I’ve been really nervous to fuse my biggest creation yet: The WarMech from Final Fantasy.
The last few fuses of the bigger pieces I have done fell apart while ironing, or were otherwise challenging, and I just was avoiding completing it until I was feeling confident. It had been sitting on the kitchen table for the last few days, and I moved it to the couch without issue before dinner earlier in the evening. I had it all the way to the kitchen table, and while setting it down, the boards buckled, and it all came crashing down.
When I was a freshman in high-school, we played Dungeons & Dragons and other Palladium RPGs on weekends and breaks. My friend Kevin had a NES and a copy of Final Fantasy, and it was the closest representation of that turn based combat that was available in 1990.
I chose the Werewolf for my first Final Fantasy Perler creation because I liked the colors on this version of the wolf. If you remember old-school Nintendo games, there was a ton of palette swapping going on, and enemies and NPCs would look alike. There are 4 color variations of this, and I plan on making all of them.
The fuse on this went well, although there is a little bit of a shift in the tail as the pegboards shifted while ironing ( I’ve come up with some solutions to reduce this shifting, and will post more on it later)
Make sure to put something on the medium/heavy side on top of your perler immediately after fuse; if you don’t, the will warp at the edges, and you will have to heat it back up to get it to lay flat again. I’ve seen other people use heavier items like dictionaries, but I don’t see the benefit. I’ve had success with DVDs and smallish books.
If you can, take your creation off the pegboard before it’s cooled (don’t burn your fingers!) and lay it on a piece of parchment paper, give it a few passes with the iron to heat it up a little before putting another piece of parchment on top, and then applying the weight.
It doesn’t take much weight, all you really need is a couple of DVDs or books. 15-30 minutes should be fine to let it cool.
If you are just moving a board that you have made from one room to another, you just have to be careful as you walk.
If you need to move them longer distances, I have found that it works really well if you take a second board, line it up on the top, and tape it down with masking tape.
I start by taking one corner, taping the top, and then sliding it to the edge of the table and taping underneath, and rotating it 180 and getting the diagonal corner, and then just repeating until it is secure. When they are solid like this, you can even transport them vertically. When you get to the place you will be fusing them, you can just cut it with an exacto knife.
My favorite part of this is the colors. I know it’s not the most impressive thing in the game, but it was easy to make, and I had just made a Peashooter from Plants Vs Zombies, so I thought I would stick with the theme.
SMB3 on the original NES was the pinnacle of console gaming back in the day. I didn’t have my own NES at the time, so when it came out, I spent the night at a friends house, and we rented an NES and this game and stayed up all night beating it. This game really set the standards for all Mario games to come.
I’m already running perilously low on black Perler beads, so I decided that I would find some easy designs that didn’t take any black beads.
I always loved the Donkey Kong Jr game. In the 80’s, you could count on the game sequels in the arcades to not stray too far from what the original game did. The Shakey’s Pizza had DK Jr, and I played it quite a bit; I could always get to, but never quite beat the electricity level.
Space Invaders was a no-brainer. I will likely make dozens of these, as they are good space fillers on boards that I have to tape up to bring them home.
This was the first game that I ever stayed up past midnight to play, and wake up first thing in the morning to play again. My father had an Atari 2600, and would let me play anytime I was at his place and he wasn’t already watching the TV.
I got a request from a co-worker to make the Megaman for him, and I had a little more room on the board for the fairy that refills your health in Zelda.
The fuse on the Megaman came out nice. I don’t see many other people melt them to the extremes that I go to, but I think I will move forward with the heat and pressure that I am using on the one side, but no fuse at all on the opposite side. My goal is to have almost no visible holes on the main side, aside from those on the borders.
Beads are all sorted. It took forever, but I have time during the day to get it all done. I love the color palettes that come out as colors are removed from the mix.
I tend to separate by taking out the darker colors first since they stand out the most.
This bucket of 22,000 beads took about 4 days to separate. I doubt many people do it this way, but the way I see it, you either separate as you build, or you do it beforehand. I like that you know how many of any particular color you have so you can plan projects accordingly.
I had this Fighter from Final Fantasy 1 completed and ready to iron, but I bumped him, and most of the border fell apart. I decided to not re-assemble it, since the skin tones were a little too dark. The colors that came in the assortment I purchased didn’t really have a good skin tone in it. The pink was too pink, and the tan was too tan.
I will make a new one once I order an assortment with better color choices.