Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I dig minis.



You don't have to have minis to play The Game, but I think they're an enjoyable extension of the hobby. They also support the tactical combat facet of the game. I don't always use them, but there are definitley situations where having physical markers on a map to judge distance and spacial relationships in melee makes things much easier on the DM and forestalls disputes on the part of the players.
You don't get to argue about wether or not you were in range of that fireball. Look at the minis, man.

You can use dice or what have you, but minis are part of the history of the game. I think they're one of those things which are inherently D&D. A traditional accoutrement if you will. I like accoutrements.

These are pics of a few minis from my horde. I've got a lot of them. This group is mostly Ral Partha, Grenadier, and maybe Reaper or Games Workshop. I judge minis on a case by case basis. I'm not loyal to a particular maker.



These are from before I started using washes or much dry brushing. I'm just going to leave them as they are now though. My mini collection is kind of a record of my skill level at the time I worked on each one. They've all got memories attached to them as well.
Where I lived when I painted them, what was going on in my life, etc. They're like little lead memonics to me.



I like the work itself. The painting and fine work cleaning up the mold lines or splicing weapons is fun. Minis, like this blog, are one of those side pursuits associated with The Game that you can enjoy without actually playing.

They're also low cost. When I was a kid, I built tons of plastic model kits. I had one of those big movie Enterprises with the lights hanging in my bedroom.
The cost of kits is ridiculous now though. A 1/35th scale tamiya tank kit runs $49.99. Fat chance of that.

These two are older and cruder than the barbarians and the ogres above. The knight I just did for the NPC pool. The elf is one of several minis I've used to represent my oldest character. A grey elf fighter-magic-user called Byrandir or Bryn the Axe. He made it all the way to 10th level before I retired him. I know that's not high level by many perspectives, but it's the highest level character I ever had. My Greyhawk has no pity.

I love these little chunks of metal. Just in contemplation of them I'll sometimes have a thought that sets me off on some inspirational tangent of game ideas.

Do you guys have a particular source for minis that you prefer? I've never bought them on line. I prefer to handle things up close before I spend money on them. At this point however, all the FLG stores withing striking distance of me seem to have reduced their in store offerings to a small selection of stuff that doesn't appeal to me.
I'd spend some time kicking game stores but I'll save that for another post, it's late.

6 comments:

TopKat said...

How could I pass up a post entitled "I Dig Minis"? Like you, I can tell how long I have had a mini by the paintjob and wear & tear on it. My oldest minis are chipped and beat up - veterans of many encounters on the gaming table. Great article, I can totally relate.

I've spent plenty at various FLGS that have come and gone over the years, but my favorite has always been American Eagles here in Seattle, WA.

I've yet to buy any minis via Craigslist, but I have read stories here and there about bargains to be had. Personally, I have had great success on eBay to date. It all depends on what you are looking for. I've picked up lots for pennies on the dollar, and have also seen rare stuff go into the hundreds of dollars before - yikes!

Stop by my minis blog when have the time: http://theleaddragon.blogspot.com/

Thanks again for the good read.

Kiltedyaksman said...

I've come back to painting minis in the last year.

I dig the Otherworld miniatures and the old Citadel line. I have a few new and old Ral Partha's in their too. Not a huge fan of Reaper though, the scale is way, way too big.

I've got examples at Discourse and Dragons if interested:
http://discourseanddragons.blogspot.com/

ChicagoWiz said...

I'm a big fan of MegaMinis (http://www.megaminis.com) The owner is a nice guy, he's a straight forward vendor and his minis are usually very good. He has a ton of old Grenadier Julie Guthrie molds and those minis are fantastic. At $1.43 a pop, you can't beat the price or the scale. His other non-Guthrie monsters and such are fairly good too. Some of the minis look amateurish, but they're few/far between.

C'nor (Outermost_Toe) said...

You'll hurt your toes if you kick game stores too often. Anyway, I agree with you that they can be useful, though I've never used them. My current area would be much aided by having a way other than the players poking the map to indicate where they stand in a square, as not all parts of them are safe.

1d30 said...

I like the thrill of shopping around physically, finding little deals and awesome things that I think other people overlooked. When you find something online it feels like it's been carefully appraised and set out for everyone in the world to look at and buy. I want to buy things from a cluttered shelf or an overflowing bin, or at least from a pegboard wall with poor organization. I want to be surprised every time I turn something over. I want to find a miniature from a company that clsoed a dozen years ago. I want to search for buried treasure. So I agree that shopping online isn't as enjoyable as shopping in person. I also agree that game shops tend to have a limited selection. It's kind of sad that it's not a viable retail option anymore :/

E.G.Palmer said...

Nice blog,Topkat, and very nice work on the minis! I hadn't thought about Craigslist. hmmm.

Kiltedyaksman, I like those Otherworld minis too.

ChicagoWiz, Julie Guthrie is one of my favorite sculptors also.

C'nor, I wear steel toes when I do my kicking.

1d30, rooting inthe bargain boxes at conventions is also one of my favorite things. It's a lot harder to find good stuff now though.
I have a harder time finding good henchmen to hold the torch so I can see.