28 June 2012

MegaHex!!!... The Project.

I know I have talked about MegaHex the interior terrian project before in this blog, today a little more depth. First off the megahexes are an invention of Steve Jackson way back when he was working for Howard Thompson of Metagaming on The Fantasy Trip (TFT). Well, preusing my collection of OLD gaming stuff I picked my copy of TFT and was mining it for ideas to inflict on my Playtest Victim, Space Monkey Slappy*. 

Well "Lo and Behold" I crashed into the idea of mapping the Labyrinth using megahexes. "What a neat Idea to Steal" says me, going one to think these would be great as 3d tiles.

Well, the first problem is what to make them out of followed quickly by what size. I pondered purchasing purchasing a bunch of 20mm hex bases, well a clicks around the usuale suspects for sources of bases and I find that idea breaks my bank quickly, in price, material and effort. So I decide maybe a bigger base as my core will mean fewer tiles, pricing is still ugly, thus a trip to the bits box to see if there is a solution I can build from scrap. I had discarded wood bases (MDF) earlier as too pricey as well as any sort of custom cut plastic, so the bits box yielded up seven 1 inch hex slotta bases, and the 1 inch hex didn't feel quite roomy enough, but I also found a selection of Hobby Products 34mm hex bases for their DemonWorld game, these where pretty much a size I could live with. Also while rummaging around under the desk I found my tub of Polymer Clay. With these two things in hand, I figured while I didn't have enough bases to make tiles, but I had enough to make templates. Added to the metric butt-load of Polymer Clay I now had a PLAN....

The templates are made from said DemonWorld bases and scrap styrene (see the second picture), nothing fancy, but more than enough to cut appropriate sized blanks out of.  

A quick side-note here on Polymer Clay, I haven stated a specific brand as I tend to purchase whatever is on sale when a project comes up and throw the the leftovers in a bag for use when I need to bulk out a armature. This bag is what I am using to make my blanks (see the 3rd picture). 

After I have cut a blank I cure it so I have a stiff substrat to work on for detailing. As you can kinda see from the top picture I hame playing with a number of methods for the core surface texturing and detailing. The most time consuming is individually tiling each hex, fun, but it takes lots of time. Currently I make a large thin sheet of uncured clay and tile and texture on top, then cut out a completes hex from that to tile the blank. The raised portions are made out of crumpled Aluminum Foil covered with clay then "glued" into place with a couple of drops of Liquid Sculpy. 

A collection of tiles on the work table

The Base Template

A Blank

A finished tile with multi-colored fungi
The basic modification to the Savage Worlds rule-set are that all movement and ranges given in inches are cut in half and counted out in hexes. A small 'area effect" template is one hex, a medium is a Mega-Hex and a Large is a Mega-Hex plus one Hex.

I am also considering writing a set of combat rules compatible with Classic/Mongoose Traveller rules stealing heavily from AHL/Striker rules.

(* Space Moneky Slappy is my PITA 16 year-old-just-graduated-from-High-School-wallet-draining Son, how often says "Dad, I'm Bored, let's Game".)


  1. Good job those home made tiles look awesome!

  2. Great work, I love a good mosular tile! And hey, at least your monkey wants to game... Could be a lot worse ;)

  3. So the blank is made out of the MDF board? How did you cut it?

    1. It is Polymer clay as well, the color is simular though.

      I for got to mention the blanks also have holes poked in them to release and trapped air, so bubble don't form during the curing bake.

      My one and half draft method of Blog posting dropped a comma, sorry for the confusion.

  4. Really interesting idea Evyn. Thanks for sharing it.

  5. Unfortunately, we don't have MDF in the USA. I have a ton of those DemonWorld hexes. I just need to figure out a substitute for the MDF

    1. Err? MDF not available in the USA!?! It and all the other engineered wood products it is related to are still available here in California. But to be honest they all are PITA to machine due to the amount of wear on the tools, so also was a factor in my materials choices.

      As for My project I didn't use any MDF, the template is made out of DemonWorld hexes glued down to 0.60 Styrene Sheet (I believe it was sold as a magazine separator by the company that makes them for comic book boxes, was offered them cheep).

      The only hard to find product used in making the template was Plastruct's Plastic Weld, which a reliable cement across a fairly large swath of extruded plastics.

      To repeat, the entire finished tile is made out of polymer clay.

      A "Blank" is a unfinished tile. In casting and in many related manufacturing processes, the raw unfinished part that requires more work to produce the finished piece is referred to as a "Blank"

  6. Ah, OK. I guess I was greatly confused. I have an old bottle of Plastic Weld. I didn't know it was hard to get anymore.