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Freelance Police office — behind closed doors

Before I can glue in the walls in Sam & Max’s office, I needed to finish the doors. The office door has a Freelance Police logo on the window. I had a few sheets of clear sticker paper left over from when I made mini Absolut Vodka bottles and life-sized spice jar labels, so I grabbed the texture using Telltale Explorer and printed it out.

My idea was to lay the sticker sheet over the window glass, carefully smooth it down, and then cut around the glass with an Xacto knife. I attempted the same thing for the front window of the Blackbird Bar and it didn’t work — no matter how careful I was, I ended up with bubbles and creases and flecks of dust between the sticker and the plexiglass. But I convinced myself I’d do a better job this time.

Guess what? It didn’t work this time, either.

Just like with the bar window, I ended up with bubbles under the sticker. And just like with the bar window, I ruined the plexiglass when I peeled the sticker off.

I had some replacement plexiglass in my stash so I tried again, cutting the sticker close to the edges of the logo. I was able to stick it on nicely, but I didn’t like the visible outline around the logo.

So I went back to the internet looking for inkjet transparency sheets. I wanted something stiff like the plastic that comes with a die-cut dollhouse kit. (I know such a thing exists because the stained glass windows I bought for the Victorianna are printed on it.) I thought that’s what I was getting when I bought this 6-pack of inkjet transparency film, but this film is thinner, more like what you’d use on an overhead projector. But I can still use it, supported by a thicker piece of plexiglass.

The first package of transparency film was shipped in a padded envelope and arrived creased in half. I reported it to Amazon and they sent a replacement. Separately I bought a 2-pack of .030″ plexiglass from KitKraft, since by this point I had ruined all my spare pieces with the sticker attempts.

When I finally had everything I needed, I printed out a few logos. I printed them out as a mirror image so the reverse image (which is what you see when the door is closed) was on the printed side. This allowed me to sandwich the printed side against the thicker piece of plexiglass, so the ink side isn’t exposed to the air. I hope this will prevent the ink from fading. (I didn’t want to spray this with my UV-resistant sealer, which would take away the gloss of the transparency film.)

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Freelance Police office – braided rug and welcome mat

In the early episodes of Telltale’s Sam & Max games, the Freelance Police have a braided rug in their office. (After Max becomes President of the United States, it’s replaced by a rug out of the Oval Office.)

As seen in this bird’s eye view screenshot, the rug has green, brown, and off-white rings. Also note the astroturf welcome mat outside the rat hole — we’ll come back to that farther down in the post.

Each ring is fairly solid — the off-white has flecks of green, but the green and brown are just green and brown. I could have duplicated the rug exactly, but I thought variegated thread would give it a more authentic “rag rug” look. (Also, I have a bunch of variegated thread that came in a variety pack and nothing else to use it for!) I used two skeins of DMC 94 (green) and one of DMC 105 (brown).

I followed this nice tutorial from Natalia’s Fine Needlework. The first step was to braid the floss. This is time-consuming — it took me about an hour per skein. The braid then gets coiled into its rug shape on top of a piece of glass covered with double stick tape.

This was my first attempt. I didn’t plan it out, so I ended up with a thicker brown ring on the inside and a thinner one on the outside.

I followed the directions to iron fusible interfacing to the back of the rug. I’ve used this stuff before and haven’t had problems with it fusing, but this time it really didn’t want to stick. After several rounds with the iron, the edges of the interfacing started fusing with the glass, so I figured I’d done enough.

Apparently not! When I tried to peel it up from the tape, this happened.

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Freelance Police office — hardwood floor

For the hardwood floor in Sam & Max’s office, I used the same micro veneer that I have used in the past in the Victorianna and Thatched Cottage. I buy this stuff in batches off eBay. It’s basically the same as the dollhouse hardwood flooring made by Houseworks, but a lot cheaper.

I used a light color (I think maple?) that’s no longer included in the bundles. (It has been replaced with oak.) I used the paper cutter to cut the veneer sheets into 3/8″ wide strips.

The veneer is paper-thin, and it has a sticky backing that makes it easy to apply to the floor.

The other times I’ve used this for flooring, I used darker colors and went around the edges in black Sharpie to make the individual floorboards stand out. I didn’t like how that looked with this lighter color of wood, so instead I left very thin lines between each floorboard so the brownish MDF shows through.

I carefully lined up the boards at the front edge of the roombox. I didn’t really like how it looked — since you can see the edge, it’s very obvious that this is thin, paper-like stuff and not real floorboards.

I tried wrapping a couple over the edge and decided I liked the look of that better.

So I ripped out the edge pieces I’d done so far to re-do them wrapped around the front.

As soon as I finished doing this, I realized it was a bad move. The folded-over veneer doesn’t stick tightly on the front edge — when I run my finger over it I can hear it crinkling as it sticks and unsticks itself. And some of the boards got sort of chewed up at the folds, with the wood splintering and peeling up from the paper backing. I expect that the folded-over pieces on the bottom will get damaged and may come unstuck over time as the roombox gets moved around.

But I was concerned about running out of this color, especially since it’s no longer available from the eBay seller, so I pressed on.

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