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"craft paper cutters" Topic

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Striker04 Oct 2020 10:36 p.m. PST

Has anyone used a craft paper cutter (like they sell at Michael's) for paper terrain? I'm looking at the terrain available from places like Wargame Vault/DrivethruRPG or other vendors not stuff I design myself. I'm curious if they are able to handle cutting (somewhat) automatically or is it something I'd have to add to or trace to get the cutter to know where to cut? I may be asking for something that doesn't exist. I can handle doing the score lines but if a cutter could do the grunt work of cutting out the shape that would be nice. I'm poking around but before I dive into the weeds ifi I can get a "no you can't do that" or "yes this printer can do it" that would be much appreciated.

Royal Air Force05 Oct 2020 3:36 a.m. PST

I've used a Silhouette Cameo, some publishers provide 'cut' files, others have fans that have created them. Not too difficult to create do it yourself. Check out the Fat Dragon forums on cutters.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian05 Oct 2020 9:13 a.m. PST

See TMP link for some info but article is 11 years old now.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Oct 2020 1:15 p.m. PST

Fat Dragon Games owner, Tom, created cutter files for the major brands of auto-cutters. Never used them, though. I print on full-sheet label paper (peel-n-stick). Then I apply them to 2-3 mm thick cardboard, cut, assemble, reinforce with wooden square dowels on the inside joints, and mount on a base, if needed.

From what I remember reading, several years ago, the cutters will cut perfectly, or very near. They will also do score 'cuts'. Tom, at FDG, will be able to fill you in. He's a good vendor, who responds to customer inquiries, quickly. Cheers!

Striker05 Oct 2020 10:11 p.m. PST

Thanks for the responses. I was also playing around with using one of those Cameo cutters to plan out window and door frames then cut out of cardstock for my diy buildings.

Sgt Slag – I saw your post about labels in another thread and I'm intgigued. It would make scratchbuilding pretty quick.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Oct 2020 6:05 a.m. PST

Striker, take a look at my blog, here, for some projects using the label paper technique (I think -- might have used a glue stick, as those projects date back a number of years): Project #1, at the top of the page, and Project #3, towards the bottom of the page. I used the label paper on #3, the uber-large Gate House, made out of an oatmeal box. I used the same technique to make oatmeal tubes into round castle towers. It is fast

For the curved merlons, I applied printed label paper to pieces of a paper towel tube (applied to both sides), cut, and pressed flat. It still retains its curve, but it makes the merlons much stronger than pure card stock ever could be; the label paper sticks to it, without issue, and the curling does not cause it to peel away, either! I leave the bottoms of the inside tube piece, bare cardboard; this allows PVA Glue to make a really strong bond to it, and the oatmeal tube. The merlons are still crushable, and bendable, but it is much tougher, much stronger, than mere 110# card stock. The paper towel tube's curve gives the merlons nice form, as well. Just be sure to use a black/gray marker on the edges of everything, to get rid of the white, which is blatantly obvious, and looks very bad. The black edging hides a multitude of sins, at arm's length.

I just found some towers in a tub, with their merlons crushed: bent them back, and they look fine, now. Those towers are 3+ years old, and no issues with the label paper peeling, yet… When/if they ever peel away, I will use a Q-tip to apply some PVA Glue, and press them down. Thinly applied PVA Glue, will bond paper and cardboard, within a few seconds. Easy to build, easy to repair, and loads of fun to game with!

If you look at my blog page with the Siege Engines, and the castle walls and square towers, you will see models built using just 110# card stock. I replaced all of them with label paper applied to 3mm-thick cardboard (from a framing shop, used to back pictures/paintings, within a frame). The Siege Towers in the photos can already be seen to be warping -- they were so weak, they did not last very long. The 3mm-thick, label paper clad, replacements, are 5+ years old, no warping, look as good today, as they did when I built them. I have label paper clad wall sections, and towers (both square and round), which are 5+ years old: no issues, look as good as when they were first made. I only use label paper for paper terrain, applying it to cardboard of some sort.

I did, however, learn that the wall sections, and the square towers, require reinforcement, with a square dowel glued to the insides of the main sections -- direction varies -- to keep the cardboard from warping. That has worked superbly for 5+ years. Cheers!

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