Tuesday, September 19, 2017

I'm Back! Making your own Wet Erase Maps and Tiles

I know I have been gone a long while. Things have kept me busy, mostly arts and crafts so let us start there.

As I have posted before, I have several terrain tiles available on drivethrurpg. But I have been struggling to find a way to use wet-erase markers on them. I have tried polyurethane sprays, modge podge, laquers...the results either destroyed the printouts and paper or let the wet erase ink bleed through. I tried Contac sheets but can never find the permanent adhesive version in stock anywhere. And the wet-erase inks didn't sit well on the coating.

Looking on the internet, the typical advice was to get the items laminated, but heat lamination doesn't actually adhere to the page. You have to keep the plastic border so that the front and back laminations stick together. If you are trying to make a large map, you would have to pay a lot for a full sized print and then a lot more for giant sized lamination. It's going to be somewhere around $40. I needed a way to laminate several 8x10 pages into a relatively seamless map.

Then I discovered that there is a way to cold laminate. This may not be news to some people, but I can say that no one on the internet had suggested it before in my research.

These are 9x12 sheets with a PERMANENT adhesive backing. Print a tile image onto cardstock, then apply one of these sheets, then trim. The result is remarkably like Paizo's Gamemastery tiles in feel and finish. I have already done an overnight test with black, red, green, and blue wet-erase inks and all erased cleanly the next day.

With this technique, I was able to print up 9 8x10 sci-fi terrain pages, laminate them, then tape the backs together to get a sci-fi wet-erase deck plate map that is 24x30 inches and fold-able. If you have seen the Paizo sci-fi flip-mat, you will know why I felt compelled to make my own. Theirs is too dark for black ink to show up well when drawing the walls and chambers. Now I have a wet-erase sci-fi map for all of my Savage Sci-Fi adventures. (PS: The tile set will be available soon on drivethrurpg. As usual it will be pay-what-you-want. I'll let you know when it launches.)

That's all for now, but expect more posts soon.

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