Introduction: Electrified Monopoly - Steampunk Inspired

This is an Instructable to modify a Monopoly board game.

I started with a special edition Monopoly board and added a Community Chest, a water tower (for the water company), a Ray Gun (for the Chance cards), a train (for the railroads), and street lights (for the electric company). I used reed switches and magnets for the triggers when you land on designated spots on the board.

This project required a lot of different things. I will provide a supply list for each part of the project as I go.

*** The pictures have a lot of information *** I'm better at showing the steps than describing what to do.

Here is a basic set of things you will need for this project.
- Wire (I used phone wire - 6 colored wires for color coding)
- Glue - Elmer's, Wood glue, and a Goop/E6000 style glue
- Shrink Tubing
- Heat gun
- Assorted LED's of your choice
- Solder/Solder Iron or Gun
- Scissors
- Drill
- Box cutter
- Saw
- Wire stripper/cutter
- Pliers
- Batteries 3V and 9V
- Screwdrivers
- Dust Mask
- Safety Glasses
- Reed switches
- magnets (very strong)

Step 1: Construct the Ray Gun

I made a ray gun to hold the chance cards.

Here are the supplies I used:
- Paper Mache egg
- Toy Gun (Cap Gun)
- Wooden base
- Blue LED
- Wire
- Cardstock paper
- Paint
- Wooden rings (for decoration)

Take the gun apart. I took the part that holds the "bullets" out of the gun as well as the orange cap at the nose of the gun.

I cut the egg to fit over the gun. This required cutting a hole for the nose of the gun and one for the handle. I cut a line between these holes to get the egg onto the gun that I later covered with paper and painted over.

For the LED nose of the ray gun, I took a blue LED and wrapped wire around each lead. I put shrink tubing over the exposed wires and heated it with a heat gun to secure it. The wire pieces were long enough to reach from the LED to under the game board when assembled.

NOTE: I keep a 3v battery handy to check my wiring connections before I shrink the tubing. It saves time figuring out what the problem is if something isn't working.

For decoration, I used blue craft wire and wound it around the wires coming from the LED. I added 2 wooden disks that I painted silver for accent. For added separation between the wooden disk and the egg, I used cardstock to create an extension (to cover the nose of the gun).

I painted the egg silver to match the gun.

I cut a hole large enough for the Chance cards to sit in.

I then stained and varnished a wooden base to attach the gun to.

After the base was dry I used an L shaped bracket to secure the gun to the base. I drilled a hole through the base for the wires for the LED to pass through.

Step 2: Make the Water Tower

The water tower lights up when you land on the water company.

Supplies:
- Paper Mache Egg
- Brass tubes
- Sheet copper
- Velum paper
- cardstock
- Blue LEDs
- Wood

Cut the bottom of the egg to make the bottom of the water tower.

Create a wooden base for the legs of the water tower.

Cut the brass tubes in half. Safety!!! Wear safety glasses when cutting metal.

Determine where the holes should fit through the bottom of the water tower (the egg) and drill the holes.

Paint the egg copper.

Wire 2 blue LED's for each set of brass tubes (same technique as the ray gun). I used 4 LED's. I taped them into 2 sets of 2 and wired them in treating the pair of LED's as one. Run the wires for the LED's down the legs of the water tower.

Make a pattern that shows when the tower is lit up (I used gears). Print it on card stock. Cut out the pattern saving the pieces that you want to make shadows.

Glue the cardstock to the velum paper. Glue in the pieces to make dark space.

Glue the velum into a circle. Cut the extra paper into tabs and fold them down (so they will be horizontal when the tower is assembled). Glue a stabilizing piece to the top edge. I used the other half of the egg to determine the size circle needed to stabilize the top edge of the tower.

Cut the extra paper into tabs and fold them like you folded the top edge. Glue the bottom edge into the egg.

Make a top for the water tower out of copper. I cut a circle from sheet copper, cut a line to the middle of the circle and overlapped part of it to make a roof. I used a brass fastener to hold the overlapped area in place. Attach it with lots of glue.

Cover the base in copper. Drill holes through the copper for the legs of the brass tubes.

Step 3: Make the Community Chest

Make a box to hold the community chest cards

Supplies
- Wood
- Scrapbook paper
- Battery tester
- LED
- Brass corners
- Sheet copper
- Cardstock paper

I designed a 'chest' with hallow insides to run wiring.

I cut each of the box pieces from light weight wood (balsa wood). I glued each piece together with cardstock corners.

I covered the box in scrapbook paper to make it look like wood.

I wired a white LED through the open chest top to light up when you land on a community chest spot.

I created a box to sit in the top to hold the cards.

For the front, I took apart a battery tester for the dial. I made a copper plate to go on the front of the chest. I cut a hole to fit the dial workings, glued the copper plate to the front of the box. To protect the dial, I made a little paper gear.

Step 4: Set Up the Train

The train runs when you land on the railroads

Supplies:
- Toy train
- Copper tape
- Train track

This was the only train I could find that was small enough to fit on top of the game board so I used a few coats of paint to make it look more appropriate to the board theme.

Take the track off the base.

I painted the horizontal lines to look more like wood.

Cover each track in copper tape. It is best if it is one continuous piece of tape.

Take the train apart. In place of the battery, wire it so that the car pulls current from the track. I made a wooden spacer (so the positive and negative wires don't touch). I then coiled wire to get a good solid contact against the positive and negative receivers. I ran the wires over the sides of the battery casing and around the wheels of the train. The wire will pick up current from the copper tape on the track to run.

The 'On/Off' switch pushed 2 pieces of metal together. I placed a tiny piece of wire in between those pieces of metal to keep a constant contact.

Step 5: Set Up the Lights

The lights come on when you land on the electric company.

Supplies
- festive lights
- Paint

I removed the festive Christmas wreaths.

I painted the lights with a light coat of copper paint.

How to wire the lights in is in the final step.

Step 6: Prepair the Board

I made a box that the board is the top of to support all the wires for the game.

Supplies:
- wood - for the sides and for the bottom of the board
- hinges
- brass corners
- brass handles

To get the board ready, cut a few pieces of wood to stabilize the board where it was folded to fit into the box.

Also, glue strong magnets to the game pieces using a Goop or E6000 style glue.

I had a local place laser etch the wooden side panels for my board.

I tried a stain on the wood, didn't like it and painted over it. I did a light coat of black spray paint. Then I went over it with copper paint, wiping the high areas with a damp towel.

I added a coat of varnish to give it light shine.

I attached handles to two of the sides (it made it much easier to move the board around).

I cut a solid piece of wood to make a box under the game board.

I glued the side pieces together, glued them to the bottom piece of wood, and attached the game board with hinges. I added brass corners underneath for decoration and extra support.

I marked the inside of the box with where my 'hot spots' on the board will be so I know where to add the reed switches.

Step 7: Prepare the Reed Switches

Let's set up the reed switches. Reed switches are very delicate. Be sure you stabilize the wire coming from the glass tube with pliers when you bend the wire. It is very easy to break the glass if you don't stabilize it. **see the pictures**

I made paper boxes to hold the reed switches. The boxes are about 1/4" shorter than the distance from the bottom of the box to the underside of the game board. I bent the reed switches and soldered wire connections to the reed switches. This was my first time soldering. I found this instructable very helpful. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/ I punched holes through the top of my boxes and positioned the switches so they sit on top of the box (with the wires underneath). I glued the boxes to sit under the spots on the board that react when you land on them.

The reason for the paper boxes is to allow some give if the board touches the switches. You don't want the weight of the board supported by the reed switches. The paper boxes will bend a bit if the board puts weight on the switches.

I have 12 spots on the board that will trigger some action (3 Community Chest, 3 Chance, 4 Railroad spots, 1 Electric Company, 1 Water Company). I prepared all the switches at the same time.

Step 8: Set Up the Train Wiring

Glue the train track to the top of the game board.

Drill a hole on either side to the track. Bring a wire up through each hole to connect to the train track.

Bend one of the wires so it runs along the train track. It will apply the current to the copper tape so the train will run. I used a bit of copper tape to hold the wire in place. You want to wire each side of the track this way - one side will be positive, one side will be negative.

Step 9: Put It All Together

The final assembly takes a lot of wiring

The basic wiring idea is this:

From the battery, run the positive wire through a resistor, then connect to one side of a reed switch. Connect the other side of the reed switch to the positive connection of the object you are wiring in. From that object, run a negative wire back to the negative side of the battery.

All the wiring follows that same pattern with a few minor variations.

The LED's we have require unique resistors for each color (we can't wire white and blue LED's through the same resistor - only one color will light up at a time if wired that way). I used different color wires for the different LED's. Black wire was used for blue LED's and white wire was used for white LED's.

From a 9V battery, I soldered a wire and resistor for the blue LED's, one for the white LED's, and one for the street lights. The train runs on a different battery.

From the black wire, I connect a wire to each reed switch that is under a Chance spot and the water company spot because those all light up blue LED's. From the white wire, I connect a wire to the reed switches for the community chest spots because the light on the chest is white.

For all three Community Chest reed switches, I connected another wire to the other side of the reed switch. Those wires all come together to connect to the positive side of the white LED wire for the chest. From the negative side of the LED I ran a wire back to the battery. I used the same technique to wire the Chance spots.

In the community chest, I have the dial set so that it moves when you land on the community chest spots. The positive wire from the battery tester is wired in to the positive wire from the LED on the same chest. The negative wire from the battery tester dial is wired into the negative wire from the LED.

To wire in the street lights, it took a bit of wire cutting and hole drilling. I placed the lights on the board where I wanted them and drilled a hole for the wires to go under the board. The streetlights had two wires twisted together and I marked one of the wires with a black sharpie so I would know which wires to reconnect under the board. I cut the wires, passed them through the board, and then reconnected them underneath.

For the streetlights, you want the resistor that was used in the battery pack. Cut it out and add it to the line from the battery to the reed switch at the Electric Company. I know the resistors I have cut the power to about 3 volts. The extra resistor will cut the power down to the appropriate level for the lights.

Now that the streetlights are wired into the board, I can use the battery pack to hold a AAA battery for the train! I made a wire coil to hold the AAA battery in the AA battery pack. It holds the battery in place and makes the connection to the battery contacts. Cut the wires on the back to connect to the train wires underneath the game board.

I glued the ray gun base in place as well as the community chest. I ran all the wires underneath, connected them and checked them.

Comments

author
porcupinemamma made it! (author)2012-03-04

Wowzers! Very cool!

author
katlover made it! (author)2011-08-10

thanks)))))

author
insanitydonewell made it! (author)2011-03-12

Hi, could you possibly give measurements on the boxes you made?

And I'm having a little trouble following the instructions. Could you be more specific?

I'm sorry for the trouble, I'm just really new to this....

author
mickgoth made it! (author)2010-09-30

actually kinda cool, seems like the props are alittle big though.. it may be alittle hard to see parts of the board depending on where you sit ... no?... i do love it though great ideas... LETS SEE A VERSION 2!

author
Voot made it! (author)2009-12-30

Please allow me to compliment you on your imagination, your resourcefulness, and your perseverance on this project. A wonderful addition to the Steampunk genre

author
mattimusmaximus made it! (author)2009-08-11

Afreakingmazing, I love it, you're visionary!

author
mettaurlover made it! (author)2009-08-05

you officially have the coolest monopoly game i've ever seen.

author
Tostie14 made it! (author)2009-01-17

Antibromide,
I'd like to shoot some footage of your Steampunk version of Monopoly for a documentary about Monopoly that I'm producing called Under the Boardwalk. What part of the world are you located in? We'll be traveling around the US (and a bit of filming outside the US as well) throughout 2009.

You can visit our website at MonopolyDocumentary.com to watch a short teaser of our film. I'd love to hear from you!
Kevin Tostado
Producer/Director of "Under the Boardwalk"
kevin (at) monopolydocumentary (dot) com

author
thepelton made it! (author)thepelton2009-07-01

Do you have the song from the 1950's?

author
Tostie14 made it! (author)Tostie142009-07-01

We do. Thanks!

author
autigers23 made it! (author)2009-06-27

this is pretty much awesome (:

author
imshanedulong made it! (author)2009-01-05

What exactly is "Steampunked"?

author
oakback made it! (author)oakback2009-01-05

I think I figured out a good example, watch the movie "Treasure Planet", and that seems to have the prevailing "steam punk" styling throughout.

author
antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-05

Thanks for bringing up Treasure Planet as an example. Wild Wild West was also very Steampunk themed.

author
SteampunkToreador made it! (author)SteampunkToreador2009-01-17

Also, if you're into anime, "Castle in the Sky" by Hayao Miyazaki and "Steamboy" by Tatsuya Tomaru (yes, the creator of "Akira") are very steampunk. If you like roleplaying games, check out Deadlands, from Pinnacle Games, Castle Falkenstein, from R.Talsorian Games, and GURPS Steampunk (and GURPS Deadlands, GURPS Screampunk, and GURPS Castle Falkenstein), from Steve Jackson Games.

author
mattyh made it! (author)mattyh2009-06-13

You missed off 'Memories' (the 3rd story) One of the fav dvd's i have. A good dvd maybe to get into anime. The other two stories: 'Magnetic Rose' is a top notch, Wierd Sci-fi and 'Stink Bomb' is very funny. The final 'Cannon Fodder' is very Steampunky. Three distinctley styled short stories from 3 of the best anime directors.

author
reedz made it! (author)reedz2009-01-05

Basically "Steampunk" is a form of art based on how things would look like if they were based off of steam driven machines. So it means a lot more copper, gaskets, and metal items. It's just a style.

author
imshanedulong made it! (author)imshanedulong2009-01-07

Thanks!

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-05

Steampunk is sort of Victorian style mixed with modern technology. A good place to look at for inspiration is the Steampunk Workshop: http://steampunkworkshop.com/

author
mattyh made it! (author)2009-06-13

Wow, this is too Cool!

How about a custom made board with anime inspired locations. That would be epic and would finish off what is pretty damn awesome to start with.
(Painted in oils, for that old look maybe).

Hope you like my idea =)

author
tyranta made it! (author)2009-04-22

This is just a miracle!

author
sebby38s made it! (author)2009-04-21

I dont like it but is preety good!

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bounty1012 made it! (author)2009-04-17


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sgt. frog made it! (author)2009-03-24

OMG ITS ZATHURA!!!! XD

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bounty1012 made it! (author)bounty10122009-04-17


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Create123 made it! (author)2009-01-18

This is awesome!! This must be super hard!!

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knexsuperbuilderfreak made it! (author)2009-01-09

where can i get that train set? i make this i got most of it done

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Here is a web site with lots of the different add-ons: http://mailjust4me.com/crafts/xtstrainsystem.htm

I personally got mine off ebay.

author
SteampunkToreador made it! (author)SteampunkToreador2009-01-17

I've also seen them at Toys 'R' Us, though I think they were on the clearance rack the last time I saw them.

author

thks

author
kewrw28 made it! (author)2009-01-12

Truly a stroke of genius. Keep up the good work. This is absolutely fantastic ! ! Thank You For Sharing.

author
Ward_Nox made it! (author)2009-01-11

and the bootleg monopoly token/ money industry is born

author
Damage, Inc. made it! (author)2009-01-10

This is an extremely well-done instructable. Plenty of pictures, well explained, and interesting as well! Great job!

author
PKTraceur made it! (author)2009-01-09

Nice! Two of my 5th favorite things. It's kind of sad how my family games end with everyone surrendering to my brother's evictions and complete owning of one side of the board...

author
pyrocop1 made it! (author)2009-01-06

Very well done, I bet it could be a production item. People would buy this. Great Job

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

If I had the patience I could do that. I have thought about making kits to do it yourself though. Thanks!

author
Sandisk1duo made it! (author)2009-01-06

Very cool! if only i had the money, and the steampunk spirit...

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Thank you! Monopoly lends itself to the Steampunk theme so well. I'm sure you could find another theme to make a hack of your own. :)

author
moofrank made it! (author)2009-01-08

I adore Steampunk, and collect boardgames. So far, I've only found one game that is already Steampunk themed called Planet Steam. Problem is, they only did 200 copies--but it does scream for brass bits.

author
antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Why do they make so few copies of the awesome games? I guess we will have to hack the rest of the board games to make them look awesome.

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thinman made it! (author)2009-01-08

Great Work!

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Thank you!

author
jongscx made it! (author)2009-01-08

Wait, did you rig up the community chest to automatically open when a character lands on the space? or was it just the light?

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

No, the chest doesn't open. There is a light on the top of the box and a dial from a battery tester on the front. The dial moves when you land on a Community Chest spot on the board. I didn't even think of having the box open when you land on a Community Chest spot...

author
CoolKoon made it! (author)2009-01-08

WoW! This is really impressive! It's interesting that up until this point I thought that Monopoly is mainly a boys' game. And to see it "electrified" by a girl......wow......I might even have to "reevaluate" some of my opinions about women :D But suma summarum it's a really nice piece! Nice job ;)

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Thank you! Monopoly has always been my favorite board game.

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timrs2001 made it! (author)2009-01-08

Wow! Steampunk is my favourite style and this game is outstanding! Thank you.

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antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Thank you!

author
comodore made it! (author)2009-01-08

GREAT JOB!!! I love steampunk style, and I love monopoly, a great way to combine those two! rate*****

author
antibromide made it! (author)antibromide2009-01-09

Thank you! Monopoly was such a perfect starting point to make a Steampunk game hack.

About This Instructable

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Bio: I'm a visual artist and fashion designer. I make pretty things. I post pictures of what I make on my website: http://theantibromide.com
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