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Other Stuff => Workbench => Topic started by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 11:29:15 AM

Title: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 11:29:15 AM
This thread shall serve as an index for a multi-part series of articles that show how I design, build, and use cardboard standees and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of them.

*Edit: Also check my setup instruction on how to photograph your miniatures so they are "Standee-ready"!

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=43019.0

*/Edit

Projects so far (Click on the links):

1. Strange Aeons / Lovecraftian Horror (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40649.0)
2. All Things Zombie (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40694.0)
3. BattleTech (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40746.0)
4. Hired Guns (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40766.0)
5. D&D Dark Sun (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40811.0)
6. My Sin City Project (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=44154.0)
7. Future Noir: The Department (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=46259.msg537935#msg537935)
8. Shocking Tales of Madness and... Cardboard?!? My take on Strange Aeons (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=43781.0)


Paper miniatures... What do you think of when you hear the term?

3d renders from RPGnow.com?

(http://www.abload.de/img/tfpg6eqznwqw6.jpg)

Rank and File units with unsightly big white outlines?

(http://www.abload.de/img/20111108141112ziur2.jpg)

Not good enough for me!

Playing mostly complex "ameritrash" boardgames like Arkham Horror, Risk 2210, Nexus Ops, Last Night on Earth and similar with my friends, I have come to appreciate the inherent advantages of boardgames. Easy to store and components that are very sturdy while also looking good.

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg2544xncx2.jpg)

Of course, I play some tabletop games here and there, but as most miniature hobbyists probably know, the mountain of lead just keeps on growing and one seldom finds the time or motivation to paint some of it.

(http://www.abload.de/img/standees_allcopygkdqd.jpg)

Back to Spring 2011 when I stumbled upon that new game of Lovecraftian horror called Strange Aeons. I want to play this! Hmmm, even though there are a lot of nice miniatures for it available, I had something else in mind. My Strange Aeons theme would be based on the classic 1997 first person shooter Blood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_%28video_game%29) by Monolith Design.

(http://mgt.kz/forum/imagehost/graphic/images/2010/July/25/394C_4C4BD734.jpg)

It burns, it burns! Yeah baby!

The great thing about these old games is that they use sprites for most objects and characters. So I thought to myself "Hm, I could make some standees from those nice graphics!"

So I fired up photoshop and made a simple template for my standees. I just had to insert the game art, print it out, and glue it all together.

(http://www.abload.de/img/standees_bloodcopyrtri3.jpg)

I mounted it to 1mm thick cardboard which was a real pain to cut, but it gives a nice sturdy feel to them and won't topple over easily.

The results can be seen here: (Pimp my Standees part 1: Strange Aeons). (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40649.0)


Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 11:31:06 AM
Pimp my Standees part 2: All Things Zombie. (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40694.0) (Click me!)

The second part is online!

(http://www.abload.de/img/standees_atzd8qan.jpg)

This particular project, including terrain used, is described in detail in the article itself, here I just want to talk about the way these standees were made.

As you can see, the character images have been given a glowing outline to make them more visible and help set them apart from the dark background. For some reason, I decided to try out a dark grey background for these, I think I believed that my printer would not handle black as well. Were I to do it all again, I would probably use black as in the other projects. Either way, it looks ok. I also added a frame around the whoe template to better arrange them on the print-out page and the consequentally help with cutting and folding.

(http://www.abload.de/img/outlaw_0594jdu.jpg)(http://www.abload.de/img/redneck_015ujq1.jpg)

The general templates used are pretty much the same as the ones used for the Strange Aeons standees, apart from the fact that I made a couple of base textures to choose from, taken from World Works Game's Streets of Legend and Hinterland forest sets. The choice was mostly random, but some "outdoor" characters like the jokey zombie and the Hillbillies were given grass and dirt textures, for example.

This project was mostly possible because of Vampifan's vast array of great zombie miniature photos, and after asking him for permission I had a large range of images to choose from for my project. Additionally, I made photos of my miniatures as well and used those.
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 11:31:16 AM
Pimp my Standees part 3: BattleTech. (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40746.0) (Click me!)

The third part is online!

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg25740xfua.jpg)

As usual, a detailed overview of this project is presented in the aticle itself.

Here, I just want to raise an issue that I took a long time to find a solution for. When playing BattleTech, every unit has it's own statistics, and things like heat, damage, ammunition etc. has to be tracked constantly, so using effect counters or similar would just clutter it all up too much. A seperate sheet with those pieces of information has to be used, and consequentally, there has to be some way to identidy the units listed on the unit sheet with those on the actual battlefield. I hadn't planned for this problem when I designed my standee template, and all bases just had a simple texture on them without any further information. Just giving each standee a different number and putting it on the base would become a problem if units have to be swapped between forces and such, so I tried to experiment with "add-ons" that would essentially be pieces of cardboard with the required identification that fit to the standee in some way, by slipping over the base for example or being clipped to the side of the standee.

I never managed to invent such a system that looked right and was easy to build, use and change. Only much later did I finally see how easy to solution would be, but that has to wait for part 5, to be posted on friday, when I talk about my newest project, Dark Sun.

(http://www.abload.de/img/untitled-1rcueh.jpg)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 11:31:27 AM
Pimp my Standees part 4: Hired Guns. (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40766.0) (Click me!)

The fourth part is online!

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg2580p1c77.jpg)

Not much about to say about any particular techniques I used for these standees, aas they are pretty much the same as those used for All Things Zombie. One thing I do might want to point out however is that I'm failry proud of how the gradient on the base with the character name has turned out, it took a lot of experimentation to get this to look right :)

(http://www.abload.de/img/untitled-191jss.jpg)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: FramFramson on April 16, 2012, 03:31:00 PM
Man, you are the third person I know to refer to Blood in less than 12 hours. What on earth is going on?

That game was rather hilariously violent, if you will. I think the hand-tossed bundles of dynamite made for the funniest weapon.
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 04:54:32 PM
What can I say but Blood is just the most fun FPS ever. And I totally agree that the handheld bundle of dynamite is the funniest weapon, it's so much fun throwing it at a cultist at full power and watch him disintegrate messily while also flying backwards 30 feet. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to attend my therapy session.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZW17KbAmRq8#t=297s (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ZW17KbAmRq8#t=297s)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: infelix on April 16, 2012, 06:25:35 PM
I used to love that game when it first came out, excessive violence at it's best :)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Daeothar on April 16, 2012, 10:05:13 PM
Never played 1, but 2 was awesome! One of the most intense moments in PC gaming for me was with that game. Walked into a room, the door slammed shut behind me, and all of a sudden, this whispering started all around me... Freaky stuff...

Oh and shooting the Mime in the carnival level was delicious too: 'I hate Mimes'  lol

Those standees look pretty cool there, Cherno 8)

Do you have to rework/smoothen/depixelate the original sprites, or are they large enough to be used straight form the game?
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 16, 2012, 10:14:46 PM
I think I know which moment you mean with the door slamming shut and the whispering voices. They don't make 'em like this anymore ;) Well anyway, Blood 2 was a huge disappointment and I wholeheartedely suggest you try out Blood 1, it's the real deal!

Ticket please... Hey, stop him, he didn't pay!  lol

(http://www.abload.de/img/tile0799lwuht.png)

concering pixelation, the blood sprites get rather pixelated when enlarged as I wrote earlier, but it was not bad enough that they needed edge blurring. Coincidentally, I will discuss this specific issue in part 4 of my article series, to be posted thursday when I talk about Hired Guns.
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 17, 2012, 03:21:13 PM
Part 2 is online!

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40650.msg475174#msg475174
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Fantasy Fixtures on April 17, 2012, 05:28:23 PM
You know what I want to see, is some top down 3-D picture counters for THW: Rally Round The King and other mass battle games.  I don't want to spend $100s of dollars buying 6mm minis for all the forces.  I'd rather spend $5 per army and push card board counters around.
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 17, 2012, 07:30:33 PM
The problem with top-down counters is that it's very hard to differentiate between troop types, especially at this scale... And being flat, they are harder to handle :)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 18, 2012, 03:40:04 PM
Part 3 has been posted =)

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40650.msg475175#msg475175
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 19, 2012, 10:33:39 AM
Part 4 is online  8)

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40650.msg475176#msg475176
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 20, 2012, 03:05:05 PM
Pimp my Standees part 5: Dark Sun. (http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=40811.0) (Click me!)

The fifth and final part is online!

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg2619heu4p.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg2625bvubx.jpg)

These standees feature two major differences.

Because I had to rely on painted art instead of photos or sprites I had no backside images, so I just put a glowing outline of the charater on the standee's backside.

When a player views a standee from behind, it's could be difficult to differentiate between friend or foe, let along the actual character the standee is representing when having only that outline and no actual character art. This together with using multiples of the same standee for monsters, guards etc. creates an identification problem that was also an issue with the BattleTech standees I did before.

I found the solution by changing the way the bases work; The old standees had integral bases which were sturdy but couldn't be changed and were more time-consuming to build. This new generation, starting with the Dark Sun standees, has little tabs on the botton of the standee itself that slots into a slot on the seperate base that could be changed in a second. This allows me to put character information like name or just numbers on the base and use it for different scenarios without having to build standees for every possibility, it's just a matter of having the right bases, which are very easy to build.

(http://www.abload.de/img/untitled-17oak7g.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/untitled-156kijln.jpg)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: FramFramson on April 20, 2012, 06:45:57 PM
A question: Do those standees represent actual minis, or are they just book illustrations?
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 20, 2012, 07:37:24 PM
The Dark Sun standees are made using traditional painted art, like race and class portraits from the Dark Sun rulebook. I wish I could paint miniatures that good ;)

Here is an example:

(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SRt7ReQ3zu8/ThH8UVWzbCI/AAAAAAAABDE/x6QXThgdOmI/s1600/excerpts_20100712.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/human_3h0j5a.jpg)(http://www.abload.de/img/dwarf_3_xnk77.jpg)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: FramFramson on April 20, 2012, 10:55:45 PM
Man... I would pay a lot for a mini that looked just like that illustration on the left.

*sigh*
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 20, 2012, 11:14:49 PM
Easy, just comission a professional painting service for a miniature of your choice ;)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: FramFramson on April 21, 2012, 03:20:22 AM
Well, I'd have to commission a sculptor first.  o_o
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Calvin Montana on April 27, 2012, 03:18:14 AM
Bravo on the articles!

Most miniature gamers give me the impression that cardboard miniatures aren't worth the paper they are printed on!

I'd enjoy reading more about your paper interests and work.

Thanks.
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: zizi666 on April 27, 2012, 03:59:55 AM
Most miniature gamers give me the impression that cardboard miniatures aren't worth the paper they are printed on!

Boy, they couldn't be more wrong. Specialy if your table consists completely out of paper models, everything fits together.
e.g. no mix of paper and resin buildings (although I do use die-cast vehicles on my table).
If you're up to it, through a papermodelers forum I got a link for a photo album of a papermodelers show in Czechia :
http://vsm.rajce.idnes.cz/Papirove_modely_Ostrava_24.3._2012/ (http://vsm.rajce.idnes.cz/Papirove_modely_Ostrava_24.3._2012/)
You need to click the "play" button for the slideshow to start, and keep in mind, everything is paper  :o
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on April 27, 2012, 01:06:32 PM
Bravo on the articles!

Most miniature gamers give me the impression that cardboard miniatures aren't worth the paper they are printed on!

I'd enjoy reading more about your paper interests and work.

Thanks.

Well, I could direct you to my articles on World Works Games terrain.

http://www.worldworksgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9268

http://www.worldworksgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=9293

http://www.worldworksgames.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=10340

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg1556rpyy.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg1540hsht.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg16289tba.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg1598smvh.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg1619emgn.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg1941u72i.jpg)

(http://www.abload.de/img/rimg1932e7ns.jpg)

Also, I'll be doing a short tutorial on the techniques I used for my standees step-by-step soon.

Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Calvin Montana on April 28, 2012, 05:29:20 AM
I encourage the use of paper... I am a paper modeller from ancient times! The examples posted are prime examples of the effectiveness that can be achieved from paper.


Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Rorschach on April 28, 2012, 02:13:55 PM
Those are some impressive paper models and terrain.  It almost makes me wonder why I'm spending money on Pewter and resin!!   ;D
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Red Orc on June 22, 2012, 09:32:32 AM
Inspiring work. Inspiring enough to get me to try a much lower-spec solution to the problem of rapidly getting some minis for a D&D game I played at the weekend - go to the the D&D site, download some artwork, shrink it to mini size, print it, cut it out and stick it on some cardboard. For the back, write the name of the character or NPC on it...

They're cheap and cheerful, nothing like the works of art that you're producing (actually, the illustrations are amazing, much better than the illustrations from D&D in 1981!) but they allowed me to get a dozen or so NPCs together very rapidly. Thinking that they have to be a really good way of doing Superhero games, where you often need big crowds of disposable bystanders to be in peril from the baddie...
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on June 22, 2012, 10:17:12 AM
Yes, the official D&D art is an awesome resource for character art, and from my research it looks like it's quite common for players to just rip a graphic and slap it on a token or standee template :) Imho it's far better than to just use some random coins etc.. If the players can see what a character or monster looks like it helps to sustain the imagination.
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: sundayhero on June 22, 2012, 10:41:47 AM
The problem I found with paper models is the ink and paper. Good paper is expensive, and ink (especially with good settings printing) never allowed me to create such big buildings.

The final result you've got is impressive, but I believe it needs a laser printer to save costs ?
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on June 22, 2012, 11:31:03 AM
I use a $80 Canon inkjet printer, a set of 4 aftermarket cartridges goes for around $16, matte photo paper in 110 lbs. isn't that expensive either... So I feel it's fairly cheap if you look around for the best prices. I enjoy tinkering and customizing images in Photoshop so that's an added bonus as well ;)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: sundayhero on June 22, 2012, 06:52:41 PM
For the last (impressive) city on last pics, how many cartridges did you spent ?



I suppose it's better having a printer with separated colors bottles. My current one is not like that...
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Cherno on June 22, 2012, 10:17:03 PM
I really can't say how many cartridges I spent, it was a project that was built over several weeks :)

All in all I think that the material costs are negligible when you see the results :)
Title: Re: Pimp my Standees! Hub thread for my cardboard miniatures
Post by: Tulius Hostilius on February 28, 2015, 02:58:32 PM
I know that is thread has a couple of years, but I just begin to read it now!

So:
(http://i1038.photobucket.com/albums/a462/TuliusHostilius/qych_KE_tulius2_zpsf1b6bc33.png)

I am a fan of paper soldiers, and the buildings that I saw here are pretty impressive. I will read carefully all the other related threads.