Palace of the Vampire Queen print sequence
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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 7:23 am 
 

invincibleoverlord wrote:Wow, this just keeps getting weirder…. :?

1. About Stephen's Bella… I could swear I see faint marks where the graph in the rooms' should be.
From looking at his photo it looks like a copy of an offset version with the copier set to "lighter", and it lost the grid…or maybe it's a second or third generation copy of a copy.


I can see what you mean, but I believe what you're seeing is the map on the page behind the one that's visible in the photo.  That's evident when you shift the pages by sliding them between thumb and forefinger through the bag.  I'll try to get another shot with the pages slightly separated if possible.

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 7:29 am 
 

afoolandhis$ wrote:I can see what you mean, but I believe what you're seeing is the map on the page behind the one that's visible in the photo. That's evident when you shift the pages by sliding them between thumb and forefinger through the bag. I'll try to get another shot with the pages slightly separated if possible.

Does that mean the other pages have a grid but the last one doesn't?


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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 9:56 am 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:
afoolandhis$ wrote:I can see what you mean, but I believe what you're seeing is the map on the page behind the one that's visible in the photo. That's evident when you shift the pages by sliding them between thumb and forefinger through the bag. I'll try to get another shot with the pages slightly separated if possible.

Does that mean the other pages have a grid but the last one doesn't?


Hard to say without opening the bag, but I'll try to get a look at some of the other pages.

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 1:42 pm 
 

Here are the same pages, from the contributor's yellow-cover-with-artwork version.  He believes the map pages, at least, were photocopied.  There are no streaks on any of the pages.

Image

Image

  

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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 2:17 pm 
 

FoulFoot wrote:[ Image ]

Yep. That looks like a photocopy to me. This is a yellow cover version with the sketch of the tower on the front? Is the concensus thet the yellow tower copy was photocopied by TSR once Wee Warriors left the fold?


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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 3:52 pm 
 

mbassoc2003 wrote:This is a yellow cover version with the sketch of the tower on the front?

Yep.

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Post Posted: Mon May 02, 2005 10:53 pm 
 

Again, from the contributor:

My best guess, looking at the material empirically, is that my black folder version is made up of printed map pages and photocopied text pages, which suggests that, originally, the makers decided to print more copies of the map pages than the text pages because the text pages were easier to reproduce with a copy machine and would require less toner, thus saving money.  It may very well be that the black folder was an attempt at a deluxe edition after the first run was sold.  It could also be that the black folder was an in-house special.  I just don't know.  If you remember Mike Kuo, he bought a black folder in shrinkwrap off of Ebay a few years ago.  If he still has it, he might be able to shed some more light.

It's obvious that my yellow-covered version is a complete photocopy, except, maybe, for the cover.

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 4:31 am 
 

It's obvious that my yellow-covered version is a complete photocopy, except, maybe, for the cover.

This would seem to tie in with what we're seeing with Stephen's PoVQ and my original hypothesys that the 3rd was xeroxed from the 1st prints locally. Has your contact's yellow tower copy been authenticated? Does it have a credible pedigree?


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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 9:37 am 
 

Okay, more pics here.  These first ones are of an interior map page in the Bella PoVQ, taken through the baggie.  The quality isn't the best, but it shows what I've been able to see on the other map sheets:  they don't have grid marks inside the rooms.

Image

Image

Here are a couple of closer shots of the map on the back page.  In the first one, in the uppermost room, you can just make out a circled "5" indicating room 5 on the adjacent map sheet.  These pics are meant to show that the traces of grid lines Mike was seeing on the previous pic of this map sheet are showing through from the sheet behind this one.  You can also see the hatching/shading from the underlying map sheet showing through inside the rooms.  The second pic here shows pretty clearly the lack of grid lines inside the rooms.

Image

Image

Finally, here are a couple of scans from my BF copy.  I noticed no streaking on the copyright page (looking down into the folder, since it's glued in).  The second pic is from the "Kit Use" page.  Check out the "v" in "consecutive".

Image

Image

It doesn't look to me like the bagged one here is a photocopy.  Any thoughts?

  

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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 10:07 am 
 

I don't know as much about the printing process as others here. Could the printing plates be run without the half tone grid? Could it be a printing anomily, like when you print a picture and forget to run the red, and what you get is a misprint? Is this a PoVQ without the grey print applied?


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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 1:57 pm 
 

Offset printing plates are made by first photographing the thing you wish to make a plate of. Therefore, the "master" copy of PotVQ was typed (for the text pages) and hand-drawn (for the maps). These pages were then photographed.

The negative images are then "developed". However, instead of shining the light onto a piece of white paper (a photo), the light is shone onto a chemically-treated, flexible aluminum plate. Another chemical is applied (technically, a "fixer"), and then the plates are scrubbed clean of the chemicals. The latent (now positive) image is left behind on the plate.

These plates are then wrapped around metal drums in the press, and paper is wrapped around another drum. That's where the term "offset" comes from -- the printing drum is offset from the paper drum. The printing drum is rolled through ink, the paper drum is brought into contact with it, and voila -- you have a final, printed image.

Note that this final print is only one color. To get a second color (or more), you need to run it through the machine with another ink well. While Wee Warriors *could* have run their press with two colors -- black and grey -- they instead used the halftone technique. This technique is used in newspaper pictures -- a series of fine (black) dots, that when viewed from a distance, give the appearance of varying shades of grey. This process is cheaper -- you only have to run one color.

To get to your question, the "missing" gray grid could have gone missing in one of three ways (that I can think of):

1) The page is a photocopy, and the copier (scanner) did not have the resolution to pick up the gray details. In this case, however, I'd still expect to see some jagged, broken remanants.

2) New plates were made from either the original "master", or a new master was made. Or even, plates were made from an already-printed copy, if the master wasn't available. At some point in the photographic development process, a cheaper (or quicker) method was used, and the halftone grid didn't resolve.

3) The grid was removed on purpose. Again, this could be done from the master, or even from the negative image itself (but this is much harder).

There's maybe a possibility I'm not thinking of here. It's too early in the morning.

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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 2:37 pm 
 

Very interesting. Thats similar to the old dyeline printing for plan printing, and the way they used to make printed circuit boards.

I could see that the grid may have been removed. It doesn't even line up with the rooms or walls anyway. But I would guess number 2 is more likely.


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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 3:26 pm 
 

Foul, yours is sure a great simple way of explaining complex things.

The fact is that halftones don't generally fare very well when they are very dense (80/90% coverage and more) or very light (10/20% coverage), especially when dealing with commercial (and cheap) print runs - which I guess is the case.

The firsts tend to result black, and the seconds fade into nothingness.

So, there's a distinct possibility that the grid simply vanished in this way.
Also, problems on the printing plates could cause streaks of varied density in the final output. A too long exposure to the photographic process could also cause this... making the final image too light and "burned".

The possibilities in blotching print runs are nearly endless... I learned from my own errors  :?


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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 5:11 pm 
 

Howdy All,


I think the grey grid lines were added by a second print process. If they were doing expensive things like the red foil because they had easy access to a print shop, then why not print black and then print grey - 2 tone seperation?

Also, the grey ink grid lines don't line up with the black printed maps, so they were obviously added after the black inking was done. The other hand drawn grid lines do match.

I'd say the absence of those grey lines indicates they no longer had access to the print shop or were made without using the seperate gray-ink print. Heck maybe they lost the grid pattern master or thought, "these things don't line-up, let's just use the black ink and forget the grid this time".


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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 5:25 pm 
 

Those are good points.  There's certainly a (strong) possibility that the gray grid was added separately to the printing plate -- i.e., two exposures.  If a second printing plate was manufactured for later print runs, they may have done away with the added complication and expense of a double-exposure.

As I mentioned, though, the gray grid is not gray at all.  It's black dots.  So it wouldn't have made any sense to make two separate plates, and run the paper through twice.

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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 5:28 pm 
 

Howdy Scott,


FoulFoot wrote:As I mentioned, though, the gray grid is not gray at all. It's black dots. So it wouldn't have made any sense to make two separate plates, and run the paper through twice.


Is there another reason the grey grid is off kilter? The expense/trouble of a double exposure is a good one.

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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 5:31 pm 
 

stormber wrote:Is there another reason the grey grid is off kilter?

Yep.  If they had made two exposures onto the same printing plate -- one exposure was the map, the other exposure was the grid.  The more I think about it, the more that makes sense -- and also helps explain why the grid is missing on some later copies.

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Post Posted: Tue May 03, 2005 5:34 pm 
 

A halftone image is made by photographing something through a screen -- the density of the screen mesh determines how small your dots are.  They presumably had to photograph the grid separately, and then later combine the two images when making the printing plate.

I think I'm convincing myself that's how it was done.

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