Binding PDF’s – Adding the cover

PART ONE

PART TWO

Using Adobe CS2 I created the cover in three parts as I don’t yet have my roll of 115 gsm paper to do a continual cover in one piece.  I’m very impatient and didn’t want to wait another week.

Measure the thickness of the book with the front and back cover on.

Measure the thickness of the book.  The suggested gap between spine and cover is twice the width of the thickness of the cover.  I’m using 2mm greyboard so I’ve placed a 4mm gap.

Cover cut guide

Once you know the size of your cover either measure it out or make a cutting guide like I did.

Normally I would have used a longer steel ruler with a blade attachment to cut these out. However I still have not unpacked it and I’m unsure which box it is in.

Jakar photo mat cutter. Now where did I place it?

My covers got slightly sloppy and I did my best to square them up.

A bit longer on the bottom then the top. Remember to make several shallow cuts rather than attempt to cut it in one go.

Printed out the front, back, and spine art of the book.

How it should look, unfortunately I made an error somewhere.

Now tape your boards together with masking tape.  They are only there temporarily to keep them at the right distance.

Coat the board with acid free PVA glue.

Place the artwork on and use something to smooth it out. This is where I found out I made an error as it doesn’t fit perfectly.

Weigh it down so it doesn’t warp. PVA Glue still has a high water content so things can warp if you use too much.

At this point I’m pretty much giving up and a good cover.  I’ve made a ton of errors so far.

Error 1 is either my board cuts, my Illustrator file, or the actual distance I’ve placed the boards from each other. Or it could be a combination of the three.

Error 2 : Placing the cover on. I did not centre the spine.

Carefully remove the tape

Glue and wrap around the rest of the cover.
Error 3: I didn’t make these long enough.

Fold a sheet of A3 in half. Using scrap paper only expose about 4mm on the papers spine (where it is folded) then glue that bit. Now place it to the first page of the book.

Place the A3 sheet in the book. The 4mm strip of glue is attached to the first or last page near the spine. Then glue the Muslin to the cover

Glue the other half of the A3 sheet to the cover and press.

Since my clamp broke I must press the book between two boards with considerable weight on the top, evenly dispersed

Adhesive plastic film

Next time I will place the book upside down but open at 45 degrees when placing the plastic cover on it.

Tons of air bubbles. Just like my first GURPS 4e Characters book!

So I’m very pleased with the binding method up until I do the covers.  I need to spend a bit more time researching the best way to do it.  The loss of a clamp and the high heat did not help either.  Overall I’m fine with the look of it.  I should have made something triangular to lay the book open over when applying the plastic covering. Or gotten a second person to help me move and stretch.

I will do issues 6-10 next week.

Printing and Binding your pdf

Part One HERE

The one thing I forgot about EPSON printers (I used to use them exclusively in the 00’s) is they only let you select EPSON brand paper.  This is understandable as when using Epson products which are specifically made to be used with Epson inks the end results are stunning.  However you may want to use water colour paper, or in my case Silk (which is like a semi gloss).  What you need is ICC Profiles that will work with your paper.  I emailed EPSON Technical support and hope I actually get a response.

Before printing I added a Table of Contents with the new page numbers in MS Word then saved it as a pdf then using Soda PDF I merged the contents with the rest of the document.

Then after experimenting with the limited paper options I chose to go with telling the computer I’m using plain paper but I told the printer I loaded semi-gloss.

Once your print is done make sure they are in order, I added test sheets to the front and back to protect the main book.  I will carefully tear or cut them out when the main part of the book is done. Then joj the pages so the are squared at each corner.

Cut guides for the spine

The string will be placed in the groves

I found this saw in my garage, it is absolutely perfect for this job!

Pres back and fan the pages out

Then apply glue. It was very hot and I had issues with accelerated drying.

Bring it up and get it back into normal position before fanning the pages the opposite way

Now glue the other side, the scribbles on the sheet is because that was a test print page

Press the book between two boards

Leave the top of the spine sticking out

 

Add the string to the spine cuts

You can either loop them back and forth or cut strips.

Add some glue to the spine then stretch Muslin cloth over the spine

Add a bit more glue. I was adding a fair bit due to the heat and the glue drying quickly

Let it dry for about an hour to be safe, or even overnight.

Carefully cut away the board and spare sheet. Make sure you use a sharp knife and take your time.

A Double Fan Bind lays flat

Do you even lift?

Project on hold until new clamp can be acquired.

So far I would say it was a success! Next time I might glue when it is cooler out.  They heat caused me to have to hurry a bit on the gluing which made it a bit sloppy.

I’m not sure I have the print quality down yet.  I thought having a nice paper like Silk would give me a great finish but there are some ink smears on some of the pages.  However in my haste I purchased a lot of silk paper because I thought I new better so I will have to make do with what I have.

Now the question is Soft Cover or Hard Cover?  Either way I will need a clamp before I continue.

PART THREE

Swamp Adventures!

I’m working on a series of short encounters that can be strung together into a campaign.  Each encounter will include 3-7 Battle Tiles and possibly miniatures. The first part takes place in Lizard Man infested swamps.  I’ve still have some work to do on the layers and sheet effects but these first attempts should give a general idea of what they will look like.  Now for the lizard men.

Made with Profantasy Software’s Character Artist 3

I’m hoping to get them printed on high quality gloss photo paper then mount them on 2mm greyboard so they will fit into the Black Hex Bases properly.  It is to bad that Character Artist does not provide the backs to the mini’s.

GURPS now on DriveThruRPG.com!

I’m seriously surprised to see this but Steve Jackson Games are now on DriveThruRPG.com! You can still purchase them at Warehouse 23 which is were I will continue to get my GURPS books, mostly because that is where I always purchased them and it is easier to have all my eggs in one basket.  However this is a great move on behalf of SJG as it will hopefully bring in new players!  Many fan social media sites are hoping, speculating that this is a first step towards a more open license.  I’m not so sure about that but it is a good move either way.

Speaking of Warehouse 23 you can now purchase Cardboard Hero Hex Bases both the Black Hex Bases and the Rainbow Hex Bases. Twelve bases for only $6.00 USD +shipping.

Hirst Arts diving into hexes

We need your voice now!  Bruce Hirst from Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture is asking if anyone would actually use 1″ hexes as most board games that are coming out are using 1.5 inch to 2 inch hexes.  I’ve been asking for years for him to delve into 1″ hexes as I stopped purchasing his moulds (I have a lot of them) when I got seriously into GURPS and was put off by the lack of hexes.  I think I’ve proven that hex dungeons work and I’ve done some work on overland and buildings with hex bases as well.

1.5″ Hex Mould Master Pieces

1.5″ Hex Floor Boards

So if you are interested in creating your own hex based terrain get over to the forums and let your voice be heard!  When Bruce was first experimenting with the “Hex Hills” he started out with 1″ but soon abandoned the idea.

1″ hex tile

You can read the thread for that HERE

Dungeons on Automatic

Dungeons on Automatic is a new blog written by Kyle Norton.  He has recoded a random dungeon generator for GURPS Dungeon Fantasy. Find that post HERE.  It uses the same generator as Donjon but he has changed the code for GURPS instead of D&D.  You can download it and use it offline and it is really a lot of fun to play with!

Here are some screen shots of a random result. Go check it out and have some fun!

Dungeon Fantasy Companion Print on Demand

On the Dungeon Fantasy Kickstarter you had to go from either the $50 or $70 pledge to the $250 “I want it all” pledge to get the Dungeon Fantasy Companion in print. Frankly the $250 pledge wasn’t worth it for me as I already have the Cardboard Heroes in pdf, and all the Dungeon Fantasy in pdf. Great deal for those just getting into the DF line but not thought out at all for those of us who have already been playing the genre since it came out in 2008.

However the other day Update #91 on the kickstarter released the news that the Dungeon Fantasy CompanionHow to Be a GURPS GM, and GURPS Mass Combat were available for Amazon’s new Print on Demand service. So I went to Amazon and place the order and by the next morning it arrived!

Perfect bound, colour cover, black and white pages just like the pdf. If this is what it will take to get GURPS books then I approve. I would have preferred full colour pages like the rest of the Dungeon Fantasy RPG books but this is better than printing the pdf off on my cheap printer and using my comb binder.

U.S.A. PoD

UK PoD

Dungeon Fantasy RPG Powered by GURPS

After a years wait I finally received my Dungeon Fantasy RPG Powered by GURPS today! To say the least I’m very excited to be giving this a go! I’m home with a flu bug so I will have plenty of time to go through all the books.  I’m very impressed with the GM Screen and very glad I shelled out the extra money for it.

I’m wishing now I would have had the money to stretch to the Dungeon Fantasy Companion: A single printed volume containing the content of all the stretch goal PDFs unlocked at the end of the campaign. I have the pdf’s of Dungeon 2Magic Items, and Traps, so I’m not missing out on the material. I might get them printed via Lulu later.

Well I’m looking forward to playing but I’m going to have to find a new group as everyone from my old group has moved out of the country.  I hope it wasn’t something I said.

Gurps Campaign Manager ver. 2.2

You can now save your progress as a pdf! In all previous versions there was no option to save your progress unless you had some kind of pdf printer software to print as pdf. However as long as you have the latest Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (the only thing I’ve tested it with) you can now save the progress and come back to it later.

Get it HERE