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Triumphs and Tribulations of a PnP Gamer

An attempt to chronicle my PnP efforts and give others an opportunity to tell me what I am doing wrong.
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BSG Express - Making the Cards

Peter Wiles
United States
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I'll first go through the process that I used for making the cards. There are two people who were highly influential to my process, do lets pay due props first.

First, Nick Hayes has a very nice tutorial here where he describes a method for creating cards that have a lovely linen texture.

The main difference between his method and mine is that I don't use linen card stock. Instead, I use plain linen paper (24 lb white - Southworth). By itself, this would not be very stiff, so what I do is glue a sheet of plain printer paper (currently using Staples brand 20 lb multipurpose paper) between the linen sheets. The end produce is closer to the thickness of regular playing cards than you would get using card stock.

The other influential tutorial was given by Sean Forrester. His post provides a nice method for making sure that the front and back are registered correctly. Before I read this, I used to line the front and back at a window and then I would get some tape and tape the sheets together. This method is much easier. Now, for BSG express, the cards are already in this format, so I didn't have to use Sean's nice template. Still, I refer you to his post to read.

Now lets get to the pictures. It always starts with a printout. Here are the pages you need to print for the cards:

This is a pretty card-light game, so you only need 5 pages (a total of 18 cards).

Now, before I do any assembly, I want to seal the card faces. The stuff I use is called "Kryon Triple Thick Crystal Clear Glaze". It looks like this:

So far I am pretty happy with this stuff. It leaves a pretty slick surface that both shuffles and fans pretty well. The trick is that you need to really coat the surface. Do not do several light coats! If you do, the surface will actually be more "gritty." Also, don't spray too far away.

I have a spraying station where I do all of my spraying (both sealing and gluing). I took a large box and cut along two of the edges so one of the faces folds down.

The problem with spraying is that if you want to spray multiple things, you risk getting the subsequent items all sticky. My solution to this problem is to put down a few bricks to elevate the item from the bottom of the box. Since the paper that I am spraying has a bigger footprint than the brick, the brick never gets any spray on it. This frees me to place the next thing on it without fear of getting anything messy. Just look at the box, the inside is nasty!, wouldn't want my nice printouts sitting in there. Here is a picture of the setup and a picture of a sheet that is about to be sprayed:

I usually let the spray dry for about a day before I move on to the actual card assembly step.


Fast forward to the next day. First, score the cards along the fold line. There is enough bleed on these cards that being a micron off won't make it look bad.

Next I put the card sheet upside down and spray-glue the back of it. I am using Super-77. This works really well, but it is unforgiving if you make mistakes. Before fold it up, though, I grabbed a sheet of printer paper and lay it over half.

I then fold over the other half, sandwiching the printer paper between the front and back sides. Normally I would have cut the printer paper in half, but I was a bit lazy that day...

The next stage is rolling.

This is an old pie roller that has since been replaced in the kitchen with a nicer french roller, so I now use this one for my paper projects. I give it a good going over, making sure everything is tightly sealed.

Here are all the glued sheets.

After they have had a chance to dry set for a while (I think I gave it a day... maybe less), I then get to cutting. Remember to cut with the back side up. If there were registration errors, you don't want them to be seen in the cardback!

I have a corner rounder that is passably good. Here is a picture of it:

I have been a bit frustrated with it because every once in a while it cuts too deeply into the card, leaving a nasty notch. I'm not sure what causes it, but I now make sure to tap it good after each punch to make sure there isn't any debris in there. It is such a hassle to have to go back and redo all the steps just to replace one card.

Punch away and you are done:

Okay, next post I will outline making the board and tokens.
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