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"d20 Globe Project - old DM article, issue 48" Topic

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898 hits since 11 May 2021
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Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP12 May 2021 12:55 p.m. PST

I bought several 1-inch hex grid sheets, from The Armory, back in the late 1980's with the idea of putting together a d20 globe of my game world, using the pattern found in Dragon Magazine issue 48, pages 28-29, "Getting a world into shape," by Karl Horak.

Image of the article.

I drew up my world map on one of the sheets, then I employed some tricks I learned in my Middle School industrial arts -- printing class: if you use cellophane tape to hold artwork (letters, photo's, etc.) onto a master copy sheet, the tape, and the edges, will not show up in a photocopy (or on a printing plate made with a Process Camera). I printed out labels for land masses, oceans and seas, and even the Equator, and the Tropic of Humanis (northern hemisphere) and the Tropic of Draconis (southern hemisphere). I made these labels using a word processor, printed them out on white paper, then I cut them out, and I mounted them on my camera art copy, using Scotch Tape.

I ran the camera art copy through a large format photocopier (these are available at office supply companies, such as Office Max, and similar places). I made several copies, so I would not need to come back if I ran into problems in the process.

I colored one copy with pencils: the water, the land masses, etc. It was a t-e-d-i-o-u-s process… Back then, when I did this (early 1990's), all I had access to was a B&W large format copier. Modern large format copiers can enlarge/reduce, and they are capable of color!

I attempted to mount 1mm thick cardboard on the backs of the triangles, to provide support. I further covered the front surface (colored pencils) with clear Con-Tact Paper (translucent vinyl cupboard shelf liner, Wal-Mart), which would protect it from water, and it would allow me to use water-based pens to mark it, if necessary.

The vinyl covering made it durable, but it also made it difficult to handle. The 1mm thick cardboard was nowhere near strong enough. I successfully stapled some of the tabs together, to form it into a d20, as a test, but then I realized it would never hold together, properly.

Image of my first, failed, attempt.

Fast forward to today. I hatched a new plan to cut up triangles out of MDF, to glue to the back, inside the d20. I need a Chop/Miter Saw to make these accurately, and I hope to pick one up, within the next two weeks. I will cut strips of MDF on my Table Saw, mark them for the triangular cuts needed, then make those with the Chop Saw.

The old map is pretty hashed. I will take one of the copies of it, and experiment with water color paints to color it: much faster than coloring with pencils, will give better texture to the map, and it will have more vibrant colors. I will take the colored copy to the local office supply store, to make new, color copies (will be flat, unlike the dried, painted original), and then I will proceed with one of these for the next step.

I will cover it with clear Contact Paper again, then I will use an X-bead of PVA/Wood Glue to attach the MDF triangles to the inside of the form, pressing them with some books, until they dry. I will then Hot Glue the triangles together along the edges: much faster, easier, and less mess, than using PVA/Wood Glue.

When fully assembled, I will have a d20 globe of my fantasy world. It is really to inspire me, the DM, as opposed to inspiring my players. They have only visited two continents of my world [all campaigns have been placed in Cegia (size of Continental USA); there have been a few toe-dips into Sauria (Eur-Asia sized continent)], in the past 30+ years. I do not expect them to visit any of the other regions, but who knows. If they voice an interest, I will need to come up with the cultures for those regions… Woo-Hoo!!!

I will post updates as the project progresses. Cheers!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2021 7:22 p.m. PST

Bought some school watercolor paints at Wal-Mart, tonight. First tried experimenting on a corner cut-off of one of my map copies. Soon realized I needed to experiment on a copy of the map. Ran off a copy of one of the large island groups on my map, to try some real techniques, on real images I need to paint.

Here are some samples of what I achieved:

1. Original photocopy, colored with pencils, covered with clear Contact-Paper.
2. Watercolor painted photocopy of a section of the final map.
3. Left: color photocopy of watercolor painted map; Right: original watercolor painted copy.
4. Watercolor set of school paints, from Wal-Mart. Used the included brush -- why not?

Thoughts, comments, input?

I did discover that if I am careful, I can control where the watercolors go. I also discovered that I need to be very careful wielding the brush, as well as managing the water content of the brush!

Furthermore, I discovered that I need to do something with the lettering of the oceans, and likely the land masses, as well: the watercolor tends to wipe them out! More experimentation is necessary. I am thinking that if I ran over them with colored pencils, it might keep the watercolor paint from covering them up? Gotta try -- only way to know. I could also outline them with a different, lighter color, to outline them, and to protect them -- would work more for the oceans, would not work for the land masses. Hmmm… Cheers!

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP24 May 2021 1:22 p.m. PST

I got some feedback on two other forums. They suggested using Windsor & Newton water-based inks, in place of watercolor paints: truly transparent, easier to work with.

I suspect I will use both: the more opaque watercolor paints will work well enough for rendering the mountains, and possibly some grassland regions; the truly transparent inks will work superbly to color the vast oceans, and the bigger swaths of continental regions. I hope to use a mixture of lighter and darker blue inks, to show ocean depths, to a degree. Essentially I want to show the continental shelves around the continents, as much as possible. Hoping to pick up some water-based inks, tonight, at Michael's.

One person posted this image, which was done with watercolor paints. I hope to re-create the white borders (white pencil to repel the ink/watercolor paints?), as that has a really nice effect…



Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP25 May 2021 8:03 p.m. PST

As My Stomach Churns! Episode #23:

So I bought some watercolor Inks: transparent Daler Rowney Aquafine Inks, Leaf Green, Cadmium Yellow, and Phthalo Blue. Gorgeous colors, fun to play with. The Phthalo Blue is uber-dark. I will need to experiment with diluting it with water, to see if I can lower the pigment density -- a lot!

Ink Bottles

I played with applying them, using my $0.04 USD School Paint Brushes, 30 in a pack. I was genuinely surprised how easy it was to control the application of the ink! I really could color within the lines, with minimal effort! I experimented, and I learned that the Leaf Green, overlaid with Phthalo Blue, gives a nice turquoise green color, which I like for demarking the Continental Shelf regions, around the land masses.

Land Mass Image #1

I experimented with overlaying the Cadmium Yellow and the Leaf Green, on the land masses, for grasslands, and mountains. I think I will avoid overlaying them, one atop the other.

The Phthalo Blue is very strong in coverage, even though these are transparent inks! I think I will experiment next using a white colored pencil, to fill in, and around, the Ocean and Land Names, hoping that the water-based inks will not penetrate, leaving a white aura surrounding the names, allowing them to clearly stand out.

Land Mass Image #2

Tune in next time, same craft channel, same craft time, for more of… As My Stomach Churns! [Sponsored by your favorite anti-acid supplier -- tablets not included.]

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP16 Jun 2021 2:19 p.m. PST

Finally tried using white colored pencil over the letters, then I applied the ink, full strength: photo link. It is better, but the ink is still very strong, and it is still mostly covering the pencil coating.

I logged into the Daler-Rowney site, to check out their range of Aquafine acrylic inks. I found a better blue color that I like (Coeruleum Hue), but it is listed as opaque! The Phthalo Blue I am using, is listed as transparent, and it mostly covers the underlying toner imagery… I expect that the opaque Coeruleum Hue would completely hide the underlying black toner imagery…

Time to experiment with watering down the Phthalo Blue ink, to see if I can lighten it up. Also, time to search YouTube for information on these acrylic inks, and how to vary their pigmentation levels to decrease their overpowering coverage.

I really was hoping the waxy colored pencil coating would repel the water-based ink. Only a tiny amount of joy in that prospect. Cheers!

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