DIY: Shrink Your Own Tokens

Posted: October 2, 2010 in General, Hordes, Legion of Everblight, Pictures, Retribution of Scyrah, Tutorials, Warmachine

I have been looking for a great way to make custom tokens for my Warmachine / Hordes armies for a while now. I have seen the GF9 Warcogs and Warclaws, and while the are very nice, they are a tad bit expensive and you are stuck with the design they give you. Not to be forced into buying anything less than exactly what I want, I decided to make my own. After seeing a post on the Privateer Press forums, I began looking around for tips on using Skrinky Dinks paper to make what I want. The paper itself (which I picked up at a local craft store) was $9.97 for 6 sheets. Be careful to buy the Shrinky Dink paper made specifically for a printer. Buying sheets of the non-printer ready stuff won’t work. Warcogs come in a pack of 26 for $11.99. So far, using 3 sheets, I was able to make close to 50 tokens. Here is how I did it:

1) Make your design on the computer. Somethings to keep in mind: Use much lighter colors than you want your final product to be. When the tokens shrink, they get about 5 shades darker. I designed the template I wanted and then added a +150% brightness layer. The end result still came out a little darker than I wanted. Also, be careful which shapes you use. During the shrinking process, the tokens will warp a little bit. This isn’t so bad if you use straight-lined shapes like squares, but circles become ovals. I decided to use circles anyway because I thought the ovals looked cool. Last thing, the tokens will shrink to about half of their current size. I made my tokens 2″ by 2″ and my fury 1.5″ by 1.5″. They came out a reasonable size for my tastes.

2) print out a sheet of your tokens onto the special Skrinky dink paper.

3) Cut out the tokens and place them on a cookie sheet. The cookie sheet has to be covered in wax paper, vellum, or parchment. Do not use foil and do not place the plastic directly on metal or else they will burn. Heat the oven to between 300 and 350 degrees and slide the cookie sheet in. It takes about 45 seconds for the token to begin to shrink. Once they have settled back down (though some may stay curved) go ahead and take the tokens out of the oven.

4) Quickly, using a spatula or other flat apparatus, press down on the tokens to flatten them out and prevent them from curling back up. Hold them for about 30 seconds. When you lift the spatula, you should have flat, hardened tokens. Shown below are my Legion of Everblight ”blue” tokens and my Retribution of Scyrah “Bloody” tokens.

5) Now you can add any final touches. These tokens are virtually indestructible (my wife stabbed one with a knife to no avail), ut if you want you can add a gloss coat to them. The gloss coat further protects them from damage (unlikely) and gives them an ever-so-slight sheen. Nothing major, barely noticeable. Otherwise, you can get some adhering felt and line the bottom of your tokens with it. It does tend to double their thickness, but it makes then feel very smooth. Be sure to cut it precisely, or else it will look sloppy and ruin the effect.

And that’s it! Everything you need to make your own custom, awesome tokens. For added effect, print out and laminate a “legend” card so you can mark down what each token represents from one game to another. Also, unless you really want to have a ton of these things, I wouldn’t make tokens with an effects name on it. I thought about doing that, but then considered the sheer number of different effects available to an army, multiplied by the number of times they can be applied. That makes for a lot of tokens, which is why I used symbols. Anyway, enjoy!

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Comments
  1. Cedric says:

    Any chance you can post your tokens as 1″ counters? I’d like to use them as bloodied markers for D&D. Thanks!

    • Mike Geig says:

      They are much larger than 1″, but if you send me your email address I will forward them to you. You will just have to resize them

  2. dave says:

    those are awesome man. May I ask how you made the templates and if you could upload them to dropbox or something?

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