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Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

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Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby Kurgan » Friday March 8th, 2019 8:08am

So I have been making lots of "tiles" for Herqoquest in the last few months but something bothered me a bit...

What about aging?

So I've bought "acid-free" white card stock from the store and used that, its pretty close to those "thin" tiles used in the ROTWL and KK quest packs, but not nice and thick like the Game System tiles.

So I have been saving the brown "cardboard" backing that comes with packs of clear plastic sheet protectors or forms the backing for lined paper notepads. This is much more the texture and weight I like, but I wondered... will this damage the paper they are glued to? Granted, these are tiles I'm constructing to look decent when being played with, as opposed to something that is going into a vault.

I've been using a kid's school "glue stick" (the purple glue that turns clear when dry) to attach printer paper to the cardboard. I tend to store the tiles, when not in use, inside a plastic sheet protector. So it's not air tight or anything, but should I expect it to yellow and fall apart in a few years?

Anybody know? I was reading about how "acid free" paper isn't necessarily acid free...

PS: Another noob question, how does one post file attachments on this forum?
Last edited by Kurgan on Monday May 27th, 2019 8:23pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby lestodante » Friday March 8th, 2019 3:50pm

I think it is better to use 400gm paper (or even more) for the base and attach a printed tile on it


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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby Jafazo » Friday March 8th, 2019 4:14pm

Kurgan wrote:So I have been making lots of "tiles" for Herqoquest in the last few months but something bothered me a bit...

What about aging?

So I've bought "acid-free" white card stock from the store and used that, its pretty close to those "thin" tiles used in the ROTWL and KK quest packs, but not nice and thick like the Game System tiles.

So I have been saving the brown "cardboard" backing that comes with packs of clear plastic sheet protectors or forms the backing for lined paper notepads. This is much more the texture and weight I like,
but I wondered... will this damage the paper they are glued to? Granted, these are tiles I'm constructing to look decent when being played with, as opposed to something that is going into a vault.

I've been using a kid's school "glue stick" (the purple glue that turns clear when dry) to attach printer paper to the cardboard. I tend to store the tiles, when not in use, inside a plastic sheet protector. So it's not air tight or anything, but should I expect it to yellow and fall apart in a few years?

Anybody know? I was reading about how "acid free" paper isn't necessarily acid free...

PS: Another noob question, how does one post file attachments on this forum?


Pics Pics. Let's see what you've got and what you've done. To prevent aging problems I'd look into laminating of some kind. Considering the thickness and how lamination might not wrap cleanly I'd probably even try either a thin coat of mod podge to your tiles or maybe a clear spray. Go look around your home outlet store like Home Depot or Lowe's etc. Walk around the wood department and flooring etc and just look. They have all kinds of materials you can buy fairly cheap. Good call saving packaging things. You can find chip board in lots of places, I make it a habit to save them up as well. Cereal boxes, purchased products etc can all provide good sources. Only problem is they can vary in texture and you can run out of a specific texture resulting in slight variations for larger projects.

For attachments, don't use the 'Quick Reply' way to respond. Use Post Reply or Quote. Down below, choose Upload attachment tab. Go from there, hit 'preview' to make sure it's good.
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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby SirRick » Friday March 8th, 2019 4:47pm

I've used some paperboard stuff very similar to the card board cereal boxes are made of but it came in large sheets. I used spray adhesive to attach my homemade tiles to the cardboard. The end result was a tile about the same thickness as the normal tiles, and they make the same type of noise when dropped on the board. I was considering doing the same thing to my KK and RotWL tiles, but never got around to it.


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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby Kurgan » Friday March 8th, 2019 8:14pm

Thanks everyone. Sadly I haven't been able to photograph everything, as much of it I gave away as a gift, but I will start doing that.
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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby Kurgan » Friday March 8th, 2019 8:40pm

Here's an example, one of the bigger tiles... a body point scaler for the tougher monsters. I actually designed a bigger version after this one (squares slightly enlarged, the idea being you'd use blocked squares to cover up the numbers, and flip over the skulls as you move down to "zero"). This is just on cardstock, but the next one will use cardboard.
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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby Jafazo » Friday March 8th, 2019 11:06pm

You can also glue two sheets of cereal box layers together, painted side to painted side, to improve the thickness.

Really nice scaler Kurgan. It's very similar to one of the systems I use for my own version of HQ. As a kid, when I started I'd just put a die on the character card and turn it accordingly. It actually worked really well and beat having to constantly scribble down HP changes, but then I made a system like what you showed to simplify the process for new players I introduce to the game.
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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby StratosVX » Saturday March 9th, 2019 1:22am

Another option for tiles that may be a bit more durable would be to use chipboard that you can find in craft stores. Some of it is about the same density as the cardboard that was used in the original tiles, but I had seen some a while back that was tougher than that cardboard. It was between cardboard and hardboard (also known as masonite) as far as the hardness of the material.


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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby Kurgan » Wednesday March 13th, 2019 7:59pm

So I found a sheet of "medium weight" brown chipboard for $2.50 at a local hobby lobby and went for it. It is definitely thicker than the cereal boxes and should be all I need unless I start going crazy and doing full sheets (I have several printed "rooms" that are basically 8x10.5"). I use this type of stuff for character cards and anything big or long, while white cardstock works for the smaller tiles. Still, there's something neat about having nice thick single square tiles as well.
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Re: Which cardboard backing to use for custom tiles?

Postby mitchiemasha » Wednesday March 13th, 2019 10:53pm

These are great for Advanced HeroQuest style room tiles, not so good for room overlays. They used to be stand up advertising signs.

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Previously I'd tried recycling food boxes. Sticking the printed image over the original box art to leave the underside plain. It's doesn't work due to the varnish and ends up peeling off. You have to glue on the inside leaving the original box art visible, not so good.

Dissecting mushroom tubs make for great random ruined wall sections. There's different designs, some suit more futurist, Space Hulk corridor or bunker, were as others have a perfect historical vibe to them.


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