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How did they do it?
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davejr

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Subject: How did they do it?   PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 6:22 am Reply with quote

I was wondering how these cards were made? The art was probably Photoshop. But how did they 'cut' the cards? I actually have tons of ideas swimming in my head for custom ships and plenty of .040 sheet styrene readily available. I'm good with Photoshop and was going to print on sticker paper then laminate for glossy shine. But there is no way I can cut out parts that precisely. It's frustrating not being able to 'connect the dots' per say as I really do have some awesome stuff in mind.
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lordstu

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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 10:52 am Reply with quote

I seem to recall there was a "punched vs laser-cut" debate a while back. I believe my money was on "punched', but I forget what the final conclusion was. Question
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lord_denton
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Subject:    PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 2:07 pm Reply with quote

lordstu wrote:
I seem to recall there was a "punched vs laser-cut" debate a while back. I believe my money was on "punched', but I forget what the final conclusion was. Question


That was probably around the time of the "custom set" endeavor, which ultimately failed to come together and produce anything. There's a few threads on it around here (use the search function) and then there is the separate forum I created for it:

http://custompirate.proboards.com/
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 4:16 am Reply with quote

If you can figure out how it's done, and you can do it, and you can do it at a reasonable cost, let me know. I might be interested in some customs.
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xeriousone
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Subject:    PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2011 5:35 pm Reply with quote

If you don't care about the empty cards after the fact then use a angled carpet knife and carefully press from 1 end and push down. The edges will go past the end of the boat but the boat should be easily cut from it.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:04 pm Reply with quote

Did you ever figure out how they did that? And, maybe a stupid question, is there a way of printing directly on the styrene? Does it require a special process, printer, ink, or whatever?

Xeriousone; I want mine pre-cut. I've tried those print/cut/glue models and have not been impressed with my results. And don't think that I ever will be. Not a steady enough hand.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:40 pm Reply with quote

From what I see, they're punched, as a laser would get expensive for anything that doesn't make it large profit per unit, and besides, it doesn't take a lot of heat to warp this plastic and ruin the design.

A heated exacto knife actually does a good job if the blade isn't too hot to the point of bending the plastic, I've actually made a few replacement parts for ships this way, the problem is places like the bottom of masts where it gets tricky to cut without slicing an important piece off. Also how to get the design onto the plastic itself presented a problem, I eventually just hand painted a new sail, which is why my Dervish now has silver sails.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 2:29 am Reply with quote

For mass production, punching is cheaper than laser.

FYI: You can buy a tabletop laser cutter (about the size of a printer) for about $5,000, not too expensive if you have a small business.

The pirate cards are punched, I'm 95% sure. The laser always removes a little material creating holes while punching "shears" material but doesn't burn it away, which is the case with the wizkids cards.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 3:17 am Reply with quote

I'm totally with you on punched. I've never bought the laser argument. But how do you go about doing that? I presume that you have to fabricate a unique "knife" or "punch". When I've done renovation projects and have needed to match the trim or molding, I've needed to price out knives being cut. It can be a bit pricey. I think it's worth it, but when it's not my call, close enough is often good enough. Anyway, who makes these punches? How much do they cost to fabricate? Can we have it done? Anyone know anything about this? Or how we could find out?

And what about the printing on styrene? How do you go about doing that? Anyone know about that?
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xeriousone
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 4:49 pm Reply with quote

As I recall there is a limited number of designs for each type of ship. With only 25 or so designs making a machine to punch out 300 copies of each card would be easy. The tricky part comes in mixing rarity.
The punches would be like a cookie cutter with little gaps in the shape so it doesn't go all the way through. On the opposite side of the card would be a plate with the shape of the ship cut in so the punch could go a little beyond just the surface.
Having actually thought on this it seems obvious that a laser would be far to expensive to crank out 500000 ships with. Just look at the coin cards and the nature of the punches becomes apparent.
As to painting on styrene it would require a special printer running paint instead of ink. The techniques are still in use but again you would need a working knowledge to actually use it.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 7:38 pm Reply with quote

Thanks for the input man. But who actually manufacturers these punches? Can I go to the Yellow Pages--anybody remember what those are--and look up "styrene punch manufacturers"? I did actually google that, but didn't get very far. Anybody out there know who actually makes these things or got any ideas about how to go about finding out?
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:32 pm Reply with quote

wellwellwell wrote:
Thanks for the input man. But who actually manufacturers these punches? Can I go to the Yellow Pages--anybody remember what those are--and look up "styrene punch manufacturers"? I did actually google that, but didn't get very far. Anybody out there know who actually makes these things or got any ideas about how to go about finding out?
If you haven't already, you should check out the link Lord Denton posted above and read up on some of the threads there. That forum was set up for the purpose of putting together a player-designed set for the game, but after a promising start it slammed straight into a massive wall that effectively killed it.

In short:
Finding someone that can manufacture the cards is the "easy" part.

Finding someone that can manufacture the cards at an even remotely feasible cost is pretty much impossible, unless you can do it in quantities like WK would have done.

If you can find a good lead by all means pursue it, but don't set your hopes too high.
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 9:56 pm Reply with quote

Got'cha. Thanks. I didn't see the link. I'll check that out. By the way, do you recall what the unfeasible cost was? Per card I suppose, eh?
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woelf
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:24 pm Reply with quote

wellwellwell wrote:
Got'cha. Thanks. I didn't see the link. I'll check that out. By the way, do you recall what the unfeasible cost was? Per card I suppose, eh?
It never got far enough along to reach the point of having any numbers and I don't think anyone even managed to secure any actual quotes, but there was a lot more that had to go into it than most people realized, even on a small scale. It was a lot more than sticking a sheet of styrene and a PDF artwork file into a magic machine and pressing "Go".

There were people hoping it would work out to be somewhere at or just above what it cost to buy existing WK stock, but the reality would have been many times that.


I did and still do think that the best best for a custom set of any kind is to go with stickers/labels that can be applied over the top of existing (duplicate) ships. The materials you'd need for that can be found at pretty much any office supply store, so all you really need is some artwork to print and cut out - and the various design contests have more than proven that the Pirates community has more than enough talent around make up some very good custom artwork.
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lord_denton
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Subject:    PostPosted: Fri Jul 08, 2011 11:54 pm Reply with quote

woelf wrote:
wellwellwell wrote:
Got'cha. Thanks. I didn't see the link. I'll check that out. By the way, do you recall what the unfeasible cost was? Per card I suppose, eh?
It never got far enough along to reach the point of having any numbers and I don't think anyone even managed to secure any actual quotes,


Yep, I don't recall any solid numbers.

Quote:

but there was a lot more that had to go into it than most people realized, even on a small scale.


Yes. There were many aspects to just the creation of some cards, let alone how those cards could be distributed...

Quote:
It was a lot more than sticking a sheet of styrene and a PDF artwork file into a magic machine and pressing "Go".

We've all gotten so used to those types of things now that it's hard to imagine things being any different.
Quote:
I did and still do think that the best best for a custom set of any kind is to go with stickers/labels that can be applied over the top of existing (duplicate) ships. The materials you'd need for that can be found at pretty much any office supply store, so all you really need is some artwork to print and cut out - and the various design contests have more than proven that the Pirates community has more than enough talent around make up some very good custom artwork.

That does seem like the most feasible of options. Most people seemed unreceptive to the idea, but it is simply being realistic. If anyone ever had any desire for new models they’d have to go with punching out blank models and putting stickers over that versus getting all the fancy ink on the blank model. That is, if the blank models themselves wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Although we never quite got to that point, I’m afraid that the prospects for models like Wizkids at a dollar a pop doesn’t look to good. I sometimes ponder how McDonalds or any other fast food place can afford to price its burgers at a dollar a piece after you look at all the things going into it – bread, lettuce, tomato, meat, shipping costs, grill costs, employee payment, etc. and how they can hope to make a profit off of it. The factor of mass quantity (And, in the case of McDonalds, I mean MASS QUANITY) must be very significant.

I’d like to take the time here to personally apologize for raising the community’s hopes with that project. Even though I didn’t try to guarantee a final product it certainitly seemed that way with my "choose the theme" thread that made things look like solid leads. I feel responsible for dashing any hopes and sending people off on goose chases. I was very much in over my head. Perhaps, someone new will come along who will be able to learn from us, and be able to make something great.

If anybody would like to use that forum for trying to make something again, I would happily allow them to do so and I would be willing to return as the forum administrator, for I still hold “DA POWERS” over there. I recommend starting afresh, though.

P.S. What's with this forum and super long posts? It keeps sending me back to the top when I type. Mad
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