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Angelos
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Good morning everyone!

After spending some serious money on Dawn of the Zeds (Third edition) (what a game! ), seeing the amount of tokens and different types of cards it contains and (possibly?) being influenced by the VPG logo which contained the words "Premier Line" (oooh!) I decided to do the same for the foamcore insert I knew I would end up creating.

That is, try for a "premier line" insert.... which turned out to be a failure. I thought I'd share my "lessons learned".

Concepts I wanted to implement:
- Full colour glossy stickers under each section to indicate what goes where
- Separate sections for each event deck to facilitate easy setup
- One bottom fixed tray, then removable trays for the top tray
- Use of cardboard wrapped with black vinyl sticker to create slim card separators (this actually worked quite nice!)

Result:


I looks good right? Here are the issues I discovered immediatelly after I installed:

- The glossy inkjet paper was sticky. The heroic civilian tokens placed in the bottom section would need to be pried off with a nail.
- The above applied even more so for the card sections. The bottom sleeved card would almost glue itself to the surface of the inkjet paper sticker. I opted to cover these with a transparent film (used to bind school books normally) and still it was not good enough. Ended up creating those square "risers" (that's a 5mm square of foamcore cut in half).

... and then I realised that foamcore does _not_ bind that well when I use the transparent film. As a result, the walls of my sexy large card tray came off in my hands the first time I picked it up:


Final note: Using a cardboard bottom is not necesarily a bad idea, provided the foamcore walls "stick" properly. The saving of 3.5mm (compared to using a piece of foamcore for the base) is quite nice for certain shallow game boxes:



Lessons learned:
thumbsdown Glossy inkjet paper as a tray base does _not_ work.
thumbsdown Wrapping the base with clear transparent film makes it even worse and the foamcore walls will not stick properly
thumbsdown Sticking pins to keep the walls in place is _not_ a solution in this case
thumbsup A plain cardboard base (perhaps with black paper overlayed) works quite nice.

I would love to hear some thoughts and ideas from any foamcore experts out there!


PS: Currently don't have the courage to redo another insert for this game. But I did find the time to put together a few tuckboxes with black cardboard, as well as purchasing a transparent chessex tray. The result is quite good I think:
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Mark Langford
United Kingdom
Burntwood
Staffordshire
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Why not use double sided 5mm sticky tape on the "shiny" covering to stick the walls onto? You can always use glue as well on the"wall" side if necessary but the sticky tape will love that shiny surface.

Forget the risers, just put an empty card sleeve in the card inserts first.

Pins may work if you use Gorilla glue on the pins. This will expand and grip the walls. Be careful to wipe off any excess around the base. I think stick tape and pins will work well.
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Adam L
United Kingdom
Gravesend
Kent
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I would hate to think that you don't try another foam core solution... so I want to encourage you to have another go.

It all depends on how "premier" you really want to go?

Having done loads of foamcore solutions, I have found these general principles to be helpful for me
(1) Foamcore works well with strong PVA (white) glue and pins.
(2) Printing on photo paper is normally ok - but if you're not sure and you want images at the bottom of each pile you could...
(a) laminate your images and just place them at the bottom of each section
(b) print on standard paper (or "matte" photo paper?) which can then be gently stuck to the bottom of each section (if you want) with pritt stick? (Pritt stick is much dryer than PVA)
(3) Sometimes I prefer to put my cards or tokens inside plastic boxes which fit inside each foam core section... this facilitates easy removal for players etc...
(4) I have not found plastic covering works well on foamcore. As a card/paper product, foamcore works best with simple water based pva.
(5) Using a thick cardboard as a base is something I have done too - that works fine.

I tend to avoid superglue, vinyl, plastic coating etc... as these require solvent based adhesives, and are much less forgiving.

If I want images to be high quality, I tend to print them on photo paper and then laminate them and leave them (loose) at the bottom of sections.

Hope that helps.
Please try again! When it works well... it can improve the game and definitely speed up set up / take down and game play.
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Jake Staines
United Kingdom
Grantham
Lincolnshire
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Sticky prints are just a feature of some inkjet papers, in my experience. I moved over to a laser printer years ago and I don't miss that kind of problem at all.

There's a number of things you can do to get around it, two of which stand out:

- Print on non-glossy paper and spray with an acrylic gloss lacquer to protect the printing. The lacquer should cure to a dry, non-tacky finish in 24 hours max.

- Print on whatever you like and then cold-laminate it with self-adhesive clear plastic, as you've tried here.

The problem with the clear plastic - which you'll also have to some degree with the spray-lacquer - is that PVA glues rely on soaking into the porous paper/cardboard a bit before they cure in order to provide a strong join. If they can't soak into one side, then they won't glue properly - which is why PVA is useless for gluing two bits of metal or plastic together, for example. And why it works fairly well with foamcore, which is nothing if not porous! Something like gorilla glue won't help a great deal here, because it still relies on a porous surface to expand into. You might get away with a strong epoxy glue but it still wouldn't be as strong as PVA between unfinished cardboard and foamcore.

One solution here is to just not apply the finish to the parts of the base that you plan to stick walls down to. You may even be able to pin your walls in place and run a sharp knife down the surface to peel off the protective layer and maybe even the glossy inkjet paper.

In my opinion the better solution is to put the graphics in after the walls are stuck, not before. If you're super careful you can do this with label paper, but a perfectly good solution is to just print your graphics and stick them to bits of thin card which are exactly the same size as the floor of each section in your foamcore insert, then drop them into the sections. Just being the same size as the well will keep them in place most of the time, but if you need extra certainty you can glue them in. Like this, you can print and protect your graphics however you like on whatever paper you like.



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Dave Bennett
United Kingdom
Cornwall
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Definitely agree on the cardboard instead of foam for the bases. Every insert I've done I've used that. Where you have trays in trays and multiple levels you save quite a bit of vertical space. And the card (I use mountboard type stuff) is as stiff as the foam anyway.
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Adastra
Germany
Düsseldorf
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I tend to use 3mm foam core for bases, and 5mm for the rest of my inserts. It saves a little bit of space and is just as sturdy.
 
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Gretchen Fontenay
United States
Apison
TN
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It might be best to glue the foam core together and then add any images to the sections. I have to reccommend the white glue and pins technique as it's worked very well for me.
 
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