Monday, February 13, 2012

The 18th century, in paper

Work continues to assemble by British and French Napoleonic paper miniatures, for use during my upcoming business trip. They will stand in for the forces of Formulgala and Baden-Hundsheim in a border skirmish scenario of some kind. An affair of little importance in the political situation between the two powers. Or is it? Might it instead be the tipping point, plunging the two nations into open warfare?

In the meantime, I spent a little time this weekend beginning some 18th century paper miniatures, so that future traveling games will look much closer to my vision for these armies. And, these figures make nice color studies, informing my choices about the paint I'll eventually put on their little metal counterparts. As a starting point, I used the line drawings available on the Prince August website. These illustrations form part of the catalog for their Holger Eriksson line of molds for 40mm semi-flat miniatures. With their kind permission, I thought I'd share the work-in-progress so far.

Baden-Hundheim infantry

The regulars are simply the Prince August line drawings, with layers of color added. The Grenadier command figures are simple digital "head swops" using the marching grenadier's head. The "Turkish" infantry use the drawings as a base, but have been heavily modified by myself. The drum comes from the cavalry drummer drawing. Note that I plan to use the infantry office figure, with different colors applied of course, for the officer of Grenadier battalions. I may use him as the officer for the "Turkish" battalions as well (I really MUST come up with a name for the "Turkish" province to the south of Baden-Hundsheim), or create a more characteristically Turkish officer figure, depending on how the story of these Southern borderlands plays out. Are they well integrated into the Baden-Hundsheim political machine, and therefore lead by their own loyal officers? Or are they provincial troops, led by officers of the Baden-Hundsheim nobility? I haven't decided yet.

Baden-Hundheim cavalry, from a Prince August line drawing.

Formulgalan Artillery. All figures based on Prince August line drawings.

Baden-Hundsheim Artillery.

I'm not too keen on the lavender gun carriages. I'll probably change those. I may add an officer to each battery as well, from the Prince August standing officer drawing.

Feedback very welcome indeed. Oh, and I should mention that I'm not dead set on the purple uniforms. I'm going to make up a set of these in the brown scheme as well, and see which I prefer.


  1. Hey, those are sharp! Almost makes want to have a go myself with creating some small paper forces. Which programs did you use to do yours?

    Best Regards,


  2. Stokes: I use a free piece of software called Paint.NET, but anything that allows you to work in layers will do. I created a transparent layer with only the black lines first, then filled in the background with very dark grey. I prefer a "black" edge around my paper figures because I'm never going to be able to assemble them accurately enough, or cut them out accurately enough, to get right on the edge of the art, both sides, so I don't bother. That layer becomes the mask on top of all the other layers.

    The next layers are base color layers, and layers go on top of these (but below that top level mask) for the shading, then highlights. Using layers for each allows me to quickly change one of them to a different color. Slight changes, to get better highlight/shade tones, or large changes, to change the color of uniforms or turn backs entirely, are equally easy.

    Photoshop Elements would also let you use this same approach. Hope this helps.

  3. By the way...I forgot to mention this in the post...I plan to use these masters to create units much like the Napoleonics in my prior post. I'll print them in 15mm scale, most likely.

    The detail is probably good enough to print them at 25mm or even 40mm scale too, for skirmish games, but if I'm going to make large scale skirmish figures, I'll probably just buy the Prince August molds and make actual toy soldiers. While traveling with paper skirmish figures would make sense too, I'm content with one set of traveling paper miniatures.

    And really, I wouldn't feel right printing these at more-or-less the same size, and for the same use I'd put the real thing to. If I assemble a set of large scale skirmish figures, I'll patronize Prince August directly.

  4. For your "Turkish" relationship, you could do worse than look at the German & Hungarian relationship in Austria's army.

    Although I suppose that another possible model might be Russia and the Cossaks.

    -- Jeff

  5. Indeed, both had occurred to me. I'll probably go with a German/Hungarian styled relationship, as Formulgala will have a Cossack/Russian relationship with...well...Cossacks.

  6. I love it... I think that the purple and gold works well, it is very regal after all so perhaps changing the gun carriages to yellow (gold might be a bit much) would work.

  7. These are great little paper soldiers!

    For your imagi-nation detail uniforms have you seen "Not By Appointment"?

  8. Hi MurdocK,

    Thanks very much. When I get some more time (after I finish the paper napoleonics armies I'm almost done with) I'll get to work turning these into printable, foldable paper miniatures.

    As to Not By Appointment, yes indeed. I used one of his templates for the uniform designs in this post: