Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Catan is Settled! Completed Game & Playing Pieces

Whenever one door closes, another opens...or something like that.  It's the end/beginning of an era.  My attempt at a 3D Settlers of Catan is complete!  So while I will now have no idea what I will do with my free time, I will get to enjoy my new game with friends, which is always a plus.

Completed 3D Settlers of Catan
 A big thanks to Chris and Kate for their enormous help in completing all aspects of the game. So now a quick breakdown of some of the pieces you haven't seen yet, and some last minute details of the game. This post is going to be a doozy, and some content at the end may not be suitable for all readers.  I warn you now.

The Game Pieces: Settlements, Cities & Roads

Settlements, Cities & Roads
As per usual, my forming of the game pieces is a combination of supplies from Michaels craft store, and the model train store. The settlements and cities are 1/2" and 3/4" square blocks (respectively). The roads are 3/16" x 3/8" basswood cut into 1 1/4" strips, wrapped in strips of plastic pattern sheets. I wasn't sure how I was going to paint the blocks, and even toyed with the idea of printing off pictures of tiny houses onto stickers, and wrapping the wood with it.  But in the end, I followed KISS (keep it simple stupid). I painted the squares to look like the pieces from the original game.  Stay with what works right?

With the way my hexes are dimensionalized, I needed my roads to be bigger than the original games.  When I saw the "Random Coarse Stone, HO-scale" plastic pattern sheet at the model train store (b/c where else would you find something like this?) I knew it would be perfect. I used the basswood as a template for how thick to cut the strips, then hot glued the plastic around the edges. This helped cover up my rough edges, since I only had a hacksaw to cut the wood with.  Also, I should note that if you can't find/don't own a Dremmel tool (or in my case, it was accidentally thrown out), your dogs' 'Pedipaws' acts as a great sander. I used it on all 60 road pieces to smooth out the edges where the plastic met the wood. I painted everything the colour of each player, and then wiped the plastic down with some tissue, to get the coloured stone effect. All these pieces got a heavy dose of spray glaze.

The Number Tokens & the Desert

Numbered Tokens & Desert in play
At first, I was going to use 1" round foam marshmallows for my number tokens, but I had trouble cutting them down to the right size.  I even based all the holes in my hexes around these pieces, figuring I would find a solution by the time everything was done.  In the end, we thought the best way to hide the cut marks would be to paint 1" wooden discs and glue them on top.  Well, it turns out, we didn't need the foam marshmallows (except for one ore hex), and the discs looked great on their own.  I painted them a base white, put the numbered stickers on each, and painted the probability dots on the front, using the same stencil technique as the colons from the ports. I also put the corresponding letter stickers on the back, then spray glazed the heck out of them. I figured the glaze would be key since we'd be handling all these pieces so much.
For the desert, I tried to sculpt a sand dune from sculpey.  My art skills mimic nature poorly, but I got something that was passable.  I sprinkled it with sand (that we brought back from our trip to Florida) and baked it according to the package directions.  Afterwards, I brushed on a thin layer of white glue, and spinkled it with sand again.  After that dried, I covered it lightly with the spray glaze. I used Decoart Triple Thick Gloss Glaze for all of my spray glazing. My search for the perfect robber is proving to be elusive. Currently we're using a custom built Lego robber my husband made (again while in Florida), but he doesn't really fit with the rest of the scenery. (To see a picture, scroll down to the last few pictures in the "Warning: Mature Content" section of this blog.)

The Inaugural Game
It seemed only fitting that the first game be played with Carlos & Laurie, who introduced Chris & I to the game. In all honesty, it took a few minutes to get used to the 3D Settlers of Catan game. At first it's hard to keep track of your pieces and roads with everything else on the board, but after awhile you get used to it. To set up the 3D game in a random manner, we set up the regular game on the table, and simply placed the 3D pieces on top of it.  Fortunately my 3" candle mold appears to be almost the exact same size as the original game. Every new game we played, we just removed the 3D pieces, re-distributed the original hexes, then put the 3D pieces back on top of the corresponding pieces.

4 Players Completed Settlers of Catan Game - I won!
Same Completed 3D Settlers of Catan game, different view
 What Would I Change?
So now that it's done, is there anything I would change?  As far as the completed game goes - not a thing. If I had to make it again?  There's a ton I would change.  First off, I'd order the hexes.  While the candle mold allowed me to get closer than simply cutting or tracing would, it wasn't perfect.  I spent a lot of hours sanding the sculpey to fit together. A commenter on this blog was gracious enough to show me the set she made her boyfriend, and her blog detailed where she bought the hexes. I think I could have saved myself a lot of time had I gone that route.  I also found some different wheat I wouldn't mind adding if I were to do this again. Most of all, I'd avoid that damn Blue Pearl sculpey that nearly crippled my hands for life.

Mature Content - 18 & Above Only Please - Reader Discretion is Advised!
So I did what I have been toying with for the entire creation of this project.  I bought the naughty, HO scale figurines having sex.  Why?  Because it's hilarious.  Also, of all of the pieces on this gameboard, they are the only ones actually "settling" Catan. I mean, to populate Catan, you're going to need its Settlers procreating right?
You may or may not believe that wide variety of "couples" they had, and most of them involved furniture of some type.  Since furniture is too advanced for Catan, I settled for the couple that were having sex on a bench, and substitited a brick for the bench. Then I stuck them under my brick bridge, b/c obviously that's where they'd be sneaking off to have sex.  Also, as we played the game, we referred to any brick taken from this hex as "sexy brick."

I put this as a seperate section with a warning b/c I realise while my friends and I found this funny, it may offend some people.  So if that's you, stop reading now, and whatever you do, don't scroll down! Reader discretion is advised!

The Lego Robber and the couple under the bridge

A closer look at "The Sexy Brick" Hex


  1. We play Catan almost every weekend and were just talking about how we would like to build our own!

  2. I like the number tokens. They look really smart.

  3. Awesome! I love the way you made it.