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Subject: Do you print tracks? rss

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Paul
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I was wondering how many of us have gone to the trouble and expense of printing homemade tracks.

If you have, how many have you made? Did you have a single large print made or did you piece together many smaller pages?

(I've repeated this thread in the Formula Dé forum. It would be nice if these two forums could be merged somehow...)
 
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Mike Walters
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Originally I printied one track out on my home printer of A-1 Ring (Zeltweg - Spielberg). I then glued it down to a piece of waferboard using spray contact cement (follow those warnigns - the fumes were murder). We played on it a couple times, but I really didn't like the results. The edges strated curling in several places and in humid weather (a ploblem here) the paper would wrinkle and bubble.

Next I tried drafting a home-desigend version of Bathurst, Austrailia. I used a piece of drafting paper from a roll 36 inces wide. This was glued to waferboard and painted. This was even worse, though maybe if I had used acrylic paint instead of spray enamel the glued would not have released from the paper.

Anyway, now I draw the tracks directly on the waferboard and paint them using acrylic paints (being cheaper). For the track edging I use pin-striping tape and the lane lines are drawn on using permenent marker. I then glue on whatever decorations, turn flags and street/turn names I desire and overcoat with clear spary to seal. THe tracks, other than being 30" x 40" and not as easily transported, are useable and durable.

I do have a dozen or so tracks planned, but have finished : A-Ring (not my own), A-Ring short version*, A-ring 1976, A-Ring 1977, Bathurst*, Southfield Park*, Southfield Heights*, Shortwood Park*, and Michigan Loop*. Coming soon are Adelaid* and Surfurs Paradise*.



* All these tracks are inspired by tracks from the Game TOCA 2.
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Stig Morten
Norway
Kvernaland
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I have printed some tracks on A4`s and glued them together.
It can be a hassle to get the sheest lined up correctly, but it plays well.
I had printed close to a dozen tracks, but they got misplaced when we moved so for now I am playing only the original expansions.

But I will probably print some more in the future.
 
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pau bo
Portugal
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This game was love at first sight (game)! We started playing it 2 years. As at the time only existed to sell the GP 10 years and China had to get circuits in any way. About 8 circuits original print 1.00 x 0.80 m problem was solved!Good!
 
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Thomas Hare
Sweden
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I haven't printed out any tracks yet but will likely do so before summer.

I plan on developing a set of tracks for myself that fit in a 20 inch x 30 inch size at about 300 dpi -- or that can be divided into two such sheets that are then assembled together.

I will save them out as TIF images and take them to the local photo store where I'll submit them as photos for printing at POSTERS on photo paper.

The cost to do that here in the USA is about $20 to $30 only for a single poster size photo print. Often poster print sizes are on sale for $19.95 per print.

There are plexiglas frames available for 20" x 30" poster prints that cost less than $20, so I'll mount them up like that. I may even hang them on the wall in the basement rec room and take them down when we're going to play.

I've never heard of anyone doing this, so I thought it might be good to write it here for consideration. Seems very affordable as an option. Photo poster prints are also quite durable and not easy to scratch.

Another "high end" option would be to build a small coffee table with MDF inserts that would slip in as drawers and each mount the posters (2-sided with maybe three pull out MDF sheets). The circuit maps would be varnished for protection with an acrylic clear coating.

Thomas.


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Neil Allison
United Kingdom
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I Have printed a track (Fuji) and in the process of producing some others (Italy Series - 10 page pdfs):

On looking into getting a large format print at a printers it would cost £30+ so..

I printed on multiple A4 pages. Attached these to artist Mountboard (available from art shops or online £3-4 for A0) using double sided carpet tape - gives a strong flat finish and doesn't warp the card (though very sticky so make sure you line up the pages carefully)

Then to protect cover with sticky back clear covering or laminate each print and trim before sticking to card.

Excellent results as long as you don't rush it.

There you have it - just down to the accuracy of the original for lining up the pages.

Hope this helpscool

Neil
 
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Marcelo Paschoalin
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Santo André
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I've printed a few tracks so far, always using a local print store. They print using 300dpi on canvas - the quality is fantastic, as it's the same material used on outdoors advertisement (they said I could spill anything but thinner on it and it'll never fade - nothing but water was tested so far, and against the players' will ).
 
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Josh Derksen
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Once you figure out how to draw the track layout in something like Corel Draw (or Adobe Illustrator in my case), it's not too hard to make your own tracks.

I drew my own small track a little while ago, for the sake of something to do; it's a fictional test track called Rocky Shores:



While 5 stops spread over some relatively easy corners isn't very challenging, I've found it to be a blast if you double the number of laps; the road hazards really pile up and make for an interesting race.

If anyone would like a copy, drop me a line. If there's interest I'll find a place to make the tiled pdf available for download.
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Paul
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Wow, Josh, that is great work. I really appreciate it when track builders draw their own background art.

I originally posed the question above to see how worthwhile it would be to draw a Nurburgring Nordschleife. I didn't want to get into such a vast project if no one was going to print it anyway. I did begin the initial stages of the drawing in Illustrator--it was the size of six normal Formula Dé tracks arranged 2x3. I dropped it awhile back, and I don't intend to continue it.

I have drawn two tracks: one is a redraw of Suzuka and the other is my own Donington Park. For Suzuka, I used the jpg that is part of Formula Dé online and redrew it in Illustrator. Then I used Photoshop to resample the original image up to 300dpi (it is a little blurry, but not pixelated and is completely usable). Then I placed my Illustrator file on top of it and prepared it for printing (more on that later).

For Donington, I used a Google Earth image of the track to draw over in Illustrator. Then I took my drawn tarck into Photoshop where I painted the background. (I really don't prefer the look of a track floating above a satellite photo.) I gave it a watercolor kind of feel, but I really like the almost cartoony look of your track (and another... Interlagos I think...)

I also made a little overlay that can be printed and laid on the track to convert Donington GP to Donington National. (I really don't prefer the messy look of ghosted arrows that indicate alternate routes.)



I have used screenshot utilities, Photoshop, and Illustrator to make ten RacerLine tracks. I know that is probably completely wrong and bad and evil, but I wanted new tracks and wasn't willing to give Joe Ebay $50+ per track that would in no way compensate the original publisher. Making those tracks was a lot of work, but I'm happy with them overall. I have not and don't intend to make them available to the public.



I printed my tracks in two different ways: one way was to cut the track into individual fit-on-a-letter-sized-page pages in Photoshop, then print each page, and the other way was to open a huge single jpg of a track in Acrobat Pro and let it tile the image for me.

Both ways worked well, but if you run out of ink or something while doing it the Acrobat way, you have to go into Photoshop and white-out the areas you've already printed, then start over. You could have them printed at Kinko's or something, but that was too expensive overall for me.

I mounted all the tracks on matboard (the picture says "poster board", but it isn't what most of consider "poster board") that I cut and taped in such a way so that I could fold them neatly. I cut out each printed page carefully with a razor knife, metal ruler, and a cutting mat and then used a spray adhesive to mount each page like a puzzle onto the already-cut board. I estimated that including all supplies and ink refills, etc. (but not time wages!) each of these tracks cost me about $6 each.



Anyway, I was only curious about who else went through all this time and expense and trouble. With Asmodeé releasing new tracks now, it seems less necessary.


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Stig Morten
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Hi Paul

Just a little dissapointed you have dropped the Nordschleife plans. That would have been a definite print.

Nice work on the Donington track. I like the idea of overlays to give it an alternate layout, even though I personally don't mind the ghosted corners.
Will you upload it to the site to make it available?

I have thought about making some overlays to use on the existing tracks to create shorter tracks. To use while we are waiting for the players to assemble. But is struggling with the the drawing of them.

I think we could use some shorter tracks for this game.Like the Mini tracks.

I still think there will be an interest in printing tracks, even if Asmodee are putting out new once.One can never have enough tracks.
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Paul
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Hello, Stig. Yes, I know that you would have printed Nurb, but I'm not sure that even I would print it, though.

I have submitted a zip containing a large single image of Donington GP as well as the smaller National extension. It is now in the Formula Dé files.

My pdf containing tiled pages is too big for BGG files (it's about 10MB), but you can get it here: Donington pdf.

Here is what the extension looks like:



______________________________________________________


Josh, The more I look at your track, the more I want to actually print it and make one for my table. The problem is that it is too low-res. Do you think you could make a 200-300 ppi version and upload it to either the Formula Dé or Formula D files section? I'll give you a GG tip. I would prefer to have it as a single large image, not tiled. Others may appreciate a tiled version, though.

I realy like this track's small size. Only 17"x22"... that's cool. It's almost like a FDé Mini custom track which I don't think I've seen many (any?) others. And I really like the art style a lot.

Sorry for not mentioning earlier: welcome to BGG!

meeple


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Josh Derksen
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@paulmond:

I'm working on getting two versions of that PDF available - one with tiles and one with the full artwork. The image I posted for reference isn't the full resolution I created it at (I like to print my work too!)

All of the background art was done at 150ppi, based largely on the constraints of my computer, but I'm thinking I could get away with bumping the background art to 300ppi then dropping the 300ppi graphic of the track & labels on top. Obviously this will make the PDF pretty big. I might just host it on my own site with a link.

Also, I noticed your awesome mounting & production. I've done something similar with a print of the Rocky Shores track:

Here's a detail of the folding arrangement:
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James Megee
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Josh, I like the looks of this Rocky Shores track. I don't see why you wouldn't upload it to BGG anyway.

Jim
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Josh Derksen
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I've uploaded the Letter/A4 tiled version (150dpi), pending BGG approval.

I was unable to get the full size version compressed to anything smaller than 10.4mb, so if you guys want it geekmail me your email address and I'll see about getting it to you.

Stig - I also have an 2-tile A3 version for you.
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Stig Morten
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Thanks, I'll Geekmail the email address.
 
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Rick Teverbaugh
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I want to get tracks taken to a printer but I am unsure what to tell the printer about size and surface. I can get in printed on poster board. When I play with any tracks I always put plexiglass on top of it to preserve the board. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Richard Davis
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armoredgear7 wrote:
Once you figure out how to draw the track layout in something like Corel Draw (or Adobe Illustrator in my case), it's not too hard to make your own tracks.

I drew my own small track a little while ago, for the sake of something to do; it's a fictional test track called Rocky Shores:



While 5 stops spread over some relatively easy corners isn't very challenging, I've found it to be a blast if you double the number of laps; the road hazards really pile up and make for an interesting race.

If anyone would like a copy, drop me a line. If there's interest I'll find a place to make the tiled pdf available for download.


Very cool...have a bit o geek gold...
 
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Jeff B
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I'm looking for some help/advice. I want to print out one of the tracks found in the files section here. I've opened it in Photoshop and saved it as a pdf file so I can print it from Acrobat as a tiled file.

The issue I'm having is that Acrobat always wants to center the image, which will give me a narrow 2" or so strip of the original image on both the left and right sides of the printed pages.

I'd much rather move the entire image over to the left and save myself three sheets of paper for every track I print as well as reducing the number of seams the mounted track will have, but I cannot find a way to move my image off center in Acrobat.

I've done some looking online but cannot seem to find a guide on how to adjust the centering of a tiled image.

Does anyone know how to do this? Thanks.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Spyboy1 wrote:
The issue I'm having is that Acrobat always wants to center the image, which will give me a narrow 2" or so strip of the original image on both the left and right sides of the printed pages.
If you tile an image I don't know if it's possible to avoid that. I certainly have never found one (and I've printed hundreds of wargame maps). I suggest you use the resizing option and see what happens if you print it at 90% full size - or maybe 110%. You might save paper - or at least use up all of it. I've often found I save a few sheets by printing at 98% or so, and the difference there is negligible!
 
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Jeff B
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That's a good suggestion but… I'm not comfortable changing the size of the spaces on the board for fear the cars won't fit in them properly if I shrink the size down.
 
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Wulf Corbett
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Spyboy1 wrote:
That's a good suggestion but… I'm not comfortable changing the size of the spaces on the board for fear the cars won't fit in them properly if I shrink the size down.
Try the percentage on the software. Then measure what it would mean to a track you already have. Yes, obviously, it'll make the spaces smaller, but if you can get a good result over 95%, will it even be visible? f it's over 90%, will it really affect the game?

Anything under 90%, I agree, would be a problem.

There's one other possibility I've used in the past testing Formula De tracks for printing (I only ever actually printed 2) - trim them down so there's less background image outside the actual track. There's usually an inch or more on every side that you don't really need.
 
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