Jake’s Table Top City (Part 1)

Jake's City Map 5 alt

Jake thought up and funded much of the modular buildings set, and kindly sent me this write up of his city-in-progress. He’s got a lot of great tips and an excellent concept, and I’m itching to see the finished product!


I first saw a glimpse of Ross’s work on Reddit when a particular piece caught my eye; The Humble Home. While Ross had already had a great concept idea of making a model 2D with different levels, I was struck with inspiration and wanted to further build on his idea. Why not make a home that you could assemble and interchange the different levels? Players could no longer know what was in store for them each time they came to the same map home, but rather not know what waits in the basement or up the stairs because it could always change.

From this idea, I communicated with Ross to see if he was willing and able to even accomplish such a feat and more importantly, how much would it cost me? Ross to my surprise was actually quite welcome to the idea, and even better he was very reasonable on price. We even agreed that it would be great to share the idea with the 2-Minute Table Top community. So, we both set to work on the creations. I sent him rather crude drawings and slowly but surely he molded my ideas into a reality.

Jake's City Map 1

First with one home, then another, and another, till we had 3 baselines houses plus the original humble home to work with. From here, I began to craft my own homes using some Photoshop tools based on his models and art. I created my own custom home layouts as well as begin the long crafting process of assembling all the models.

Jake's City Map 2

Slowly but surely the models started to come together and pile up. It took several weeks, 3 different printers, 3 different paper types, and I finally found one that gave me enough shadow contrast and image clarity that I began mass production of what would soon be my little town. I started to have so many of these little buildings, that I quickly ran out of room for storage. I purchased a box used for holding photos and had a stack of file folders cut down to size as I started to fill the box with our creation.

For several months I diligently slaved over my desk first printing, then mounting on a cardboard box (I used bankers boxes). Assembly was a trial and error until I found something that worked. First I would cut the paper near edge and roughly trace it on the cardboard. I would then fill the traced area with a glue stick. I found that “Elmers X-Treme” Strength worked best for what I was trying to achieve without separation or smearing. I would then flip the sheet of cardboard over leaving the images face down and apply pressure. After getting a few razor blades from the local hardware store, I would cut along the edge and remove the pieces carefully as not to tear them. I would then use a bottle of glue to adhere any loose edges or corners so that they would not catch and let dry. After it was done drying, I would take a black sharpie and outline all the corners of the paper and the cardboard to put a distinct edge and wall along the outside. This would also eliminate the white trim so the model would be more uniform. As a personal preference, I added another layer of cardboard to the back of the roof and second story to give them an extra level of pop when placed on a map.

Jake's City Map 4 alt

Later I will show you a completed product and how you can interchange and make an exponential number of homes and endless maps all from a few simple builds and some fun crafting.

Stay tuned for part 2 in a few months! Don’t want to release any spoilers for my players till they hit the town. Hope you enjoyed,

– Jake

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