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Author Topic: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures  (Read 17929 times)
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Cherno
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« on: April 16, 2012, 01:29:15 PM »

This thread shall serve as an index for a multi-part series of articles that show how I design, build, and use cardboard standees and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of them.

*Edit: Also check my setup instruction on how to photograph your miniatures so they are "Standee-ready"!

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=43019.0

*/Edit

Projects so far (Click on the links):

1. Strange Aeons / Lovecraftian Horror
2. All Things Zombie
3. BattleTech
4. Hired Guns
5. D&D Dark Sun
6. My Sin City Project
7. Future Noir: The Department
8. Shocking Tales of Madness and... Cardboard?!? My take on Strange Aeons


Paper miniatures... What do you think of when you hear the term?

3d renders from RPGnow.com?



Rank and File units with unsightly big white outlines?



Not good enough for me!

Playing mostly complex "ameritrash" boardgames like Arkham Horror, Risk 2210, Nexus Ops, Last Night on Earth and similar with my friends, I have come to appreciate the inherent advantages of boardgames. Easy to store and components that are very sturdy while also looking good.



Of course, I play some tabletop games here and there, but as most miniature hobbyists probably know, the mountain of lead just keeps on growing and one seldom finds the time or motivation to paint some of it.



Back to Spring 2011 when I stumbled upon that new game of Lovecraftian horror called Strange Aeons. I want to play this! Hmmm, even though there are a lot of nice miniatures for it available, I had something else in mind. My Strange Aeons theme would be based on the classic 1997 first person shooter Blood by Monolith Design.



It burns, it burns! Yeah baby!

The great thing about these old games is that they use sprites for most objects and characters. So I thought to myself "Hm, I could make some standees from those nice graphics!"

So I fired up photoshop and made a simple template for my standees. I just had to insert the game art, print it out, and glue it all together.



I mounted it to 1mm thick cardboard which was a real pain to cut, but it gives a nice sturdy feel to them and won't topple over easily.

The results can be seen here: (Pimp my Standees part 1: Strange Aeons).


« Last Edit: February 19, 2013, 02:47:48 PM by Cherno » Logged

Cherno
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2012, 01:31:06 PM »

Pimp my Standees part 2: All Things Zombie. (Click me!)

The second part is online!



This particular project, including terrain used, is described in detail in the article itself, here I just want to talk about the way these standees were made.

As you can see, the character images have been given a glowing outline to make them more visible and help set them apart from the dark background. For some reason, I decided to try out a dark grey background for these, I think I believed that my printer would not handle black as well. Were I to do it all again, I would probably use black as in the other projects. Either way, it looks ok. I also added a frame around the whoe template to better arrange them on the print-out page and the consequentally help with cutting and folding.



The general templates used are pretty much the same as the ones used for the Strange Aeons standees, apart from the fact that I made a couple of base textures to choose from, taken from World Works Game's Streets of Legend and Hinterland forest sets. The choice was mostly random, but some "outdoor" characters like the jokey zombie and the Hillbillies were given grass and dirt textures, for example.

This project was mostly possible because of Vampifan's vast array of great zombie miniature photos, and after asking him for permission I had a large range of images to choose from for my project. Additionally, I made photos of my miniatures as well and used those.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 06:17:49 PM by Cherno » Logged
Cherno
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2012, 01:31:16 PM »

Pimp my Standees part 3: BattleTech. (Click me!)

The third part is online!



As usual, a detailed overview of this project is presented in the aticle itself.

Here, I just want to raise an issue that I took a long time to find a solution for. When playing BattleTech, every unit has it's own statistics, and things like heat, damage, ammunition etc. has to be tracked constantly, so using effect counters or similar would just clutter it all up too much. A seperate sheet with those pieces of information has to be used, and consequentally, there has to be some way to identidy the units listed on the unit sheet with those on the actual battlefield. I hadn't planned for this problem when I designed my standee template, and all bases just had a simple texture on them without any further information. Just giving each standee a different number and putting it on the base would become a problem if units have to be swapped between forces and such, so I tried to experiment with "add-ons" that would essentially be pieces of cardboard with the required identification that fit to the standee in some way, by slipping over the base for example or being clipped to the side of the standee.

I never managed to invent such a system that looked right and was easy to build, use and change. Only much later did I finally see how easy to solution would be, but that has to wait for part 5, to be posted on friday, when I talk about my newest project, Dark Sun.


« Last Edit: April 18, 2012, 05:39:28 PM by Cherno » Logged
Cherno
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2012, 01:31:27 PM »

Pimp my Standees part 4: Hired Guns. (Click me!)

The fourth part is online!



Not much about to say about any particular techniques I used for these standees, aas they are pretty much the same as those used for All Things Zombie. One thing I do might want to point out however is that I'm failry proud of how the gradient on the base with the character name has turned out, it took a lot of experimentation to get this to look right Smiley

« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 12:33:17 PM by Cherno » Logged
FramFramson
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2012, 05:31:00 PM »

Man, you are the third person I know to refer to Blood in less than 12 hours. What on earth is going on?

That game was rather hilariously violent, if you will. I think the hand-tossed bundles of dynamite made for the funniest weapon.
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Cherno
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2012, 06:54:32 PM »

What can I say but Blood is just the most fun FPS ever. And I totally agree that the handheld bundle of dynamite is the funniest weapon, it's so much fun throwing it at a cultist at full power and watch him disintegrate messily while also flying backwards 30 feet. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to attend my therapy session.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZW17KbAmRq8&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/ZW17KbAmRq8&rel=1</a>
« Last Edit: April 16, 2012, 07:01:08 PM by Cherno » Logged
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2012, 08:25:35 PM »

I used to love that game when it first came out, excessive violence at it's best Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2012, 12:05:13 AM »

Never played 1, but 2 was awesome! One of the most intense moments in PC gaming for me was with that game. Walked into a room, the door slammed shut behind me, and all of a sudden, this whispering started all around me... Freaky stuff...

Oh and shooting the Mime in the carnival level was delicious too: 'I hate Mimes'  Laugh

Those standees look pretty cool there, Cherno Cool

Do you have to rework/smoothen/depixelate the original sprites, or are they large enough to be used straight form the game?
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Cherno
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2012, 12:14:46 AM »

I think I know which moment you mean with the door slamming shut and the whispering voices. They don't make 'em like this anymore Wink Well anyway, Blood 2 was a huge disappointment and I wholeheartedely suggest you try out Blood 1, it's the real deal!

Ticket please... Hey, stop him, he didn't pay!  Laugh



concering pixelation, the blood sprites get rather pixelated when enlarged as I wrote earlier, but it was not bad enough that they needed edge blurring. Coincidentally, I will discuss this specific issue in part 4 of my article series, to be posted thursday when I talk about Hired Guns.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 12:19:18 AM by Cherno » Logged
Cherno
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2012, 05:21:13 PM »

Part 2 is online!

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=40650.msg475174#msg475174
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2012, 07:28:23 PM »

You know what I want to see, is some top down 3-D picture counters for THW: Rally Round The King and other mass battle games.  I don't want to spend $100s of dollars buying 6mm minis for all the forces.  I'd rather spend $5 per army and push card board counters around.
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Cherno
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2012, 09:30:33 PM »

The problem with top-down counters is that it's very hard to differentiate between troop types, especially at this scale... And being flat, they are harder to handle Smiley
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Cherno
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2012, 05:40:04 PM »

Part 3 has been posted =)

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=40650.msg475175#msg475175
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Cherno
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« Reply #13 on: April 19, 2012, 12:33:39 PM »

Part 4 is online  Cool

http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=40650.msg475176#msg475176
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Cherno
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« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2012, 05:05:05 PM »

Pimp my Standees part 5: Dark Sun. (Click me!)

The fifth and final part is online!





These standees feature two major differences.

Because I had to rely on painted art instead of photos or sprites I had no backside images, so I just put a glowing outline of the charater on the standee's backside.

When a player views a standee from behind, it's could be difficult to differentiate between friend or foe, let along the actual character the standee is representing when having only that outline and no actual character art. This together with using multiples of the same standee for monsters, guards etc. creates an identification problem that was also an issue with the BattleTech standees I did before.

I found the solution by changing the way the bases work; The old standees had integral bases which were sturdy but couldn't be changed and were more time-consuming to build. This new generation, starting with the Dark Sun standees, has little tabs on the botton of the standee itself that slots into a slot on the seperate base that could be changed in a second. This allows me to put character information like name or just numbers on the base and use it for different scenarios without having to build standees for every possibility, it's just a matter of having the right bases, which are very easy to build.




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