Mar 4, 2013

3D Settlers of Catan board

At GenCon 2012 my friend Angela and I played the Mayfair Game's 3D Settlers of Catan game.  Angela told me I should make her a similar board.  A month or so later, I decided to give it a try.

Each hex was cut from pink foam insulation board.  I found a hex shape to use as a stencil, traced the hexes on the foam board, then used a foam cutter to cut out each one.   My foam cutter is a cheap one, so this took a while, and smelled quite bad.  You should probably cut the foam outside if possible!

Hex stencil
pink foam insulation and foam cutter
Once all the hexes were cut out, I sealed each one with a mix of white glue and water, and then painted the hex its base colour.
brick, wheat, and ore

wood, desert, sheep
Next up was to decide what I wanted for the settlement and city markers.  I wanted each player's city markers to look different as well as be a different colour. I have a number of Hirst Arts molds, so I went through my spare casts.  The settlement and city markers are all flagstone floor tiles, and the city markers are higher and have different tops. I use Lego to make sure the pieces are glued as squarely as possible.
settlement and city marker bases

settlement and city tops drying
Painted each settlement and city marker black, then a heavy drybrush of white. Later on there will be pictures of the finished markers, I wanted them to be very brightly coloured.

The roads are made from big popsicle sticks I bought at a dollar store.  I cut each down to size, and then painted them.
cutting down the popsicle sticks

roads ready to be painted

painted roads
I didn't take many pictures of the resource tiles, but you can see the finished tiles at the end of this post.

Wheat - I stripped the top layer from some corrugated cardboard so it looked like crop rows.  I then glued rows of twine upright so it looked like wheat.  Once that was dry, I cut the twine so it was shorter, then cut the cardboard into sections for each tile.  Glued that to the painted hex.  The dirt around the wheat is used coffee grounds.
wheat and ore drying

nearly finished wheat tiles - just needs a second coat of coffee
Ore - I glued 3 pieces of cut off pink foam insulation to make each mountain.  Once the glue dried I shaped it a bit, and then painted dark grey with progressive drybrush to white.  You can see the unpainted mountains in the picture above.

Desert - beige painted hex covered in two coats of coarse sand bought at a dollar store.

Sheep - green painted hexes covered in two coats of green flock.  I bought a package of plastic sheep at a model railroad store.

Brick - red painted hexes, and hirst arts bricks painted dark red with grey drybrush.
bricks drying
Wood - brown painted hexes, and each tree was made from a Gary Oak twig cut down to size, and topped with moss bought at a craft store.  Gary Oaks are very gnarly, so each "tree" is unique.
cutting the Gary Oak twig

tree ready to assemble

tree completed
The water tiles stumped me for a bit, I didn't want just plain blue painted hexes.  Then I remembered I had some spray coat sealer that eats foam.  I cut the bottom from a starbucks cup and used the remainder of the cup as a spray template. I sprayed the sealer inside the cup so each water tile was eaten away in the center. This also smells a lot, and probably should have been done outside.
water tiles and spray template
  Once they dried, I painted each blue, and then drybrushed light blue and while to highlight the water. Nine of the water tiles needed docks, so I built docks from skewers and wood coffee stirrers. I deliberately made the dock planks uneven. Glued a dock to each water tile, and then added an additional board to make the dock look like it went to the edge of the tile.
inverted bridge, drying

bridge glued to water tile

additional dock plank added to edge
The Robber was made from Hirst Arts - 2 short pillar sections topped with a skull.  The ore and brick 2:1 dock markers were small Hirst Arts bricks - painted red for brick, grey for ore.  The wheat 2:1 marker was a Hirst Arts bag of grain, the wood marker was a small section of twig, and the sheep marker was the end of a Q-Tip.  That one stumped me for a while, wasn't sure how to represent wool!

The rest of this post will be photos of the player pieces and the completed board:

wheat 2:1 marker

brick 2:1 marker

ore 2:1 marker

sheep 2:1 marker

wood 2:1 marker
close up of the Robber and the desert tile

completed board

completed board
Overall I am pretty happy with how this turned out!