A town during the Peninsular War

Over the last month or so I’ve been busy making a number of buildings from Florian Richter and Peter Dennis’s wonderful book European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames.

You simply cut these buildings out of the book, and then fold and glue them together. I did add some  inner strengthening with heavy card to make them more sturdy, but otherwise my models are straight from the book.

Today I set them all out on my wargames table, along with some existing scratch-built buildings (top centre) and a few commercial models (top left).

You can click on the above picture (and also all the other pics in this posting) if you want to see these models in more detail.

Here’s the main street, with a walled house and stables on the left, and a church with some porticoed houses on the right. The walled house is designed for a northern European setting, but I think works perfectly well for the Peninsular War.

The town has a beautiful chateau, which I’ve given a walled garden. In front you can again see the walled house (left), and the same building on the right made up as a free-standing inn.

You can also see both the paper churches in this picture – the Spansh-style one in the foreground, and the more northern European church in the background.

I particularly like the watermill. It again is probably more suitable for northern Europe, but fits well here too.

On the other side of the street are a range of various houses, some with arched porches. By glueing on different doors and windows, you can make various versions of the same building, as you can see with the two porticoed houses.

These buildings have of course been specifically designed by Florian and Peter to accompany the Paperboys range of paper model soldiers, like these 18th century British infantry. But I wanted to see what they would look like with 28mm metal figures, so …

… here comes a battalion of Front Rank Portuguese infantry marching into town.

Whilst the figures are a slightly bigger scale than the buildings, they look fine together.

The Portuguese deploy into line in a field behind a 3-storey balconied house. Again, the slight difference in scales looks fine.

Meanwhile, a section of Portuguese Cacadores takes on white-coated French infantry in the town square.

Hmm, I think I know these two chaps standing in the gateway of a walled house.

The sound of rumbling wheels and jingling harnesses echo from the walls of the narrow street, as British artillery trundle through the town.

A French staff officer gallops past a row of houses to deliver important messages.

A French officer rides up the driveway of the local chateau.

So, as you can see from the above photos, these buildings will work perfectly well for wargaming with both 2D paper soldiers and fully-rounded 28mm figures.

Paper chateau and Mediterranean church


My previously-reported paper chateau now has some walled grounds and a wrought iron gate. As you can see from the picture, the finished model goes well with 28-30mm figures, such as this eighteenth century gentleman by Willie Figurines.


I used some brick-paper to make the driveway, and flocked the lawn. The trees are cheap buys from a Chinese mail-order company, attached to some large square washers that have been given a ground effect. The front lawn is completely surrounded by a paper walls.


Both the chateau and the walls come from Florian Richter and Peter Dennis’s wonderful book European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames. You simply photocopy the drawings and assemble them. I did add some  inner strengthening with heavy card, but otherwise my models are straight from the book.


Here’s the rear-view. I imagine those French windows looking out over a rolling Capability Brown (or Bloody Stupid Johnson!) landscape.


The building can be removed from the garden. I intend to make some more removable walls to fill the gap, so that this terrain piece can be used as a park, churchyard, graveyard, or anything else I want.


And here’s the other building I’ve made recently from the same book – a Mediterranean church. The walls also come from the book. This model will fit nicely into Peninsular War games.


This 28mm Perry Miniatures figure gives a good idea of the size of the model church. As you can see, the church doors are actually a little bit too small, but the overall effect works well, and provides a smaller footprint than if the church was to exactly the same scale as the figure.


Here’s the rear view of the church, with its classical Mediterranean style.

Keep visiting this blog as I report on further buildings from this great book.


More cardboard buildings from Paperboys


I’ve been quietly boxing on making some more of the cardboard models from Florian Richter and Peter Dennis’s book European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames.


In addition to the windmill I have previously posted about, I now also have a mansion, a church, and a watermill.


This impressive mansion will be perfectly at home as either a country house or a town hall.

The book also provides roof connectors to so you join more of this model together to form a larger building – making the entire Palace of Versailles wouldn’t be out of the question!

I’ve made this and the other models straight out of the book. The only additional work I have done was to strengthen the inner structures with some heavy card.


The northern-European church looks surprisingly solid for a cardboard model. I think it is the buttresses that make it so sturdy-looking.

If you wanted to super-detail this model, you could cut out the windows and then re-inset them behind the holes to give more depth. However, the original artistry is so good that the windows look sufficiently 3D just as is.


I did this watermill in one afternoon.  I’ve made it fit with my existing latex river terrain by adding a foundation to the main building so that the wing with the wheel sits on the upraised bank, and the wheel itself hangs down ‘into’ the water.

I also added some piles made from sprue to support the overhanging wooden outhouse.


Here’s the first building I make from the book. It was probably a brave move to pick this one as my prototype, as it is the most complex. But it came out surprisingly well.

There are still plenty more buildings to make in the book – a Spanish-style church and windmill, farms and houses from both northern and southern Europe, bridges , walls …

Simple-to-build cardboard European windmill


I made this complex-looking cardboard windmill in just one evening! It’s a cut-out model from Helion Publishing’s latest Paperboys book, European Buildings: 28mm paper models for 18th & 19th century wargames by Florian Richter and Peter Dennis.

Despite the intricate design of this windmill, with protruding attics and overhanging annexes, it was surprisingly easy to make. It was simply a matter of scoring all the folds, cutting out the pieces, folding them into shape, and gluing. Everything fitted perfectly.


This windmill is one of the many cut-out buildings included in the book, which covers both Northern and Southern Europe settings. Other buildings include two churches, a mansion, a watermill, houses and farms, bridges and walls, and much more.

Unlike the Paperboys model soldiers I’ve made, which need to be photocopied before assembling, these buildings can be cut straight out of the book. The pages are printed on light card, with only some instructions and explanatory photos on the back of each page, which (if necessary) you can simply capture with your phone camera before you start cutting out the model.

The book’s front cover also shows a column of figures from Peter Dennis’s other new Paperboys book The War of the Spanish Succession: paper soldiers for Marlborough’s campaigns in Flanders.  I bought this second book too, intending to use it just as reference.  But, boy oh boy, Peter’s figures are just so colourful and eye-popping (especially the French Maison du Roi) that I don’t think I’m going to be able to resist assembling some regiments!


The figures shown in these pictures of my windmill aren’t paper, though – they’re from my Minden Miniatures army.  But they show how well these cardboard buildings will go with any traditional 28mm army.

Peter’s preference is that his buildings are a little smaller than true scale so that they have a smaller footprint on the battlefield. But you can easily photocopy them larger or smaller if you wish.


Probably the most complex part of the assembly was the beam structure on which the windmill sits. But in fact this was surprisingly simple to put together. The trick is to score all the folds first, and then use Uhu All Purpose contact glue for very fast bonding.

The finishing touch with any cardboard building is to use a wash (I used green wash) to disguise any white card that shows through the folds or on exposed edges.

So there you have it – a wonderful windmill in one evening …

Paper buildings for the Jacobite Rebellion

To complete my paper armies for the Jacobite Rebellion, I’ve put together some of the lovely Scottish buildings that are included in Peter Dennis’ book Battle for Britain: Wargame the Jacobite ’45. Whilst the figures in Peter’s books are flats, the buildings are fully 3D.

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Firstly, here’s a hamlet of four typical turf, stone and thatch ‘Black Houses’. As the only chimney was a hole in the roof, these houses became blackened both inside and out, thus the name.

The book also includes a peat pile, which I assume is a feature characteristically found in the Highlands.

The civilians, too, are paper figures from the book.


And here’s the ‘Big House’, with its exterior circular stair turret. The windows come separate for you to glue wherever you like, and the wings and tower can be configured in different ways – so you can make more versions of this house with no two alike.

By the way, the figures in the second picture aren’t paper, nor are they flats – I have included them to show that these buildings will work just as well with metal fully-rounded figures too.

This is actually the second version of this model that I have made, as the first one (see below) suffered a spray varnish disaster when I tried to give it more of a matt finish and the varnish went white. Frustrating, but in the end it was just some time that I lost, as I only had to pay the cost of another colour photocopy.




So this is what paper soldiers look like en masse?


I’ve finally finished enough of the Paperboys figures to set up both sides to recreate a battle of the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745/6 – often simply referred to as ‘The 45’. Today I took advantage of the nice weather to set them up outside for a photo-shoot.

I’ve reviewed these 28mm Paperboys figures previously. As units, they certainly look good. But I couldn’t wait to see how they would appear en masse on the table.


Here’s the battle-field from the Jacobite side (click on these pics to see them full-size). I have seven units of infantry so far for the Jacobite army, plus some cavalry and artillery. From this angle, you’d be hard-put to tell that these figures (apart from a couple of exceptions) are all flats!


And here we see how the table looks from the Government side. I’ve got six infantry battalions, a large unit of dragoons, and accompanying artillery.


The commander of the Government troops is Prince William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland. He is best remembered for his role in putting down the Jacobite Rebellion at the Battle of Culloden in April 1746.

Behind him are Loudon’s Highlanders – the Jacobite Rebellion had Scots on both sides. John Campbell, 4th Earl of Loudoun raised this regiment in Inverness and Perth in August 1745.


Here’s the first paper battalion I had ever tried making. The beauty of paper figures is that, with careful cutting, even your very first attempt comes out looking perfect! The blue breeches, instead of red, indicate that this unit is from a Royal regiment.

Behind them is a provincial unit. Most of the provincial corps, such as the Yorkshire Blues, appear to have been dressed in blue rather than red coats.

In the background is one of the few 3D models in the army – a small horse-drawn wagon.  Well, the cart is 3D – the horse is still a flat!


Here’s a unit in yellow facings. The only thing I’ve done to my paper figures that goes beyond what they’re supplied with is to add static grass to the bases.


I’m really pleased how the unit of Government dragoons came out. They’re in an almost three-quarter view, which means you get to see more of the equipment and the horses.

The Paperboys range includes cannons in both flat and 3D versions. I preferred the latter. Whilst fiddly to make, they look pretty good, considering they are cut out of paper! The gunners are still flats.


Another view of everything we’ve seen so far – cavalry, artillery, regulars, provincials, generals, even transport.


The artillery also have a couple of small Coehorn mortars. Once again, the mortar is 3D, whilst the gunners are flats.


Now to the Jacobites, charging forward waving claymores and other pointy weapons, and carrying small targes (shields). The assorted weaponry made these figures somewhat trickier to cut out than the muskets of the more regular units. But they certainly give a great impression of motion.

The blue flag with a yellow saltire in the background indicates Stewart of Appin’s regiment, the colours coming from the family arms

Between the two units you can see Charles Edward Louis John Casimir Sylvester Severino Maria Stuart, more commonly known as ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’, commander of the Jacobites.


The red and yellow stripes of their flag indicates that this is a Clan Cameron regiment. On the left, you can also see a skirmisher base.


Another shot of wildly charging highlanders, these from Lord Ogilvy’s Forfarshire Regiment.

Behind them you see another unit of highlanders who are carrying muskets. Highlanders generally discharged and then discarded their muskets, before charging forward with their traditional weaponry.


The Jacobites also had artillery. This gun is served by several Jacobite gunners assisted by French artillerymen.


I’ve got one French regiment in my Jacobite army – the famous Royal Ecossais. Louis XV sent a small expeditionary force of about a 1,000 men to Scotland to help Charles Edward Stuart to try and recover his throne. This force was made up of the regiment Royal Ecossais, as well as a number of men from each of France’s Irish regiments, and the Fitzjames regiment of horse.

By the way, did you notice the mistake in this photo?


We’ve seen the front and back views, but what does a side view of flats look like? Well, despite the illusion of realism being broken, they still don’t look too bad in a symbolic sort of way. Better than wooden blocks or cardboard tokens, anyway!


One of the beauties of paper soldiers is that they are remarkably robust. Here is my storage system! There’s certainly no risk of paint chipping. All that will be required before play is a little grooming with my fingers to straighten any bent muskets.


Could this be an unintentional symbol of the outcomes of the Jacobite Rebellion?! Bonnie Prince Charlie stands atop a higgledy-piggledy pile of his troops!

WW2 Dutch and 1745 Jacobites


It might have been quiet here on the blog for the last week or so, but I have actually been  progressing with all sorts of stuff. My wargaming table is groaning under the weight of several projects on the go!


My WW2 Dutch army is coming along.  I am in the throes of assembling and painting some anti-tank artillery. These intricate little models were released recently by May ’40 Miniatures. Along with the Landsverk armoured car, my Dutch army will soon pack at least a wee bit of punch.


I’ve also been busy with my scissors cutting out paper soldiers for my ‘45 Jacobite Rebellion project. I’ve now got enough units on each side to play a game. The Paperboys figures even come with a set of simple rules, so it’ll be interesting to try them out.


This British cavalry regiment looks pretty impressive, even though it just made out of paper.


The armies even include paper artillery. The guns themselves are 3D models, and are a bit fiddly to make. The gunners and their tools are all flats. This close-up view perhaps doesn’t do these paper soldiers justice – but they do look simply splendid when looking at them from a little more of a distance.


The book of Paperboys figures also includes 3D terrain, so I’ve built a typical Scottish ‘big house’. You can build this in any sort of configuration you want, so I chose to do a main building with a wing on the back, and a circular staircase turret.


Five large 28mm regiments in eight days


Yes, in just eight days I have produced five full units in my experiment with Peter Dennis’s wonderful paper soldiers. My British army already has three large units, and my Jacobites are well underway with two units. That’s less than two days per unit, from start to finish, including basing.


With any other project using my more-usual metal figures, I’d have to include the word ‘slowly’ (as in ‘I’ve been slowly building up my 28mm WW2 Dutch army‘). But for the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745/6, I can use the word ‘rapidly’ instead!


I thought cutting out the figures would be fiddly and frustrating. But in fact I find it quite zen-like. Cutting-out shapes seems to have the same calming effect as those mindfulness colouring-in books!


I’m building the two opposing armies at the same time, so I’m fixing their flags to fly in opposite directions. This may sound odd – until you remember that on the table the armies will face each other, so then the flags will be flying the same way. It would look odd if the wind was blowing in the complete opposite direction for each army!


I’ve given figures quite thick bases to make them easier to pick up. I’ve  textured them very simply with static grass. Anything more than that might be too 3D to accompany the 2D figures.

This weekend I’m going to work on some cavalry and guns.









repalce the word ‘slowly’ with .

Paper Highlanders for “The ’45”


My paper armies have doubled in two days, with the first Highlander unit to face the regiment of British troops I made up earlier in the week. This Paperboys unit was begun from scratch yesterday, and completed tonight (around 100 x 28mm figures!).

I even had time to make up command stands for Bonnie Prince Charlie and his opponent, the Duke of Cumberland.

I just need figures for Jamie and Claire Fraser!



Four hours to make a 112-figure regiment in 28mm!


Yep, just somewhere between three and four hours to complete a regiment of 112 figures,  from go to whoa, including flags and basing!

I posted last week that I was going to try out some of Peter Dennis’s paper figures for a change from my usual metal. This 28mm British regiment was my first attempt, and I’m pretty darn pleased with how it came out.

From the front and back, they look pretty impressive. In fact, at a glance you’d be hard put to tell them from metal or plastic figures. This illusion even remains when seen from an angle, but obviously a side-on view gives it away. However, most wargames are seen from front or behind, so that’s not a problem.

Construction was a lot simpler than I thought it would be. As per the instructions, I copied the figures onto 100 gram paper, which is 20 grams heavier than normal photocopy paper. Before any cutting took place, I held the sheet upside-down to a light and dabbed some PVA glue onto wherever I could see the back of any muskets, swords or pole-arms – this strengthens them.

Gluing the figures together goes really well with UHU All Purpose glue (though Peter warns you not to use UHU Multi-Purpose glue, which must be different). The figures are grouped in a sort of concertina pattern which you fold up to make the three ranks.


Cutting out – which was the part I was a bit nervous about – was much easier than I expected. The first few figures were a bit painstaking, but once I found my rhythm, I was away laughing. I used a small pair of scissors, and turned the paper in my hand to cut around all the detail. It still leaves a bit of a white edge, but that adds an outline which I think makes the figures ‘pop’.

I ummed and ahhed about doing any basing effect. I see most people generally don’t. However, I decided to just use a simple application of PVA glue and static grass to give a bit of texture.

The figures, being made of two layers of 100 gram paper glued together, are like very light card. But they are surprisingly strong. And even if a bayonet or two does tear off in play, they’ll be dead easy to replace.

Next effort in a few days will be a unit of charging highlander Jacobite rebels. Och aye!