Gaming on a Budget: We Interrupt Flames of War to Bring You Some Papercraft

Dethron forgot to take pictures of his finished Bocage before he moved on to demolishing his basement under the admittedly thin pretense of building a better gaming room.  Or he smashed off his own penis in a freak sledgehammer incident.  I can’t remember which it was.  In either case, we’ll all have to wait a little while longer for the final unveiling of his FoW board.  In the meantime, I bring you some Gaming on a Budget goodness of my own as Dethtron finishes up his basement and/or waits for his penis to regrow like one of those little lizards you find all over the place in Florida

One day on the internet, just like any other (at the time, I think I was doing a risk/reward analysis concerning looking at Blake Lively’s leaked nude photos at work), as I was poking around looking for some new information on naked Blake Lively Infinity, I found something truly wondrous – papercraft terrain.

So cool.  This picture courtesy of Fire Broadside.

It’s a great way to get some terrain up and running for almost no money and in almost no time.  Perfect for supplementing your collection of book hills and Mountain Dew Storage silos.  Hell, some of the stuff I’ve found looks good next to ‘actual’ terrain.
For today’s tutorial you’re going to need just a handful of supplies:

  • a good pair of scissors (or an nice, sharp hobby knife)
  • a ruler
  • some card stock
  • tape and/or white glue
  • a color printer

Obviously, if you don’t have a color printer, running out and buying one kinda shoots the whole “on a budget” portion of this series in the foot.  So, if you’re feeling Mission Impossible-y, you can always substitute actually owning a color printer for a few minutes of time at a relatively unguarded color printer you don’t own.  Maybe that one down the hall at work?

Feel free to hum the Pink Panther theme.

You also need something to print out.  For today’s demonstration, I’m using some of the templates from Toposolitario.com that I found by way of Fire Broadside.  There’s all kinds of stuff out there, so if you’re not interested in today’s brightly covered shipping crates then you can always do some light Googling and come up with some manner of cool shit that suites you. 

An Important Note About Cardstock
One of you out there will inevitable decide that maybe you don’t need some fancy thin cardboard to make these crates.  You’ll bust out the computer paper you totally didn’t steal from work and then make a shitload of buildings.  Then you’ll collapse them all the first time you try and stand a metal miniature on them.

Seriously.  Get your ass to the office supply store.

Look guys, card stock is dirt cheap.  I got 250 sheets for 15 bucks.  That’s 250 of the crates I’m about to show you how to make.  For 6 freaking cents apiece.  You could do an entire crate table for less than half the cost of a single piece of the GW terrain.

Step 1:  Print Out Some Patterns
This is seriously the most complicated part of the whole thing.  Pick out some patterns and then print them on the cardstock. I used a bunch of the Topsolitario IKUBEs.

Here’s the tricky part – make sure you set your printer to card stock mode! Many printers use a roller system to move paper through the print head – if your printer is set to a regular paper thickness then you could get some smearing as the paper feeds through the printer.  This can usaully be taken care of in the properties button once the printing dialog boxes open up.

Here are my examples and part of my desk at work

Step 2:  Cut Out and Score the Pattern
It’s not rocket surgery, folks.  Once you’ve CAREFULLY cut around the lines, use your ruler and the tip of your scissors to score the card stock along the fold lines.  This will make your life extremely easy once it comes time for construction since the scoring will help make your folds crisp and clean.

Notice my totally sweet scissors that I got before the office supply budget got cut

Step 3: Fold it and Tape it Together
Depending on where you got your pattern from, this step could be really easy or kinda easy.  The crates I’m making are more towards the rock-simple side of things and only require some tape.  Other stuff may be a bit more intricate and could merit the use of glue.  Just remember to use a toothpick or something to apply it along the seems to keep the excess glue squirts to a minimum.  Again, all of this isn’t to hard, so unless your suffering from some kind of acute Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or are a drugged out hobo, you should be able to do all of this without too much trouble.

It’s an orange crate.  I don’t know what else you want me to say.

Step 4:  Enjoy
In a relatively short amount of time, you can have a nice selection of card stock goodies laying around.   Again, the perfect way to get a battlefield up and running in a hurry.  Plus, if you’re like me, then you got to stick it to the man a bit.

Here’s a bunch of the crates I made with a miniature to kind of give you a feel for the whole thing.

I spent maybe 30 minutes and about 25 cents on these boxes.  Not too shabby. 
Plus Dr. Ratso gets a sweet new job at the shipping depot while he works on his GED at night.

Pretty cool, huh?

The whole card stock thing isn’t without it’s flaws, but you can get a reasonable sturdy set of terrain up in running in almost no time at all for almost no money at all.  I call that a win.

I’m kinda out of stuff to say, so I’ll just let this post peter off.

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