It’s no secret that I’m very excited for the upcoming Rise of Red Skull expansion pack for Marvel Champions. To help get me in the spirit, I decided to put together a couple of custom Marvel Champions health dials for the new heroes we’ll be getting, Spider-Woman and Hawkeye. And if you’re just here for the spoiler, scroll to the end.
Cutting the Chipboard
The chipboard I got off Amazon wasn’t as thick as the dials that come in the box, so for our custom dials, I started by sticking two sheets together. I used an adhesive spray that works well for these types of crafts. If you’re interested in the materials and supplies I used, I’ll have some links at the end of the post. To keep the same shape, I traced one of the dials’ faces right onto the chipboard.
I then got to work cutting it out with a hobby knife and a rotary circle cutter for the curves. The curves took a little bit of adjusting, but it was easy to use the hole where the plastic fasteners go as the center point so as not to leave extra holes in the finished piece. My biggest recommendation is to use a fresh blade. This material will wear through craft knife blades very quickly.
Once it was cut out, I used a hole punch to cut out the spots where the fasteners will live, as well as the windows for the numbers. You’ll want to use a 5/16″ or 8mm hole punch as it will match the plastic rivets from the game very closely. This is where I made the biggest deviation from the original dial faces. Instead of cutting out the more complex shape for the windows, I just used my hole punch towards the middle of the dial. You could certainly use a knife to cut out the real shape, but I didn’t think the extra effort was worth it.
Assembling the Art
You can find a ton of great art online. Since these custom Marvel Champions health dials are for our two new heroes, I started searching for any pictures I liked, not paying too much attention to whether or not they’d fit the shape. After I had a decent selection, I started loading them into Inkscape, a free vector drawing program. I mocked up a vector outline of the dials to use as a template. I made sure to scale it to the actual size of the real dials so I could use it as a reference for the images I found. You can download my template here if you’d like to use it for yourself. With my guide in place, I started scaling the images to fit the dial face.
A few tips:
- Make sure you pay attention to where the holes are going to be cut out, as well as the plastic rivets that will overlap around the holes.
- When you scale the image, hold down ctrl to maintain the aspect ratio.
- Leave some extra space around the edges. You’ll be happy to have some wiggle room later.
Putting It All Together
Once you have your art, you have to get it printed and cut out somehow. Worst case, you can use something like Staple’s print services. Cut out the entire image from the paper and we’ll trim it to size later. Before adding and adhesive, line everything up, roughly. I like to hold everything up to a light to help make sure I’m happy with how it’s going to be placed. The light shining through makes it very easy to see. If you want to feel safer, hold it together until you can trace the outline on the back of the image. Then spray your chipboard dial face and press it onto the back of the art. It’s very important to make sure you cover the entire dial face with adhesive before pressing the pieces together. You don’t want the edges to come loose.
A Pair of Custom Health Dials
All that’s left is cutting away the excess paper. This is the part where I should have followed my own instructions and used a new blade to avoid some of the edges fraying. I use the craft knife for the edges and the hole punch for, well, the holes. Just make sure you line everything up so as not to cut away more of the dial itself. If you wanted to, you could repeat this whole process to make your own number wheels, but I find it easier just to pilfer the ones that come with the game. You could also use some of my previous tips to add a little extra to this project if you wanted. Links to all the products I used to bring these custom Marvel Champions health dials to life are available below.
An Inconspicuous Extra
Next month we’re getting a huge infusion of new content for the game and I’ve been lucky enough to receive a spoiler to share with the community. I’m pleased to present you with Inconspicuous, one of Spider-Woman’s signature Justice cards.
I don’t make it a point of doing game commentary too often, but I’m really excited to get this card to the table. Paying 2 (1 cost, plus the card itself) for 3 threat is great on its own. Just standing next to For Justice, I’m sure it’ll see play often. But being able to split the threat removal makes it fantastic. No need to worry about “wasting” any of the extra. And as an aspect card in Spider-Woman’s signature kit, it’s also worth a +1 to all stats for the round. To top it all off, I love the wordplay in the flavor text. Really looking forward to getting Spider-Woman, and this card to the table.
Lots of other content creators are going to be releasing spoilers this month. I’m sure they’ll end up on Hall of Heroes as they’re released.
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