03 May 2010

Battletech Billboards

I picked up some terrain pieces from the Acheson Creations booth last year at ORIGINS (a few pics 1 2 3). Although they painted up well enough, they still didn't look right. They needed something more.

From Battletech Billboards

Because I always intended these to be barriers for a Solaris style arena, I thought it might be cool to turn them into billboards for various sponsors. All I needed were some ideas for sponsors, and I had this idea I've been wanting to try. I did some digging among the Battletech blogs I follow for banner or icon image, a little image editing in Paint.Net, and sent it to the color printer.

From Battletech Billboards

A bit more work with a good pair of scissors (the Perseus and Thug helped), and then some glue ...

From Battletech Billboards

 ... And viola!

From Battletech Billboards

Steve's Battletech Reader billboard was the most work (image editing, I replaced "Classic Battletech" with "The Battletech Reader") and turned out the least legible. So I might have to redo that one (Hey Steve, got any banner ideas?).

I was so happy with the results, I decided to turn it into a mini tutorial. I have a Picasa album up with the full set of Battletech billboard photos.

From Battletech Billboards

Lesson #1: Try some different sizes, and (if you can) print a black-and-white copy first to check the final size before going to the expensive ink. I did three sizes for the Catalyst Logo, and only the smallest would fit. The MechCorp logo was too big entirely and I'll need to rework it from scratch.

A dry fit to see how the finished piece will look is always a good idea.

Put a drop or two of glue on the back of the paper, right in the middle. A single drop will do for smaller bits, but with larger pieces it helps to put a small amount of glue near the corners.

Next is the part I couldn't take a picture of - place the paper on the piece as you did with the dry fit, then press down with your finger and slide the paper around to spread out the glue underneath the paper. This pushes out bubbles and excess glue, and should give the paper a good bond. The glue starts setting pretty quickly once you do this, and you will feel it getting harder to push around. Get it set where you want it and press down on the corners to make sure they stick. Wipe away any excess glue (I just used my finger). In the event you end up with a corner that isn't glued down, use your hobby knife to place a tiny amount of glue underneath and press it down again.

It was an easy project, and I've got some attractive new terrain pieces to show off. Follow the link if you want a copy of my billboard images (MS Word).
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