PDA

View Full Version : DM Help On Miniatures and Where to Get Them?



Teven
2014-10-21, 01:34 PM
I'm looking to start collecting miniatures, but I'm not even sure where to begin, or how to buy them. I know sites that sell singles and such, but the question is which to get first and how to grow a collection? I'm on a budget so I can't really buy in bulk, is there a good way to start a collection?

Aedilred
2014-10-21, 02:42 PM
Well, there are thousands and thousands of miniatures out there, and as many people producing them as there ever have been, so narrowing the field is critical before you even start.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself (or if you know the answer, telling us will help us help you).

- What are you collecting for? Is it for gaming (and if so, what sort of gaming?), for painting and possible display, just straightforward wishing to own nice things, or something else?
- Do you want to try to collect all the miniatures in a given range, are you planning to mix and match, or do you just want to buy miniatures you find pretty?
- Do you have any strong feelings about material? Specifically, metal (and variety of metal), plastic or resin?
- Are you after building a large collection of miniatures quickly, or a smaller, high-quality one?
- What sort of budget are you on?
- Are you interested in hunting down old OOP models or do you want to limit yourself to those currently commercially available?
- Do you have any preference as to aesthetic or scale?

blacklight101
2014-10-21, 03:14 PM
Local hobby store is a great place to start one way or another.

Alent
2014-10-21, 05:39 PM
I honestly don't know much about mini collecting, but from what I know and have been told, E-bay is king. If you've read the order of the stick comic where they're planning the defense of Azure City and they're complaining about not being able to get the figure they want? That's a real complaint about how the minifig 6 packs actually work. What many people end up doing is buying several packs, keeping what they like and E-baying the rest. You can snag some nice Minifigs for cheap off e-bay as a result of people trying to recoup their losses.

If your FLGS with is one of those cool ones with a 3D printer, you could just get open source models and/or game models. I've seen pictures online where people play with hand painted, 3d printed minis that are quite literally their WoW character exported with a model viewer. This requires quite a bit of learning and an obscene amount of patience. (Those prints are sloooooooow.)

Depending on how "on a budget" you are, if you want minis to play with in a hurry, you might want to look into just making Paper Minis (http://www.deviantart.com/art/Greenhold-Command-28mm-Paper-Miniatures-389535320) and Papercraft. These come in all sorts of styles, and can fill in dead spots or even become their own collection. There's even an OOTS style paper mini collection over in the Arts and crafts section of the forum here.

TheThan
2014-10-21, 06:06 PM
For generic fantasy miniatures you can't go wrong with War-hammer fantasy miniatures, You have your selection of the following:

Humans of various styles
Elves of various styles
Dwarves of various styles
Orcs of various types
Goblins of various types
Ogres of various types
Vampires, skeletons, and various other undead
Beastmen
Lizard folk
rat folk and the like
mounts like horses, unicorns, pegasi, nightmares you name it,
war machines like catapults, chariots, cannon crews you name it
beasts like mastodons, dragons, hydras, dire wolves and other mythical creatures


I donít know what the average cost is now a days, its been ages since Iíve worked on my ogre army. But if youíre looking for a supply of miniatures, thatís a great way to go. You get something like 25 for a basic unit of infantry with a ton of customizable options.
The problem is that youíll have to assemble and paint them yourself, which is time, money and effort and doesnít fit everyoneís fancy or lifestyle.

Another great place to look into is Reaper minis. They have high quality single minis for very reasonable prices, plus they have the bones line which are cheaper (plastic) versions of their nice metal minis. like the above you may have to assemble and paint them yourself.

I have a (rather large) collection of warmachine minis (protectorate of menoth) that i've collected over the years, I'm working on finishing collecting the faction. I'm really disappointed with their plastic line of miniatures; however their metal stuff is excellent and I highly recommend those. Like the others painting and assembly is required. Warmachine and hordes is primarily steampunk, well its' more magi-tech than steampunk. there's a lot of big steam powered robots though, which are awesome.

While warhammer and Warmachine/hordes are both miniature war games, their miniatures easily work for RPGs or just display.

Aedilred
2014-10-21, 07:10 PM
For generic fantasy miniatures you can't go wrong with War-hammer fantasy miniatures, You have your selection of the following:
Well, you can. I've been a big Warhammer fan, but I feel like in some ways the range has is regressed and is continuing to do so. It's almost entirely plastic (great for conversions, less good for collectors), there are various complaints about detailing (some generic figures are over-detailed, other details are very poor - check out the fur on some recent figures), the scale is all over the place both between and within individual figures (check out the hands on those High Elf infantry!), the range is increasingly small and difficult to get hold of, since they've closed off their back catalogue and an increasingly large proportion of boxes are now direct-order only, and most importantly, they're really really expensive: per figure, and with very few exceptions, you're paying about three or four times as much as a plastic figure anywhere else, at least. $60 for a unit of ten is about the GW norm for anything other than basic infantry, which is already an outrage, but there are single-pose 28mm figures on sale for $20 in the fantasy range, and $30 in 40K, I kid you not.

Now, you can still get almost the entire range second-hand on ebay, often at quite reasonable prices, and there's some really great stuff in there. Forge World is also great. But the currently-available range from GW has some major problems and I really no longer feel able to recommend it to someone just starting out in collecting miniatures, especially if they're not planning on playing GW games specifically.

I would definitely recommend ebay as a place to look, but it is full of elephant traps so keep your wits about you. It's also a much more time-consuming, if slightly more satisfying, way to buy figures than from a conventional shop (internet or otherwise).

...
2014-10-21, 08:55 PM
I just take the lazy route and order individual minis from Miniature Market.

Tarlek Flamehai
2014-10-22, 07:05 AM
It depends on your budget vs your taste.

If you have a small budget and need large numbers now, warhammer plastics is probably the way to go. If you are not looking for an instant horde, try browsing www.coolminiornot.com. Find a company with a style of sculpting you like and then browse that company's website. For a huge selection of miniatures I prefer www.reapermini.com. Note that prepainted minis are available in plastic from Reaper and WotC, but your quality of sculpt is typically less than metal. Your paint quality on prepainted minis may or may not be inferior to what you can do yourself.

Personally I find that warhammer fantasy minis are to cartoony for my taste.

Teven
2014-10-23, 10:49 AM
Well, there are thousands and thousands of miniatures out there, and as many people producing them as there ever have been, so narrowing the field is critical before you even start.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself (or if you know the answer, telling us will help us help you).

- What are you collecting for? Is it for gaming (and if so, what sort of gaming?), for painting and possible display, just straightforward wishing to own nice things, or something else?
- Do you want to try to collect all the miniatures in a given range, are you planning to mix and match, or do you just want to buy miniatures you find pretty?
- Do you have any strong feelings about material? Specifically, metal (and variety of metal), plastic or resin?
- Are you after building a large collection of miniatures quickly, or a smaller, high-quality one?
- What sort of budget are you on?
- Are you interested in hunting down old OOP models or do you want to limit yourself to those currently commercially available?
- Do you have any preference as to aesthetic or scale?


Wow, Thanks for the responses guys, as much as I'd love to get some of the excellent metal minis, with a child and being short on cash I'd probably just stick to the plastics, and Warhammer seems to be the place to look, So Ill check those out, maybe in the future I'll be able to move onto more collectible things.

-Yes its for gaming, DnD/Pathfinder for a few newbies, old high school friends of mine that always wanted to play but we never could figure it out, I learned quite a lot when I moved out of town, and now I've moved back. I want them to have a fun game.

-I want a multipurpose set, I realize having minis for pretty much every eventuality takes time, but I just want a common group, so when my group faces encounters they have something to help them get in the world.

- Large quickly, if i go into high quality it will be further down the road.

- I usually set aside 20 bucks a week for entertainment purposes.

- Either or

- Not in particular no.

Tarlek Flamehai
2014-10-23, 11:36 AM
I suggest eBay for Warhamer Plastic army packs, note these are unpainted and assembly is required.

For fully assembled, plastic, prepainted special models http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/LegendaryEncounters.

For unpainted, plastic special models http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/Bones.

The reason I would send you to eBay for Warhammer is that Games Workshop (the actual company...Warhammer is a product, like WotC and D&D) is they have very weird rules about retailers putting figure images online. So it is easier to get a picture of what your are buying from individuals off of eBay.

Aedilred
2014-10-23, 12:04 PM
Wow, Thanks for the responses guys, as much as I'd love to get some of the excellent metal minis, with a child and being short on cash I'd probably just stick to the plastics, and Warhammer seems to be the place to look, So Ill check those out, maybe in the future I'll be able to move onto more collectible things.

-Yes its for gaming, DnD/Pathfinder for a few newbies, old high school friends of mine that always wanted to play but we never could figure it out, I learned quite a lot when I moved out of town, and now I've moved back. I want them to have a fun game.

-I want a multipurpose set, I realize having minis for pretty much every eventuality takes time, but I just want a common group, so when my group faces encounters they have something to help them get in the world.

- Large quickly, if i go into high quality it will be further down the road.

- I usually set aside 20 bucks a week for entertainment purposes.

- Either or

- Not in particular no.
OK then!

Warhammer isn't a bad place to look, although the cost might make you suck your teeth if cash is an issue: $20/week won't get you very far with Warhammer figures since the cheapest and best value fantasy box sets are about $35. If you do go with Warhammer, you'd probably want to have a look around for discount retailers and/or also investigate the Battalion box sets which tend to offer good value relative to buying a unit at a time. There are a few other manufacturers producing plastic figures with a vaguely similar aesthetic too. Quality varies, but most of them are cheaper than Warhammer. In particular, check out Avatars of War (a small, but high-quality, range) and Mantic (opinion varies as to quality, but cheap as chips).

For D&D purposes I also don't think you can go far wrong with Reaper Bones. They're pretty cheap and have a huge range of figures covering a large portion of the D&D spectrum, whereas battlegame manufacturers (like the above) tend to have more variation within a narrower field. If you want seven different kinds of High Elves, Warhammer's great. If you want five elves, five lizardmen, a manticore, a succubus and some gnolls, Reaper have you covered.

Most metal figures don't contain significant portions of lead any more, so other than choking hazards (which are similar with plastic, I imagine) you're probably good to do with a child. Cash is an issue though.


The reason I would send you to eBay for Warhammer is that Games Workshop (the actual company...Warhammer is a product, like WotC and D&D) is they have very weird rules about retailers putting figure images online. So it is easier to get a picture of what your are buying from individuals off of eBay.

Images are also of course available from GW's own website, although they only show the current range (not the much larger OOP range) and I wouldn't recommend anyone buy directly from GW unless there's no other option, since there are so many other places offering a discount.

mephnick
2014-10-23, 12:24 PM
Local hobby store is a great place to start one way or another.


If you want to pay a 200% mark-up (in my experience) for the thrill of dealing with people who own hobby stores.

Best bet is online stores, like CoolStuffInc and the like. Generally anyone selling mini's on Ebay/Amazon has an online store of some type.

TheThan
2014-10-23, 03:26 PM
The good thing is that if you buying for RPGs. You rarely will need more than any one box of one sort of figures. How many orcs do you really need for gaming?

This is a basic list of warhammer fantasy models I would look into buying. Itís fairly generic, which is great for what weíre doing. This list is not exhaustive, and is only listed in alphabetical order, NOT the order Iíd buy them. Honestly Iíd buy one box, assemble and paint it, then buy another, rinse repeat. That way you donít get bogged down on too many models to paint and go nuts. prices will vary depending on where you look and where you are.


Bretonnia knights errant/ knights of the realm
Dwarf Warriors
High elf archers
lizard men saurus warrior regiment
ogre kingdoms ogres
orcs and goblins orc Boyz
orcs and goblins goblin regiment
Skaven rat swarms
skaven giant rats
Empire free company
vampire counts skeleton warriors
vampire counts zombies


Iíd look around for more specific individual models. The reaper bones line is a good place to look to get them on the cheap (their normal lines arenít too bad either). Some models you only really need one or two of because theyíre big and powerful and players probably arenít going to fight more than one or two of them at a time. Iím talking about dragons, hydras etc

Now if you donít want to paint, or donít have the time, look around. Thereís usually someone at your FLGS (friendly local gaming store) thatís willing to take on a commission. Or you can just paint what you need for your campaign and worry about the rest later. Heck sees if your friends are willing to help out and try painting models for you.




Images are also of course available from GW's own website, although they only show the current range (not the much larger OOP range) and I wouldn't recommend anyone buy directly from GW unless there's no other option, since there are so many other places offering a discount.

Yeah if you want to take a look ( you might have already, ) hereís their website.
http://www.games-workshop.com/en-US/Home?_requestid=9876080

like myself and others have suggested, look around first before you buy

Jay R
2014-10-23, 09:33 PM
The second best answer is to order Cardboard Heroes from Steve Jackson Games. (http://www.sjgames.com/heroes/)

But the best answer, when you can make it work, is to invite somebody to your game who likes buying and painting miniatures. That's always worked for me.

Tarlek Flamehai
2014-10-25, 05:56 AM
If you want to pay a 200% mark-up (in my experience) for the thrill of dealing with people who own hobby stores.

Best bet is online stores, like CoolStuffInc and the like. Generally anyone selling mini's on Ebay/Amazon has an online store of some type.

Please support your local hobby stores. They grow the hobby, they typically offer onsite meeting spots, and they get people off their computer to a place where strangers can meet and interact in person.

Not that I would buy everything from my local hobby store, but I would go there for dice, books, and to see what new weird thing they have.

Knaight
2014-10-25, 11:01 AM
If you want minis for the representative properties, tokens work pretty well - get some poker chips, maybe a hole punch with a very large hole, and some varnish. Then just pick images well. Another alternative to minis is specialized modeling clay that bakes in a standard oven - this relies on some personal skills, but can work quite well. It's also something to do with your kid, provided that they are artistically inclined and old enough.

Beyond the replacement options, I'd also recommend keeping an eye on garage sales. Every so often minis pop up, often in bulk. Reaper and Warhammer have both been covered, and I'm not aware of any better options.

Teven
2014-10-27, 04:05 PM
Thanks guys, yeah I'm using Heroclix for the time being, but i wanted something a bit more visually representative. Paining and Assembling is no problem, something else to do with my time is great. Which is also why im avoiding the paper minis a little bit I wanted something a bit nice.

I would support my local game store, but the closest one is like 40 miles away, so its not terribly feasible.

I'll be sure to look into those sets from warhammer as well as reaper. Again Thanks for the tips guys its great.