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Board backing material

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Norsehound
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Joined: 12/22/2008

To make a successful prototype I'd like to get my hands on whatever material it is that professional boards are backed with. What is it? What category does it fall under? I've tried looking around at Amazon for something satisfactory but nothing approaches the material that these boards seemed to be backed with. I tried looking at wallpaper (since that's what one person claimed he backed his Dune board re-creation with), but all of them seem incredibly expensive! I just need backing enough for a 45x20 board...

InvisibleJon
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Chipboard?

I think you're looking for chipboard:

http://www.dickblick.com/products/all-purpose-chipboard/

schmanthony
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Joined: 12/18/2008
another idea

1. Buy an old game with missing pieces (but with the board of course) from a thrift store for $1.

2. Print your board on cardstock to match the size of the board you bought.

3. Sand the surface of the board with fine grit sandpaper.

4. Wipe the board with a slightly damp cloth, allow to dry.

5. Spraypaint a border color around the edges of the board, allow to dry. (Or omit this step and paint the border with a brush later.

6. Spraymount your cardstock onto the board. Use a clean brayer (for rolling ink) to roll it on solidly and without air bubbles.

7. Spray top of board with laquer for gloss finish, or matte acrylic for dull finish.

8. Now you'll have a professional prototype for less than $5. It will be wrapped, will probably use binder board (higher quality than chipboard), it will even split and fold the same way the original board did. No one will know it used to be Candyland.

Traz
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go schmanthony!

You didn't lie! For quality prototypes at rock bottom prices, that method works the best every time.

If you have play aids that players will need to use [such as the individual boards from ALHAMBRA], a very professional looking way to go is the following:

1 - print out your board on your inkjet.

2 - laminate it.

3 - at LOWE'S you can get linoleum floor tiles [with self-adhesive backing] for $.50 [12x12]. Affix the laminated artwork to the sticky side and it works great!

schmanthony
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I forgot to add a step to my

I forgot to add a step to my method about running a razor over the board if it's a quad fold (or more) with a split, but that should be rather obvious when it comes to that point! You have to cut the cardstock after it is spray mounted so the board will continue to fold up right.

bluesea
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Traz wrote: 3 - at LOWE'S you

Traz wrote:

3 - at LOWE'S you can get linoleum floor tiles [with self-adhesive backing] for $.50 [12x12]. Affix the laminated artwork to the sticky side and it works great!

Now that's a new one! Any smells from the glue?

I'd add that you can get some book binding tape to finish the edges of a self-made board. (good for making homemade sketchbooks as well.)

InvisibleJon
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Traz wrote:3 - at LOWE'S you

Traz wrote:
3 - at LOWE'S you can get linoleum floor tiles [with self-adhesive backing] for $.50 [12x12]. Affix the laminated artwork to the sticky side and it works great!
My business partner and I used this method to surface the tables we made for our retail game store. It looked good, was spill proof, and you could write on them in dry-erase marker and it came right off.

I'd never thought of them as game board material before. Funny idea.

End of Time Games
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bluesea wrote:Traz wrote: 3 -

bluesea wrote:
Traz wrote:

3 - at LOWE'S you can get linoleum floor tiles [with self-adhesive backing] for $.50 [12x12]. Affix the laminated artwork to the sticky side and it works great!

Now that's a new one! Any smells from the glue?

I'd add that you can get some book binding tape to finish the edges of a self-made board. (good for making homemade sketchbooks as well.)


Where do can you get bookbinders tape?

Norsehound
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Joined: 12/22/2008
So are you guys saying the

So are you guys saying the material that companies use for backing their boards isn't commercially available?

I'll have to look at the Lowe's solution. Pitty there isn't one in walking distance of where I live... :\

adamw
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Joined: 12/10/2008
I built my best prototype

I built my best prototype board with material from Michaels - the art and craft store. They have art backing board which is perfect in thickness and durability. They also have textured paper in large sheets - which you can use to wrap your board.

What I did was very closely examine boards from other games and just imitate their folds. The corner folds are the most difficult, but can be done if you just take time and are neat with a razor for cutting. There's a pretty good step by step process right here: http://www.bgdf.com/node/875.

I also highly recommend developing your board and other components so they can be printed on 8.5 x 11 (or A1) paper. Then take it to your local Kinko's and have them print it on photo paper with a color laser jet. This will cost you about $1 per page and will result in very nice quality images with near to actual color. It also better prepares you for real punch board production later.

Hope this all helps!

Norsehound
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Joined: 12/22/2008
Thanks to a printmaking class

Thanks to a printmaking class last quarter I figured out how to do all the folds and such. Examining other game boards I had helped also. I was just curious as to where I could get the same material that companies use to back their boards. Craft paper would work for a prototype I suppose, but I wanted to get my hands on the legitimate article.

I'd also like to find it in rolls if possible, since my projected game board is 45 inches long by 20 inches. Individual sheets won't suffice, I'm sorry to say.

Actually to get the corner folds down, it's easier to use a bone folder to smooth them out. That's how we did it in class anyway.

schmanthony
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Norsehound wrote:So are you

Norsehound wrote:
So are you guys saying the material that companies use for backing their boards isn't commercially available?

I believe the material actually used by real publishers to make game boards is, in fact, binding board - the same material used for hardbound book covers - and it is commercially available. Just google binding board and you will find a lot of sources.

But again, if you follow my method of scavenging an existing board (above), you will achieve a professional result with very little trouble and expense.

Norsehound
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Joined: 12/22/2008
The problem with scavenging a

The problem with scavenging a board is finding a board that will fit the size of the board I have now. Having the materials on-hand to make it myself allows me to make the board how I choose instead of conforming it to fit whatever I've scavenged.

The only board I know of that comes close to this is the Hunt for Red October board- and the game is out of print. Seeing as it is I'd feel bad about destroying one of the dwindling copies for the sake of a prototype.

And it's not the hard-board that I'm specifically looking for... but whatever material they use to cover the board and fold over the edges. It is that kind of paper/texture/material that I'm looking for- preferably as a roll wider than 20 inches and longer than 45.

Thanks for the advice tho :)

bluesea
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You could also try 3 or 4mm

You could also try 3 or 4mm MDF board. Should be available in most lumber yards. Call ahead. The mdf should give you a flat and sturdy board. You can have the lumber yard cut it to size for you. Sheets are usually 4'x8'.

gameprinter
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Board materials

Game boards usually use a 75 point plain chip board. (1 pt = .001 inch, so 100 cards of 10 point thickness = 1 inch).

The heavy paper on the back is generically referred to as "Case Wrap". Don't try to Google on it though. All the names for it are proprietary, so the paper companies all call it different names. If I could remember any, I'd list them here. It's basically a heavy colored paper, sometimes coated or plasticized, usually with a pattern on one side.

You can probably find the chipboard you need fairly easily. Glueing a couple sheets together will work just as well. Finding case wrap is going to be a pain. To do a 20" x 20" game board, you'll need a sheet of wrap that is about 21.5 x 21.5. A common size we use is 23x29, but I don't think they'll have that size at Office Depot, just from the mills or the paper distributors.

schmanthony
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Joined: 12/18/2008
There is a very good guide to

There is a very good guide to making your own board from scratch in the BGDF archive:

http://archive.bgdf.com/tiki-index.php?page=Making%20Game%20Boards%20Wit...

idmillington
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Joined: 09/15/2009
Sorry for the Bump...

To make game boards by hand you need to enter the murky world of bookbinding.

The backing material is called 'bookcloth', which is a bit of a misnomer, since it can be textured paper, but it is sturdy and will not fracture or split when folded. It is used to cover books. It isn't normally called 'case wrap' although the process of covering book boards is 'case wrapping'. So I think the previous commenter got confused there.

Bookcloth comes in various forms. The classic is sometimes called 'buckram' which is the stuff that libraries usually bind books in for longevity. There are also variants with leather-look and gloss finish. You can buy self-adhesive bookcloth for very easy use, although most bookbinders use PVA glue, or PVA / paste mixed. A good dense and heavy brush makes light of getting a really consistent and thin layer of glue that won't show through or leave unglued patches.

There are plenty of tutorials about how to cut and fold the corners of a bookboard online. Just look for bookbinding tutorials, rather than board game making tutorials. It is pretty easy, although you'll want a bone folder to make a neat job, and tap the very corners blunt with a small hammer so they don't fray.

The board itself can be made either of very thin wood, artists chipboard, or best is bookbinder's board. It comes in many sizes, is very easy to work and isn't very expensive. It has that slight flex that gives a game the right feel.

The biggest challenge about getting a totally professional look is dealing with folding on your game side. Printing on a consumer color printer (or worse a laser) then folding will show unsightly cracking and rub-off. A proper product needs to be varnished or laminated. You can get away with adding an oversheet of plastic laminate, or varnishing with a brush, but it is terribly difficult to get a really professional finish without going for a professional printer's gloss-laminate. Some digital printers will do gloss laminate (but be careful, most digital printers who claim to deliver 'gloss' do so by printing on semi-gloss paper-stock - this isn't the same thing at all, and gives terrible results when folded - if it isn't real gloss, it isn't worth it).

drewdane
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I have an option for you...

I make the boards for 18EZ out of matboard. Another option that would be a little more stout, but also a bit more expensive (but still cheap enough for a prototype) would be illustration board. Both are availible at Hobby Lobby (I've had better luck there than I have at Michael's.)

You can have the folks in the framing dept trim it for you, or cut it yourself with a straight-edge and a utility knife (It's a two person job to do it accurately, though.) To cover all of the taped joints on the back, there are any number of textured papers at the craft store of your choice.

I don't wrap my boards at all. I actually cut the edge flush with the artwork. This is pretty similar looking to the boards from Agricola, or other Eurogames. I have had no complaints (actually, more than a few compliments.) I even had someone throw the B.S. flag when I said that I make my own boards in the garage. :D

If you're going to all of the trouble to have Kinko's print and laminate your board art, have them do it in one oversize piece. You'll be happier with the finished product that way.

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