Wednesday, February 26, 2014

First attempt at FDG and WWG coexisting

There you have it. Some FDG walls playing nice with my WWG tiles. Something I only now see in the FDG sets is that because they've chosen to make the walls narrower than the pillars, this leaves a fair amount of the tile exposed on the outside.

So, clearly the 1" pillars aren't what I want to base my plans on. Instead, it's the "connectors". As I read the instructions, I see that not only will the connectors work exactly for what I want them, but the support pieces are based on a tab system strikingly similar to the anchors on the tile, so this should work out great... tomorrow...

There's another pic of the pieces attached together. They assemble reasonably fast, though not as fast as a WWG wall. I didn't use a bottom flap on them - I left them open. Moreover, they aren't as stable as a WWG wall-and-post system, but they hold together well enough.

The more I look at the FDG E-Z Lock system, the more questions I have. For a multi-story building, how easy/hard would it be to remove a floor, or part of a floor? The floor itself rests inside the structure, with no way to easily pull it back out. Assuming you use foamcore on the floor, that means the upper floors are 1/4" shorter than the first floor. No biggie, but a little weird. If you want interior walls, I wouldn't be able to rest the connectors on the floor - they'd be too tall! I'd have to poke holes into the floor. If there's nothing below it, will it be secure? I suppose once it's pinned to other wall pieces, but it seems more work than I'd want to do for something that's supposed to be modular.

That shows all I had to do to get the pillars to attach to the tiles. They fit on really nicely I have to say. Very easy to install, and it makes all my TLX tiles hold the pillars down securely.

So, from what I've learned, I'll try using the connectors rather than pillars, and see how that looks. If they work well, then I guess there won't be all that much difference between a TLX post and my preferred FDG post. :)

Bridging the gap between FDG and WWG

Now that I have a heap of products from Fat Dragon Games, I want to start building and see how their sets go together. I really want some level of modular compatibility, though, so I'll probably be converting their tiles over to TLX format, at least with respect to how the tiles themselves are built. For anchors, posts, etc. I'm still thinking, and here's what I am hoping to try out very soon.

I'd like to take a regular FDG post - not the ones that are extra long to fit into holes in the tiles, but the ones designed to rest on top of the tile - and add a little piece inside it that would allow it to slot onto a TLX anchor. I'd either leave the bottom of the post open, or just modify the base so it has a hole around where the anchor would fit in.

By doing this, I'll be left with a Fat Dragon post that would continue to work with Fat Dragon tiles made the way Fat Dragon intended them, but I'll also be able to slot them onto a TLX tile made the way WWG intended them. That would allow 1", 2", 4", 5" and 7" FDG walls to fit onto a standard TLX tile, and If I'm so inclined, I could add WWG posts and walls to the same tiles. They'd abut the FDG posts, and might look a little out of place, but it would mean one tile set to rule them all.

Now, because I don't mind the TLX anchors, I'll end up kitbashing the FDG tiles into something TLX-compatible (I'm making my own collection of templates that are completely hand-made by me, not using any WWG files). If folks want to go in the other direction, they can easily take WWG tiles and carve the holes in the middle of the tiles like FDG's system wants.

It's not a one-system-to-rule-them-all kind of thing, but it makes me feel more comfortable about starting to make some FDG sets.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Strange things are afoot!

So, it turns out that while I was busy thinking of how I might make my own modular terrain format, and hoping that I wouldn't have to reinvent the wheel, a thread on the cardboard-warriors forum sparked a conversation on the exact same topic.

I really, really like TLX. Some people seem to loathe it. I'm trying to identify the things people don't like and see whether it can be improved on. Here are some pictures of a simple idea - remove the anchors that many people hate and replace them with, well, nothing:

That's the back of a tile. Not only did I cut out holes for connector tabs, but I cut out 3/8" holes from the corners and sides to fit posts.

Hopefully you can see in this picture that there are holes on the tile where there would normally be anchors. This would allow posts to slot right in there.

There are some old posts I had lying around. They fit pretty snug. That's two 2-way posts, not a 3-way post on the side there. I did that because I cut the hole to big - I estimated the holes. If I had an accurate template to cut from, this would have come out better. The posts would have to be an additional 1/4" tall for this to work - that's the thickness of the tile. Well, actually the foamcore is only 3/16", so I don't know if that'd be a problem or not. I will find out, I guess, when I attempt to make a couple tiles that should, in theory, join up to TLX tiles just fine.

Just to demonstrate that they hold in there pretty well. I'm not sure if the sides of the holes will wear out over time or not. As I play more with this idea, I'll find out.

The idea is, if you aren't using a hole, you'll have a little cover for it. My *hope* is that making the cover will be easier and less noticeable than the TLX anchors! If I fail on either point, then this is all a waste.

Another challenge will be figuring out how well other vendor modular terrain systems will fit with this...

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Loose ends, loose ends, everywhere!

I'm trying to package up these mine carts. It's an exercise in "firsts". I've got the cutfiles done, but I'm going to have to rebuild the pdf files AGAIN. I need to add some copyright on the pages, and I need to invent some branding and product name.

I started working on instructions, trying to model a cart in Sketchup and walk through the folding/gluing process. What a pain. Instead, I'll try to take step-by-step photos as I build each one, and I'll stitch it together into some basic instructions.

Because this is the first time I've gone through this, it's taking longer than it should to tie up these loose ends. Hopefully, whatever comes next will be a little smoother.

Codex Manesse Architecture

MiniLab Models does it again, finding great art within the Codex Manesse to create this little church:

I immediately had to make some cutfiles for the model. The colors are really vibrant, and complement the minis he's done beautifully. I'm going to bring this one into work and set up some minis around it.

You can get to the model by visiting his site: