Sunday, May 8, 2022

More Paper Minis

So in the last few days, I've been sort of head over heels in love with the notion of fulfilling all of my tabletop miniatures needs with simple folded paper mins. They don't have all of the visual appeal of real minifigs, and they don't have the flexibility of faceless checkers and chessmen, but my goodness, are they certainly cheap to make, easy to assemble, and perfectly functional. 

Just as a simple proof of concept, I cut out a blank of what appeared to be the easiest template to work with that I could find online, and to my astonishment—even though I was only using 20 lb. copy paper—the proofs held together without glue. Just a bit of folding, and bam, instant minis.

For scale, the wizard's base is a ¾" octagon, roughly the size of a penny or a bingo chip.
The ogre's base is twice that diameter, 1½", or about the size of a poker chip. 

They're ugly as sin, but they're the kind of thing you could quite literally fold together on the spot, mid adventure, if you really needed to.

So, taking this idea and running with it, I both printed off some sheets of old TSR paper minis and designed a few of my own (just to shore up some missing mini types that I needed—more kobolds and skeletons, and one huge spider). This is still in the "proof of concept" stage, but here are the results:

The three homemade minis on the right are laser-printed on coated 65 lb. cardstock.

On the far left is an actual tri-fold TSR mini of a skeleton (from the tan box—the Classic D&D Game). Center is the same art, but glued together to make a more vertical pawn; and, right, a similar design using the art from the 2e Monstrous Manual (thank you, Core Rules 2.0 CD-ROM!), both mounted on bingo chips for bases. The huge black widow in the back rank is mounted on a poker chip and uses the battle sprite from the PSP version of Final Fantasy.

This is nothing I'll ever distribute, of course, because I'm poaching art from wherever I can grab it online; but it's just such a quick and easy way to make minis that I doubt I'll ever bother with the 3d variety ever again. These things are even a cinch to store (in old game boxes, tackleboxes, or art trays)! ∎

Spooky, scary skeletons!


  1. I love a good DIY mini.
    This, plus (mainly) that previous post are giving me some serious nostalgia for the big box campaigns TSR put out in the early 90's... I pretty much cut my teeth on the black box/red dragon set in elementary school, and my pals played the dragon one and the undead one well into middle school.

    1. The undead one (the Haunted Tower) is the one I haven't collected yet. It's still my holy grail.

      Man, maybe I just need to set my next campaign (whenever that'll be…) in Thunder Rift. Maybe extend Zanzer's Dungeon deeper down than Stonefast/Kamro's lair and make a proper "this is how I should have been doing it back in the nineties, if I'd known then what I know now" affair out of it.

    2. That sounds legit. I always found it weird that an evil wizard would turn his nefarious powers to....mining salt?

      The first ever PC death in one of my games was when one of my players kicked open the door to Kamro's lair. At least as he was frozen solid by the little dragon's breath, it gave his pals an opportunity to slay the beast before it could recharge.

      As for Zanzer himself, he ran afoul of a web scroll the party's elf had found, and then was split in twain by the fighter's two handed sword.

      Good times, good times.