Okay, so I want to add more detail to the boards than just tile squares. As I posted in an earlier post, a couple people have been adding a 5mm spacing between each tile, so they can add flocking and battle debris and other cool stuff built into the tiles.
The instructions on the Hirst Arts website for the 1st Ed Journey in the Dark covers four 12"x12" cork tiles to make the whole set of tiles, but if I put gapping between the tiles, I can't use his layout. So I made my own!
I worked out I could put 10 gapped squares wide and high onto a 12" cork tile, with aprox 5mm spacing attached to every square. Most people are simply putting the space between the squares on the inside, but having squares flush with the outside of the room or passage. It's important though, that the 5mm gapping is attached to EVERY square, even the ones on the outside of the room or passageway, otherwise some square are 1" + 5mm, and some squares are only 1" in size. This would lead to all manner of problems when constructing a map layout, because if you did a winding map that circles around and reconnects to the original tile again, the final tile won't line up with the first tile, because the squares of the board are not exactly evenly spaced.
So, what I did was build on a 30.4mm grid, which is aproximately 1" + 5mm per square. The 1" squares can then be centered in each 30.4mm square, to create an evenly gapped tile. The gap border around the outside of tile would only be about 2.5mm wide, but when sat next to another tile, border gap to border gap, creates another 5mm gap - so every square on a finished board layout will have exactly 5mm gap between them, looking completely uniform in appearance!
I needed a bit of help working this out, so what I did, was I used GIMP (a free drawing graphics program) to draw the shape of every tile from the board game, on a 1" grid, at 10 x 10 squares. I managed to fit all the boards perfectly on six images. Here's an example of one 10" x 10" image:
I then filled each different tile with a different colour, to show them clearly.
Then I wrote a little Blitz 3D program that loads the tile images, and cuts out each square, and adds a 5mm gap to their write and bottom. Then saves as a new image. The new image is exactly 12"x12" in size!
I then loaded up these images into GIMP again, and drew a small black outline around the outside of every tile. The result was coloured squares with dark grey gaps between them, outlined to show the layout of each of the game's tiles, with a 5mm gapping.
Further, I segmented each tile into smaller pieces. The reason for this, is that I want to make 3D pit, water and lava tiles, that are embedded into the boards, rather than sitting counters on top of the boards. (I want the whole map in 3D!) So by cutting each tile into smaller groups of squares, I can construct the room and passage shapes, with gaps where water, pits and lava can go, or I can still construct them in their original shapes!
So here's what a segmented and gapped 12" x 12" tile shape looks like:
Now, the coloured squares are not centered - they are in the top left of each square location, with the 5mm gap drawn down the right and bottom sides of each square. What we want is for each plaster tile to be glued centered so that the gap is even between them and around the outside of each segment.
The idea is to glue each 12" x 12" illustration onto a 12" x 12" cork tile. Then cut out all the small segments, along the black cutting lines.
To glue on the plaster pieces centered, all you have to do is glue it on so that it is halfway on top of the gap to the right and the bottom, and an even sized border of the coloured square is along the top and along the left. In other words, Treat each colour square and its adjacent right/bottom gap border as a single square location, and glue the plaster tile centered on top of it.
Things like the small hole with wooden boards going across it would need to be glued onto the 3x3 square pieces, with the hole in the middle, to make those scenery features work.
The 2x2 and 2x1 plaster pieces are a little bit trickier. You need to carefully 'snap' the plaster pieces along their cracks, to seperate them into smaller plaster bits, allowing you to glue them across 2x2 and 2x1 segments with the 5mm gapping maintained. I haven't got my plaster bits in the mail yet, but I imagine using a hobby knife, your could score inside of the cracks of those tiles, and then they should snap better. If they break more roughly, it shouldn't matter, because the idea of those tiles is that they are cracked and broken tiles anyhow, so it should look fine painted up either way.
Finally, here are my six 12" x 12" cork tile final templates in PDF format. Because A4 is smaller than 12" x 12", each tile is 4 pages. Cut each page out ensuring straight edges, then glue them together touching, to fill the surface of the 12" x 12" cork tile. Make sure there is glue under every square of the paper, because then, after cutting out all the 3x3, 2x2 and 1x1 segments from the cork tile, you can glue the plaster pieces right on top, using the image to help you center them and position them!
Here's dropbox links to the six pdfs. Once I get the plaster, and actually assemble the whole set, I'll then create the water, lava and pit templates for making them in 3D as well!