Author Topic: Easy way to mount counters?  (Read 3897 times)

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Offline DicedT

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Easy way to mount counters?
« on: June 01, 2013, 03:06:19 PM »
With the DTP games with unmounted counters becoming the norm, there has to be an easy way to mount counters.

Michael


Offline Barthheart

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 08:09:30 PM »
I use 8.5x11 full page sticker paper and 2mm thick matte board.
Print an d stick full page of front side of counters to matte board.
Cut out alone exact outer edge of counters.
Print back side and trim page to exact outer edge of counters again.
Stick to the back side of first piece of matte board.
Can be tricky but it works well.
Use scissors or knife to cut counters up.
I now use a roller blade, much like a pizza cutter, because I caused some nerve damage in my hand using scissors...  :P
The matte board can be expensive but it does give very nice thick counters.
I'll try to post some pics of my counters... Tomorrow when I'm not half in the bag....  ;)
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2013, 06:00:23 AM »
OK here's a picture of a couple of counters I've made with the above method.

The one on the right is a counter form LnL's Line of Fire Magazine game Raid and Riposte. I used my wife's colour laser to print the counter. Not great. The counter is 1". I expanded the counters and the map for this game as the game board easily fit on a 17x22 sheet when enlarged.

The one on the left is from Unconditional Surrender: WWII in Europe that I just put together. I used my inkjet set to supper high quality. Looks much better. The counter is 1/2". The game board just fits on 2 24x36 sheets so I couldn't make them any larger. I always try to make larger than 1/2" counter... too small for my poor eye sight and fumble fingers.  :P

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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2013, 06:42:09 AM »
Brant's patented* foam-counter solution


Use scrapbooking foam to given them some depth and structure. You can buy it cheap at Michael's or any other craft store, and usually one side is already adhesive. I use this method for all the playtest counters I make.

- I print one side on cardstock, and stick it to the adhesive side of the foam. Don't worry about lining up edges, just slap it on there.

- Trim the stuck side to the edges of the counter area and get all the 'white space' off the edges, leaving you with single-sided counters backed with the 'smooth' side of the foam.

- I print the other side on full-sheet label paper (from an office store like Staples).

- Trim this to the edges of the counter area first before trying to peel/stick.  Ideally, this should be the same size as the single-sided foam counters you've already made

- Stick that side to the back side of the existing counters. This step is the biggest pain in the butt b/c of all the trouble lining up the front and back.
----  You can cut the counters down to smaller chunks to make the lining up task a bit easier, but then you're doing a lot more peeling and sticking. Your call.
----  You can also cut a few notches in the foam on some of the counter borders to give you a visual reference with the counter borders as you line up the adhesive sheet.

- Cut the counters into strips with an Xacto knife or similar

- Cut the indiv counters off the strips with a pair of scissors

In my exp, this process is much easier, cheaper, and faster than trying to hack posterboard apart. I like my 'foamies' much better than any hard-card homemade counters I've tried to make.


* OK, not really, but it sounds cooler
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Offline GJK

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 06:38:36 PM »
I'm currently applying the stickers to my Commands and Colors Ancients game + expansion #6.  I love these blocks and think about how nice a regular boardgame would look using them.  I suppose the issue would be stacking as the blocks are rather thick compared to normal counters.  If I could find a supplier of blocks that were half as thick as these blocks, I'd be quite happy to use them.

For my Hitler's War redeux, I found some ceramic blocks at a local craft store that are about half as thick as the blocks in CC:A.  They were a bit pricey however and it wouldn't be economical to do a game with 500+ counters. 

I've looked at foam board, but it appears to be too light for my tastes.  I will have to look at the scrapbooking foam but suspect that it too will be too light (one false sneeze and there goes the game!). 

Is the "matte board" aka foam board?

I've recently purchased a tablesaw for when I was working to make my game table.  I may have to experiment with cutting some wood blocks.  It would require lots of cuts however, especially to go with strips of about 1/4" or so. 

This is a great topic and one that I've been pondering as I have some counters that I'd love to redo for various games that I own - so keep the comments coming!
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Offline Staggerwing

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 07:00:39 PM »
Gary, what about something like this?

http://www.enasco.com/product/9731527  (3/4")
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Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2013, 07:08:49 PM »
Is the "matte board" aka foam board?

No!

Foam board or foam core is a very rigid and brittle board intended for table displays or wall hangings.  It's a major pain in the ass to cut, too.

Matte board is a thick, multilayer paper-based board that is used by artists as a rigid surface for artwork - usually oils or pencils (watercolors and inks tend to bleed on it).
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Offline Barthheart

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2013, 08:54:06 PM »
Matte board is also used as the surrounding material in pictures to give depth or to highlight colours.

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Offline Double Deuce

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2013, 10:33:20 PM »
Those look interesting, I wonder how thick and heavy they are? 750 tiles for $20.95 seems like a good deal.

Gary, what about something like this?

http://www.enasco.com/product/9731527  (3/4")

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Offline DicedT

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #9 on: September 21, 2013, 07:06:50 PM »
I've got thin foam sheets with adhesive on one side. How do you handle backprinted counters? I was thinking of gluing two foam sheets back to back, with adhesive sides out.

Mike

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2013, 07:50:12 PM »
go up in the thread for "Brant's patented* foam-counter solution"

I use cardstock on the adhesive side of the foam for some stiffening, and I use label paper on the non-adhesive side of the foam to make sure it sticks. 
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline DicedT

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2013, 07:31:25 AM »
Well, my first attempt at the Brant Method of Counter Mounting (patent pending) was less than sterling. First, I used a wooden ruler to guide the Xacto knife. A couple of mangled counters later, it was time to use a metal straight edge, but the Xacto still skipped (because I was doing it on top of cardboard laid on the table). Then I switched to scissors, and maybe I need need a thinner pair. It's hard to cut them perfectly square.

Brant's foam method works. The craftsman just needs a little more practice.

Michael

Offline bayonetbrant

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2013, 07:36:57 AM »
I use a new blade for every set of counters I make (not every new sheet - that's waaaaaay too many blades) and a metal straight-edge to guide it.  I carved a few plastic rulers in my day before that lesson sunk in   :-\

Once I get the 'strips' of counters together, I'll sometimes switch to scissors to cut individual counters apart.

And to be fair, the concept of foamies I totally stole from Steven Bucey (CSW denizen, and CABS regular back in Ohio) and then refined slightly with the use of cardstock for some stiffening.
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline Barthheart

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Re: Easy way to mount counters?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2013, 07:59:16 AM »
Don't cut on cardboard on a table. Get yourself ones of theses style cutting mats:



http://www.amazon.com/Professional-Self-Healing-Cutting-Mat-Size/dp/B0025189VE/ref=sr_1_1?s=arts-crafts&ie=UTF8&qid=1379944389&sr=1-1

I do like Brant and cut into strips of counters with metal ruler and exato blade.
Then I use a rotary cutter, like this, to cut individual counters from the strip:



http://www2.fiskars.com/Sewing-Quilting/Products/Rotary-Cutters-and-Blades/Comfort-Loop-Rotary-Cutter-45-mm#.UkBHq6jD9D8

I've used scissors to cut the counters from the strip but my last project had 700! counters and left me with an extremely sore hand/thumb from the scissors.
The rotary cutter works really well.
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