FAQs

#1: I saw that you made range templates in 1 and 2 lengths for someone else. Can I get some? Why aren’t they on the site?

They are on the site now. Because the laser destroys some of the material when it cuts, these can only be made from material that we have specially ordered cut a certain way. Our regular sheets are just not tall enough to accommodate both rulers and give you the accuracy you expect from us. As such, color availability is a bit limited, but will grow as we are able to order more custom cut materials. The store page for these is here for X-Wing and here for Attack Wing.
#2: Do you ship internationally?

We ship everywhere except countries to which the USA has imposed sanctions.
#3: What will it cost to ship my order to _________?

Shipping is calculated automatically in the cart based on the size and weight of your items. It is based on USPS rates plus a small handling fee. To figure out shipping cost, simply add your items to the cart and input your address on the checkout page.
#4: I just got my X-Wing or Attack Wing templates, and they have brown paper on them. What’s up with that?

A large enough percentage of our customers have inquired about how best to color-fill the engraved areas of our templates. They are of course perfectly usable without any color fill, but to make your set unique, you may want to do so. The acrylic we use for most items ships from the manufacturer with a paper backing applied. This protects it from being scratched during shipment or handling. Because our laser engraves through the paper and into the acrylic to create markings, the paper naturally makes a perfect mask for color filling. Just apply the (non-acetone or toluene based) hobby paint of your choice to the engraved areas, allow it to dry, and then remove the paper. You will be left with a great-looking and very detailed color fill that will make your set stand out from the crowd even more than it already does. The easiest way to remove the paper is by scraping at a corner with a fingernail or using a sharp knife to get between the acrylic and masking.

#5: I ordered a set of X-Wing or Attack Wing templates, and they don’t match up exactly with my cardboard set. Why is that?

This is actually a problem with the die-cutting process that the manufacturer uses when creating the official templates. There are a lot of factors that come into play, and I am not familiar enough with die-cutting to be able to explain them well. But what I have had explained to me by expert die-cutters is that when die-cutting something like the hard cardboard FFG and WizKids use, there is naturally some variation in length and width that occurs based on how much of the material is being cut, how thick the material is, how the press is set up that day and the thickness of the underlaying wood that supports the piece being cut. Lasers do not have most of these problems, and assuming equal material thickness (all our acrylic sheets are 0.118″ ± 0.17″) and no movement on the table, will produce exactly the same size piece every time. Our X-Wing template designs are exactly the same measurements that FFG sends to their production facilities. Our other sets are based on an extrapolation of what the dimensions should be based on the average measurements of several official sets. For example, the straight movement templates are all based on 40mm increments, movement templates are 20mm wide and the range templates are 300mm long. All cutting methods destroy some material in the cutting process, and we have tried to account for this as closely as possible in regards to our laser setup. For a more technical explanation of die-cutting variations, see http://www.iadd.org/ceart3.htm

#6: I have an idea for a product that I don’t see on your site. Can you create something for me? How much would that cost?

Yes, we do create custom designs. All of our gaming aids are products suggested by our customers. Overall cost depends on projected market demand and standard materials/time cost. If you are the only person in the world that wants a certain product, it will obviously cost more than if there is a large demand for it and we can sell it to dozens, hundreds or thousands of people. If you are able to demonstrate demand (by say, getting a dozen people in your gaming club to pre-order), we are better able to fast-track products through R&D.

#7: I like ______ product, but I would like it personalized. Is that possible?

Most of the time. Typical charges for personalization are between $15 – $50, depending on the complexity of the job. Some jobs may be more.

#8: If I stick my hand in your laser, can it give me a tattoo?

No. The focal point of the laser is about 1400 degrees F. Assuming you defeated the safety interlock on the machine and actually got it to operate with your hand in there, it’s very doubtful you would be able to hold still enough to get a good image. If by some miracle you were able to hold completely still, it would not leave a tattoo like mark, but rather a very intricate burn. If that sounds really awesome to you, you’ll still have to find someone else. I won’t do it.

#9: Can you engrave metal?

Sort of. There are two main types of lasers used in industrial cutting; CO2 and YAG. We use a CO2 laser, which is great for engraving and cutting a wide variety of materials, like acrylic, leather and wood. It will also remove coatings from metals, such as paint or anodizing. Bare metals do not engrave at all. We do have a product that will create a permanent black mark on bare metal, but it is slow and expensive. YAG lasers on the other hand operate at a different wavelength than CO2 and instead of being reflected by a bare metal will engrave into it, but they are not as useful for the products we currently offer. We have no immediate plans of purchasing a YAG laser, though it is on the table for distant future purchases.

#10: The Radiant acrylic sounds really cool, but why is it so expensive?

Please note that Radiant acrylic is currently discontinued by the manufacturer. If they start making it again, or another company starts to make it, we will hopefully be able to carry it again.

The long answer has to do with manufacturing processes and supply chains and isn’t very interesting. The short answer is because it IS really cool. It has a film applied during manufacturing that reflects every color, so the color of the acrylic changes based on lighting and the angle of view. As this video shows:

#11: What is the best way to color fill tokens and templates?

Most of our movement and range templates for X-Wing and Attack Wing are sold with a brown or white paper mask, which we engrave through to create the designs. If this is still present, color filling is as simple as painting over the mask into the engraved area and waiting for it to dry before peeling away the paper.

If there is no mask present, painting is still quite easy. Use your paint to fill in the engraved area. You do not need to be very careful about keeping it off the surface because after it dries, it is typically quite easy to scrape away the excess. When scraping away excess paint, make sure to use a material that is as soft or softer than the acrylic. Using a metal or hard plastic blade is very likely to scratch the acrylic. Instead, use the edge of another token, a guitar pick or some other plastic.

On mirrored acrylic, the masking is on the front, but the engraving is done through the back. To color fill mirrored templates, simply paint in the engraved area on the back. The mirroring will prevent any overpainting from showing through.

#12: What kind of paint should I use to color fill my tokens or templates?

Most hobby paints are ok to use. Avoid any that contain acetone, toluene or other solvents as they may cause the acrylic to become brittle, spider-web, fog or break. Instead use water based paints. Reaper MSP is a good choice. Generally speaking, if it can get you high, don’t use it on acrylic. You can also use hobby paints such as Craft Smart paints from Michael’s and other craft stores, though they will require a lot of thinning and probably multiple coats. Paint should be only slightly thicker than water for a good balance of coverage and drying properties. Thin paint will also flow into small cracks easier.

#13: Why are mirrored templates engraved through the back?

There are two kinds of acrylic manufacturing: casting and extrusion. We use cast acrylic for our opaque, transparent and fluorescent products because engraving it produces a well defined etching with a nice frosted white appearance. Mirrored acrylic is made by applying a mirroring paint to one side of a sheet of colored extruded acrylic. Extruded acrylic does not produce a nice contrast when engraved. Most often you will end up with a recessed design that is only visible from an angle. Engraving through the back produces a better quality engraving, and allows for easy paint filling if desired.
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