TL;DR: I made a thing.
I was looking around for cool classic fantasy/video game maps for a piece of wall art for my place, but couldn't really find the size, shape and style I wanted. I was really close to getting the classic LotR middle-earth map framed, but it wasn't quite detailed enough at the size I was aiming for. Then I remembered we have a sick looking map of Piltover that got released a little while ago, and the res is huge.
So here's how I turned this map into a full size piece of wall art.
---- Note: this isn't affiliated with Riot in any way, we're not selling them, not official, etc. I just wanted some cool wall art, couldn't find any, so made it myself over a couple of weekends!
---- First talked to our original artist of the map and got a PSD version with the letters removed as layers (will craft them separately later to be reattached).
---- Aiming at 122cm x 61cm (4' x 2') size for the main map (not accounting for frame).
---- Print the size accordingly with a matte finish (don't want any gloss, go matte for that old world look).
---- Next is to trim the map loosely to the edges.
---- Leave a buffer of a few cm around the edges to give a runway for when you set fire to it (years of DnD campaigns and making scrolls for my parties finally comes in handy!).
---- Flame on!
---- Always assume the paper will burn at least an extra 0.5cms or so long after you blow it out.
---- Intentional aggressive tearing and singing in a few feature spots can look cool.
---- This is the frame used.
---- 3" ornate bronze for that phat old world look.
---- Easy assembly with some wood glue.
---- Clamp and leave for a few days to dry.
---- This is the wooden board that will become the backing.
---- This 4' x '2 piece of wood is Birch.
---- The original wood was too light in colour, so I stained it to get the right look.
---- Practice the stain in the middle (it'll be covered up anyway) before working to the edges to get the right tone.
---- Stain used is an "Expresso" colour.
---- Printed out the original letters individually on parchment (in a variety of sizes to test).
---- I find repeated folding followed by a hand tear gives the best natural look for edges (kind of soft and fuzzy edge).
---- Again, add intentional feature tears for flavour (consider common wear patterns for paper along the folds and corners in particular).
---- First time loosely arranging the pieces on the wooden board.
---- Checking for size and position of letters mainly.
---- Iron "clavos" nails.
---- Old world style nails to hold down our map and letters.
---- We'll actually cheat and do some light gluing of the other elements, so these nails won't be holding the weight all by themselves (think over many years, the map might eventually tear and fall under its own weight if propped up by just nails.
---- Position checking before hammering in clavos.
---- All base elements are here now. This is what will be framed.
---- Foam board backing. This goes behind the wooden board for support and protection.
---- Couldn't buy in large enough size so had to tape together two 2'x2's.
---- Checking fit inside frame.
---- This is the acrylic that will be in place of the glass.
---- Acrylic is more flexible and durable than glass (also wa~ay cheaper).
---- I honestly wish I hadn't pulled off both sides straight away and left one side still covered. The static electricity that piece of acrylic generated was ridiculous.
---- Every piece of dust & hair in a 2km radius was attracted to that piece of plastic. -_-
---- Square dowel to be used as spacers.
---- Spacers go between the glass and artwork to create a buffer zone (like a mini shadow-box).
---- This will keep the glass above the height of our clavos nails.
---- Stained the same Expresso colour as wooden backboard.
---- Marked for length cuts.
---- Spacer length in on top of acrylic.
---- The woodboard + foamboard actually sat outside the depth of the frame rabbet at this point.
---- I added a line of nails along the bottom edge for it to sit on.
---- That way over time, the nails can take the weight of the artwork, rather than rely on tape to hold it up for years.
---- Artwork in and taped up.
---- Duct tape ftw.
---- Heavy duty hooks.
---- The whole thing weighs around 20kgs (45lbs).
Completed Piltover map! :D Some notes:
---- Glad I only glued the elements in certain places. The shadow created by things "hanging" off the board is a nice effect.
---- Can see the gap on the bottom edge created by the spacers. Keeps the glass off the nails.
---- I almost used real wax on the letter's seals, but wasn't sure if it would stay up there year after year under its own weight.
---- I considered getting the "museum style non-glare acrylic" that doesn't reflect light and makes easier to take photos/look at, but figured it would look weird. An old world frame & map but then this futuristic non-glare glass? I thought this would look more authentic (even if it makes pics a little harder)
---- Whole process was a few hours each block across 3 weekends. Most time was spent waiting for things to dry before moving to next step.