Storage Solutions: exeivot

It has been nearly a year since the latest update of the Storage Hub, but one community member stuck inside during the pandemic has undertaken a woderful project to improve their storage solutions and token collection. The rest of the article will include details and pictures on this solution. This will include links to all materials used to create the items featured in the article. More images can be found using this link. If you would like to feature your own storage solution on the blog, check out the contact form and the details on the storage hub page.


Around the beginning of quarantine, my friend and I had started to really get into the LOTR LCG.  Once every week (or 2) my friend and I would mask up, put on the LOTR soundtrack on Pandora and play through our next quest or adventure pack.  As we played, I started to plan out a project to enhance the base game with some aftermarket pieces.  There is a huge amount of great info around custom solutions for card storage, communities on reddit like r/lotrlcg, r/foamcore and Board Game Geek (https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/77423/lord-rings-card-game) so there were tons of ideas and source files available to play around with.

Tokens

I initially started my project with a guide about how to make glass tokens I found on BGG (https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/2087285/diy-glass-tokens-quick-and-easy-way-upgrading-your)  This seemed like a fairly easy intro project which would add lots of value to the game.

The tokens in the base game are functional, but there are a lot of easy additions to make various attachments etc. easier to manage.  There were also some PSD files available online with the proper measurements so it seemed like I could easily print and glue some tokens to really enhance the gameplay experience.

Once I got the first PSD file from a link on the BGG post, I had decided I wanted to change up some of the icons and add a few of my own design.  I ended up creating this file: https://mega.nz/file/FLpEjaKB#GKJokIYs9GkEXJRbZ2764majWUk9znIjF8_GS11y1TU

I ended up with tokens in varied amounts for:

  • Damage
  • Quest Progress
  • Resource (Generic Type)
  • Lore (Resource)
  • Leadership (Resource)
  • Spirit (Resource)
  • Tactics (Resource)
  • Health
  • Attack
  • Willpower
  • Threat

I printed these out on some heavier weight paper I had lying around.  32lbs white cardstock.  In addition to the printouts, I purchased the supplies listed on the BGG post, albeit different brands.  Total cost was around $30, but you could likely find some materials cheaper elsewhere.

It is important to make sure the glass cabochons and circle hole punch and the printouts are all the same dimensions.  I triple checked my measurements in the product descriptions before I bought them.  It is also very important to buy glue that dries completely clear.

Then it was time to assemble.  I used the hole punch for the felt circles, but opted for just scissors to cut the token paper out.  It was painstakingly slow, but I had time to kill.  So queue the LOTR extended editions up and start snipping. 

Once I had a fair amount of tokens and felt circles, it was a simple matter to glue the glass cabochons on the top and felt to the bottom.  They dried fully in a couple hours and were ready for use.

Playmat

Now that I had some nice looking tokens I wanted to create a game mat to help keep the game organized while we played.  I spent some time googling the various options but none were really sizable enough for a 2 player game.  I opted to find the biggest neoprene playing surface I could on amazon and customize it myself.

Prototyping the mat with tape is always a good idea to find out where you want to keep everything

Once I had the mat, I used painters tape to try out a couple configurations based on what I saw online at various sources and ultimately opted to make something like the OCTGN layout but for two players sitting on opposite sides of a table.  After we tried a couple playthroughs with painter’s tape and the layout felt efficient and organized I took a large straight edge ruler and some white paint markers and marked out the basic grid.

The markers worked well enough but it took several “coats” of paint to stay visible.  The neoprene material and cloth mousepad-like surface absorbed the paint from the marker so I ended up taking my time on this part as well.  After a couple coats the grid was usable.  After a couple more playthroughs I designed some little icons for the 4 main areas: Encounter Discard, Encounter Deck, Quest Card and Active Location.  I also added basic text descriptors for the staging area, questing area and engaged area.

Foamcore Inserts

With my playmat and tokens covered, I now needed a clean way to organize and store my growing collection of cards.  I went back online and found an unfinished wooden box with the idea that I could store my card collection in there and use some kind of foamcore insert for the cards and hopefully I could make something like a tokens organizer tray.

I also ordered another bottle of glue as I had put a decent dent in the first one and it was only 4oz.  I planned to use the railroad/poster board to do some curved inserts for the tokens after reading a couple posts on reddit:

Once my supplies arrived I began assembly.  I followed the basic instructions from the foamcore Getting Started videos (https://www.reddit.com/r/foamcore/comments/dwjpzr/getting_started_with_foamcore/) which were easy enough.

Besides the foam board and poster board you will need a good flat surface that you don’t mind cutting into and a sharp utility knife as well as a good metal straight edge.  I had my garage workbench, a knife and a metal ruler.  Patience is key here, and always measure twice… I had a couple mishaps with a few imprecise measurements and some glue that hadn’t quite finished setting but I eventually figured it out.  I used rubber bands and some binder clips to hold pieces together while drying, and weighted them down on a flat surface with some heavy books.

Storage Box 1 (For player cards and tokens)

After my foam inserts were (mostly) finalized, I really wanted to step up the look and feel of the box.  I got some pre-stain wood conditioner, ebony wood stain and clear polyurethane to stain and seal the box.

After I removed the hardware, hinges and clasps from the box with a screwdriver I ran over it with sandpaper. I used a 320 grit paper and a hand sander.  There wasn’t much to worry about as the box itself was in good condition and ready to be finished.  I applied a coat of pre-conditioner which helps the stain soak into the wood evenly.

Next, I applied 2 coats of stain.  Be sure you let this dry completely in between coats this process can’t really be rushed.  I worked the top and outside of the lid and box bottom first, then applied the interior coats.

I had been searching around for a while and found some art I really liked for the lid of the box.  I printed out the imagery and used some stencil techniques to map out the art with my white paint markers.  This part took a couple hours and I did not want to rush the artwork.

Sadly, after my initial success on the outside lid art, I got a bit carried away with the interior lid and only realized it was upside down after the initial stencil was done.  I had to sand it down and apply some more stain to cover my mistake.  All was well though, after redoing the inner lid stencil and painting it in, I had finished.

I applied 2 coats of clear polyurethane, leaving plenty of time to dry in between.  As it dries, this can leave little bubbles on the surface but they can easily be smoothed out with another round of sanding.  320 grit again.  After smoothing out the box, and letting it set overnight I was done!

Storage Box 2 (For organizing encounter cards and APs)

Now that the box was complete, I realized I wanted somewhere to store my encounter decks and enemy cards as well.  I ordered a wooden wine 3-bottle gift box after reading about Solanum’s storage idea. (https://visionofthepalantir.com/2019/05/07/storage-solutions-solanum/)

This box was fairly cheap, and pretty dinged up when I recieved it.  I had to make some minor repairs to the wood with wood glue and filler.  I sanded it down pretty thoroughly with 120 and then 320 grit paper after repairing the cracks and dings.  Although the layout was exactly what I wanted, I’d recommend a sturdier box if you attempt something similar.

This box I decided to keep simpler.  No stain this time, but I opted to try out a different style of artwork for the lid.  I found some artwork I liked online, then printed and cut it out.  I then used some painters tape and the cutout to stencil an outline in pencil.

Next I took it to the garage for some wood burning.  This was slow going and I took my time etching on the surface.  There’s no erasing with a wood burner.  After shading in the outline with the burner I wanted to add one last bit of detail with some old Warhammer paint.  I layered some metallic sheen to the Sauron helmet and some orange yellow and red fire texture into the eye.

Once that was complete, I applied two coats of clear polyurethane to give it some protection and finished it off with a full once over with 320 grit sandpaper.

Overall the project was awesome and I am very pleased with the results.  I’ve been gradually printing out and adding card dividers glued and layered on some leftover railroad board as my collection expands.  You can view these designs from Rhyno on BGG (https://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/112724/lord-rings-lcg-horizontal-dividers-ryno-subscribe).

For more pictures, see this link where short explanations are given for each image: https://imgur.com/gallery/WMQGC2Y

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