This page presents a walkthrough of constructing a great set of Imperial Commands tokens out of foamcore. While you could play with mere printed slips of paper, foamcore mounted versions will make a nice chunky set of markers to slam down on your opponents as you rain unholy death down upon their forces! Other materials such as wood and chipstock could also be used, but foamcore is easy to work with, readily available, and looks great.Step 0: Tools & Supplies
The following are the items you'll need to prepare a mounted set of Imperial Commands:
- A printed copy of one of the Imperial Commands sheets. For this walkthrough the sheet was printed directly onte cardstock (heavy paper) to give a little extra heft, but anything dense enough to not let the foamcore backing show through will work well. In general you should disable auto-scaling unless you're having problems printing the sheet. The margins built into the layout should be more than enough for any printer.
- Some foamcore, at least 7"x9", which you can probably find on a scrap piece remaining from some other project. Black foamcore is perhaps a little stiffer and definitely looks better on the tabletop, but white works just as well.
- Adhesive to affix the printed sheet to the foamcore. Spray contact adhesive was used here because it's fast and easy to apply, coats evenly and thinly, and won't warp or bubble. Rubber cement also works well.
- A cutting board, to protect your work area. Another piece of scrap foamcore can be used, but a self healing cutting board won't induce as much wear and tear on your blades.
- Cutting should be done with an X-Acto knife or similar hobby knife. When cutting the foamcore, be sure you're not holding the knife at an angle and accidently beveling the edge. Making repeated, light strokes can help alleviate this.
- A metal edged ruler or other suitable straightedge, to make sure all the cuts come off nice and proper.
- Optional: An X-Acto edge knife can help a great deal in cutting the foamcore with beveling the sides. It's essentially an X-Acto blade mounted in a holder with a flat bar on the bottom to help ensure a vertical cut on thick stock such as foamcore.
- Optional: Use light or medium sandpaper to knock out any burrs or poor edges in the cut foamcore. This should not be necessary, however, if you cut carefully and use sharp blades.
After printing the sheet, trim the margins away from the tokens, but do not cut directly along the black edge! Leaving some extra room along the sides will let you cut the sheet out of the foamcore more precisely.
Mount the cut out sheet onto foamcore. If using spray adhesive, make sure to do it somewhere well ventilated! If using rubber cement, make sure to apply a thin, even coat.
Now cut the sheet out of the foamcore directly along the outer black lines. If using an edge knife, remember that you have to leave a very slight gap between the straight edge and the line to cut as the blade is not flush with the straight edge. As always, use the straight edge to protect the piece as much as possible, and always cut away from yourself. As with most cutting, making several light strokes is generally the easiest approach when working with foamcore and produces the best results. Generally the edge knife should be set just shorter than the height of the piece so it sits flat, and the cut finished off with the regular knife. For example, you might make two cuts with the edge knife and then finish off with the regular X-Acto knife.
Once the mounted sheet is removed from the foamcore board, cut along the longer black lines to create strips of tokens.
Next, cut each individual token edge, seperating it from its strip. This can admittedly be a little tedious. The important thing is to stay focused and not get into too fast of a rhythm such that a bad cut is made. Take a break periodically and do something else, the pieces will still be there afterward. Be extra careful in this step---both in terms of not making a mistake, and not cutting your fingers! Especially toward the end of each strip there is not much purchase room, so the piece can move if enough pressure is not applied to hold it down. It may help to do this step standing over your work table, rather than sitting, so more force may be applied. One process that may also speed things up is to make one or two cuts down every line in each strip with the straight edge and edge knife, then go back over each strip and quickly freehand cut each line with the regular knife to finish cutting through the backing paper (you can probably sit down for this!).
With that, you're done and now have a large pile of tokens to use in your next great miniatures matchup!