Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Spam comments, Gaming table solution and a MUCKy Car-park

First the bad news; I've been getting so many spam comments on this blog, that I've turned word verification back on ...

Moving on, I've been wondering what to do about a gaming table for a while now. My dining table - the only flat surface I have big enough to use (well apart from my bed or the floor, and there would probably be problems if I used those ...) is only 30" wide. So, I was in B&Q the other day, when a brainwave struck and I bought 2 packs of their loft boards, which were (IIRC) £6.98 for a pack of 3. These are made of chipboard and are 1' x 4', with tongue & groove edges so they slot together nicely. I bought 2 packs as I needed 4 (and they're in packs of 3 ... bleeding typical!), and have a bit of DIY for one of the spares and the last will probably be used for hills or something similar. Here is a pic of them on the table:
Loft-board gaming table
The omni-present problem of storage has been solved with the help of a no-longer required curtain and the handy fact that the table is up against the wall when not in use:
cunningly hidden loft boards ...
So having got my table solution, I thought I'd lay out the car park I've been working on from my latest purchase from  Stoelzel's Structures - Undeveloped Real Estate (URE). This contains a whole bunch of road, grass, sport courts, roundabout ground tiles, plus a wide variety of props and other stuff. As a first for Stoelzel's it's split into multiple bookmarked files - hoorah!! It's been frustrating trying to find (and then remember exactly where it is) individual sheets in earlier Sotelzel products, because of the massive variety of prints Carl supplies (as an example Historic District - Olde Towne is 461 (!) pages of building brilliance).

Anyway, enough whinging about how much you get for your money ...

Here is a shot showing the car-park tiles put together (with Stoelzel vehicles) along with my new MUCK (Stoelzel's Modular Urban Center Kit) building at the back, with the Food Market to the left, the Local Put to the right, and my version of the clinic on the far left:
a Stoelzel-heavy demo layout

Astute observers who own URE may well notice in the next picture that I've reversed the arrows on the car-park tiles to change the direction of travel around it. This makes it better for a British car park, as the tiles as they were supplied would have created a queue for it that went past the entrance.
close up of the arrow for the exit
 Also, in the next pic, you'll see a tile that I created from those in the URE; it is a British T-junction. However, in retrospect, I'm going to change it as I think it should be an entrance only, and I'll make a tile as exit only for the other side
t-junction exit
As a note on the tiles, I had problems with the foamboard being warped slightly. To get around this, I trialled out using cocktail sticks as connectors between them - i.e. you push it half into one tile and the other half into its neighbour. (This wasn't my idea; IIRC, I read a discussion I think between Zabadak and Vampifan somewhere.) This worked really well and although I didn't use it for these pics, I will use it when I game on them.

This next pic shows more of the MUCK building. I made it as an 'edge-filler' and as such it has no back, nor opening doors or proper windows. (ducks as Vampifan begins to get upset :) )
left side of the MUCK
 This is the right side of the pic, showing the sign that I'm going to replace due to its spelling mistook
'parlor''?!? come on!
 Something else about the tiles that I've changed is the pavements. The URE pavements come with a black tile pattern on them, which is too dark for my tastes. So, I copied the pattern from Grekwood Miniatures Residential Roads and with that created my own pattern. I then stuck these to 2mm mounting board to create raised pavements that you can see in the pic below. I'm very pleased with these and will be doing this for all my pavements.
pavement close-up
So there you have it; my progress on the URE car park (or parking lot as it's called in the file). I've not made any of the props supplied with it as yet - those will come eventually, but not soon, as I'm currently building the garage from the Stoelzel Auto Park Playset and working on a kit-bash derived from URE

By the way, if there's any interest I'll put a post on the Stoelzel forum about how I flipped the tiles and made my own.

29 comments:

  1. Good looking set-up Colin, you'd easily get away with "Parlor" if you were in the USA.

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    1. Thanks Joe. I just wish I had your patience for props!

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  2. This is excellent :-) , apart from the fact that it reminds me how much terrain I have on my own "to do" list :-( .

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    1. Thankyou Colgar. I try not to think about my own to-dos ...

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  3. Superb mate, Its coming along very nicely.

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    1. Thanks Simon. One day I'll do an imitation of you and actually paint some figures!

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  4. A few points to make, Colin. First up, the large car park was the first thing I made from the URE set. Mine measures 30" by 22.5" and is made up of 12 tiles (9 car park tiles and 3 tiles for the access road).

    One of the first thoughts I had about the URE set is that it was very dark, compared with WWG's Streets of Legend. But unlike you, I have kept the pavements as they appear. I can uderstand why you changed them and I like your solution.

    I have no problem with your building facade from the MUCK set. If it is going to be a part of the background scenery then keep it simple.

    I, too, had a problem with spammers. I was getting roughly half a dozen per day until I changed my settings. Thankfully Blogger caught most of them but every now and then one would get through and I'd have to delete it myself.I absolutely hate the word captcha gadget and refused to use it. What I did instead was this. Go to Settings. Click on Posts and comments. Under the question "Who can comment?" tick the box marked Registered user, instead of Anyone. This immediately reduced my spam messages to zero. Give it a try, mate, as nobody likes having to fart on with the word verification crap.

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    1. Bryan, I checked the URE instructions on reading your comment (page 9) and that shows a 3x3 carpark ... did you include the parking strip above it in your 4x3 size?

      I'll change my settings now - I can't stand that verification either

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    2. The extre three tiles I added were two T-junctions and in between them a road section with a zebra crossing on.

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    3. Sorry Bryan, on my first read of your comment (when I replied) had me thinking that you were saying I'd got the wrong size of carpark! but your has made it all clear!

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  5. as to the word verification thing I noticed as well you can ignore the picture of numbers you can get away with just the word part of it :D

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  6. Very cool mate, the car park was the first i made from the set, like every one else

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  7. I like your edge of the world idea, i may have to steal that one

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    1. Feel free! I may well steal your prison when you've finished it! ;)

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    2. lol, i hope you do mate, i should have some pics of the cells up in the next few days

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    3. I look forward to seeing them SK, more inspiration is always good!

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  8. Sorey, none of us 'muricans cen spel. But seriously, I can understand your misgivings.

    Obviously I'm biased, but that's a great looking demo board. Can't wait to see it wrap around more.

    And don't worry about the big PDFs anymore, now that I see I can supply multiple files in WV without problem I'll be going through the remaining big files, like the Historic District, and splitting. Thanks for that suggestion, it doesn't just make things easier for you guys.

    At some point I should probably add some additional pavements to the props section. Not to the ground tiles themselves, but some of the 3d pavements could easily be flattened to place on top. Won't have it quick enough to help you here, but certainly, I hear what you are saying.

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    1. I feel your pain - it's not your fault you have to overcome the disadvantage of the land of your birth after all ... ;)

      I thought I'd built more of your stuff, but when I was looking for buildings to put on the board, I found I had more half-finished than finished!

      Good news about the file-splitting, and as for the pavements, you can't make everyone happy all of the time, but you do seem to be having a damn good try!

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  9. Great idea about the use of loft boards - I too have to test the woman's patience on the table or resort to my small skirmish board; so you now have me thinking...

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    1. Thanks Monty. The downside of them is that they're quite heavy, but that is good (in a way) as well, as it makes them less likely to move if you knock the edge.

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  10. It's all been said, mate. ACE!

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  11. The loft boards are great,
    I painted some green and used to use them for my old warhammer set up when I was younger. Wish I had room to get some again.

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    1. I don't know whether to paint mine or not ... I might do one side a black-gray 'tarmaccy' kind of colour and the other green so I can use them for urban and countryside ... but what about desert and snow? or water?

      I might have to buy multiple sets!! ;)

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  12. your Set up is coming along nicely, its really taking shape, me likes.

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  13. Nice buildings!! Cool car park too. We have a car park which will be coming out soon, so this has helped with some ideas :) Sorry to hear about the spammers, I think I have that thing where you have to write in a word or code, it's annoying, but it works (as far as I know!!).

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