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Crabbok

FFG's Death Star Demo table

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Last Year at Star Wars Celebration, I was demo'ing X-Wing (among other games) and The number one question people were asking me is "Where can I get a table like that?" in regards to the Demo Table that FFG brings out to conventions.  If you haven't seen it yet, it's really something amazing.  

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So if someone were to start manufacturing a table like this, how much would it be worth to you?  I've spoken with some folks and it seems like 3d printing it would be incredibly expensive, so I'm curious what some of you would be willing to pay for a similar setup?    I'm running a poll over on my community page if you'd care to vote.

https://www.youtube.com/user/Crabbok/community

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5 minutes ago, Commander Kaine said:

It looks gorgeous, however, I'd rather just have a mat that looks like that, + the turrets. 

Just curious, have you actually seen any of the Death Star play mats IRL? They’re a terrible eye sore- at least all of the ones I’ve seen. 

The one in the OP looks super cool, but not very practical to play on. 

1 minute ago, Kieransi said:

What would be neat would be to 3D print or (better yet)  die-cast the repeating tiles and then pour clear plastic resin over them so as to have a flat surface over it on which to fly. No idea what that would cost though. 

Now that sounds like a good idea. Pretty expensive though I’m sure. I bet you’d be looking at several hundred dollars at least, unless you’re doing it yourself. 

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3 minutes ago, Herowannabe said:

Just curious, have you actually seen any of the Death Star play mats IRL? They’re a terrible eye sore- at least all of the ones I’ve seen. 

The one in the OP looks super cool, but not very practical to play on. 

I haven't actually. That's disappointing. 

 

I however cannot justify spending hundreds of dollars on a table, which takes up a lot of space (hehe) AND I can't use it properly. I'd rather have an ugly but functional mat. 

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10 minutes ago, Herowannabe said:

Now that sounds like a good idea. Pretty expensive though I’m sure. I bet you’d be looking at several hundred dollars at least, unless you’re doing it yourself. 

Doing it yourself is also a lot of money. I have access to casting resin but not injection molds, which are... not cheap. The cheapest molding machines I've seen run several hundred dollars. That being said, I have access to 3D printers and casting resin (which is like $15 a bottle at Hobby Lobby) so I could probably whip up my own version of that for less than the price of an official FFG playmat. 

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8 minutes ago, Kieransi said:

What would be neat would be to 3D print or (better yet)  die-cast the repeating tiles and then pour clear plastic resin over them so as to have a flat surface over it on which to fly. No idea what that would cost though. 

Poured resin is very expensive for the quantity that would be required, and it would get scratched and dinged up pretty badly with normal use.

You could get a sheet of clear plexi to cover it if you really want a modeled surface underneath the flat playing surface.

And then you could realize that you are literally just lighting hundreds of dollars on fire because you can have the same playing surface in a more durable and useful format by just getting a neoprene playmat printed with the image you want.

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21 minutes ago, Herowannabe said:

Just curious, have you actually seen any of the Death Star play mats IRL? They’re a terrible eye sore- at least all of the ones I’ve seen. 

Can confirm, the death-star playmats are incredibly ugly and headache-inducing to fly on. They are always the last choice at our LGS. The best option would be a glass table above a death-star surface, but the table shown above looks shallow enough to not be a problem.

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2 hours ago, Crabbok said:

FFG's table is actually really easy to play on.  The raised and lowered parts are only a tiny bit deep, so you get that depth without interrupting the play area very much.  To me it's the perfect blend of fancy table, and playable surface.  

I’d be interested to hear from others who have played on this surface, but I find this really difficult to believe. If the lips of your base end on anything rounded or raised, I’m going to lose my mind as I attempt to make measurements and the base slides on and off that edge.

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A chinese counterfeit Zone Mortalis board of this size is what, $60-90? (Removing the Games Workshop Forgeworld markup)

That type of design and some sort of plastic layer on top is likely the cost effective to have this mat and have it be playable.

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3 hours ago, Commander Kaine said:

I haven't actually. That's disappointing. 

 

I however cannot justify spending hundreds of dollars on a table, which takes up a lot of space (hehe) AND I can't use it properly. I'd rather have an ugly but functional mat. 

Oh yeah i always wanted one of these mats, until i saw one being used in a shop . Players forgot to use tokens on multiple occasions since they went missing (optically spoken) on the overloaded surface of this mat.

It also makes gauging distances very difficult initially, but apparently very easy when you’re used to it. Because of the reference points and rectangular lines you have. In other words if you have practiced on this mat you are able to cheat... sort of.

Glad i never had to play a tournament game on them. Prolonged use would probably give me headaches too.

 

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I got the 3x6 death star mat from the magnetic game mats kickstarter a couple years back. Then I got some magnetic 3d printed turrets from a second kickstarter more recently.

The full 3d texture tiles always look great in photos though. If I could afford, they'd be on the 'someday I'll buy it list.'

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I've played on 3D resin tiles that a local purchased for a stupid amount of money. I wasn't impressed, since all that terrain was awkward to play on. Not deep enough that ships tipped over, but enough that ships did settle on angles from time to time.

I built my own with 2.5" deep trench, but otherwise flat mats, for scenario play, I wouldn't use it for all day tournament play. Ships DO disappear into the terrain. It's busy.

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Buy some hirst arts molds, make square tiles and build your table. You may add bits from kitbashing if you got them.

I have several hirst arts molds and they are amazing. Also they say to use plaster, but thats too brittle imo. I use resin with themolds. Resin is far superior an dhasnt given me any problem of chipping or breaking with use. Also they say it reduces the lifespan of the mold, which is true (at least if you use epoxy resin which is exothermic), but youll still get 400+ uses out of the mold before details starts to fade, so its no big deal

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14 hours ago, Crabbok said:

FFG's table is actually really easy to play on.  The raised and lowered parts are only a tiny bit deep, so you get that depth without interrupting the play area very much.  To me it's the perfect blend of fancy table, and playable surface.  

That matches my thoughts on it.

If all of the raised bits were to come to a universal height, then it shouldn't be difficult at all to play on, as the bases and tokens would float over the debossed portions.  They'd catch on things as you moved them, from time to time, but otherwise shouldn't be an issue.  You'd just learn to raise the leading edge as you went.

So let's look at this for real (for theoretical).  I'm going to take the GW Battle Realms (shown below) as our base-point of conversation.

800px-RoB.png

It's relatively light, each section is 2'x2', and it retails for 330USD.  (Apparently.  It used to be 299.)    9ft² is 37.5% of 24ft², so we'll call it 123.75USD ≅ 125USD.

I think debossed areas shouldn't be more than 5.0mm deep.  Possibly no more than 3.0mm.  That gives enough topographical variance to give the desired feel of the design.

Citadel's product is molded plastic, with a grid pattern on the back to provide support, and I don't think this needs to be any different.

The whole thing would be ½" to ¾" thick.  That's easy to store.  It would be an unpainted cream or grey.  A quick priming and a wash and the detail would pop well.

Citadel (GW's hobby arm) prices items on the high side, but they can also mass produce things with the certainty that they'll sell.  This project would be smaller scale, so I would expect the pricing to be the approximated 125USD up to 175USD.

 

Conversely, 3D printing would be very time consuming and expensive.  It would be heavier than molded plastic, look worse (they have tiny rows of plastic "tubes", that can be smoothed somewhat with acetone), and might be less sturdy (I really don't know).  It could, however, be done stateside and on demand with little additional cost.

Clear resin (on top of whatever system) would be too heavy, too expensive, and (without some kind of clear coat on top of it) be too prone to scratching.  It'd look neat as heck though, having the ships float above the terrain.  Maybe a clear sheet of Plexiglas instead (although it too would be prone to scratching).

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1 hour ago, RafaelNN said:

I have several hirst arts molds and they are amazing. Also they say to use plaster, but thats too brittle imo.

Did you try the high density dental plaster, or just regular from a hardware store? IME the detail plaster is rock solid and not brittle at all. 

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1 hour ago, Duciris said:

That matches my thoughts on it.

If all of the raised bits were to come to a universal height, then it shouldn't be difficult at all to play on, as the bases and tokens would float over the debossed portions.  They'd catch on things as you moved them, from time to time, but otherwise shouldn't be an issue.  You'd just learn to raise the leading edge as you went.

So let's look at this for real (for theoretical).  I'm going to take the GW Battle Realms (shown below) as our base-point of conversation.

800px-RoB.png

It's relatively light, each section is 2'x2', and it retails for 330USD.  (Apparently.  It used to be 299.)    9ft² is 37.5% of 24ft², so we'll call it 123.75USD ≅ 125USD.

I think debossed areas shouldn't be more than 5.0mm deep.  Possibly no more than 3.0mm.  That gives enough topographical variance to give the desired feel of the design.

Citadel's product is molded plastic, with a grid pattern on the back to provide support, and I don't think this needs to be any different.

The whole thing would be ½" to ¾" thick.  That's easy to store.  It would be an unpainted cream or grey.  A quick priming and a wash and the detail would pop well.

Citadel (GW's hobby arm) prices items on the high side, but they can also mass produce things with the certainty that they'll sell.  This project would be smaller scale, so I would expect the pricing to be the approximated 125USD up to 175USD.

 

Conversely, 3D printing would be very time consuming and expensive.  It would be heavier than molded plastic, look worse (they have tiny rows of plastic "tubes", that can be smoothed somewhat with acetone), and might be less sturdy (I really don't know).  It could, however, be done stateside and on demand with little additional cost.

Clear resin (on top of whatever system) would be too heavy, too expensive, and (without some kind of clear coat on top of it) be too prone to scratching.  It'd look neat as heck though, having the ships float above the terrain.  Maybe a clear sheet of Plexiglas instead (although it too would be prone to scratching).

Something like this would be pretty sweet IMO.   I'd love for it to be sheets, so you can buy however many you want - and make them modular.   Perhaps you want to do a larger battle, but can't afford it all, so you just buy like 4 sheets for now, and get more later.  Or maybe you buy a few "Trench" sheets to add a trench run to your table.   Toss in optional accessories, like towers with slots for magnetization, and you've got yourself a winning product IMO.  

 

 

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I have 3D printed a set of the tiles. I used them to replace a broken drawer front on my desk at work. The wife veto'ed the Death Star themed headboard for our bed. The tiles are great to look at and make dioramas from but I would not play over them (unless I put a layer of clear resin over top).

 

If you have access to a 3D printer the files are available on the internet. If you had to pay for printing time then yes they are expensive. (I figure I would have to charge at least $4.00 per tile to make any money). The filament costs are not terribly high - it is just slow.

IMG_1985 (Small).JPG

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Hard on the eyes.  One of our FLGS' has a couple of mats with similar patterns, and we hate playing on them because it's really have to see and estimate.

I'd prefer a simpler background with just the 3D effects (turrets, etc).

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20 hours ago, Commander Kaine said:

It looks gorgeous, however, I'd rather just have a mat that looks like that, + the turrets. 

 

This is great for dioramas, but not for actual playing. 

No, you wouldn’t. They exist, and they suck. 

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