Hexagonal Tiles Clock From Civilization 5



About: I love everything about DIY. Check out my Instructables for new and cool projects.

Back when the clock contest was out, I really wanted to do something with a clock. I didn't really quite know how one was to go about assembling it - are there specific motors you need? Can you go to the store and purchase a "clock-making" kit?

One of my favorite games of all time is Sid Meier's Civilization V, or Civ V for short. It is an intense strategy game where you have to create an empire to last through the ages, focusing on things such as culture, science, and domination. One of the main recognizable features of Civ V are the beautifully designed hexagonal tiles that are unlike any other game. I decided to make a hexagonal tile clock from Civ V for the game life contest, and this project was born.

Step 1: Materials Needed

These are the supplies and tools needed for this project:

1) Popsicle Sticks - Used for the frame of the hill, frame of the base, catapults, and some other smaller things. Don't get the jumbo size - a normal size of 4 1/2 in. will work.You will need fewer than 100 popsicle sticks to complete this project.

2) Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun - These are the tools used to attach all of the parts together. Hot glue is a quick drying glue that is melted by a hot glue gun and then cools and settles. Great for craft projects like this.

3) Paints - I used blue paint for the rivers, green paint for the hill, and silver paint for accents. I have two different shades of blue and green in the photo, because I used two different paints in this project. Exact brands are Sargent Art, Crayola, and Simply Acrylics (couldn't find exact SA product online, white paint linked instead).

4) Box Cutter - A box cutter is used to cut things throughout the project. Better than just a regular Xacto knife when it comes to sheer force.

5) Cardboard - Cardboard is used to cover the surface of the hill. Cereal boxes have the perfect type of thin cardboard, and it won't matter if the designs are showing. You can also use cardboard to make the base. I personally chose to use cardstock or folders for the base, just because cereal boxes aren't large enough to cover the entire tile and I didn't want a large bend in the middle of the base.

6) Paper Lunch Bags and Manila Folders - I used these two things instead of paint as an experiment. The manila folders are great for making the base of the pyramids tile, and the lunch bags work well for the pyramids themselves.

7) Cardstock - I used cardstock for the base of the river tile. Thin cardboard is a viable alternative.

8) Newspaper or Printer Paper - I didn't have any newspaper easily on hand for paper mache, so I took a chance and used printer paper. In my opinion it worked just as well, though it required more glue / water mixture.

9) Elmer's Glue - This glue is used in the glue / water mixture for paper mache.

10) Clock - I got a clock and took it apart to salvage the parts needed to make my own. A cheap office wall clock will work.

11) Rubber Bands - I used two rubber bands in the catapults.

Step 2: Construct Hexagonal Base Frame

The first part of making the tile is to make its frame out of popsicle sticks. A single popsicle stick isn't long enough for a side - instead, we will make the 6 sides out of 12 popsicle sticks, by gluing pairs together, overlapping by 3/8 of an inch. You should end up with 6 pairs, or 6 sides.

Now we are going to glue the 6 sides together into a hexagon. You might want to use a protractor or some other measuring tool to make sure the angles are correct.

You might have noticed that the pairs of popsicle sticks didn't form perfect sides - since they overlapped by 3/8 of an inch, one is on top of another. We are going to connect our sides in the same way, so that once we are done the popsicle sticks will be alternating top, bottom, top, bottom, etc. Basically, the top stick of every pair should be connected to the bottom stick of another, to ensure a level base.

Once you are done, glue 6 popsicle sticks directly above each of the 6 bottom sticks, overlapping both of the neighboring sticks by 3/8 of an inch. This will make our base symmetrical, so it looks the same upside down.

Step 3: Add Bottom to Base

Adding the bottom is simple enough, and you can do it from a wide variety of materials.

If you happen to have ample cardboard, simply trace the frame from the previous step onto the cardboard and cut it out.

Otherwise, we can make ours from cardstock. I didn't happen to have large enough paper or cardboard, so I glued together multiple sheets of thick cardstock to form a large hexagon the same size as the frame.

Then, glue this bottom piece to the bottom of the base.

Step 4: Paper Mache Base

I decided that I wanted my tile to have rivers surrounding a hill. To make the river effect, we have to paper mache the base.

Paper mache is quite easy. Take several newspapers and rip them up into variously sized strips of paper. Then make a mixture of Elmer's glue and water (3/4 glue and 1/4 water, or if you have good glue 1/2 glue and 1/2 water). Simply dip the strips in the mixture and apply them on the tile.

Add about 2-3 layers of paper mache for a strong base. Once the glue hardens, the base will be very sturdy.

Step 5: Paint Base

We now need to paint the base like a river. I painted a couple of coats of lighter blue paint and then painted a coat of dark blue paint. This resulted in a nice splotchy pattern that might resemble a river seen from above.

Make sure to paint the popsicle sticks blue also.

Step 6: Construct Hexagonal and Octagonal Frame for Hill

I decided to add some prominence to the fact that this tile is from Civ V. One hexagon could simply be decorative, but there aren't very many games with hexagonal hill tops.

I also decided to construct the hill like a hexagon (rather than, say, a normal hill) because I always felt that was one thing Civ V was lacking. If you think about it, the hills should be hexagonal too to properly accommodate certain units. In the game, the units are just put on top of a tile, so they appear to be floating about a forest or floating above a hill.

This part is kind of like making the base, but easier. Just glue 6 popsicle sticks together, overlapping by about 3/8 of an inch, alternating top-bottom. Do the exact same, but with 8 popsicle sticks, to form the base of the hill.

Step 7: Connect Frames

Use 6 popsicle sticks to connect the frames. Hold the hexagonal frame in the air above the octagonal frame and glue popsicle sticks connecting the corners of the hexagonal frame to the corners (or sides) of the octagonal frame. Make sure that they slope downward, not too steeply.

In some places it will be hard to connect the 2 because they are of different shapes. This is intentionally done to result in an uneven hill for realism.

Step 8: Cover Frame in Cardboard

Cut out pieces of cardboard that cover up the interior of the hill. You might have to experiment a bit to be able to make the slopes, curves, etc. This is all ok - we will cover it up in the next step with paper mache.

You will probably want to use thin cardboard, such as the kind found in cereal boxes. This is a great way to reuse cereal boxes once you are done with them.

Step 9: Paper Mache Hill

Paper mache the hill in the same way we did before. Rip long strips of newspaper and make the Elmer's glue mixture. Then cover the hill in these strips, making sure to cover up any jagged edges.

You might want to do several "coats", in a sense, by doing a lot of paper mache and then waiting an hour so you can turn it over and do another part. By the end, the hill should be very smooth, with curves instead of sharp edges.

Sadly, I forgot to take a full pic of the paper mache hill before painting, so I posted some pics of the partially complete hill and paper mache texture.

Step 10: Paint Hill

Paint the hill green once all of the paper mache has dried. Don't worry about painting the bottom.

You might want to experiment with various shades of green, so the hill isn't too "perfectly" colored.

As before, paint in multiple coats to ensure an even finish.

Step 11: Cut "Door" in Bottom of Hill

Use a box cutter to cut a door in the bottom of the hill. The door should be a rectangle with 3 of the 4 sides cut out, with the last side acting as a hinge. This will be the maintenance hatch so you can replace the clock batteries every once in a while.

The bottom of the hill will be covered up by the base. DO NOT cut the actual base - we are going to use velcro to attach the two, so they are easily able to be separated. This means that you don't have to take the clock off the wall, just the hill.

Step 12: Drill Hole for Clock

Drill a hole in the exact center of the hill. This will be where the clock's axle sticks through. Clean up the hole with sandpaper if necessary. If any of the white is exposed, paint it green with just a dab of paint.

Step 13: Disassemble a Clock

I went to the store and bought a cheap wall clock, like you might see in an office building. It turned out I got the absolute perfect clock. After unscrewing the back of the clock, the mechanism / motor perfectly disassembled from the hands, so I was able to take it out for use in my clock.

The clock was ~$4, and I get the feeling that the clock is easy to disassemble because it is easy to assemble, too, which makes the whole process cheaper. If I had bought a more expensive clock, I'm not sure it would have worked so perfectly. Keep that in mind when buying a clock.

They also have clock kits for sale on the Internet, so you can buy the exact parts you need instead if you can't find the clock you need.

Step 14: Connect Clock, Hill, and Base

First, put in the clock before you attach the hill to the base. Put a battery into the clock mechanism and duct tape it into the hill, with the axle going through the hole. Then put on the hands (hour hand, then minute hand, then second hand). Make sure that the axle sticks through far enough. If not, you might have to do some more cutting / sanding to ensure a tight fit of the clock.

To put on velcro, attach each pair of pieces together so the adhesive faces outward. Then apply these on the bottom of the hill - you should need about 5, for a total of 10 pieces of velcro.

Then take the hill, turn it upside down, and press firmly against the base. The velcro's adhesive should set, and you will be able to remove the hill from the base anytime you want. Just make sure that you are careful not to rip up the velcro's adhesive during this process.

Step 15: Make Catapults

Some of the best units in Civ V are the siege units that are the staple of any powerful nation - without them, you will find it so much harder to conquer enemy civilizations.

All of the parts needed to make this catapult:

1) First off, we need to make the sides of the catapult. Cut off the ends of a popsicle stick so that it is 1 inch shorter than normal. Then cut 4 popsicle sticks in half.

2) Use two of the popsicle sticks you just cut in half to bridge a normal sized popsicle stick and the shorter popsicle stick, like a trapezoid. Then take two more of those popsicle sticks and use them as "supports", leaning them against the sides of the trapezoid and meeting in the middle.

3) Cut off the ends of a popsicle stick to the same size as before. Make sure that the supports are facing up, and glue it on top of its counterpart to create a sandwich (stick, supports, stick). Then do the same with the normal sized stick.

4) This is one side of the catapult. Repeat steps 1 - 3 to make another side exactly the same.

5) Cut off the ends of 5 popsicle sticks so they are the same length and about 1-2 inches shorter than normal. Use 4 of them to bridge the two sides, placing them between the supports, and 1 to bridge the two sides on the top.

6) Take a normal sized rubber band and make a figure 8 with it. Fold it in half to make a smaller rubber band that is twice as thick. Then loop it around the top supporting stick and push another normal sized popsicle stick through it. This should stay in place.

7) For the purposes of this Instructable, repeat steps 1 - 6 to make another catapult that is identical.

You are now ready to wage war against your enemies with your new catapults.

Step 16: Make "Ticks" for Clock, Attach Catapults

Once you have finished making the catapults, glue the catapults on the 2 top faces of the clock. Pose them however you like. These catapults are not necessary to make the clock, but I thought they added a nice touch.

Making the Ticks:

Cut off the ends of 6 popsicle sticks to make the "ticks" of a clock. Make sure they are all the same size.

Then, paint them silver using silver paint. Once they dry, glue them evenly along the edges of the clock. I had the 4 main ticks (every 15 minutes) go right to the edge, with the other 8 intermediate ticks slightly farther in for a cool effect.

Make sure that these ticks don't get in the way of the turning hands. You might have to bend the hands slightly upward to accommodate the ticks.

Step 17: Paint Silver Accents Around Borders

Use the silver paint to lightly paint a border around the top of the hill. This accent helps, well, accentuate the clock face and help someone quickly glancing at the clock to focus on the part that actually tells time.

For added effect, I also painted the popsicle sticks of the base lightly, effectively blending the light coat of silver with the coat of blue to get some nice swirls.

Step 18: Pyramids Tile

I had an idea that I could make multiple tiles, each with a different purpose - i.e. shelves, key hangars, etc. to make a multipurpose "unit" of Civ V tiles. I'm not quite ready to make that many tiles yet, so instead I made a nice pyramids tile to help make my display look more complete.

Yes, I know, the pyramids aren't a tile in Civ V, but I prefer pyramids to sand dunes.

It is quite easy to make a pyramid. I simply cut out 4 triangles of cardboard and joined them together with hot glue. I then wrapped them in ripped up pieces of brown lunch bags until they looked like decent pyramids.

I then made a base tile just like before. Go back to steps 2-3 to make one. I used manila folders instead of cardstock so I didn't have to paint the pyramids tile.

Then make 2 more pyramids of various sizes and glue them on the base tile.

Step 19: Finish!

This was a rather long project, at least for me, so I hope you enjoyed reading this Instructable or plan on maybe trying out this project for yourself. I think this clock turned out very well, so if you have any questions on how to make it I'd be happy to answer.

Above and in the intro (as always) are some glamour shots.



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