Paper Soldiers

And now for something else completely different.

We have a second home in Spain, so whenever we are there I can do nothing with my 1:72 plastic figures.  I use some of my “hobby time” in Spain to plan work on my plastic figures and also to produce new Military History talks, which I do to raise money for British Military Charities.

1 - Jac 45 - cover


I am in Spain at present and have decided to create a duplicate of some of my wargame figures, for use out here, using Paperboys figures, starting with my new favourite period of the Jacobite Rebellion.  I therefore purchased the excellent “Jacobite ’45” plus the similar books on the War of Spanish Succession and American War of Independence, the latter two to give me figures suitable for expansion into The War of Austrian Succession and Seven Years War in North America (French & Indian War).



The Paperboys figures are 28mm, their infantry have a frontage of four figures on a 40mm wide stand and are designed to be in 3 ranks, making 12 figures to a stand.  I wanted my paper soldiers to have stands the same size as my 1:72 plastic figures and also to be in a single rank (as are my 1:72 figures) with the ability to use figure removal.

One of my motives for this was to be able to test play Andy Callan’s rules for The ’45 and see if I could modify them to work with my 1:72 plastic figures.  One feature of his rules is to remove a stand when it has suffered four casualties, so my figure removal simply removes the correct number of figures in the first place.

I decided to start by modelling all of the figures for Prestonpans, then expanding this into additional figures for the later battles, which is exactly what I had done for my original 1:72 plastic figures.


2 - Jac 45 - Original page


My normal plastic figures infantry stand for the Jacobite Rebellion is 30mm wide with two figures on it.  By reducing the Paperboys figures to 70% of their original size I can create stands which are 30mm wide, but contain 4 figures rather than two.  I decided this is what I wanted to do.  I scanned all of the pages in the original book, saving them as JPEG photos.  I then copied them at 70% of their original size and used the Paint programme to create new sheets of figures. I made one sheet for each British Infantry Regiment, which will occupy exactly the same frontage as my 1:72 figures.


3 - Jac 45 - 55th Foot - Lee's


This is the sheet for the 55th Regiment of Foot (Lee’s).   Only half of the Regiment was a Prestonpans, but I made the complete Regiment.  I modified some stands to produce pairs of figures and single figures.  The Command stand has been considerably modified so that it now has a sergeant with halberd, an officer with a sword, a standard bearer and a drummer.  I used the same paper flags as I had used for my Plastic figures, with pikes from the War of Spanish Succession book as flagpoles.  The little square near the drummer is a copied hand for the standard bearer to fit over the flagpole.


The stands are all a bit wider and deeper than their required dimensions, so that the base can be wrapped around a thicker card.  I have included two mounted figures on this sheet. Sir John Cope and Lord Loudoun, who was his Adjutant General.

4 - Figures folded


I printed each sheet of figures on 100gm paper, as recommended by Peter Dennis, then cut them out and folded them in preparation for gluing.



6 - Glue.jpg


Peter recommended using UHU glue, but I preferred to use Prittstick.






5 - Ready for glueing


I turned the figures over, folded up the base sections to avoid getting glue on them, then pasted the back of the figures.



I then glued all of the figures in the Regiment.  They need to be dry before you cut them but by the time I had finished, the first ones were dry and ready to trim.

8 - Trimmed figures

I used small nail scissors for most of the trimming and a craft knife to cut out the spaces between the legs of the figures.

9 - Trimmed base


I made bases from 300gm card, 30mm x 15mm for full size stands, 15mm x 15mm for two figure stands and 7.5mm x 15mm for single figure stands.  I glued these to the bottom of the figure bases and trimmed the corners.


10 - Glued base


I then folded the figure base over the stand base and glued it down.  As a final touch I added the Regiment’s number on the bottom of the stand, as I have for all of my plastic figures.




11 - Completed Stand


Here is a completed stand.  The figures are 20mm tall, only slightly smaller than my 1:72 plastic figures which are 23mm tall.






And here is the completed Regiment, occupying exactly the same 210mm frontage as my plastic 1:72 figures.  A full strength British battalion would have operated tactically as 18 firing platoons (16 from its centre companies and 2 from its grenadier company).  A reduced strength battalion (as most were during the Jacobite Rebellion) would comprise only 12 platoons from the centre companies plus the 2 grenadier ones, so 14 firing platoons in total.  The 28 figures represents this reduced strength tactical organisation, with a 4 figure stand representing 2 platoons.

12 - Completed Regiment

I will now get on with creating the other units which were at Prestonpans.

9 thoughts on “Paper Soldiers

  1. Tony Kitchen November 9, 2019 / 7:43 pm

    I have the book and have played the rules which I found to be very good and playable , I didn’t try to make the figures ,(using Red Box and Strelets) as I’m a bit cack handed with scissors .


    • rodwargaming November 10, 2019 / 6:42 am

      Hi Tony,

      Really good to know that Andy Callan’s rules work well with Redbox and Strelets figures, which most of my Jacobite Rebellion ones are as well.



  2. Pete S/ SP November 10, 2019 / 12:07 am

    They look great. I’ve a box full of the Dark Ages paper figures.




  3. Alastair November 10, 2019 / 2:38 pm

    The rules are interesting and worked really well. I also found Pritt sticks worked really well for glueing, and a lot less messy than UHU.


    • rodwargaming November 10, 2019 / 3:22 pm

      Hi Alastair,

      I haven’t tried Andy Callan’s rules yet, but they looked good on reading them. You are the second person to say they are really good. As long as you are quite fast with Pritt-stick (I just do a small bit at a time) it works really well for me as well.



  4. James Fisher November 12, 2019 / 1:00 pm

    When these came on the market I thought that they were a great idea, especially to ‘try’ a period without making a serious investment. The ‘figures’ look quite good en-masse. Does the cutting out take long? Did you find it a chore, or is there some relaxation and enjoyment to it as there is with painting?


    • rodwargaming November 12, 2019 / 4:52 pm

      Hi James,

      Well I have modified the figures so I only have to cut out 28 figures per British battalion. It takes me 2 hours to cut out and glue each battalion, but that does not count the time which I previously spent electronically copying and pasting figures on to each sheet.

      That time varies, depending on how similar the sheet was to previous ones. For example all sheets of British battalions with yellow facings are basically the same apart from the flag, but I had previously produced those flags for my plastic figures, so it may only take me 5 minutes to produce a sheet for a new battalion with yellow facings, whereas it might take me 4 hours to copy, paste and resize a sheet for a blue faced battalion, because I have not made any of those yet.

      If you used the Paperboys figures as they are supposed to be, in three ranks without any modifications, I would guess that you could cut out and glue a battalion in not much more than 4 hours, depending on how many stands you make per battalion.



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