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Using lasers to recreate the Old West

Home Forums Terrain & Scenery in Tabletop Gaming Using lasers to recreate the Old West

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  sundancer 3 months ago.

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  • #1785395

    jayadan
    Participant
    943xp

    The design started with a set of elevations I found online for an existing building from the period.

    I brought the elevations into Lightburn which is the program that I use for cutting with my laser and has a full package of design tools as well. First I had to scale the plans to fit with 28mm minis which involved scaling the drawing to get it in the ballpark, printing it out, then check the size next to actual minis. When you’re scaling for miniatures using actual scales rarely works like you’d hope.

    Once I had the scale where I wanted it I just had to essentially trace the design to get the basic shapes in place. I ended up simplifying the entryway, eliminating the back door and changing it to a window and generally looking for things that didn’t need to exist.

    When designing for cutting you need to keep in mind the thickness of the material you’re going to be using because that’s going to come into place if you add tabs to help hold the pieces together. I’m personally in the “fewer tabs are better” camp rather than the camp that likes the corners of all of their buildings look like intricate jigsaw puzzles. Anyway, my main material is 1/8″ birch plywood so that was figured into the design. FYI – for surface details I used 1/16″ birch plywood but the thickness of that material didn’t play into how I was designing things at this stage.

    Cutting everything out was really the easy part. I’ve already done a lot of tests with various materials so that I had a sense of the settings I would use to get good cuts and etches. One thing I wasn’t sure about was my roof. I was planning to do the shingles in 1/16″ plywood but that turned out to be way too thick. So that’s why that isn’t done yet. Otherwise, I only had one failed attempt due to material that was warped more than I had initially thought. Otherwise, it was a smooth process.

    Gluing on all of the surface details was where the thing really started looking good. This is also where I got to see things that I will probably change in the design to simplify it yet again. Areas that didn’t need to be as complex as they were and a couple of things I forgot to add – which I can still add now.

    Painting was also pretty straightforward. I used the laser again to create a stencil for the General Merchandise sign on the front and airbrushed that on. I had considered adding an actual sign to the front rather than painting the front of the building. The period buildings did it both ways – but I opted for paint on the walls. It’s turning out cleaner than I thought I wanted initially but I’m leaning towards the idea that this is a newer store from a wealthy businessperson so it’s going to stand out from the rest

    The inside looks so nice I’d like to fill it out with shop goods but I don’t know if I’m going to be that ambitious.

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    #1785495

    sundancer
    42139xp
    Cult of Games Member

    This looks quite interesting. Any particular reason why you chose a forum entry over starting a project in the Project System?

    #1785499

    jayadan
    Participant
    943xp

    I guess it’s because I know what a forum is but I don’t know what a “project system” is. If I’ve made some sort of faux pas by posting this here I suppose I can delete it.

    #1785510

    sundancer
    42139xp
    Cult of Games Member

    No no, not at all. You’re totally welcome to log your progress in the forum. But if you wanted to you could click on “Projects” in the top menu and start a project to have all things in one place.

    But that’s totally up to you. What ever you feel more comfortably to do. 🙂

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