Friday 11 October 2013

Printing at 28mm miniatures scale.

Earlier in the week I received a question about printing the 'dungeon monthly' maps at a scale suitable for use with miniatures (i.e. 1 square = 1 inch).

So, if that sounds like something you'd be interested in trying out, then this little tutorial will show you how to do just that (note that I'll be using the free GIMP image manipulation software to do this - so that anyone can give it a try).

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OK then, the first thing you'll need to do (assuming you already have GIMP installed) is download the relevant image from my G+ gallery. Note that in this instance I'll be using a map from the 50 pixel per inch gallery (found HERE).

Once you've done that, simply open that image with GIMP.

Next you'll need to go to the View menu and make sure that the Show Grid and Snap to Grid options are selected.

Now that's done, you should see a grid overlay similar to that shown in the picture above. However, in order to get this grid to line up with the squares on the map, simply click on the Image menu and choose the Configure Grid option - which will bring up the options shown below.

Here, you simply enter a value of 50 into the Width and Height fields - and the grid overlay should now line up perfectly with the squares of the map in question.

Next you'll need to select the area that you want to print. For the purpose of this tutorial I'm going to select an area of 8x8 squares - as this fits nicely on a sheet of 'US letter size' paper (and also because the map itself can be split into eight such pieces).

To do this, click on the Rectangle Select Tool from the toolbox (it's the one on the top left of your screen), and draw a box around the area you want to print (note that because we have the 'Snap to Grid' option selected, the box you draw will automatically snap to the nearest grid intersection).

Once you've done that, the area you have selected will be highlighted with a dashed line (as shown in the image above).

Then click on the Image menu and choose the Crop to Selection option...

...which will crop the image down to just the part that we want to print.

Then all you need to do is go to File > Print (or hit Ctrl+P) and when the dialogue box appears click on the Image Settings tab and change the resolution fields to 50.


And that's it - this 8x8 section of the map will now print out at a scale of 1 square = 1 inch.

To do the rest of the map simply hit undo a few times (Ctrl+Z) until you get back to the stage before it was cropped, select the next 8x8 section that you would like to print, and repeat the procedure until you have printed out the entire dungeon.

The whole thing might sound a little long winded at first, but it shouldn't take more than a few minutes once you're familiar with the process.


  1. I have followed the sizing directions for printing, but I don't get that dialogue box for Print Settings. I have found Image > print Size... but that doesn't seem to change the size for when it prints out. Do you have any other suggestions?

    1. It's been a while since I posed this article, so I'm guessing GIMP has changed since then.

      So, I'll see if I can download the latest version this weekend, and try and sort out the problem.

    2. Awesome, thanks. Oh, what would you attach the maps onto, cardboard or something else?

    3. For some reason I had a bit of trouble accessing the GIMP website - but I've finally got the latest 'stable' version installed (i.e. 2.8.22).

      However, it looks exactly the same my end I'm not sure where your problem lies :(

      SO, just to make sure, are you definitely cropping the image to a size that will fit on your page first?

      And after doing that, you've clicked 'print' and then selected the 'image settings' tab on the popup window?

    4. I'm cropping to 8x8 like you said, and setting the pixel to 50, but when it prints out, it's much smaller; half the size maybe. I'll play around some more I guess.

    5. That seems strange :S

      OK then, you previously said that you found the 'print size' option - so have you tried cropping the image, and then adjusting the 'width' and 'height' fields to 8 inches?

      For example, I've just done that with one of my more recent geomorphs (though I've cropped it into 6x6 chunks rather than 8x8) like this:

      ...and it printed out at the desired size.