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Welcome to the World of Papercraft

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While I am not much of a minis player, I am dazzled by the gorgeous tables and setups I see at conventions and online. Dwarven Forge terrain blows my mind but I don’t have the time, money or energy to properly set it up. When I opt to do more grid or miniatures based combat I’m usually fine with some dry erase markers and tokens. If I have a specific set piece in mind, I’ll breakout something from Paizo’s excellent Flip Mat series.

Over the past few years I’ve found a middle ground between simple hand drawn maps and elaborate terrain. Papercraft offers terrain that looks good without gobbling up space for storage. When I get a new papercraft building, it’s become something of a family affair to assemble. My kid finds the numbered pieces and I put them in the slots.

Dungeon Craft​

The sets from Dungeon Craft walk the line between traditional flip mats and the craftier stuff. They pack a lot of sheets into the boxes and keep the costs down by not pre-cutting them. They also have a lamination coating that takes markers well. These are great sets that can enhance a flip mat with accessories, small buildings and other details that can spice up a battle mat and spark creative ideas from players during a combat. They also offer some quick palette swap enemies that can be useful for keeping bad guys straight during a battle. The scenery pieces also are great for changing a battle. Buildings offer a roof on one side and an internal view on the other, while statues and wagons often flip to a destroyed or on fire side.

Clever Paper​

This Russian company has a lot of great buildings right on Amazon. I started with their tavern and built up a decent little small town ten to twenty bucks at a time for these buildings. They have an old world charm to them that really fits something like Warhammer Fantasy but are great to set up for a skirmish next time the crew wanders out of the dungeon. They open up for further detail but the only minis that really work inside are the punch outs that come with the sets (though these minis work great as innocent bystanders). The company makes Wild West buildings and dungeon sets too, though those require a little more hunting online to find places that carry them.

Battle Systems​

A friend of mine brought these to my attention because of their similarity to the Clever Paper buildings. What really caught my eye about Battle Systems were their sci-fi sets. They look great with my Star Wars and Starfinder minis and offer a decent amount of set up and flexibility. It’s harder to find sci-fi terrain and maps. I can punch out doors and reuse them and build some fun dingy space station corridors for shootouts. They take up a little set up time, so I tend to use them for climactic battles, but those fights look like they’re right out of a movie.

Wizkids Games​

It seemed like a matter of time before licensed papercraft items came out. Wizkids dipped their toe in the chilly lake of Rime of the Frostmaiden for some buildings. The interiors of the buildings are sparse, but they are sized for mini battles within and without unlike the Clever Paper buildings. The material feels a little more brittle than the heavy cardboard used in most of these sets, but the construction process on these was easier because they took the time to label tabs and slots.

These are the papercraft materials I’ve enjoyed. If you’ve found a brand that you like, please share them in the comments so I can check them out!
 

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Rob Wieland

Rob Wieland




R_Chance

Adventurer
I have a pretty large supply of Dwarven Forge, but they are hard to transport and a bit of a pain to set up and put away. Mostly I use cardstock floorplans, along with 3D furniture, trees, and minis. I've always thought it would be nice to have model type plastic terrain. Outdoors, dungeon, and buildings. Lighter than Dwarven Forge and the like, paintable and could be designed to have multiple stackable floors for buildings. I've seen 3D printer stuff that looks good, but I have questions about it's durability. Plastic might be better than resin for this. Given I'm retiring soon and used to do 3D modelling for a hobby this seems like a possibility. One that would give me the exact terrain I want. Well, we will see anyway. Good looking stuff on display here as well. More options as time goes on and that's a good thing :)
 

Kodiak3D

Explorer
There are many more excellent papercraft sites out there. Here are a few I have used:

Fat Dragon Games
Fantasy and sci-fi. Their Dragonshire village is wonderful. Also 3D printing files available here.

Dave Graffam Models
Many excellent individual buildings here. Great stuff.

Worldworks Games
Some really beautiful stuff here. Lots of different sets to choose from.
 




Stormonu

Legend
I have some older Dwarven Forge, but as others have said it's a pain to transport, store and keep up.

I've assembled a good collection of Worldwork's papercraft, and while it takes a little practice to get good results, it's very nice and easy to store. I'm most proud of the The Maiden, a papercraft galleon I put together for our 3.5 pirate campaign. It still sits in my game room, flying the white-handed flag of Captain Servantal of the Sea Princes.
 


Li Shenron

Legend
Most of the stuff mentioned here looks amazing.

Normally I use Lego minifigs for characters and monsters, but doing terrain with Lego is extremely time-consuming, so I usually only build few specific terrain elements.

I would be interested in trying some paperwork terrain but I guess it's at the same scale as traditional minis which would look too small for the Lego characters.
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
There are many more excellent papercraft sites out there. Here are a few I have used:

Fat Dragon Games
Fantasy and sci-fi. Their Dragonshire village is wonderful. Also 3D printing files available here.

Dave Graffam Models
Many excellent individual buildings here. Great stuff.

Worldworks Games
Some really beautiful stuff here. Lots of different sets to choose from.
These are the three best, and the article doesn't even mention them........
 

Zaukrie

New Publisher
I have some older Dwarven Forge, but as others have said it's a pain to transport, store and keep up.

I've assembled a good collection of Worldwork's papercraft, and while it takes a little practice to get good results, it's very nice and easy to store. I'm most proud of the The Maiden, a papercraft galleon I put together for our 3.5 pirate campaign. It still sits in my game room, flying the white-handed flag of Captain Servantal of the Sea Princes.
The maiden is an awesome work. I gave mine away when we moved across the country. If I knew I'd play on person again, I'd totally make it again. Used it as a flying ship and floating one....
 

MidnightBlue

Explorer
Battle Systems is absolutely amazing! I've been a part of everyone of their terrain Kickstarters, much to the terror of my checking account...because I can't back "small". I've got to have the option for 6' x 4' setups or I'm not satisfied. =)

All of the sets have been amazing and they continue to learn and improve as they move forward. I cannot recommend these products enough.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
I used a lot of paper work when I was running games in person. In particular, I like paper 2D standies. I can print beautifully colored figures on cardstock cut out, fold and glue and put into slotted stands during play, but easily store them separate from the stands when not in play. I have hundreds of paper minis organized in envelopes and put into a bog in alphabetical order, giving my a library of minis. Having a machine paper cutter like a Cricket or Silhouette (I use Silhouette) takes the most difficult part out of paper craft--the cutting. I can print and cut a small army the night before a game.
 

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