Wednesday, February 17, 2016


A friend and I have been trying for a while to create our own set of terrain, tokens, etc. You've likely seen some of the previous posts involving laser-etching things, but here's a new neat discovery.

I wanted to make a personalized USB for my brother, and accidentally discovered basswood. It's a kind of balsa I think, and it is amazing. Acrylic can warp under the laser, cut strangely, and is immensely temperamental when it comes to trying to print anything out consistently. Basswood on the other hand, is consistent, cheap, surprisingly durable, and smells a lot less harmful to breathe in during cutting.

So I went to town on some ideas. Initially I tested on regular rectangular crates, but after the first run of those, I had to try something more Infinty-fitting. For my first test runs, I mocked up a few different Nomad-style crates: Tunguska Secure Transportation (A well secured crate for important documents); Corregidor armaments (no words, just warnings on the side); and the basic Nomad Shipping and Freight (for all other concerns).

This is what they look like assembled! The pattern is loosely inspired by something I saw another company doing to mitigate the angles, since laser cutters cut mostly at 90 degrees, which means you can't put two angles flush to one another without a lot of post-cut bevel work. This over-under solution still looks like an interesting intentional design, and removes the weird gaps people would have to fill in.

They're rather sizeable, but I did want to make them big enough where some detail would register. I'll have another post soon about round two, where I fixed up the measurements and started crafting my own corporations, rather than the CB-trademark ones. The nice thing about this design too, is if one doesn't want the pre-etched logos, reversing the end-caps and two of the plates entirely hides them!

I'm running through painting tests now, to see how visible the grain is after painting. I can say so far black primer (vallejo surface) works a lot better than white.

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