the tiles. It takes SO MUCH paint that it wouldn't be practical to use anything else. The bottles I get from my local craft store are about $5 for 250ml.

Arydis... The water effects thing is tricky. On the first boards I used plaster to cover the river bed which I then painted with 100% acrylic varnish. But it seems I missed spots in places because it's bubbled up quite a lot. On the stilt town board I sealed the base completely with PVA and sand etc which I then cave several coats of paint before a dual coat of varnish. So far a few weeks later there aren't any signs of bubbles yet so fingers crossed it's worked better this time!

I've been finishing off the stilt town tile... I did my best to do a write up on the process for Tales of the Ninjas which might be in the next edition when it arrives. Here's a sneak peak anyway (the water effects were still clearing in places)... and a shot of the next board I'm working on.

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January 24th, 2016, 7:50 am
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The light effects look amazing!

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January 24th, 2016, 8:02 am
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fibretip wrote:
I've been finishing off the stilt town tile... I did my best to do a write up on the process for Tales of the Ninjas which might be in the next edition when it arrives. Here's a sneak peak anyway (the water effects were still clearing in places)... and a shot of the next board I'm working on.

Asolutely love your zombie village and style!! : )
And very, very nice what you did with the lights and the carvings on the walls!

One question though (as I am also busy making 3D tiles): how do you manage height differences and large based models? What playability and design are concerned I find these the most complicated (and limiting) issues thus far. You can never really make it work smoothly.


January 24th, 2016, 8:45 am
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Thanks :D

I just wish I had thought to paint the carvings before I glued it all together... :oops: it would have been a lot easier!

Honestly... I'm a big fan of winging it ;) I really only get to play with my kids and they aren't exactly sticklers for the rules. We played a couple of games where we counted having high ground as an automatic +1 star when it was adjacent spaces for melee but disregarded it in any ranged attacks. I didn't implement a negative effect on the lower model because that seemed to nerf too many of the low end models too severely. As for the large based models... they are a bit of a nightmare. The trolls from FK in particular have been difficult. The blaze beetle and Roxor also. They end up having to take the long way around sometimes because they won't fit! Due to the 10x10 nature of the tiles they are a bit of a squeeze once they're full of models. I think playing a tournament legal game or whatever would be pretty tricky on them, but most things such as difficult terrain etc have been easy to set as house rules.

I agonised over it for quite a while before I built them but in the end decided that if I wanted to play the game flawlessly with every rule intact and clear then I could always pull out the official tiles, but if I wanted to have fun with the kids and have a bit more immersion... 3d tiles would be much more fun regardless of a few flubbed rules :) ;)


January 24th, 2016, 9:13 am
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You absolute madman!

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January 24th, 2016, 10:36 am
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fibretip wrote:
I just wish I had thought to paint the carvings before I glued it all together... :oops: it would have been a lot easier!

Lol! Yes there are things that you only find out when it's too late. Well at least you know for next time! ; )

fibretip wrote:
Due to the 10x10 nature of the tiles they are a bit of a squeeze once they're full of models. I think playing a tournament legal game or whatever would be pretty tricky on them, but most things such as difficult terrain etc have been easy to set as house rules.

I noticed! Well, it's partially because of the walls around the tile, which take up 36 of the 144 available squares of the board, which is a big chunk (25%).
A lot of the 1.0 tiles had the same thing, the later tiles had much more available squares. Partially because the walls just became thick lines, not occupying no squares.
Fortunately I don't have your storage issues - so I added a thick border around the board for walls, foliage, fences and such.
And I've never heard of SDE tournament legal games anyway ...

fibretip wrote:
As for the large based models... they are a bit of a nightmare. The trolls from FK in particular have been difficult. The blaze beetle and Roxor also. They end up having to take the long way around sometimes because they won't fit!
I agonised over it for quite a while before I built them but in the end decided that if I wanted to play the game flawlessly with every rule intact and clear then I could always pull out the official tiles, but if I wanted to have fun with the kids and have a bit more immersion... 3d tiles would be much more fun regardless of a few flubbed rules :) ;)

Totally agree!! : D

The added immersion more than makes up for it. As it is impossible to take large bases into account when making these tiles, we will just have to do with some sub-optimal movement but instead get lots and lots of immersion. Anticipating this I haven't painted my large base heroes - and I don't offer them to play either! ; )
AND a far more intuitive and natural gameboard as you see the layout of the board in a blink of an eye - instead of staring at 2d tiles with lots of dotted lines and small symbols everywhere!! ; )

I think these two things are the biggest advantages of a 3D gameboard and make it more than worth making them.


Last edited by Teowulff on January 26th, 2016, 3:09 am, edited 1 time in total.



January 24th, 2016, 2:04 pm
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Mini-Boss
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I'm glad you pointed out the space issues that 3d terrain makes. I want to make my own, so maybe I'll try 14" tiles? I think that could give everyone extra wiggle room.


January 25th, 2016, 10:50 pm
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eternaldream wrote:
I'm glad you pointed out the space issues that 3d terrain makes. I want to make my own, so maybe I'll try 14" tiles? I think that could give everyone extra wiggle room.

The squares on the current (Forgotten King) tiles are about 22.6mm/0.89 inch (the minis are on ~24mm bases, though). So it already isn't fitting very well - and a lot of minis are a lot wider than their bases (like the notorious Frog Knights). Then there's also minis that are hanging over the edge of their bases (like Kunoichi Candy, Sebastian Cross, Rockgut), although you can re-attach them to their bases in a bit more "balanced" way in most cases.

What walls around are concerned you can give the tiles a generous edge (like 1.5 cm/0.5") so you can put most of the 3d walls there without reducing the amount of available squares too much.
Also SDE sort of "cheats" on the newer tiles because they use very thin walls that don't occupy any squares. That's very hard to emulate on 3D tiles.

So it would be wise to make the individual squares a bit wider, like 26-30mm. That way the minis have a little more space. Especially on 3d tiles where you can also collide vertically with the environment. I made mine 27mm (tiles are 14.6" - with 2.3 cm edges) and sometimes it's still a bit messy.


January 26th, 2016, 3:43 am
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My squares are 25mm and as noted... it's a bit busy ;) Teowulff's suggestions are definately right on the nail. Bigger spaces is the solution... although you need to be careful not to make it feel too sparse or it can be hard to keep track of which models are touching.

There are certainly issues with 3d boards but I have found a lot of the same issues with the flat boards. When you try and pile a horde of enemies around a hero it's almost impossible to keep them on individual squares because the models are so dynamic and fun. If you have the space to make your boards larger then absolutely go for it. Maybe make a buffer channel of a mm or two between the squares. Any time you're near a wall you'll struggle though. Starfire for example... we end up having to spawn him on the same couple of tiles because he can't move at all on some of them due to that wingspan. It really depends on what you're looking for... immersion wise. If I was just making a cavern then I might make shorter walls just to give the impression. I have to admit though... When I built them I'm really thinking about fun over function.

I guess it depends what your play style is... I'm playing for fun and am the kind of consul who does everything he can to take every game right down to the thrilling final rolls rather than demolish the heroes asap etc. I don't tend to worry too much if I can't use the ideal tactics etc... it's a lot more important to me that my kids know where the walls are rather than them having arguements over which border is around that square etc.


January 26th, 2016, 11:47 am
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eternaldream wrote:
I'm glad you pointed out the space issues that 3d terrain makes. I want to make my own, so maybe I'll try 14" tiles? I think that could give everyone extra wiggle room.


I am currently designing 14x14 tiles with the outside tiles being there for walls, so you have a 12 x 12 playable area. This seems to alleviate a lot of play-ability issues with the larger models.

I am going to start my tiles in a couple of weeks, Ill post a thread when I can.


March 11th, 2016, 3:37 pm
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Those tiles look amazing.
I would like to try it myself.
WHat type of XPS do you use? Which tools do you use for carving?


March 12th, 2016, 9:07 pm
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