Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Using Reaper Bones minis in 1/72 scale

Reaper Miniatures has been making metal gaming minis for years and are arguably the largest company in the business. That put them in a position to experiment with making minis out of plastic instead of metal, hence their new "Bones" line of plastic miniatures. They thus discovered there was a huge untapped market of people (like me!) who wanted into the fantasy miniatures hobby but who were effectively priced out of it when it was solely metal. Reaper began a much publicized and widely popular Kickstarter to massively expand the Bones line, and after months of waiting, the Kickstarter orders have begun shipping.

The Bones minis are not in 20mm-1/72 scale, the preferred scale of this blog, but many of their figures are easily adaptable to the smaller scale (Bones figures are 28mm scale, by the way). I already discussed their kobolds, which look just fine next to 1/72 figures. I didn't participate in the Kickstarter, but I had purchased a few figures that are already on the market, and I just bought a few of the new figures from eBay (get 'em while they're secondhand!). Many of the Bones work surprisingly well as 1/72 figures, despite being in a larger scale.

Let's start with the Bones humanoids: here are a gnome wizard and a halfling bard standing next to Sven the 1/72 comparison Viking. The Bones figures are 1 or 2 millimeters shorter than Sven, and their heads are just a tad bigger, but I think most people would assume they are all humans in the same scale. The solo hero miniatures are probably going to be around $2, which is usually much more than I want to pay for a single figure, but for characters like spellcasters and female adventurers that are hard to find in 1/72, they work remarkably well.

Note the big chunky base of the figure on the left, which I trimmed down for the figure in the middle so I could mount it on a metal washer. The soft-yet-resilient Bones plastic made the job easy.
Here are some rats. The smaller gray rat is a Skaven bit from Warhammer, shown for comparison. The Reaper rats are the size of monstrous rodents (or a medium-to-large dog), but they are still smaller than Sven, which is perfect.

Some more animals, including a large bat swarm on the left. The single animals are from the Familiars set, which I think is my favorite new Bones discovery. These animals look perfectly sized next to Sven.

More Familiars, these ones a little more fantastical. The tiny critters look just about as tiny next to Sven as they would in the larger Bones scale, while the female spirit nearest Sven is perfectly human-sized in 1/72 (Here's what she looks like next to a Reaper-scale human, by the way, in case you were curious how the two scales matched up).

The third figure from the left is hard to make out unpainted, but it's supposed to be a stock-horror "creepy doll." It might look like this when painted.
Finally, a couple of giant miniatures that I bought before the Kickstarter minis shipped. I'm a fan of how 28mm giants look next to 1/72 miniatures; it makes them look even more monstrous.

I also bought a set of scarab swarm and a clear-green "spectral wall," which would have been hard to photograph well but which also look pretty good with the smaller scale. I think my experiment in using the Bones for 1/72 scale gaming was largely successful. I want to try a similar experiment with Dungeons and Dragons miniatures in the near future, so stay tuned.


  1. This was very helpful to me as I buy and use figures from so many lines in a single project. And those 28mm do look like giganto's next to the 1/72!

  2. Thanks for the all comparison pic's :)

    I'm looking to grab a few of these myself.