Monday, 24 December 2018

Basing Paper Figures

Someone asked me how I base my Junior General paper figures, so I though I'd show the process I'm using for the WW1 platoons I've been putting together for Trench Hammer.

Here are the figures as they are printed off. In fact I do a sheet of figures - enough for a platoon plus plenty of support weapons - in one go. I cut these out from one such sheet.I use 160gsm paper. The printer can take it with no difficulty and it makes the figures nice and sturdy.

As you can see they are a front and back view, 'hinged' at the base.

I scored along the line so I could fold the figures in half.

I then brushed on a think layer of PVA to glue the halves together.

Whilst the glue dried I made the base - a 25mm square of mounting board and a 1cm square. A 1cm square gives the right spacing for the figures. Using board in a suitable colour saves on any painting.

Once the PVA was dry I cut round the outline of the figures, although I leave a bit of the white background since (i) it's easier and (ii) there's no guarantee that the two halves have lined up.

Here's the cut out figures.

The final stage is the basing. Sometimes I use the brush and small amounts of PVA, but in this case I just put a blob on the large piece of card and stuck on the small piece. The overflow ...

... can then be used to stick the figure on the base, using the small piece of card as a support.

And the same for the figure on the other side.

In fact a blob of PVA will hod a figure without support, and I've done that with some of the officers, but a support is better.

The finished base. I have started colouring the white edges of the bases in a coloured crayon. Paint will work too, but the crayon gives a softer approximation of the base colours and takes less time and effort.

My other paper armies are done in a similar way, except that the figures are supported by pieces of matchstick. I decided to use card for these because the matchstick has to be cut (fiddlier than card) and then has to be painted (more time). Card was a lazy solution, and seems to work just as well.


  1. Thanks for the tutorial! I have some Spanish Succession figures printed out (especially taken with the Catalans and Spanish) but was never clear about how to use them except as painting guides for miniatures.

  2. Why don't you include the base as part of the printed figure? Then there's no need to stick it to the "support piece". The base is part of the folded figure and you can put the figure upright by itself. See e.g. the Billy Bones paper figures:

    1. The Junior General figured rarely come with an integral base, although I could edit one on if I was willing to spend the time. And the support piece is very little effort.


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