Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Box Inserts, Redux

A few months ago, I posted about box inserts.

Since then, I've purchased (and assembled) a bunch of inserts for various games. I started with the Legendary Encounters insert (as I mentioned).  Then I put together the 7 Wonders insert. Both of which I mentioned last time.

Then I grabbed the Lords of Waterdeep insert which also holds the pieces from Scoundrels of Skullport (a fantastic game which I heartily recommend, BTW). The insert includes a center section that is - hands down - the most frustrating part of the entire thing. I spent nearly an hour on that central piece alone.

Last time, I'd ordered a kit for working with foamcore. When it arrived, I grabbed some foamcore from the craft store near my office, and proceeded to just cut it up. I wasn't working too hard on making a specific insert - just on getting the fundamentals of knives and glue.

One of my drill bits was defective. I thought it was blunt, and so I sent it back to the manufacturer for exchange (with - by the way - zero hassle).  After the replacement had the exact same issue, I looked more closely and saw that the metal part had come free of the plastic, so turning the drill wasn't actually doing any cutting. That's an easy fix - I just used some Gorilla Glue and stuck it back in place. It meant no drilling with that bit for a day or two - but that's fine. I was able to work around it. After all - I was just familiarizing myself with the tools.

Only without the glue to start with. Which - given the foam core I ended up with - is probably a good thing because I'd have needed to re-learn what I was doing.  Because I ordered some of this foamcore.  The craft store foamcore had a glossy finish. This is a matte finish - it's much more like normal paper covering the foam than the craft store stuff I'd picked up.

The first insert I put together is one I never completed.  I put together an insert for Mythic Battles, because the stock insert won't hold sleeved cards or the expansions. And I love this game.  So I roughed out a basic insert (and like what I came up with).  In a couple of weeks, I'm going to finalize what I have (using more precise measurements and glue).

But last weekend, I broke out my glue and put together a couple of inserts.

I started with Street Kings - a game I recently acquired that I need to write more about. I was dissatisfied with the stock insert because it didn't hold sleeved cards. And the cards that came with the game needed sleeves if they were going to have any hope of lasting.

I'm very satisfied with what I wound up with. There's space under those player boards for the pieces. The cards are sleeved, and there is room on top for the board and the rulebooks.

Now I just need to scan and print some things so I can stick 'em to the inside of the box so it looks nicer. And make it clearer which side holds the cars and which holds the upgrades (but that's a fairly minor thing, all things considered).

I followed that up with and insert for Nations. The game is mostly 400 small cards in a huge box. Plus player boards and a central board.  I got something functional together, but I'm not fully satisfied with what I have there. Maybe I'll revisit this one in the future when I'm more confident.

Every insert I did gave me a few ideas that I could use in future inserts. Spacers. Notches. Groove cuts. Every insert I did increased my confidence a bit, too. I'm not a master - I'm never going to be a master - but since my goal is functional, I consider my work so far to be successful.

I started work on an insert for Seasons (and its expansions), but it was getting late and I had to call it before I was done. We'll see how that turns out.  But it's good to be working on something. It's a good feeling to be producing.


  1. Thank you for this post. I actually thought about getting into using foam core to make an insert for my Descent core box. I know there are some out there to buy but it would give me something to do.

    1. Come by sometime. I can show off how poorly I've done and can show you a few things I learned the hard way.