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Subject: A half size (not scale) ODE Ogre III mini rss

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Keith Carter
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When ODE was on Kickstarter I was not that interested in the 3-D constructed Ogre minis as I prefer the classic counters. However, as it turns out the constructed minis are nifty and I tend to use the classic counters for the units and the constructed minis for the Ogres when introducing someone to Ogre.

Recently I decided to experiment with scaling down the Ogre to the one hex it actually occupies. So I took the stretch goal #1 PDF with the constructed Ogre outlines, scaled it to 50% and sent a batch of them off to a laser cutting service. The picture below shows my first try and uses .3mm card stock. It is a bit on the thin side but it does work and it is relatively inexpensive while I learn the ins and outs of this new pursuit.

At this point I am trying to decide what to do differently on the next iteration. Black paper, try .5mm cardboard, try 1.5mm acrylic, print and paste on a colored interior, reduce the scale a little further since the Mark V will still occupy 1.5 hexes?

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Lance Moody
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Re: A half scale ODE Ogre III mini
Oh man...I thought half scale would mean something much different (and would have really been something to see!!)....but nice job, anyway!
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Keith Carter
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Re: A half scale ODE Ogre III mini
lancemoody wrote:
Oh man...I thought half scale would mean something much different (and would have really been something to see!!)....but nice job, anyway!


Ahh.... I should have said half sized not half scale?
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Andrew Walters
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Clever idea!

I have a Cricut here, I wonder how small I can make one...
 
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Keith Carter
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andreww wrote:

Clever idea!

I have a Cricut here, I wonder how small I can make one...


I think you might be able to make one out of .3mm card stock small enough to have a Mark III usable with Pocket Ogre. At 40% the Mark III would take up two hexes just like ones in ODE do on that map. At 20% it would fit in one hex. Which is an interesting idea because I have already taken the Classic Counter PDF and produced it at Pocket Ogre scale.

I would like to hear more about the Cricut. I looked it up. Looks like a light to medium light material cutter though they never actually say how it cuts. Blade? I am sending my stuff off to Ponoko and it is costing me about $16 - $19 a 171mm x 171mm sheet plus shipping (just sent off a 40% Mark III and Mark V on .5mm cardboard). It won't take long before I should consider acquiring my own cutter.
 
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Jeff Saxton
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If you want that sort of machine, the Cricut is pretty amazing. I have a friend who has one, it will scribe and cut up to 1/16" basswood, and on multiple passes, 1/8" leather. I just haven't bought one since I can have my friend make stuff instead.
 
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Andrew Walters
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It has a blade. You put your paper, card stock, vinyl, etc on a sticky mat that gets pulled into and out of the machine while the blade moves side to side. It's mostly marketed as a scrapbooking and crafting toy, but I'm using it for some gaming things and making little boxes, and I have an Ogre silhouette on my car. If I had more time to play with it I'd have more to show off. The Ogre thing shouldn't be hard since the graphics are already done. I'll post pictures, of course, when I can give it an hour...
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Keith Carter
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andreww wrote:

The Ogre thing shouldn't be hard since the graphics are already done.


What are the requirements for the file that drives the Cricut project?
 
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David Rock

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Bounder wrote:
andreww wrote:

The Ogre thing shouldn't be hard since the graphics are already done.


What are the requirements for the file that drives the Cricut project?


Well, that's the rub. If you are using an older Cricut, it's driven by cartridges, so not even an option for this. The newer Cricut Air is really what you are talking about and the way that works is a web-based (or tablet-based) interface where you can load up images. Cricut Design Space (the software) gives you the ability to upload most .jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif, .svg, and .dxf files for free, and converts them into cuttable shapes, then you can scale and cut from there. The newest version is supposed to be able to work offline too, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is.

There are other systems out there that are arguably easier than the Cricut, but a lot of it is a question of personal taste and depends on your use case. The Brother ScanNCut, for example, is better suited to using custom art, IMO, especially if you need to also draw on the shapes. The Cricut can define both cut and draw, but it's a little clunky getting customs stuff in to do it.

For something like just cutting out basic shapes of the Ogre components, they are all about the same.
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Keith Carter
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granitepenguin wrote:
Bounder wrote:
andreww wrote:

The Ogre thing shouldn't be hard since the graphics are already done.


What are the requirements for the file that drives the Cricut project?


Well, that's the rub. If you are using an older Cricut, it's driven by cartridges, so not even an option for this. The newer Cricut Air is really what you are talking about and the way that works is a web-based (or tablet-based) interface where you can load up images. Cricut Design Space (the software) gives you the ability to upload most .jpg, .bmp, .png, .gif, .svg, and .dxf files for free, and converts them into cuttable shapes, then you can scale and cut from there. The newest version is supposed to be able to work offline too, which doesn't sound like a big deal, but trust me, it is.

There are other systems out there that are arguably easier than the Cricut, but a lot of it is a question of personal taste and depends on your use case. The Brother ScanNCut, for example, is better suited to using custom art, IMO, especially if you need to also draw on the shapes. The Cricut can define both cut and draw, but it's a little clunky getting customs stuff in to do it.

For something like just cutting out basic shapes of the Ogre components, they are all about the same.


Thank you very much for the very informative reply. Very helpful.

It seems like the Cricut is creating the cutting shapes by doing something along the lines of Illustrator's trace function to convert raster(pixel) art to vector art. Is there any charge for the conversion?

Given that the Brother ScanNCut has SVG data readability I can see how it would be better suited to custom art.

The Ponoko service seems to work best with artwork that was vector to begin with. A black fill is an area engrave, a red line is a line engrave, and a blue line is a cut. Getting raster art to that point would take some work.
 
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Andrew Walters
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What granitepenguin said.

You log on to the website, upload gifs or whatever, go through a simple trace process, and add it to your shapes or projects or whatever. You have some control in the process, certainly enough. Then you line up your shapes on the grid and a lot of stuff I don't understand happens, and you press cut.

One neat new thing I have not played with is "Print Then Cut", where you design an entire graphic, which you then print. It comes out with registration marks and a bleed. You slap it on the mat and press the button and it cuts out the shape. This has possibilities but I haven't played with it yet.
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David Rock

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andreww wrote:
Then you line up your shapes on the grid and a lot of stuff I don't understand happens, and you press cut.


Yeah, it's the "stuff I don't understand" that makes me crazy. There are a lot of subtle things you have to get right when doing complex shapes+drawing. It treats different layers as separate, so you have to get all the bits in place, flatten the layers (IIRC, the term is "weld" in the software), etc.

You can do quite a lot, but I've pulled a lot of hair out wrangling some of the stranger stuff. I don't see how the target demographic can manage with this thing a lot of the time; maybe I expect too much coming from a CAD background.
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Andrew Walters
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I think the "target demographic" buys the projects they sell, and does the usual T-shirts and other relatively easy things, instead of building projects from scratch. Also, some of them are trying to make decorations and abstract things, not copies of things that already have an established shape. Also, some of the target demographic are a lot smarter than me.

Also, I think "weld" and "flatten" might be two different things. I think different layers are different cuts because they're intended to be different colors of paper, or whatnot. Which is neat for certain types of projects. I've never done any projects like that, though.

My desk is halfway clear and I had to cancel today's board gaming. Maybe I should set aside an hour to try the little Ogre...
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David Rock

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andreww wrote:

Also, I think "weld" and "flatten" might be two different things. I think different layers are different cuts because they're intended to be different colors of paper, or whatnot. Which is neat for certain types of projects. I've never done any projects like that, though.


I've done more than a few (mostly working out stuff for my wife). When you start doing the multi-layer stuff it does break up into different sheets for different colors. Where things get really weird is when it starts trying to maximize paper usage for you and reorders everything on the sheet. Sometimes that helps, sometimes not.

It was very helpful to be able to have one layer be artwork, and another layer be cuts. We used it for drawing volleyballs then just cutting out the circle. That would be very similar to drawing Ogre art then just cutting out the outline. The trick is you need to make sure the layers are attached so it draws in the same place that you cut; otherwise it will try to put them on two different sheets, which isn't what you want.
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Andrew Walters
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I think I had figured that out and forgotten that. Sometimes I do want something cut out of the middle of the sheet because I want the hole, not the part. So you have to tell it *not* to help you. Like a cat or toddler.

Super flexible software, but there's not really a manual and the videos focus on certain types of projects, not the capabilities in general.

Didn't do it today. Maybe tomorrow...
 
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Keith Carter
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Here is version two at the bottom right with a skin I illustrated and printed out onto presentation paper,manually cut out, glued to the laser cut pieces then assembled.



I learned quite a few thing that should make the next try go smoother. Overall my artwork is too dark and some of the detail like the rings near the top of the secondaries got lost. What looked fine at 100% ODE became sort of muddled when reduce to 50%. After cutting the printed pieces out I glued them to the laser cut pieces then tried to cut the slots and then edge the pieces with a black felt tip pen. The idea was that the slots in the laser cut pieces would provide a guide. As it turns out I got a lot of white where I stressed the paper cutting through. The printed piece and the laser cut pieces did not always line up edges evenly all the way around which made working with the black felt tip pen difficult. I should have done that work before gluing the artwork to the laser cut pieces. The printed paper added enough thickness to make the pieces too wide for the laser cut slots and I had to take a hobby knife and cut the slots wider.
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David Rock

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Still a very nice effort for a first pass.
 
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Keith Carter
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granitepenguin wrote:
Still a very nice effort for a first pass.

Yes, I am happy with the results. I am enjoying exploring the possibilities more than anything.
 
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Keith Carter
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My .5mm cardboard pieces done at 40% came in. I went with a .5mm material because the .3mm card stock had some flex to it and I hoped something 67% thicker would fix that. Alas no, the cardboard is a softer material and is a little weaker than the card stock. It is the type of cardboard one might find backing a cheap legal pad. Widening the slots by .25mm to account for the material change and the tightness of the slots in the first round worked out well. Here is how they compare to their ODE counterparts and armor.



The Mark V at 40% fills an ODE hex. This was the major reason for my change from 50% to 40%. The minor reason relates to the Ogre Pocket Edition map. The 40% Ogres are in the same proportion to the Ogre Pocket Edition map as the 100% Ogres are to the ODE map (or at least very close). The LGEV and MHWZ are the Classic Counter sheet done to Ogre Pocket Edition scale.



Not that I expect to play Ogre Pocket Edition with constructed Ogres very often. Then again I don't know that I will play ODE with one hex Ogres very often either, but the dual functionality is appealing.


An Ogre Mark V structural flaw

My first round effort was just the the Mark III. I was hoping to get good results for the Mark V this round but I did not. Part of it is that the cardboard was a softer material and less suited to the larger Ogre. The other was a problem with the structure of the laser cut pieces. The thickness of the piece at the waist over the connector to the body is too thin. In the production version the thickness of the piece at the waist includes most of the height of the external missiles as well as the body/deck and measures about 1/3". In the supplied PDF that part of the piece includes only the body/deck and measures only about 1/8" That is thin enough to create structural problems at 100%. At 40% that reduces the connecting thickness to 1.4mm, not enough to keep the upright from bending or staying flat against the deck/body. Here is the problem visually:



I will be making that area thicker for round three.


Going Large?

andreww wrote:

...I wonder how small I can make one...


Which is an appealing idea and I am still hoping to see you try. Please share the results. How about the converse, how large can I go? The Ogre piece outlines in the stretch goal PDF and the skin I drew are vector art and will scale without loss of resolution. I do have access to a 36" inkjet. That makes the theoretical upper end for a Mark III a whopping 74". See here a sample piece with the ODE box to give a sense of scale.



The challenge I probably can't (or won't) overcome is getting pieces cut. I am not up to it, it would be expensive, and what would I do with the thing? I think it would be more trouble than it is worth but it is fun to think about. I could try to do it with foam core (unless that is too soft). That would give me a 45" model.



More feasible but not much more practical. The only functional use I can think of is that I believe the width of the deck between the tread connectors is wide enough to fit an Ogre map. I could remove the upright pieces and use the bottom as an exotic if clumsy Ogre game table. I say clumsy because I think it would be too low for play from the floor, too high for play from a table plus the players would have to reach over the tread connector that sits on top of the deck. Hmmm....


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David Rock

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I have to admit I smiled at the thought of an Ogre Pocket Ed micro-sized 3D Ogre. It's looks perfectly at home on the map. :-)
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Keith Carter
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Re: A half size (not scale) ODE Ogre III mini /title edit/ and the 61% solution
My original title was quite short sighted. Since the initial 50% I have done the ODE stretch goal #1 Ogres at 40%, the Mark III at 1804%, and now I have a final solution for me at 61%. Why 61%? Because that was the best I could come up with to meet the conflicting priorities of Ogres Are Big without having the Ogre crowd out or sit on pieces in a second hex that the Ogre occupies but does not occupy. At 61% the Mark V is 1.32 ODE hexes long which leaves room for a classic counter which is .67 ODE hexes long. The Mark III is 1.01 ODE hexes long.



I am very happy to have been able to create 3D Ogre silhouettes to match the silhouette style of my classic counters at a good size compromise.



It is true that the other larger Ogres like the Mark VI or the Doppelsoldner would, if done at 61%, crowd out the classic counter in the second hex. However, I don't have access to those Ogres so the Mark V's length is the determining factor.
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