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Subject: 7 Wonders Foamcore Solution for Base, Expansions & Promos rss

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Colin Marsh
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the new release of Babel for 7 Wonders has really rejuvenated the game for me. that isn't to say that i didn't like the game before but this expansion, more so than any previous one, has done a really good job of making this feel like a distinctly different game without taking away from any of the mechanics that made this game so great to begin with. where occasionally i'll decide to leave out cities or leaders, i can't imagine not wanting to always include at the very least the tower from the babel expansion. given that, i knew i wanted to create a foamcore insert that would accommodate all of the expansions within the original base box. i have managed to do that and put together this post to provide instructions on to recreate what i designed.

a few items of note:

1. this insert will accomodate all of the following: 7 Wonders (Base), the original Mannekin Pis(Brussel) promo board, the Leaders expansion, the Catan Wonder promo board, the Cities Expansion, the Wonder Pack expansions & the latest Babel expansion (16 boards total). i currently own several of the promo leaders - Esteban, Stevie & Louis. There is room left in the cards tray to accomodate the remainder I believe. I have not left room for the scoring pad as i find scoring the game very enjoyable without it. i am able to include all the instruction books in a single language.

2. i sleeve all of my cards using the Mayday Games 65 x 100 mm premium gold sleeves - specifically these ones here. If you do not sleeve your cards or use a different sleeve, i can't say how they will fit. i will say that the sleeves i use seem very thick so i would be surprised that any sleeved cards wouldn't fit in what i put together. if your cards are not sleeved, the tray will certainly be too large and you'll need to insert something as a buffer.

3. credit needs to go to BGG user mauigreen who put together the divider cards. i could not design anything near this nice. you can link to the download files for his dividers here. i used only one divider for each age as well as one for guilds, cities, leaders & wonders.

4. the stickers that i printed out and put on the tray bottoms were created both from photos I took of the components as well as from images I got from the Repos website. i've requested permission to post them and I will once / if i receive it.

materials:

i use two types of foamcore for the majority of my solutions. one is the standard black 5 mm foamcore from Elmers. you can get this pretty much anywhere; it is very easy to find. the white foamcore board i use though is not 5 mm but 1/8 of an inch. this is very important if you are trying to replicate this solution. if you were to build this with 5 mm white foamcore for the tray bottoms, your trays in total would be 3 to 4 millimeters taller than mine. i realize that sounds like very little but i suspect it would be the difference between being able to close the box and not.

1/8" foam core can be somewhat difficult to find. i have gotten it at Joann's before but I'm not able to find it on their website and when I've asked for help at any of my local stores, i've had little luck. (and a fair amount of rudeness but that's another matter entirely). I've also checked Michael's and as far as I can tell they never carry it. i have been able to find 1/8" foamcore at framing stores. this is the best way I can suggest to get a hold of it. there are several stores on line like this one that sell 1/8" white but you need to buy in larger quantities than most people will want to.

other than that everything i used is very easy to obtain: standard Elmers Glue, X-Acto Knives whose blades I change pretty regularly, some pins and a cutting mat. the stickers i made for the bottoms of the trays were printed out on clear label sheets at my local kinkos.

Solution Layout

all of the trays are removable and sit inside a single large tray which I built from the 1/8" foamcore. it is 278 mm square with 78 mm walls. this measurement does NOT include the height of the base itself. in general when i talk about wall height, i'm not including the height of the tray bases.

the cards sit in a separate tray which fills the entire depth of the box. it is the only tray that has walls of very different heights. in the visio PDF I have linked i indicated the height of the walls referring to them as north south east & west. this assumes you orient the cards in the box the way i have. i've included several photos that should make this very clear.

outside of the card tray, the solution is designed with 3 levels: the first level holds the wonder boards, the majority of the core base components - coins, military tokens & participation tokens as well as a small tray which holds some of the Great Projects bonus & penalty tokens. the second level holds the great project cards, the Cities debt tokens as well as the free building tokens from the Babel expansion. the trays in this level are very shallow. This is due to needing a very large tray to accommodate the great project cards which are quite thin when stacked up. the third level contains the tower of babel tiles and the remainder of the babel bonus & penalty tokens. there is room for additional trays left over in the middle of the 3rd level. that said, i found it easier to use this space to store the 3 diplomacy tokens from Cities along with the unique token for the courtesan's guild.

on a few of the larger & deeper trays i cut out a slot of make it easier to remove the components. this is not explicitly called out in the visio pdf so i've included some pictures and instructions on exactly how i did that.

Photos



this is the empty card tray. here you can see that the walls are 3 different heights: there is a small lip in the front, a shorter wall on the left side of the box to allow room for the tabs and two full size walls on the back & right sides. here's how it looks once the dividers & sleeved cards are loaded in:



Here's the first level in the box with the card tray. The tray with the currency & military tokens is compact so that you can put it in the center of your table for easy access. the small tray between the cards and the wonder boards holds some of the babel tokens.



the wonder board tray is notched on one of the sides so that the boards can be removed easily. this is not indicated in the visio pdf but i can explain how to measure and create this. the cutting mat i have has a grid on it towards the center. i used the width of one of the single squares for the difference between the length of the long side of the wall and the short side of the wall. this distance is about 12 mm. the base length of two walls of the wonder board tray is 118 mm. after cutting those two out, measure back 12 mm on the top of the wall and make a straight line between the bottom of the wall and that mark on the top. i find that regardless of the wall depth, that difference creates a nice angle. you can see it here:



the second level has the very shallow trays driven by the large great projects tray. i created two other shallow trays so as not to waste space. generally shallow trays are not ideal for tokens but the two i added here work pretty well and in fact the debt tokens fit just fine. these small trays can be a bit hard to get a hold of to get out of the box so i'm trying to come up with a way to add some tabs or some other item to grab to make pulling them out easier.



The third level is made up of two interlocking L-rooms. these are a bit of a pain to cut out of foamcore so some patience will be required. i first cut out a square in the full dimensions & then cut out a portion to create the L. you will probably end up cutting a little two far to get the cut-out removed but once you glue the walls around the edges that won't be visible and it has no effect on the strength of the tray once it's done. the two L rooms are very different in size with one holding the 24 babel tiles and the other holding the remaining babel bonus & penalty tiles.



The notches for the babel tray are created using the same 12 mm offset between the longer & short side of the notched walls. because these trays are shallower, the angle will thus be wider. this works though because with a shallower tray you want more width so it's easy to get a finger in to pop them out. in this case the measurements of the base wall lengths are 72 mm for the notch walls on the top of the left side of the below picture & 80 mm for the ones on the bottom side of the L. You'll note that to avoid wasting space i store the science bonus tokens in between two of the babel tile stacks. These nestle in quite nicely.



once all 3 levels are in the box i drop the diplomacy tokens & the courtesan's guild token into the empty space on the third level. there is a enough room left over to store all of the instruction booklets and to top off the box with the babel board.




the other little detail i like to add to my foamcore solutions are colored stickers on the bottoms of the trays. in some cases these are really functional and help people put the game away. in all reality though, i mostly do them because i think they look nice and they are pretty fun to put together. i create them through a combination of images downloaded from the internet as well as photos i take of the components and then edit in GIMP. once i have them as i want them in GIMP, i export them to TIFF format & then use Open Office Draw to create a printable PDF. I print them on the stock 1-up transparent labels at kinkos.



Closing

If anyone has any questions on this or there are some details I left out, feel free to GM me. I will post a PDF of the visio document but cannot upload the visio itself as it's against site rules. if it's helpful for someone to have an you don't mind providing me your email address I will email it to you.

i also wanted to thank user Tangoa who was nice enough to tell me that Antoine Bauza tweeted a link to one of the images I uploaded for this solution. it was quite the geek honor to get this mention and i would not have known about it as i'm not much of a social media guy.

File Links

Here's the link to the files page which currently has the Visio PDF. I have gotten permission from AB to post the art for the stickers which I will do now so hopefully that will be up later today or tomorrow.

Edits: Added links, fixed typo



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That looks really cool.

Quick question: wouldn't you want the coin sections near the top since you're guaranteed to use them, as opposed to the Babel great project reward tokens which are far less likely to be used?
It makes sense that the core items are on the bottom yet I would think you want to place the least used tokens in an area that's less convenient to access.
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Thats impressive
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Colin Marsh
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Amoirsp wrote:
That looks really cool.

Quick question: wouldn't you want the coin sections near the top since you're guaranteed to use them, as opposed to the Babel great project reward tokens which are far less likely to be used?
It makes sense that the core items are on the bottom yet I would think you want to place the least used tokens in an area that's less convenient to access.


the 3 levels of the solution are more or less interchangeable. at the moment i always play with Babel so it being on top isn't an issue for me. that said it would be easy to rearrange it the way you describe.
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Ali Shaw

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Wow - that's super nice. Well done.
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Andrew Tenga

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Honorable mention FTW! Thanks Colin, love this tutorial, hope I get the time to work on it soon!
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Brad Rodney
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Hey, I just finished duplicating this project over the last few days. I wanted to say thanks for your template and instructions. I also noted the issue with removing the trays once they were complete, and I solved it by pinning some folded ribbon to the side of each tray to act as a pull tab. If you haven't already, I find it to be a rather elegant solution. Thanks again.
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Maui Chris
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nice job! that is one full game box
 
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Colin Marsh
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FirehandX wrote:
Hey, I just finished duplicating this project over the last few days. I wanted to say thanks for your template and instructions. I also noted the issue with removing the trays once they were complete, and I solved it by pinning some folded ribbon to the side of each tray to act as a pull tab. If you haven't already, I find it to be a rather elegant solution. Thanks again.


brad,

i'm always really happy to hear that my plans helped someone out. would you mind posting a photo of the ribbons on the trays? it does sound like an elegant solution and i can imagine using it not only on this design but others as well.

Happy New Year!
 
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Sorry it took so long to reply. These are the pull tabs I was describing.
 
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Colin Marsh
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those look great. how long are the pins holding them in ?
 
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Jate Ceren
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Nice job! I am working on designs for a box to hold every expansion (and fan-expansion) After 7 Wonders: Ages is done. (http://boardgamegeek.com/blog/5492/7-wonders-ages)
 
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Brad Rodney
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I used regular sewing pins. It didn't matter how long they were because I just inserted them into the floor panel on each container.
 
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Rocka Rolla
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Well, I'm building this one, and I can relate to not wanting to carry around more than 1 box per game. +1 geek gold

DISCLAIMER FOR OWNERS OF THE GERMAN EDITION: After copying this great insert, I have noticed one little difference: The 19mm for the babel tray are not enough. You need 20mm as the tiles are just that little bit thicker. Otherwise, the tiles will stick out on top and everything wobbles.
This also means one mm taller walls for the neighboring trays AND the card tray so that everything fits together nicely.
I generally double check that stuff before building though, so there wasn't a problem.
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Gabriel DOSPINESCU
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Excellent work! Thank you for arts files for the stickers.

It inspires me a bit, but not too much because it not enough space for the future extension: ARMADA (7 wonders tiles, 24 cards and 1 mat tile),
So an extra 7 mm for wonders tiles is needed and 2 mm for the mat.

I've started mine and it looks like that:


I will come with the complete description of my insert once finished.

Check here:

https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2066807/another-foamcore-co...
 
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Gabriel DOSPINESCU
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Thank you for art files! Awsome. I printed but not on transparent (I haven't) but on white labels.
So I need to cut them very narrow to stick them on the black insert without white spaces

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