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Today’s Tinker includes not one but TWO tinkers! da’Boss has been busy designing a cobblestone set for use with houses to make a town or city layout. And along with that is a set of brick laid sidewalks that have a curb edge!

I felt the sidewalks needed a curb and through the entire design process I struggled with how to make the piece easily sit on top of the cobblestone at the height of a curb. Well, the answer may seem obvious, but when you’re trying to design something the obvious can be elusive.

So I put all the cobblestone pieces together to see how best to configure the base pieces of the set, and then put it aside to think about. And then I would take it back out, stare at it and change it around or make more pieces to complete an idea.

I did this more than once... and it never looked right. The number of pieces required would be too many, would not be versatile to lay out, and just didnt appeal to me. I was waiting for that ‘ah ha!’ Moment that I get when a design pops out as the RIGHT design.

Well after many weeks of staring at it and doing many projects in between I took it back out, and started piecing the parts together again and then I realized I had gone about it all the wrong way..... it wasn’t versatile. (I had just completed the Versatile Dungeon incidentally) and while the Versatile Dungeon was more versatile than making modular pieces with floors and walls, it still used just 4x4 and 2x2 tiles that a modular dungeon would. But its WALLS were versatile. And thats what I needed the cobblestone streets to be. Easy to configure, cast, and be quick Quick about it On the table top.

So the moment occurred to me when I was playing around with all these corner pieces that I had left over. I hate wasting crafting material, and had all these pieces left over..... and the design I had currently laid out used precious few of them.

I have a box of left over pieces that I hadn’t used for the layout... yet.... and I try to keep them sorted and stacked. but the corner pieces I had stacked in 2x2 stacks. Well that still wasn't enough to get my attention. I was busy counting how many pieces the current configuration would be, and lamenting how many molds it would take to make large streets, small alleyways and corners for the streets so they could be wendy and windy. You know. Have turns in them. On top of that I wanted a cobblestone square that had roads connect to the square and then have alleys wind off of the larger roads. *sigh* The design I was looking at just didn't have that pizzaz and it wasn’t simple.

Thats when the corner pieces of the cobblestone leftovers jumped out at me. I realized after staring at them in dejected disappointment, that I was a horrible designer, that THAT simple 2x2 inch square could do everything an alley with 5-6 different designs could do in one simple design. So I rapidly put all my corner pieces together and put them at the edge of the large cobblestone square.

It looked brilliant!

Then I looked at the design of the cobblestone square and the 4x4 roads I had designed to come off it. You know, an intersection. Every town square needs an intersection. It needs roads. And the whole Idea of this center was that I wanted to allow a Dungeon Master to design a 2, 3, or 4 way intersection With all the pieces of the set. Well. The design I had in front of me didnt allow for that without making many pieces. I couldn't even decide on how to make it ‘modular’ enough without requiring more pieces or losing some of the size of the overall plaza. Sound familiar?

Thats when I dismantled EVERYTHING and said “AH HA!

I had solved ONE problem by making the alley sized cobblestones 2x2 square. I would solve the problem of having enough cobblestone for roads and squares and plazas with 3 simple designs instead of more than a dozen. *chuckle* by just making them ALL square. Duh. Seriously I looked at this problem for longer than a MONTH!

So I decided that I’d make a mold of an 8x8 inch square cobblestone section, four 4x4 inch pieces intended for roads, and then 4 extra 2x2 cobblestone pieces for alleys.

Now, this isn't the end of the design story. I typically like to make molds of the 2x2 inch tiles in batches of 9. But I decided not to do that for the cobblestone because the size of the 8x8 piece is SOOOOO large, and I can make a very large area with 4 or 8 of just those put together. AND I could just set the sidewalk on top of all that cobblestone to affect a raised curb without adding additional height to them, or adding height to any of the houses I’ve made. Just set them all on top of the cobblestone. DONE!

So there really is little need for even 4x4 or 2x2 pieces, so I suppose I’m not really done simplifying my designing. *grin* perhaps I’ll think about that some more.... cause the silicone to make the molds isn't cheap, and if there is one thing the Goblin Tinker is.... its che.... er THRIFTY!!!!

That way I can make more cool stuff for me... and you. Yeah.. you too.

So when you are faced with a nebulous crafting task or want your own vast city scape.... but don‘t quite know how to solve the design issues..... send me a message. I’m The Goblin Tinker!

AND remember!!

We Tinker! YOU Play! da’Boss

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