Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hobby: Really easy-to-make templates!

If you play Warmachine/Hordes often enough, you might find that you need a lot of different kind of templates that might not necessarily be provided.  I'm not talking about blast or spray templates, but AOEs that will need to stay in play for at least a turn.  For example, I love playing Circle and we have Druids which can put down a 3" AOE that's a cloud effect.  Similarly, if you play with Cygnar Trenchers, you might use their smoke bombs for similar effect.  Even if you don't use smoke templates, if you're playing with or against Warmachine, you'll need some kind of wreck marker to represent a wrecked warjack.  Well, my friends, I'm here to show you a stupidly easy way of making your own templates!

We will start by taking something every Warmachine/Hordes player has: plastic clamshells.  These are the plastic casings around many of the single models that you can buy.  For example, I just picked up a bunch of Precursor Knights before they are only available in the full unit size of 10:
Next, I removed the figures from the package, along with the foam (which I save for painting... more on that in a future article) and the paper label.
Just the plastic!
These open up like a clam (hence the name) and so I opened up the clamshell and used scissors to cut the flat back panel from the "bulgy" front section, like so:
Now this next part can be done using several different tools, so let me explain.  As I'm sure you can guess, we can now use the plastic pieces to trace our templates onto.  I use a wet-erase marker to then trace around the particular shape that I need.  I wanted to make some wreck markers, so I took a large base (50 mm) for a newly acquired Kraye and traced around it:
I was able to squeeze one onto the bulgy plastic too!

I then repeated this with the smaller upper section of the "bulgy" piece, and traced out some light wreck markers using a light warjack I conveniently had lying around:

I didn't need too many wreck markers as it's unlikely you will need more than 4 heavy markers in a game, but I do need more 3" AOEs since I have 2 units of Druids.  So I took a GF9 3" AOE template (a Games Workshop 3" template will work equally well as long as it's not the fancy fantasy one) and used it to trace out the 3" template onto a new clamshell back:
Note that anything bigger than 3" won't fit

Then, using the advanced technology of the 21st century, I cut the circles out with scissors:
Behold: SCIENCE!

 Now some of you might be saying "B-b-b-but I'm not good at cutting things with scissors!"  Shenanigans.  This is exactly what kindergarten trained us for!  As long as you can cut inside the lines, you can make your own templates!

Cutting inside the lines: not just for kindergarteners!
 Okay so now I will quickly discuss my decision to use wet-erase marker.  You could use a permanent marker, but if you've tried using it before with models, you might know that permanent marker can be a pain to paint over with water-based paints and it leaks through primer with ease.  I chose to use wet-erase markers because, well, I have them for marking up my cards anyway, but also because I can simply take a wet paper towel and wipe off any excess marker on the templates before I prime them.

Oh yeah, I forgot!  You can prime these templates and paint on them whatever you want!

"Forgot."  The swirl is just GW Leviathan Purple wash!
Also, I discovered that you can take the paper templates that either PP gives you on the last page of Warmachine Prime or Hordes Primal or templates that you can find online, and use spray adhesive to stick those to the plastic templates we just made!  Here I attached the wreck markers that I cut out from the Two Player Battle Box:
 You can also do this with wall templates:
 The possibilities are limited only by the size of the plastic and your imagination!  You can even use the plastic to cut out custom tokens for focus or continuous effects like corrosion or being knocked down.  Why spend money on tokens anymore?  We all have tons of these clamshells lying around.  We might as well recycle them and save some money while we're at it!
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