I’m a tinkerer. When I become interested in a hobby, I don’t want to just buy a kit and follow the directions. I want to take things apart, change them up, and put them back together to make something new. That’s a big part of why I love the print-and-play segment of the gaming hobby—the power to take a game or accessory that appeals to me, and make it my own. Part of the mission of the PnPG blog is to share my kitbashing and modding methods, providing tutorials to help other hobbyists to do the same.
Since I joined the print-and-play gaming hobby, I’ve done a lot of papercrafting. I’ve recolored and re-skinned hundreds of cardstock miniatures, and made a few original minis of my own. I’ve learned to bind books by hand, and have saddle-stitched and perfect-bound dozens of gaming tomes that currently line my gaming bookshelves. I’ve built castles and inns, trees and megaliths out of cardstock using printable kits from several artists and publishers. I’ve even designed my own modular dungeon tile system!
Nothing I’ve done has been that difficult, if you know a little bit about image manipulation software and inkjet printers, and a few basic crafting techniques. Part of the plan for the PnPG blog is a series of how-tos. These tutorials will share my methods for creating and modding papercraft gaming books and accessories. In my very next post, I’ll demonstrate how to pull specific miniature figures from several PDF files, how to arrange and format them for printing on a single page, and how to save that page as a PDF for convenient printing. I’m looking forward to sharing my processes with all of you. And I’m even more excited to see and hear about the amazing projects in which you can apply those techniques.
Gotta get GIMP
One of the main tools in my miniature-modding bag is GIMP, an open-source alternative to Adobe Photoshop. GIMP does just about everything Photoshop does—though often not in the same way—and it’s free. GIMP will be the key tool in the vast majority of my tutorials, though if you have access to Photoshop, you should be able to easily adapt my methods to that application.
As I write, I’ll assume that you’ve already downloaded and installed GIMP. My first tutorial, “Format Miniatures in a PDF”, describes the basic GIMP functions and techniques I’ll use in all the tutorials that follow. Subsequent tutorials will assume that you’ve read that first one, and are familiar with the basic GIMP functionality it covers. So if I seem to gloss over a step in one of the later tutorials, refer back to that first tutorial for a fuller explanation. As a last resort, search YouTube for “intro to GIMP” videos—there are several good ones to get you started.
So, go download GIMP and install it. Then grab a ream of cardstock and check the ink levels in your printer, so we can get started. I’m excited show you how I did what I’ve done. And I’m sure you’re going to do something much, much cooler!
And until next time, keep printing, and keep playing!