Tag Archives: Miniatures

Intermediate Miniature Conversion: Pinning

Ragnaros Reaper Mini Dragonman ConversionLast week, I went over a simple weapon swap for a miniature. This is a great way to get your feet wet in miniature modification, but eventually you’re going to want to do something more drastic to your miniatures. One of my D&D Adventurer’s League characters is a Dragonborn Barbarian, and I didn’t like any of the Dragon/Reptilian miniatures that Reaper had on offer. Fortunately, they have a Dragonman Conversion Kit. For this project, I’ll be using Ragnaros as my base figure, swapping out the head, and pinning a tail onto it. Buckle in kids, this could get messy. Continue reading

Simple Miniature Conversion: Swapping Out Weapons


Disclaimers: I did not paint this miniature. Mine will not have white hair. Click for source.

Last week, I posted a few pictures on Twitter of a simple miniature conversion I did.
Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 3

I wanted to write a short article on how I did it, because weapon changes are some of the simplest mini mods you can do, and a great starting point if you want to get into miniature conversion.
Before you get started though, you’re likely going to have to deal with one thing: you’re not defacing, damaging, or ruining your mini, you’re personalizing it. The first time you modify a miniature, you’re going to get all nervous about messing it up – similar to the first time you painted a mini, except paint can be stripped off – now anything you do to the mini is more or less irreversible. Get over it. You can patch up any mistakes, or paint around the mistake, or heaven forbid, buy another one. In fact, maybe just buy two the first time around so you feel a little better about cutting up the miniature. Continue reading

Weekly Roundup: Modified Mini Edition

 Waaaay back many months ago, we had a contest to celebrate our 100th post. We must talk a good game on the blog here because one of the winners of the contest asked for a miniature modification that was way beyond our ability to do. So, instead of just saying “no,” we reached out to Ian from the Going Last Podcast to see if he was willing to help us out. He accepted the challenge, and below are the stunning results. 

Our contest winner wanted to make the D&D Dire Ape miniature look like Donkey Kong. Here is what the Dire Ape looks like:


I had a barrel from Showcase Terrain that I sent to Ian along with the mini. Ian cut the raised fist off, sculpted a hand around the barrel, and reattached it to the mini. The bottom of the barrels are smooth, so he added planks to the bottom of the barrel. He also added a tie to the mini, and built out the lower jaw a bit. Below are pictures of the finished product. (Click for big)


And now, on to the roundup…

We always like to see character backgrounds that are not “My character is an orphan.” If you’re looking for ideas, check out the Dungeon’s Master Origin Story switched at birth.

If you’re a fan of random tables, you need to check out the one posted at Land of Nod this week. It’s a Random Idol Generator. Even if you don’t use it in a game on the fly, it is sure to give you some ideas!

Rumor has it that the D&D Next playtest at DDXP was in the classic Caves of Chaos. Check out the work The Weem did this week on the Caves of Chaos Map Remakes. They look awesome!

The wishlists for D&D Next continue. Check out what Squaremans said about his D&D and his non-rules wishlist for D&D Next.

Campaign Mastery‘s article on alternate histories in RPGs was geared more towards an RPG that diverges from actual world history into a fictional world history, but it could also be applied to fantasy worlds that have a strong canon as well (Forgotten Realms, we’re looking at you…)

Finally, check out the 2e Monstrous Manual Online that someone on Twitter pointed to this week. And yes, the Flumph is there!

Blast From The Past (Weekly Roundup: DDXP 2011 Edition)

The Labyrinth had a great article about the process they used to find a new player for their game.  While their success rate varied, you might find a resource here that you haven’t used yet.  Or you might just find the story of them trying to find a new player entertaining.

Tentacles Redux: Water Effects Upgrade

A few months ago, The She DM posted a great DIY Miniatures article on how to make tentacle miniatures. If you’ve read even a few articles on this site, you know that I love the terrain/painting/arts & crafts aspect of this hobby. So this little gem was right up my alley, and I was appropriately excited to try it out. I’m not going to go through and re-hash all the steps, but it’s basically taking this toy octopus, and mounting its tentacles. If you want all the steps, you can check out her article; I have a few comments to add, but the real point of this article is how I took this awesome idea one step further. Continue reading

DIY Miniatures: Gamma World Aliens

Click for big

Last Saturday, I was out shopping with my two year old son. Being a child, he was immediately drawn to a bank of vending machines with little trinkets in them. I don’t usually give those machines a second glance, but because he was glued to them, I happened to notice what was in them. They were little glow in the dark aliens inside those clear plastic “eggs.”

Now, it would be hard to find a miniature that would be appropriate for a D&D game, but these vending machines tend to be great places to find Gamma World miniatures. On top of that, I couldn’t help but imagine that the little clear egg they came in looked like an escape pod or reconnaissance vessel that might be attached to a mother ship. Fifty cents later, and I was in possession of two new Gamma World miniatures, and a quick weekend project. Continue reading

DIY Miniatures: The Humble Flumph

Last Thursday, we posted some 4th edition stat blocks for flumphs. Today we’re going to make some flumph minis to go with those stat blocks. A month or so ago, someone on Twitter linked to this WotC forum post. While the Demogorgon is beautiful, I was more intrigued by the flumph miniature posted a little farther down. It looked like a quick and easy project, so I contacted Artsy_Wumpus to write a guest post. I inserted some of my own comments in italics, and took pictures of my own flumph mini as I followed his directions. This is a really good starter project to dip your toe in the miniature making water.

This is the Flumph miniature by Artsy Wumpus

Hey folks, ArtsyWumpus here. Today we’re going to be making a Flumph miniature. I used some Sculpey (which is fairly cheap) to make mine but I assume it would work just as well with green stuff or your choice of polymer clay. I’m fairly cheap so my work tools are usually whatever is lying around, pencils, toothpicks and a hobby knife. I use whatever super glue I can find, I’ve even used vinyl patch glue. Anyway, on to the project. Continue reading

DIY Beholder Mini For Less Than $3

I’m going to apologize real quick for the abysmal quality of the pictures in this post, especially since we have a whole series on taking good pictures of miniatures. Real life has been busy, and I haven’t had the time to properly set up shots. 

Normally, when it comes to monster minis, I’m a “close enough” kind of guy.  I don’t have the kind of cash required to obtain the perfect miniatures for every combat.  However, this year I spent most of Gencon judging for Living Forgotten Realms, and I wanted to give players the best play experience possible.  I spent a small sum of money over at Troll and Toad and on eBay buying appropriate minis for all the combats in my assigned adventures.  Except for one.  There was this one monster that was so expensive, I couldn’t bring myself to lay out the cash to buy it.  The Beholder.  At $25 and up for a single mini, its price point is right up there with the dragon minis.  I wasn’t ready to pay that for a single mini.  So I just made my own.  And now you can too.


  • A paperclip
  • Some sort of base (I use wooden discs found in the wood crafts section of my craft store)
  • A superball (or a jumbo superball if you want a large beholder)
  • Push pins (the kind with round heads)
  • Miniature paints

Step 1: Paint the superball

I stuck the ball on the end of the paperclip to paint it.  Dark brown, obviously.  To paint the eye, I made a “smile” shape in white paint, then a black circle, and finally a red line down the middle of the circle.  A mouth is optional, as you can see from the picture at the end of the post.  I think it looks fine either way; in fact, the mouthless beholder may even look a little bit more creepy.


Step 2: Add the eyestalks

Push pins make perfect eyestalks.  The round part at the top is your eyeball, and the metal pin takes paint just fine.  You can even bend the pin for stalks flailing about in every direction.  I will note that you could make nicer eyestalks with some sculpey and a bit of time and effort, but even a push pin all by itself looks pretty darn good.  Paint the “eyes” white and add a black dot for a pupil.  Paint the metal part of the pins the same brown as the rest of the beholder.

Step 3: Base the mini

I get packs of wooden discs from the craft store to use as bases.  They come in 1 inch and 1 1/2 inch rounds, and I just hit them with some black mini primer before using them.  Drill a hole in the center and glue a length of paperclip into it with wood glue.  Cut the top of the paperclip at an angle so it pierces the superball easily.  Then, stick the beholder on the paperclip. You’re done!

So, I’ll be the first to admit that this beholder is not as stunning as the D&D miniature.  But your players will still know what it is, and I think it has a campy B-movie look to it that is kind of fun.  And hey, you can’t beat $3!

Pictured below are the beholder I made for Gencon (the smaller one) and the beholder I made when I got home (the bigger one).  I think the bigger one could use more eyestalks, and I should probably bend the stalks on the smaller one.  I also like the smaller one’s eye better – red with a black pupil is definitely the way to go.  All in all though, this was a really fun project! 
How about you?  Have you ever made a DIY miniature?

Where to get Gamma World Miniatures: Monsters & A Wrap-Up

I have to say, when I started this series back in February, I had no idea it would take me into July! In fact, I originally thought that suggesting miniatures for specific origins would fit into one post. Really, go back and read the introduction.  Before I bring the series to a close, however, I wanted to tie up a few loose ends.  First, what good is it to have perfect PC minis on the board if there aren’t at least semi-appropriate monster minis?

Don’t worry, I’m not going to start a new series on Gamma World Monster Miniatures.  No, not even if you want me to.

If you’re looking for monsters, there is a great thread over at the Wizards of the Coast forums for that.  Plus, not only are suggestions for monsters, but there are also great suggestions for PCs as well, including some we didn’t mention in the series.

Second, I wanted to briefly explain why some origins didn’t get chosen for their own article.  Many origins (Mind Coercer, for example) do not manifest themselves as a specific physical form.  I’ve marked these origins “NSP.” In these cases, your appearance is either informed by your other origin, or simply “humanoid.” (We did cover humanoid minis in a previous installment.)  Other origins (Pyrokinetic, for example) manifest themselves as a minor part of the PC’s general appearance.  I’ve marked these origins “PNT.”  In these cases, applying paint in the appropriate areas is the way to go. Finally, there are a few origins (Reanimated, for example) where I thought the choices were obvious or too numerous to cite. I’ve marked these origins “OBV.”

Here are the origins we didn’t cover, and why.  In some cases, we’ve also listed places you can look to find appropriate miniatures.

Android – PNT I always think of androids as looking human, not metallic, though you could just paint a human mini a metallic color.  Pulp City miniatures also has a mini called “Androidia.”  If you want more robot, and less human, check out the Star Wars droids minis.
Antimatter Blaster – NSP
Cryokinetic – NSP, PNT
Doppelganger – NSP
Ectoplasmic – PNT, OBV
Electrokinetic – NSP
Empath – NSP
Engineered Human – OBV
Entropic – NSP
Exploding – NSP
Giant – OBV Half-giant and Goliath minis are a good place to start with this origin.
Gravity Controller – NSP
Hyprecognitive – NSP
Magnetic – NSP
Mind Breaker – NSP
Mind Coercer – NSP
Mythic – NSP
Nightmare – NSP If you want a truly horrific appearance, sift through the Dreamblade miniatures.
Photonic – NSP
Plaguebearer – NSP
Plastic – NSP Old Glory Miniatures has quite a few Plastic type minis in their Superfigs and New Superfigs lines.
Prescient – NSP
Pyrokinetic - NSP, PNT
Radioactive – NSP, PNT Pulp City miniatures has a few “radioactive” minis.
Reanimated – OBV
Reanimator – NSP
Regenerator - NSP
Seismic – NSP
Shapeshifter – NSP
Speedster – NSP
Telekinetic – NSP
Temporal – NSP
Vampiric – OBV

A few final notes.  I will be going back sometime after Gencon and rearranging the earlier lists to “Painted/Unpainted” categories rather than my originial “Primary/Secondary” categories.  And speaking of going back to the older articles, there were often times when I came across good miniatures for an origin that I had already covered.  In these cases, I went back and added the mini to the article; if you go through the older articles, you may find something that wasn’t there before.  I intend to keep adding to the lists in this way as I keep coming across good Gamma World miniatures.

I think that’s about it, thanks again for reading this series!

Where to get Gamma World Miniatures: Wheeled

This article is part of a series discussing sources for Gamma World PC miniatures.  The rest of the (rather large) series can be found in the “Article Series” link above.  As always, check with the manufacturer before buying if you are unsure of size.

Well, we made it! This is the last origin I will be covering, and I thank you for reading along as I did this series.  There will be one final wrap up post talking about monsters and the origins that didn’t get their own post, so stay tuned for that.  Until then, I give you: Wheeled!  I have to admit, this isn’t my favorite origin.  When I think wheeled, I think “vehicle,” and a hunk of metal that you ride around in doesn’t seem to fit into my idea of “origins.”  There are very few origins that reconcile well with wheeled (AI, for instance – Knight Rider, anyone?).  Of course, you could also go the “in a wheelchair” or “on a Segway” route if you really need your PC to be an organism.  Either way, here are some minis for your wheeled character.

Prepainted Miniatures

  • Professor Xavier (1, 2, 3, 4), Oracle – Heroclix The aforementioned “person in a wheelchair.”
  • One Man Army, Malefic Steamroller, Mobile Command, Wicked Carriage – Dreamblade I have a feeling the designers were imagining something like One Man Army when they came up with wheeled.
  • Monocycles (1, 2, 3, 4, from the Wolf Strike line) – Mechwarrior
  • Mechwarrior line – Mechwarrior Speaking of Mechwarrior, pretty much any of the Mechs could be considered “wheeled” in my book, even if they are technically lacking actual wheels. The miniatures line also has tanks and other vehicles (transports, ATVs, missle launchers, etc.).  You’ll have to sift through them yourself, because there’s too much for me to post here.  Choose a category that has “singles” after the name, and have at it.
  • R5 Astromech Droid, E522 Assassin Droid, R4 Astromech DroidR2-D2, R7 Astromech, Mouse Droid – Star Wars Miniatures There are also several flying droids, if you want to stretch the definition of “wheeled” (and hey, why not?).  The mouse droid would make a perfect Wheeled/Swarm.

Unpainted Miniatures

Where to get Gamma World Miniatures: Arachnoid

  • This entry is part of a series in which we discuss good sources for odd Gamma World PC origins.  For the rest of the series, check the Article Series link on the menu bar above.  As always, check with the manufacturer if you are unsure of miniature sizes.

The very first thing to consider when approaching the Arachnoid origin is this: do you want to be a straight-up “giant sentient spider”?  Or are you more half human/half spider? Or are you Spiderman?  Please not the last one.  Not even as “a joke.”  It wouldn’t be funny, trust me.  No matter what you choose, we’ve got you covered.  Of course, your main source of half human spiders are Drider miniatures, and there’s no shortage of giant spiders either, thanks to the Fantasy RPG community drawing on the Lord of the Rings trilogy for monsters.  We’ve even got some robot spiders for those of you with a second origin of AI or Android.   Enjoy!

Prepainted Minis

Unpainted Minis

Well, there’s only one origin to go – Wheeled – and then a final wrap up article!