Saturday, 2 May 2009

Ahhh! Paper Armies Did You Say?

Ah yes, paper armies, a tradition that dates well back into the 19th century and one that is still well supported today. Ralphus touched a "warm spot" in my heart with his post. For those not already familiar with it, there is a wonderful site out there called "The Junior General". It is "community supported", meaning that enthusiasts, much like us, spend the time to create these wonderful little pieces of art, or modify another artist's work, and then post them for any and all to download and use for their own amusement. And friends, they cover almost everything!

The site is well-indexed, includes links to a community blog and a forum, there are both traditional front and back views and "top downs" (which I've shown above). You simply locate the ones that are of interest to you, download them to your computer, use an art program like "Paint" or "Printshop" to re-color them if you wish, scale them to desired size, and then print them out. You can even do black and white and hand color them if you wish.

I frequently use the top-downs, appropriately colored, to play test new rules and test modifications to existing rules and such. From their main menu at the left, either select "Paper Soldiers" or select the specific time period of interest. You can find wonderful renditions of sailing ships and galleys, figures from Ancients through the Renaissance, 18th century, 19th century and moderns (even some Sci-Fi), just about anything you could want. And, with a little practice, you can usually modify what you find and change uniform colors, formations, flags, etc. And speaking of flags, this is also a pretty good reference for some wargaming flags, as they have flags from both sides at Luetzen, French of the Grand Alliance era and of the Marlburian era and the SYW, and just about any other combatants you could wish for. Here are some "traditional" straight-up samples of some Williamite Cavalry from the Grand Alliance section:

All-in-all, not a bad way to experiment with a set of rules, explore a new period, entertain a young one, or just build yourself a little collection of them! They really are a part of wargaming history. And, if you print these out in black and white and hand color them with some water color washes, they will stand proudly in any collection. By the way, printing them in black and white and turning the youngsters loose with some water color markers can be fun as well!

Oh, and another By The Way, they do offer Ottomans and even my beloved Polish Winged Hussars. So, simply select a few stands of Austrians, Germans, French (recolor if required), zip off a few Poles and Turks, and there you go - St. Gotthard in 1664 or Vienna in 1683, all for about one good afternoon's work.



Anonymous said...


Do you regret opening your blog for other contributers yet?

Sir William the Aged said...

I sincerely hope he doesn't. Do my posts somehow offend you or reduce the value or quality of the blog in your eyes?

If you have helpful suggestions as to how I might improve my efforts, or even a suggestion that I cease my efforts, I can always be reached directly via e-mail at Be advised though, e-mail does require one to actually sign their name and thereby reveal their identity.


andygamer said...

That's very strange.

And there's nothing wrong with this blog, now or in the past when, I take it, only one person was contributing to it.

Ralphus said...

yes Bill is going great guns - giving a different perspective on things which could become a bit boring if its just little old me.

Corporal_Trim said...

Honestly, I laughed at the Anonymous post. No offense Bill, but you some of your longer articles have me thinking, "Sir William the Windbag". On balance, do your contributions add value to this blog ? I think they do. And I applaud your enthusiasm. But Ralphus has a feel for pacing and brevity that future contributors would do well to emulate.

Anyway, it's hard to see what's objectionable about this paper army entry. Coming on the heels of the Ralphus' Billy Bones notice, I thought your follow-up was right on point.