Terrain On A Budget: Where Are The Best Papercraft Freebies?

July 17, 2013 by crew

Many moons ago I started collecting miniatures for Warhammer 40,000 and Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and for a long time these were my only collections, but over the years as my eyes widened to the vast number of alternatives available I put my hand in my wallet and dug deep. My focus shifted from large scale, massed combat to games with a lower model count and games requiring fewer models. I took my newly assembled collection of miniatures (some even painted would you believe!) to my gaming table, looked at the rulebook to check the terrain required, looked at my scenery box, and wept. Three clumps of jungle trees and a few gothic ruins with more gaping holes in them than the plot to a Uwe Boll movie.

With my hard earned cash exhausted on miniatures I needed to find a cheap supply of terrain, so here are some of the papercraft scenery producers I have found that provide free materials, or at least free samples, to get you on your way.

Combat Storm

Combat Storm is a miniatures wargame that uses green army men, that’s right, the type you would get a bag of 100 of from a pound shop. As well as having a rather nice rule set, there are a number of free downloads available to print such as sandbags, brick walls, cargo containers, and Middle Eastern style buildings.

Building Pack #1


Shipping Containers

Walls & Sandbags

Personally I think these look great, especially for playing MERCS or Infinity. The detail is quite good, especially on the walls as they include battle damage, and the terrain you get per sheet is great. For example the sand bag page has four on one sheet, giving you enough for over 25cm of terrain. The only issue I have with this is the terrain doesn’t have floors or bottoms, so you will have to base the terrain on something like foamcore.

Downloads page available here:


Germy.co.uk is a website ran by Jeremy Claridge, a sculptor who created miniatures for Brigade Models, Pendraken Miniatures, Ground Zero Games, and many others. On his site he has free paper terrain for dungeons, 6mm, 15mm, and 25/28mm near future gaming. These include warehouses, bars, burger joints and apartment blocks amongst others.

The Bar

The Garage

The Store

Some of the textures on these models do look a little plain, however approximately half of the pieces have recently been re-textured, with some also containing interiors so you can fight inside the building without is resembling God’s office from Bruce Almighty. Also the buildings do look like they are more scaled towards 25mm miniatures, but I think the fact it is a free download means it will fall quite nicely into the ‘that’ll work’ category.

Downloads are available here:


Back before Micro Art Studios became a partner with Corvus Belli for Infinity most of the terrain in the background for Infinity models came from the Toposolitario website, so as you may guess it is more than suitable for such a game. Hover Tanks, Mecha, Drop Pods (no not those ones) and of course, shipping containers are available. My favourite however is a rather simple idea of combining cubes to make a field hospital. When combined with the many other designs available here they could make a rather interesting set piece.

Cargo Containers

Infinity Air Wagon

All in all I find these are great, the models are complete so floors are included and many models include multiple skins for customisation. However I find the nicest touch is that of a printable mat. Tired of fighting all your far future games on a grassy field? Well how about this?

Industrial Gaming Mat

This map is 100cm by 70cm which would make a nice addition to any gaming table.

Downloads available here:

Antenocitis Workshop

An honourable mention must go to Antenocitis Workshop who provide quite an extensive range of 15mm and 28mm terrain for all your wargaming needs However they did provide some free templates for, you guessed it, shipping containers. The idea behind these was the containers would represent evil corporations. We have Skynet, Weyland Yutani, Umbrella Corp and, strangely Coca Cola.

Skynet Container

Umbrella Corp Container

Simple, yet effective. Personally I love the Umbrella shipping container, which would look great on a Deadzone board.

Downloads available here:

So there you have it. If your terrain collection is lacking or not optimal for the game you play,  maybe you want to try out a new system and get some playable terrain before you invest in HDF or resin pieces, or you are gaming on a budget and need something quick and easy, I think these should be a reasonable starting point.

Remember this is only a handful of the free sites out there, and there are a number of very good sites from which you can buy these templates. The focus here has been on sci-fi terrain but there are plenty about for fantasy too.

I hope this helps and keeps you going for a while. Now if I could only find a 28mm scale cargo ship!


If you’d like to submit an article then get in contact with me at ben@beastsofwar.com