M. Jared Swenson Productions

This blog chronicles my projects, developments, and all things related to tabletop gaming. I will try to avoid rants and reviews. Mostly games I'm developing, and progresses from my campaigns.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rogue Space - MECHS: Paper Miniatures

I was asked about what I used for miniatures in my Rogue Space MECHS campaign. I used paper standees. I didn't want Jarom to have to draw everything out on the game because A) that's a lot of work, and B) he is one of the players, revealing possible spoilers.

When making custom simple paper minis, there is one key website that proves to be the greatest resource: Google Image Search

My campaign I did was a near future earth where mechs dominate the battlefield and have changed warfare. The players are part of a United Nations task force (this allows for a mixture of different nationalities for the players, so they don't feel restricted to one country). One of the major influences for this setting is the video game Front Mission. I like their mech designs so i used them as base. This campaign isn't a Front Mission campaign, but it worked for the look and feel.

So a simple search of "front mission wanzer" revealed a host of white-background mechs. Perfect for making minis. When you are thinking of a theme of mechs you wish to use, try not searching the game or title, but searching the actual names of the mechs. In Front Mission they are called wanzers (pronounced 'vanzer' - german for wanderpanzer, or walking tank).

Other great search examples:

All of those provide many excellent workable pictures to slap on standees.

Next I used a couple simple steps in Microsoft Publisher to make the standees. These steps can be duplicated in other programs, like photoshop or even powerpoint. Although they may be called something different, and there may be easier ways to do it, but this is how I did mine.

I made little 1 inch square templates. It consisted of 2 squares stacked on top of each other. 1 inch wide, and 1.5 inch tall. Then 2 smaller squares on the top and bottom. These get glued together to make the bottoms.
Then I imported one of the pictures I got off Google, cropped it, and shrunk it down to fit inside.

Next I copied the shrunken image flipped it horizontally and placed it in the box above. This would make a mirror of the mech when the standee is folded together.

I didn't want both sides to be the exact same, I wanted to be able to easily tell the back from front. So I made the backs of the standees a solid black silhouette.
I did this by setting the transparent color on the 'back image' to be its background (in this case white).

That way when I darkened it to complete black (using the less brightness button), the whole box wouldn't black out, just the mech.
Make as many as you want or copy them as many times you want and print on a card stock. Cut them out, fold them, glue the bottoms together, and you have simple mech standees with silhouetted backsides.


  1. Heh, these are great, I love 'em! I like the step-by-step as well. Looking forward to more MECHS adventures.

    1. Thanks man. The mini-campaign I'm doing for the brothers and sisters right now is coming down the pipe. I just gotta get it from my scribbles in a notebook into something actually readable.

  2. There is a site called Paper Friends with a lot of paper miniatures. Originally, it was just superheroes, but it has expanded to cover a wide range of genre - even anime/manga and giant robots war fiction (like Gear Krieg, Robotech and Transformers).