Time has not been kind to the old drafting table, but the internet has been–because when I looked up used and new drafting tables, I found one for sale boasting of its Vyco cover. That’s the kind of cover my mother had on her big table at the oil company she worked for. So I asked the blueprint place if they carried it, and they did, and yesterday I picked up a piece of about the right size for this table. Here’s what it looked like before:
Vyco is a material that feels kind of like very supple linoleum and is wonderful to work on. I could have filled in where the veneer came off, but chose not to for the usual reasons people take short-cuts–I need this working surface now. Vyco goes on with double-sticky tape; I laid out the tape (with its cover on along the edges of the table and then uncovered one end and very carefully (twice–the first time was not careful enough and had to pull all the tape and start over on that end) positioned the sheet of Vyco. With that reference end stuck down, I rolled up the sheet enough to pull the cover on the top and bottom, and then unrolled with pressure, but not quite all the way to the other end. Then pulled that tape-cover and finished.
And here’s what it looks like now, with the master map and its printout on top, the new T-square, an old triangle, etc.
The round objects are map weights, leather filled with (I think) BBs or another size of shot. Map weights have the advantage of not putting any adhesive on the surface you’re working on.
Vyco is reversible (I chose green/cream) and also comes in gray/white, but I like the soft green–restful on the eyes.
Meanwhile, I’m “map cleaning” in the computer. I’ve cropped the Kings story area out of the master map and now have it in Paint Shop, removing all the marks that should not be there but could not be removed from the master before scanning (long story.) Once this would have been an even more tedious task, erasing what could be erased one by one, being careful not to raise the tooth of the paper or vellum (when my mother worked on linen, which has a sizing on it to make it smooth enough to draw on, erasing in the normal way was not an option, because it would affect the coating.) Now it’s much easier, though hand-cramping on the mouse hand.
Also easy to repair in the computer are scan errors–there was a vertical void about 4-5 pixels wide in one place. Barely visible at the size it would be printed in the book, but aesthetically unpleasant to me, and it would show in a poster-sized print. So I filled in every little gap and was glad of the white spaces without black lines.
Time to get back to it…may be able to add another picture later.
And here it is: the current state of the master map.
This is not exactly right–I printed out the master map’s present incarnation from the scan, onto 8.5 x 11 inch paper, then photographed the print–which I had to take at a slight angle with the zoom to avoid shadows from the lights, even with flash. Then cropped and resized.
The south trade road just north of the mountains degenerates in the east into a mere track and then is a road a few miles west of Bannerlíth, leading into the port city. That’s the route that Kieri took heading west from Bannerlith and finally ending up at Halveric Steading, due south from Chaya. He had gone across the closed-to-humans part of the Ladysforest to do so.
Other maps will not always agree 100% with this…as with early European maps, maps are made for different purposes and with different degrees of accuracy–and even in historical time rivers shift back and forth, volcanoes can erupt and change landscapes and trade routes, coastlines change with erosion, and so on.