Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Making Atolla Modulis

First, you need the files from : FUNKENSCHLAG Atolla Modulis. The downloads section is off the menu on the left - Telechargements.

Material list

  • Illustrator Board - about $13US for a package of 3 20"x30" sheets. As long as you don't waste any, this is exactly the amount you need.
  • Spray Glue - I use Elmers Spray glue because its easy to get at Walmart in their craft section and it works well. **NOTE** I've been told that Elmers can cause warping in the boards when you are done. To avoid this, the recommended spray glue of choice is 3M Super 77 or 3M Spray Mount.
  • Steel straight edge - some general cuts need to be done with one of these, as large pieces will not fit on the roller cutter surface.
  • Utility knife - get some really good blades - you want them very sharp so you don't have to go back over a cut.
  • Roller paper cutter. They have free cutters, but you want one that is on a rail to ensure perfectly straight cuts.
  • Spray paint: Blue, Metallic Blue, Hammered copper, Hammered black.
  • Krylon Crystal Coat - semi-gloss.
  • Cardstock - 27 sheets (one sheet gets printed on twice), none of the other tiles will fit on a single 8x11 sheet. You could use photo paper, but that's a bit pricey in my mind and I don't think you gain anything. **NOTE** I'm going to do a second set using Bazzill cardstock, which has a textured finish to mimic linen finish boards.
  • Color Printer.

    Putting It Together

    All the printouts
    First thing you have to do is print all the tiles out on the cardstock. You have to print two of the cost tile sets, but they will both fit on one sheet, just turn it around after the first print. I used a color laser printer to print these. Because these will get handled a bit in the making, if you print on an inkjet printer, you will want to lightly spray each sheet with a clear coat spray (I prefer Krylon semi-gloss) before the next step so that you don't have to worry about smudging the print (during the making or later during play).
    Here are the laser prints vs the inkjet (finished tiles). The colors are close either way, but the inkjet colors are not as deep or dark and when compared side by side, look slightly grayer (though you wouldn't say that if you weren't holding them side by side). I've already painted two sheets of illustrator board blue using blue and blue metallic paint. I tried to paint a fairly random coverage across the board so that it wouldn't saturate the board and so that when cutout the back of the tiles have a nice look to them. I finished them with a light spray of clear coat because otherwise the metallic spray tends to leave sparkles everywhere.

    So now I trim the sheets - I leave a small border on each to make it easier on myself later. Rather than cutting them perfectly now and trying to get the sheet to sit on a tile just right, I cut them with the border and don't care because I will trim the edges off after the glue has dried.
    Next, I try and dry fit the pieces on the boards. I can get 8 full tiles per illustrator board and if I do this right, I can get the cost tiles onto the scrap easily. The package of illustrator board comes with three sheets, so as long as I don't screw anything up, I shouldn't need any more. This is why I only painted two sheets - I was unsure if I would need more or how much I need to paint blue. Now I can go cut the third sheet in half, and then paint half blue and half copper. once I trim the scrap off, I will paint the back black or silver for the cost tiles. The next step is the glue - I lay down some newspaper and spray a board (4-tiles worth) with glue and immediately lay out the four tiles on top. I use a wallpaper roller to press the tiles (especially the edges) flat and then set the sheets aside to dry. I do not care if the boards start to warp - I can bend them after they are cut. The first thing I cut was the cost tiles. I cut off a strip at a time and then lay them back out on the cutter as one piece so that I can cut out a whole set of them at once. Here's a shot of the whole set of tiles ready to get cut. I use the utility knife to cut the sets of four in half (otherwise I can't fit them on the roller cutter). I leave all the straight cuts to the roller cutter, so the utility knife is just used primarily to cut sections. After that, its just a matter of cutting all the edges off. For any of the boards that are warped slightly, a gentle bend will get them flat again. Also, after they lay on each other a while, they will flatten a lot on their own. And here's a shot of the finished set.

    Jaybird said...

    Charles, what a great service to the boardgame community. I have no idea when I will get around to making this, but when I do, I know where to find it. Great work. Thank you.

    pbmax said...

    booger. I must have posted this on the NADD post by accident. It belongs here. please delete the other.

    Cool description on the build. I'm having trouble locating the download file (for atolla modulis). It seems the link to the homepage is broken.
    Is it possible to post a copy of your game files? I have every expansion version I can purchase and would love a full(er) box.

    Tatsu said...

    From the BGG (Simon Dorfman):
    I took the time to create a PDF document all ready to print everything out at the right size. I hope this saves some folks some time and energy. The 35MB PDF file is available here:

    Andy if you want to tweak the layout of that PDF, and you have Adobe InDesign CS2, here are all the files you need, archived into a split RAR file:


    pbmax said...