So, if it’s not apparent by now, I really enjoy the Game Root from Leder Games. So, I decided I wanted to make a large meeple. And if you go big, why not go really big? So I ended up making a 8 inch tall meeple out of solid wood.
I will admit, I am very lucky to have a cricut Maker so I could print out the cat meeple pattern that I wanted to use. I printed the pattern onto a sticker sheet so this way I could stick the outline wherever I needed it.
With outline in hand, the next step was to cut out the wood into the proper shape. For this step, a jigsaw is my favorite tool. It can get fairly accurate cuts and allows for a subtle movements. Although, I don’t know if there is anything subtle when I cut. I feel like I’m putting something together by brute force. And Sawdust. So much sawdust.
Due to the height of the meeple, I like to put three pieces of wood together to mimic the proper thickness for a meeple. Wood glue is perfect for this situation, or really any strong glue. I like to use large clamps to hold the pieces together. At this point, I find it best to walk away for the day to give time for the glue to cure.
Unfortunately, at this point, there are always some imperfections that need to be hammered out. Or sculpted out (more accurately). This is the part when I play with wood filler and put it everywhere I can to smooth out the meeple. This gets a lot of the imperfections out but not all. And that’s probably half due to my impatience. Once the wood filler cures then it is time to sand and smooth the meeple down. I try to make the finish as consistent as possible. This process is repeated until I’m happy enough with it. Sometimes it’s only 2 times, sometimes it’s 6 times. Depends on my mood. Which is probably not a surprise to anyone.
Painting is the last step (and for me, it’s the most fun). I found out the hard way that primer paint is required for wood projects. Unless you want to see the wood grain coming through the painted coat. Which looks cool but is not the effect I want for this meeple. I like to paint one side, let it dry and then paint the other. I paint the sides when it feels right.
This is not an exact science. The next color to be painted is the color of meeple. I found that mimicking the Marquise de Cat meeple color was particularly hard. It’s not a pre-built color from my standard paint sets. There is a brightness and a muddiness to it. Finally, I settled on a mix of two different oranges, brown, white and yellow. And to be honest, I probably would not be able to recreate it.
Then all that is left is the face of the meeple. Once again, I used a stencil made by the cricut to help with the placement of the face. I try my best to color inside of the lines but my hand is not very steady. Sometimes I think I get more paint on myself than I do on what I’m painting. All that’s left to do it remove the stencil and fix any small details.
And behold the true Marquise de Cat has arrived!!