Pimp my Game

An infrequent blog, which usually contains lots of photo's, just to fill in the lack of information, and make it look nice and pretty. Which details how I pimped out some of my games and components.
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Letters from Whitechapel - Markers from Hell

Rob Robinson
South Yorkshire
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I fight lost wars, see light, fear sight
I open my mind, need flesh, fear mine
As much as I love LfW, the small, fluffy, fiddly cardboard tokens are a pain in the arse to use. They also tend to show wear after three to four games. Once I got fifteen or so games under my belt, my counters were worn pretty badly, and I wondered why the publisher didn't choose to make something more chunkier. Hmmmm it was time to see if I could scrounge some bits out of my spare parts boxes and make something better suited.

Previously I'd attempted to make another Time marker, I had a bunch of plastic red and white Backgammon pieces lying around:

I Gooogled, and photoshopped a Victorian stopwatch. Cutting chopping around it as best I could with a pair of kiddies paper scissors, and then applied it to the red Backgammon piece:

The result was more user friendly, although I mucked up the image resolution a little bit, giving the image a blocky, Lego appearance, but it was far more sturdier, weighty, and pleasant to handle than the fiddly original piece, and from then on, we used it all the time.

My Second attempt at making something a little more user friendly was to take a set of white wooden cone shaped pawns, and stick a red dot underneath, to use as the Wretched.

Although they worked pretty good, my wife had the same problem as me, the taper made the pieces a little slippery, and were very awkward to grab hold of. The blue Detective cones I fashioned in the same manner obviously had exactly the same issue, and I never found a suitable coloured sticker to place underneath to represent the brown detective. We occasionally used the white Wretched pawns, but I was looking for a better solution, something more thematic, so the remaining Backgammon tokens which were used for the Time marker seemed the best method to use, and were tipped out of the bag again.

I Googled a few images; Victorian Policeman's helmet, a woman's Victorian button shoe, and a red ball of some kind, and using Photoshop shrunk them to size, re-coloured the ball further, into brown, blue, green, yellow, printed them onto adhesive gloss paper, and pondered on the best way of cutting them out:

A method neater than clipping away with the old paper scissors needed to be found. Luckily I managed to get hold of a 1.5cm paper punch, which just happened to be the size my trial Markers were shrunk down to. When applied, the millimetre or or space from the edge of the sticker to the piece edge itself was a nice bonus, as I didn't want the sticker flush to the edge, like I had done with the original Time marker. The gap seems to help with stopping the edge from peeling, if you somehow don't get the image 100% centred. Most games I own seem to follow that same design pattern anyway.

Punching out was easy. From the top side the punch obscures everything, and lining up would take a fair bit of edge measuring. But the base of the punch has a clear confetti catching compartment, so you just use the punch upside down, with the image facing towards you. That way you can line up the punch perfectly for the Bleed edge, avoiding any white off-centre inconsistencies.

Unfortunately the Backgammon bits only came in red and off-white, which were perfect for the Time and Wretched markers, but the Detective tokens should be black, or at least a dark colour. Maybe I should have sent off for some wooden B&W tokens, but my nocturnal searches weren't coming up trumps with anything for that size, and I had a pile of old spray cans gathering cobwebs in the shed.

I thought I may as well use whatever cans I had laying around, and even bothered to apply a layer of undercoat to the pieces first:

Followed by a few layers of black silk spray:

If you look at the bottom black counter, you'll notice I even sprayed over a sticker. There was no need to use any image on the white blank discs, I just punched a blank bit out of the sheet itself and used that. Being rather tight with regards to ink usage, I couldn't be bothered printing out a black circle, so just stuck on a white piece and sprayed directly over the lot.

Peeling the stickers back with fingernails, is not something I would recommend. You'll almost always end up with a fluffy blunt edge or a creased sticker edge.

The best method is to keep the sticker as straight as possible, to prevent any cracking or creasing to the image itself, and bend the backing paper. As for removal of the backing itself, I find the best method is to use a craft knife or similar sharp blade, and slide the blade between the sticker and backing itself:

Then you can use the blade with the sticker still attached as a guide to help position the sticker more centrally than you could if you were using just the clumsy old thumb and forefinger method:

So without further ado, here are the results from my first attempt at the new batch:

I'm very pleased with the result. I can now easily re-sticker any of the Markers, if they should become so marked that they become obvious as to their identity.

You can download a PDF of the sticker sheet here.
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