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Fellow board game player wants to test his game prototype, which uses a number of hex pieces (prefreably smaller than Catan or Eclipse ones). Is there a place to buy some blank ones? We could then use adhesive paper labels printed on inkjet printer. Or maybe there is a place to send full-hex graphic design and receive cutted pieces? Alternatively, do you have working DIY methods for cutting uniform hexes?

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Yes, you can buy blank hex pieces. Print&Play Productions offers cardboard hex tiles in several different sizes through Boards & Bits.

Chipboard Shapes - Hex 1.19" [35 pcs] $2.00
Chipboard Shapes - Hex 1.5"  [20 pcs] $2.00
Chipboard Shapes - Hex 2.2"  [11 pcs] $2.00
Chipboard Shapes - Hex 2.6"  [22 pcs] $3.00
Chipboard Shapes - Hex 3.9"  [8 pcs]  $3.00

You could also get wooden hexes from WoodNShop for $0.15-$0.42 each, or at a discount by the 100s. I am unsure if these would fit your purposes for tile laying, as I have heard complaints that the tile dimensions are not uniform enough for such a purpose.

 C/O HEXAGON 1/8 X 1 $0.15
 C/O HEXAGON 1/8 X 2 $0.20
 C/O HEXAGON 1/8 X 1 $0.32
 C/O HEXAGON 1/8 X 1 $0.42
 C/O HEXAGON 1/4 X 2 $0.20

There is also plastic tiles, if you are so inclined. With a little bit of work to remove the mesh backing, you could use actual hexagonal tiles from your local hardware store.

I don't know of any board game manufacturer that creates hex tiles with custom graphics. Board game maufacturers are capable of creating protype board games, but my guess is the cost is prohibitive.

If you want to cut your own uniform hex tiles, you are going to need a die cutter ($600), and a custom die.

You probably don't even need hex tiles for testing purposes. If the hex tiles need not be rotated, then square tiles can be offset every other row for the same effect as a hex tile. If orientation is important, wooden tiles/disks can be substituted for hex tiles.

  • if the material is thin enough, you could also likely use something like a versalaser .. though it is likely incredibly cost prohibitive – warren Jul 30 '12 at 17:33
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Quilters and schools often use die-cutters to make shaped pieces. Hexagons are one of the standard die types, and are available in a variety of sizes. Many cut multiples at once, tho the standard sized template is a 5x8" block with 1 large, or 2, 4, or 6 hexagons of smaller sizes (3", 2", 1" face to face)

Search for Hexagon die cut to find more variety than is worth listing here. Craft stores and school supply stores often also have them.

To use them, however, you'll want a die-cutting press - itself a hundred dollar item.

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at the Wikipedia entry for hexagons(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hexagon) there is a really neat gif on how to draw a normal hexagon with a compass and a straight edge.

Otherwise I've used TheGameCrafter.com in the past. They have a Hex playing cards. although that's probably larger then catan. (3.75in X 3.25in). and you can even get blanks there (if they have them in stock.)

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Another source worth checking out, specifically for the games market, is Blue Panther LLC: they seem to make pieces specifically for gaming and can do custom cuts or engravings when you're ready to take that step. Have a look at http://www.bluepantherllc.com/ for the details.

I've done my own prototyping with wood pattern blocks, an educational tool you can find at a lot of school-supply stores; I was lucky enough to find a bag of nothing but hexes, but the shop I got it from has no idea what the model/part number on that bag was (if any) and I can't seem to find specifically hex-shaped pieces online, just a set of hexes, triangles, squares, etc.

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Disclaimer: I own this business.

Prawn Designs, based in California, sells custom bits and bases, including hexes.

  • 2
    Bob - you should warn people if you are going to post a link to your personal business (prawndesigns.com/about.shtml). It's not wrong, but you need to reveal a disclosure that you may not be an unbiased source :) – warren Mar 31 '14 at 16:27
  • Why downvoting? It's indeed not wrong and his accessories choice is really nice. PS: not "warn" but "inform". – tomash Mar 31 '14 at 19:43
  • Hi Bob, welcome to the site! To protect us against spam, even relevant self-promotion requires disclosure. Since your answer does address the question at hand, I've made the necessary disclosure on your behalf. – ire_and_curses Apr 1 '14 at 5:10
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FYI: It isn't going to look as pretty as real hex tiles but if you are just prototyping a game then you can functionally simulate Hexes tiles with Square tiles since six squares can fit around each square if you stagger rows. Drawing dots one quarter and three quarters down each edge and connect the nearest dots with lines makes the hex nature of squares more apparent.

Real life example of someone using just square tiles to create a hex board: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/786116/beehive

  • This is not a bad idea, but it comes with a caveat. Hex can have 6 different orientations in same position, while square has only 4. So it comes down to importance of orientation of each piece in that board. – Deo Aug 19 '16 at 9:12

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