100 Days in Paper Town

100 Days In Paper Town sign

There’s an annual Instagram event called #The100DayProject. Pretty simple: for 100 days starting April 4, do something creative and post it to Instagram. I’m not thrilled about the IG part, because I don’t have a mobile device with an adequate camera so I have to go through contortions to get things onto IG, but I didn’t pick it.

The 100 Day Project sign

My chosen project is paper terrain: #100DaysInPaperTown. Inspired by things like SVGCuts’ ridiculously detailed paper houses, instead of being print-and-cut they’re built up from layers of pre-colored paper.

Just to complicate things further, they’re collapsible - in the sense of a pop-up book. Unfold their base and they’re ready to go. At least, theoretically - the complicated roof of the first test building gets unfurled and set on top by hand so far.

They’re not necessarily limited to roleplaying and wargaming use; use the right papers and trim and you have a Christmas village that isn’t impossible to store.

My goal is to have enough different elements that you could show up with an IRIS project box or three, and unfold and arrange them to cover a 4x8 wargaming table in a matter of minutes. I’m not sure I’ll do that myself - I only have a 3x5 cutting table to use for pictures. That’s 60 6x6” terrain squares, which fills up fast if you plan things like a market (a market cross surrounded by 8 squares of tents) or an inn with court (Oxford’s Golden Cross translates to somewhere in the neighborhood of 3x7 terrain squares, for instance.)

I’m using a Silhouette Cameo under Linux with Robocut. In a fit of terrible timing, I’ve decided to switch from the expensive, disposable, variable-quality but plug-and-play Silhouette-brand blade assemblies to the aluminum CB09 blade holder with replaceable blades. As I understand it they take a little calibration to get right, so for my little sign I decided to nurse along my last dull Silhouette blade. As you can see, it managed the timbers layers all right but the letters layer was a bridge too far (if you look closely, you can see I used a little post-processing - the real version has even fewer complete letters). Hopefully my Day 2 picture won’t just be a pile of cutting fails, but we’ll see.