Miniatures - Good quality, current and available
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Post Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:48 pm 
 

Hi all,

I am just getting back into D&D, i'm in my mid-30s loved it as a teenager, used to play many an afternoon at a good friends house after school. Let it go around 17.5, picked up breifly at 19-20 again but life became too busy, higher priorities. So haven't touched in over 15 years.
Anyhow life story aside, to explain where I am at with this: I have performed a reasonable amount of search work, but it is still difficult to ascertain what is current and not etc, and availability. I won't personally mind even importing miniatures from US/UK (I live in Australia) under the import tax limit here, if I have too, and if the postage is reasonable.

I'm specifically looking for good quality 25-28mm height approx (to match scenery available/not take up too much space) miniatures that the community would recommend?
I would be using them for 5 max. player dungeons/campaings, not wargaming with armies. setting Mystara (old D&D and AD&D adventures/maps, particularly around Karameikos - as I have the original AD&D 2nd edition box)
So far Reaper miniatures WARLORD series looks ok, LotR minis look ok (just obviously they will have the LotR theme in particular).
I do believe i remember the Ral Partha miniatures were used by my friend back in the 90s when we played, quite clearly they have gone down the chute, and I notice some other manufacturer's have taken "some" of their product line up and still make them (Iron wind are the closest I've seen to anything I could utilize fantasy mini wise).
Can anyone suggest any other avenues I can look at here in relation to above please.

much appreciated any advice or help on anything miniatures (actual minis or painting etc)

thanks

  

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Post Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:04 pm 
 

The first thing you have to decide is what is important to you about a miniature collection.  For example, whether having everything the same scale is important to you.  Do you want to paint your own or have everything pre-painted or don't care one way or another?  Do you want a collection more to show or use?  If the answer is to use, does it need to be portable or will you always use it at home?  Is price important to you or not?  Do what works for you and don't assume the answers you get from other people are based on your priorities.

The most important thing for me was price.  After that, it was usability meaning they needed to be portable.  In order for my collection to be portable, it had to be 25mm scale.  28mm scale, especially in metal, is way too big and heavy to carry around.  I was willing to paint my own so they didn't need to be pre-painted.  Finally, I wanted a collection that had most every monster from the Monster Manual that wasn't found in a US zoo.

For me, the main way I bought minis was on eBay and by buying large lots. I would buy a larger lot, cherry pick what I wanted, and then sell the rest back in smaller bunches. Through this buying large and selling back smaller, I'd actually end up with an average cost of less than a dollar per mini.  One problem with ebay is that you usually can't get what you want quickly and sometimes you run into challenging transactions. It took me years to get most everything I wanted, and I'm still wanting just a few more minis. However, the wait for minis really was not that big an issue for me because it took me forever to paint whatever I had available at the time.

If I were starting all over again, I'd probably go with Bones minis sold by Reaper. The price is one big reason, but the other two important reasons are that you can drop them and they probably won't break, and you can transport a lot of minis without a lot of weight. The variety of miniatures they offer is about to go way up as they are about to complete a Kickstarter.  Price, durability and low weight is an amazing combination.

If you want to see my actual collection, it's right here:
Dragonsfoot • View topic - My Latest Batch of Minis

Again, first figure out what is important to you in a miniature collection and then base your purchases off of those priorities.   8)


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Post Posted: Sat Apr 06, 2013 1:37 am 
 

Hello and welcome to the community, Belisarius.

Benjoshua, as usual, raises a lot of good points in his response. I'll only disagree with his point about weight - modern 28mm white metal miniatures (such as Reaper) are actually lighter than vintage lead-based 25mm minis. Case in point: a Ral Partha Frost Giant (AD&D Monsters 11-436) weighs 3.4 ounces, while an equal-sized Reaper Frost Giantess (Dark Heaven Legends 02622) weighs only 2.2 ounces. But I digress.

Reaper's Dark Heaven Legends lineup (along with Warlord and Pathfinder) is huge, and covers almost every D&D/AD&D monster from the early years to the current rules. And their character selection is even bigger! And yes, as benjoshua points out, with the introduction of their plastic Bones line, you can get them cheap and light and durable.

Otherworld Miniatures has a great selection of minis that looked like they crawled off the pages of the Monster Manual.

Center Stage Miniatures (operated by Matt, a fellow Acaeum member) has an impressive catalog of minis. I own most of his giants, and am eagerly awaiting a huge box of demons and devils, once they are finished!

Other current companies are Red Box Games, Dark Sword Miniatures, Hasslefree, and Freebooter. I'm sure I'm missing a few.

I use the same eBay strategy as benjoshua - buy lots, take what I want for my use/collection, and resell the rest. Keeps the price down, for sure. Downside is the time involved to resell, but it's more than worth it to me. And when you need a mini or two, you can usually find it on eBay, assuming it's not too rare.

There are a ton of collecting and painting resources out there. On YouTube, professional and amateurs alike have posted all sorts of painting tutorials that cover pretty much everything - priming, basing, and all the various painting techniques. If you prefer, there are DVDs available by a number of well-known miniature artists. Hot Lead, Masterworks Miniature Painting from Dark Sword Miniatures, Miniature Painting Secrets with Jennifer Haley (and Natalya) are a few that come to mind.

If you want to find a mini, check out the Lost Minis Wiki and Stuff of Legends sites. Tons of pictures of old and new minis to drool over.

On Yahoo, there are collecting groups dedicated to companies like Ral Partha, Grenadier, DragonTooth, Heritage, and Citadel miniatures. Lots of knowledgeable and helpful people there.

You can find painting advice on the Reaper forums and Dragonsfoot forums to name a couple. Some people don't care what kind of paints they use, and some are VERY particular. Reaper, Vallejo, Citadel, P3 (Privateer Press) are some common mini paints used today. But I've also seen great results from people who use craft paints, so your mileage may vary.

Buy yourself some quality brushes. It really does make a difference! I personally use Da Vinci brushes, but everyone has their favorites. Cheap brushes don't hold their points, fall apart, and don't give good results. Clean your brushes and store them with care.

If you stop by my blog (The Lead Dragon) there are a bunch of links to other blogs, mini companies, and painting resources. Hopefully you can find some useful to you.

Good luck and have fun!


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My lead-centric blog: http://theleaddragon.blogspot.com/
Also known as soccer_dad66 on eBay.

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:16 am 
 

benjoshua wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:The first thing you have to decide is what is important to you about a miniature collection.  For example, whether having everything the same scale is important to you.  Do you want to paint your own or have everything pre-painted or don't care one way or another?  Do you want a collection more to show or use?  If the answer is to use, does it need to be portable or will you always use it at home?  Is price important to you or not?  Do what works for you and don't assume the answers you get from other people are based on your priorities.

The most important thing for me was price.  After that, it was usability meaning they needed to be portable.  In order for my collection to be portable, it had to be 25mm scale.  28mm scale, especially in metal, is way too big and heavy to carry around.  I was willing to paint my own so they didn't need to be pre-painted.  Finally, I wanted a collection that had most every monster from the Monster Manual that wasn't found in a US zoo.

For me, the main way I bought minis was on eBay and by buying large lots. I would buy a larger lot, cherry pick what I wanted, and then sell the rest back in smaller bunches. Through this buying large and selling back smaller, I'd actually end up with an average cost of less than a dollar per mini.  One problem with ebay is that you usually can't get what you want quickly and sometimes you run into challenging transactions. It took me years to get most everything I wanted, and I'm still wanting just a few more minis. However, the wait for minis really was not that big an issue for me because it took me forever to paint whatever I had available at the time.

If I were starting all over again, I'd probably go with Bones minis sold by Reaper. The price is one big reason, but the other two important reasons are that you can drop them and they probably won't break, and you can transport a lot of minis without a lot of weight. The variety of miniatures they offer is about to go way up as they are about to complete a Kickstarter.  Price, durability and low weight is an amazing combination.

If you want to see my actual collection, it's right here:
Dragonsfoot • View topic - My Latest Batch of Minis

Again, first figure out what is important to you in a miniature collection and then base your purchases off of those priorities.   8)


Howdy Benjoshua, cheers for reply mate. I wouldn't mindf painting them myself for the added hobby tbh, also they will remain at home 99.99% of the time. I do want them all the same scale, around the 28mm mark. I will be using them, but wouldn't mind them as a "collection" as well on a secondary note I guess.
They do have to match the D&D setting in some capacity. As I say, I have seen the Reaper "Warlord" or "Dark Heaven Legends" seem ok, are they good value for money in your opinion?

Thanks will check out your collection

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:21 am 
 

TollHouseGolem wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:Hello and welcome to the community, Belisarius.

Good luck and have fun!


Thanks very much, I'll check it all out

  


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Post Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 4:08 pm 
 

I cannot recommend Otherowrld miniatures highly enough.

Otherworld Miniatures

  

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Post Posted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:34 pm 
 

Belisarius wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:As I say, I have seen the Reaper "Warlord" or "Dark Heaven Legends" seem ok, are they good value for money in your opinion?


The Bones minis are a much better value for the money in my opinion because they are less expensive, are much less likely to be damaged, are lighter in weight, and require no priming before painting.  That's just too many advantages to ignore.

Sardan wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:I cannot recommend Otherowrld miniatures highly enough.
Otherworld Miniatures


The Otherworld minis look great but are expensive as all get out.  Bones minis cost much less, don't break as easily, are lighter in weight and don't require priming.  Again, if you are looking for "good value for your money" then I would go with the Bones line of miniatures by Reaper.


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Post Posted: Tue Apr 09, 2013 5:02 am 
 

Thnaks fellas for the input, will check out the Otherworld minis, I'll decide over the coming weeks what I'm gonna do.

  


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Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:39 pm 
 

"Bones" Minis seem to pretty limited in scope and range sadly  :( ? Unless i'm missing something?

  

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Post Posted: Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:02 pm 
 

Belisarius wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:"Bones" Minis seem to pretty limited in scope and range sadly  :( ? Unless i'm missing something?


Yeah, they are in the process of wrapping up a Kickstarter which increased their lineup considerably.  It also gave them the capital they needed to increase their line-up further.   Their line-up is indeed limited right now.


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 12:35 am 
 

benjoshua wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:
Belisarius wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:"Bones" Minis seem to pretty limited in scope and range sadly  :( ? Unless i'm missing something?


Yeah, they are in the process of wrapping up a Kickstarter which increased their lineup considerably.  It also gave them the capital they needed to increase their line-up further.   Their line-up is indeed limited right now.


I don't know if now would be a particularly good time to order from Reaper for anything. They have massive numbers of their kickstarter minis to ship out and are about to start their Reapercon as well.


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Post Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2013 2:04 pm 
 

JasonZavoda wrote in Miniatures - Good quality, current and available:I don't know if now would be a particularly good time to order from Reaper for anything. They have massive numbers of their kickstarter minis to ship out and are about to start their Reapercon as well.


I suspect they'll have most everything shipped related to the Kickstarter in a month.  Here's some interesting info about the Bones line of minis which reveal their durability and paintability in particular.

Bones: Frequently Asked Questions - Unofficial! - Bones Miniatures & Legendary Encounters - Reaper Message Board


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