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mounting a board

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jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008

Up to now, I haven't mounted the game board for my prototypes, for a variety of reasons. But one of my games is getting playtested enough, and the limitations of the board constantly moving around any time someone touches it, is getting annoying enough, that it's time for me to mount this thing.

So, I have scavenged a normal game board from an existing game, and want to attach my board to that. My plan is to first attach a layer of card stock using a Krylon Adhesive spray that I just bought (it was a few dollars cheaper than Super 77 or PhotoMount, and I couldn't mind the Elmer's product FastLearner recommended). Then, I will stick the actual game board pages onto this layer of card stock.

However, one or two issues present themselves. Most notably, how to get the board to be conformal with the folds? I gather this will be particularly difficult if I use card stock, yet if i don't have a buffer layer, I'm afraid the original game board will show through my printouts. Has anyone found a great way to have their game board printouts cover up the "flexible" region between the "rigid" regions?

Also, does anyone ever use anything to coat the board? I have a charcoal drawing fixative that I will probably spray it with (even though I don't think it will actually do much...)

Finally, do people print their boards with an ink jet or a laser printer? I have access to both. The concern I have with the ink jet is that since my board is full color (literally -- the entire page is covered with ink) that it will drain all the color ink in my printer before the job is done (the board uses 6 full sheets of standard paper). The concern I have with the laser is that the quality is somewhat lower; I've had somewhat mixed results printing full pages on it in the past; it seems to streak a lot. But thus far, it's seemed better than using too much ink. Anyone know how much print life one typically gets from a cartridge of ink.

Thanks for any help you can provide!

-Jeff

Anonymous
mounting a board

For about $6 you can hire a copy/print business to print out your board for you (that's how much it would be here, anyways). That'll save your cartridge at least...

Anonymous
Mounting the board

What size board are you working with and how does it fold? A bi-fold or tri-fold board will have a gap between chipboard panels of about 2.5 times the thickness of the chip board. A quad-fold board will have these gaps in 3 places and 1 cut allowing it to quad-fold.

I have the luxury of using boards that are made with the black back-wrap on them, but no face label, so covering existing art has not been a problem for me. However, I have had to on occasion canabolize existing boards in a pinch. You may try to lightly sand the old graphics. You want to scratch the ink off the surface. Not too hard. It's OK if it's a little porous, but you don't want it too feathered. The spray adhesive will forgive small imperfections here.

The spray mount type of adhesives work pretty well, but be sure to spray both the board itself and also the back of your printed sheets. This will give it a lot more life. Be accurate with your placement. As you probably know, the adhesives are not very re-postionable. It's real easy to ruin a board.

I use a krylon spray over ink jet prints whick keeps the inks from smudging.

I don't recommend using a heavy stock or lamination. The thicker the material you place on top of the board, the more likely it is to "pop" out from the gaps or even crack after repeated use. Most Kinko's have large format inkjet printers which you can use to avoid having to piece your board together, but they are about $25.00 a throw for a 17 X 17. It hurts when you place one of them wrong.

Hope that helps.

trnardo
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Joined: 12/31/1969
mounting a board

Quote:
Up to now, I haven't mounted the game board for my prototypes, for a variety of reasons. But one of my games is getting playtested enough, and the limitations of the board constantly moving around any time someone touches it, is getting annoying enough, that it's time for me to mount this thing.

For playtest purposes, you can avoid the mounting issue entirely and just use a sheet of plexiglas (available at Home Depot and other such stores in a variety of sizes) over your board. It protects your artwork, it makes the board lie flat, and you can use the same plexiglas sheet to protect multiple games... albeit one at a time.

Quote:
I don't recommend using a heavy stock or lamination. The thicker the material you place on top of the board, the more likely it is to "pop" out from the gaps or even crack after repeated use. Most Kinko's have large format inkjet printers which you can use to avoid having to piece your board together, but they are about $25.00 a throw for a 17 X 17. It hurts when you place one of them wrong.

Even if you don't mount the board, having it on one sheet is awfully convenient if you plan to demonstrate your game at conventions or other such places. A pity Kinko's charges so much for these printouts.

prophx
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Joined: 08/13/2008
mounting a board

That is a brilliant idea! Why didn't I think of the before? I think most of us in the dreamers world want to present that "finished" product to our playtesters, friends, and family so we jump to the next level of production - many times before we should. I have always stored my prototype boards in poster tubes and was getting tired of rerolling them inverted so that they would lay partially flat. I know where I'm heading during lunch! :P [/u]

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
mounting a board

Ok, I tried mounting my game board for the first time last night. The board I was going to use was 23.5" square, and is kind of a weird configuration -- it has 6 panels, 3 of which are 15" long and about 7.75" wide, the other three are 8.5" long and again, 7.75" wide. The "cut" comes between the long and short panels.

I printed my board onto 9 sheets, with each board section being about 7.5" x 8", as appropriate to whichever panel it was going to sit on. I also printed a 1" strip to sit on the fold itself.

I attached the sheets to the board using a Krylon Adhesive spray. I sprayed only the board, and applied the sheets about 15 seconds after spraying. I first applied the thin strips to the fold sections, and they went down nice and conformally. Then, I attached the other pieces one at a time, lining up to the strips I had just attached. The spray doesn't allow for much in the way of repositioning, but I was still able to get the board to line up pretty well. In fact, the only real problems I had were due to problems with the sheets themselves. In the future, I think it would be much easier to just print one big sheet, even with the extra expense. I paid $.30 per sheet this way, so it was $3, printing a full sheet may not be much more than that.

I'm not yet sure how the long-term performance will be, but I'm very pleased with the visual quality of the board -- the pages are held on very tightly and with no bubbles. One problem I did have was that as I sprayed the board for the later sheets, some of the spray got onto the earlier attached sheets, making them somewhat tacky. Anyone know a good way to remove this problem? In the future, I'm thinking it might be better to spray the sheets themselves rather than the board, but since it's too late for that now, I'm wondering how to "fix" the board -- maybe just rub my hands over it a few hundred times, or maybe spray with an acrylic or something (I have a matte fixative, but I don't think that will actually do anything).

Anyway, just wanted to share my process and results in case anyone finds it useful. If you have comments or suggestions, let me know!

-Jeff

Torrent
Torrent's picture
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Joined: 08/03/2008
mounting a board

I really haven't been following this thread, but I have a suggestion about how to keep down the overspray.

Go to a tourist shop or the like and buy one or two of the cheap laminated placemats. They usually have very straight edges and are a little heavier than paper. I had thought about suggesting newspaper, but I wonder if you used newspaper to mask adhesive spray you might accidently glue bits of it to your project. A plastic lamintated placemat shouldnt stick too badly.

The second thing you could try is foam core board. My architecture roommate uses it for his models. It comes in big sheets and is usually about 1/4 inch thick. It is paper on the outside of the foam, but shouldn't stick too much.

Either material just wieght it down with a brick or telephone book to keep the edges where you want them.

I haven't actually tried either, so your mileage will vary, but in theory they should work.

Andy

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
mounting a board

On removing excess glue, it depends a lot on the type of glue. (I always spray the sheets and not the board, so there's only an excess where there's overlap that I decided to cut and peel off.)

If it's Krylon Spray Mount (a brand name) then you can indeed just rub it off with your finger or a gum eraser... it will come off clean after enough rubbing. Note, though, that Spray Mount is an impermanent glue and you have some risk of the paper peeling up all the time (though it's still pretty good).

If it's 3M Super 77 then it's a bit tougher. Sometimes I'm able to just wait a couple of days and then scrape it off (it becomes kinda powdery), but sometimes it just never comes off. I haven't figured out why it does which, though it might be related to humidity or something.

If it's the Elmer's Craft Glue (the spray) I previously mentioned then it will kind of rub/scrape off. It leaves a very fine residue that you can still feel (though it's not sticky) but can't really see.

As a last resort -- and I'd be sure to test this on something else first -- you might be able to use a very light rub of alcohol or acetone to pull it off. My concern would be that if you rubbed hard at all that it would pull off the ink, too, so testing is definitely in order.

-- Matthew, whose decades of arts and crafts projects finally begins to pay off in game prototyping.

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