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"Has anyone seen my D20?"

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Arts and Crafts

Paint It!

To celebrate my birthday yesterday a few people came over so we could paint miniatures and watch some nerdy movies (The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, and The Gamers: Hands of Fate which were both purchased at Gencon a few weeks ago). I love painting miniatures. I don’t do it very often, but every time I do I have a blast and I’d like to make it more of a regular thing. As with all things I plan to link it to the podcast in one way or another.

One idea I had was to allow people to throw out suggestions of what I should paint. I can’t make any promises as to my skill, but I can at least paint a mimic, purple worm, or blacksmith if that’s what fans want.

So throw out a suggestion and watch me fail at painting a mini of your choice.

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Gaming Arts and Crafts Corner

Ever since I started playing Heroclix again at my friendly local gaming store I’ve been adding more and more of the figures to my collection with each passing week. Back in college my roommate introduced me to the game, but until recently I hadn’t player for quite some time. After a couple of sealed tournaments and buying a few boosters on my own I’ve got more than sixty new figures who are quickly piling up on my desk. Part of the appeal of Heroclix is that the figures make a nice display piece, but I don’t want to be forced to have them all scattered around my house. I have a nice carrying case for my Dungeons and Dragons miniatures, but the bases of of the Heroclix are to large to fit into the foam inside of it. The simplest solution would of course be to cut the foam to shape but I’d still fill the case up and find myself being forced to buy a new one every few months if I did that.

It seems as though most players go out and buy plastic containers that they then use to store their figures. In fact I still have an old plastic tub of older figures upstairs. Hardware stores and craft stores have plastic containers with dividers built into them readily available for a fair price, but those don’t appeal to me for a couple of reasons. They’re all pretty simple looking so if you want to make them look a bit nicer all you can do is put stickers on them or find some other more creative way to decorate them. There’s also the risk of damaging your figures. Even with the dividers there just isn’t enough room in most of them to house every one of your figures, so they end up jammed together rattling around like the Juggernaut in an office complex. Inevitably this will damage some of them, it might bend a delicate feature or snap off a limb, both of which could prove very upsetting if it’s one of your favorites.

In an attempt to create something more pleasing to the eye that will provide better protection I broke out my arts and crafts supplies yesterday so I could set to work. For the initial attempt I decided to try and make a container for the Kaine figure which was included in the Amazing Spider-Man set. Kaine has always been an interesting character from the Spider-Man family and I had a clear picture of what I wanted his container to look like. I glued five pieces of cardboard together into a box shape, then I pasted some images of Kaine onto the outside to cover up the plain cardboard. The final result was very pleasing to the eye and I think I’ve ended up with something that’s pretty unique. Most of the images I chose were from “The Face of Kaine” issue, that’s always been one of my favorite story lines for the character. We finally see what Kaine has been hiding beneath that mask for so many years, and it contains what is hands down my favorite interaction between Peter Parker and Kaine that has ever appeared in any comic to date.

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Here’s an image of the finished container alongside of the Kaine figure itself just to give you an idea of the scale size.

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I apologize for the blurriness of this image, I kept trying to get a better one but I couldn’t manage it. This is the underside of the base. I didn’t want to leave it blank so I put a picture of Kaine’s face on it instead.

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This is a word bubble from the same issue I used for most of these images. I really liked it because it explains the character’s motivations and state of mind so well with just a few words that I couldn’t resist having it on the box. You can also see the original Scarlet Spider swinging onto the scene. These two characters had so many ties to one another I though he deserved a small place, especially given Kaine’s recent adventures.

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Running along the of this side you’ll see Kaine’s face while the rest is given over to his cape and the title of my favorite Kaine issue. It was a cool font, and I think it’s a good throwback to when so much of Kaine’s past was a complete mystery.

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A rear shot that gives us a clear shot of Kaine as he unmasks for the first time ever!

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Kaine’s costume/armor is cool, it’s god this look of corrupted webbing that makes it really interesting visually. I finished this side with a nice shot of his armor and a bold declaration by Kaine.

SO there you have it my first finished container, which Kaine is now resting in peacefully. I’ve already got several more blank boxes already finished, but I haven’t printed out any comic panels for them yet since my printer decided to run out of ink. When I finish them I may post more images.

Obviously carrying around dozens of these containers isn’t practical so I’m also planning to convert this larger box into a storage unit for the smaller containers. It’s also going to get the artistic treatment so that it isn’t plain and boring looking.

Just in case any of you would like to make some of your own I provided a list of the materials I used to make mine and step by step instructions. It’s a very simple process and it only takes about an hour, a lot of that time is spent waiting for the glue to dry so that your cardboard will hold together. The gaming community is filled with so many talented people I’m sure many of you will be able to improve on my simple method, but I’m still proud of it and happy with the final results.

Pleased be warned that this project does require you to use sharp tools so be careful while you are doing so. If any younger readers want to give this a try you should ask your parents to help you out with the actual cutting.

Time: Approximately 30-45 Minutes per container

Tools and Materials
1) Scissors.
2) X-acto knife.
3) Elmer’s Glue, or any other sort of glue I find Elmer’s worked very well though.
4) Cardboard, I used some I had around the house from a couple of packages that were delivered.
5) A ruler.
6) Comic book panel printouts, choose your favorites images of the character you’re making the container for.
7) A cutting mat, or any stable flat surface you can cut against without damaging it.

Instructions

1) If necessary your scissors cut the cardboard your are planning to work with until you can lay it flat on your cutting surface.

1) Using your X-Acto knife rim the edges of your cardboard along a straight line so that you are working with a straight edge. You don’t need to worry about measuring it at this point in the process but cutting a larger piece will leave you with more material to work with.

2) Using your X-Acto knife cut out a square of card board measuring 2 inches wide by 2 inches long, this will be used as the base for your container. If you are making a base for a larger figure you may want to increase the size, I’ve most of mine on this size though and so far they’ve all fit.

3) Using the knife cut out four pieces of cardboard measuring 2 inches wide by four inches tall. These will be used to make the sides of your container.

4) Trace a thin line of glue along one of the exterior edges of the bottom of your container, and the interior bottom edge of one of your walls. Rub the glue with your finger, this makes the glue a bit stickier and will result in it getting a firmer hold once it has dried. Press the wall and the base together and hold them for one to two minutes, just long enough for the glue to begin to stick. Once dry set this piece down and allow it to continue drying for approximately ten minutes. If you;re working on multiple cases this is a great time to cut more cardboard or begin gluing your next piece.

5) Once the glue has dried completely glue your remaining sides to the base of your container, again holding each of them and allowing the glue to dry for several minutes before gluing the next side into place.

6) Once you have your base and all of the sides glued into place start cutting the comic panels you’ve chosen to decorate it into the proper shape. You may want to use a single image on each side, or you could do a collage of images all over the sides. This is a chance to express your creativity and do something really unique.

7) Once you’ve cut your images into the proper size and shape start gluing them onto the walls and base of your container. You may want to glue one side at a time, just to allow the glue to have an opportunity to dry.

8) By this time you should have your finished container, deposit your figure inside and enjoy!

As today is National Dice Rolling Day I hope everyone will give their favorites a quick roll in honor of the holiday. Have a great day everyone!

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