Friday, August 23, 2013

The nearly-ultimate guide to D&D halfling and gnome miniatures

As I've previously mentioned, I have an interest in adapting D&D miniatures for my own 1/72 fantasy minis collection. Maybe that's why you'll find this post interesting, or maybe you just want to know how big these minis are. The original collectible D&D miniatures line spanned several years, after all, during which time the idea of scale proved to be quite flexible. Maybe you are starting your D&D minis collection and crave consistency in scale, or you just want more information before you start buying.

Whatever your reason, I hope you find this post useful. I'm missing a few halflings and gnomes, so my collection isn't entirely comprehensive, but it's close. I've also included a few halfings and gnomes from other miniature lines.

Sven the 1/72 scale comparison viking is on the right side of each shot. I've also included a 1/72 scale Caesar Miniatures sorceress on the left, as Caesar minis are just a bit smaller, and I thought the further comparison might be useful. Minis are grouped by size in four pictures (note that I'm going by presumed full height, even for minis that are crouching), and I include the name and year of production for each mini. I'm not including the particular release for each mini, as it's not particularly relevant to the secondary market, but the production year ought to show some interesting trends. Click images to enlarge!

The smallest minis, suitable as halflings and gnomes even in 1/72 scale. A gnome rogue from the World of Warcraft boardgame, a halfling wizard (2004), a Talenta halfling (2005), a mephling pyromancer (2005), Lidda the halfling rogue (2003), a halfling tombseeker (2007), and a cleric of Yondalla (2003).

The next size up, still suitable as halfings, possibly suitable as 1/72 humans if you squint. A gnome recruit (2003), a Pathfinder gnome fighter (2011), a halfling brawler (2007), a halfling slinger (2005), a halfling veteran (2003), a champion of Yondalla (2005),  and a gnome fighter (2003).

The next group is shorter than Sven, but within head height of the sorceress. They make fine 1/72 humans or elves, or possibly dwarves. A female halfling cleric (2009), a feybound halfling (2008), a gnome trickster (2006), Tomble Burrowell from the Descent boardgame, a cleric of Garl Glittergold (2004), a dark creeper (2005), and a skullclan hunter (2005).

This last group is within head height of Sven and are definitely human or elf-sized in 1/72 scale. A halfling rogue (2007), a halfling sneak (2005), a halfling enchanter (2007), a halfling paladin (2008), a soldier of Bytopia (2006), and Lidda the halfling adventurer (2004)
You can see that for halflings, the production year centers on 2003-2004 for group 1, 2005-2006 for groups 2 and 3, and 2007-2008 for group 4, especially the ones standing upright. Gnomes follow a similar trend, though they started larger. Of the gnomes and halfling I'm missing, I would guess that the halfling ranger belongs in group 1, Nebin the gnome illusionist in group 2, and Ulmo Lightbringer in group 4 (I'm open to correction!).

I'm also interested in other D&D minis for 1/72 scale fantasy gaming, as I show here. Here are some more recent acquisitions of mine that I think work particularly well for this purpose.

A deep legionaire (2007), a warforged scout (2005, disappointed this wasn't 1/72 human sized!), an abyssal skulker (2005), a kruthik hatchling (2005), and a fire mephit (2007)
D&D miniatures aren't the most cost-effective way to build a 1/72 fantasy mini collection, but they are great for certain character types that aren't readily available in this scale, such as spellcasters, rogues, and female fighters. It also turns out that many are suitable as 1/72 halflings. I've been thinking of using 15mm miniatures as halflings (like these guys), and I'd be interested to see how they'd compare, but that will be a later post.


  1. Replies
    1. Sorry, accidentally deleted Sarge's post. Here's what it said:

      Check out Essex Gnomes: made of lead, but pretty true to 1st Ed. AD&D Monster Manual/Player's Handbook for size, and shape. Air postage to the USA, from the UK, where Essex is located, will add around BPS7.95 to the cost. If you purchase a lot of 30 figures, however, they will average $1.80 per figure, delivered. Granted, it is not cheap having to order so many, but all things considered, their prices are actually quite inexpensive compared to prices for D&D pre-paints. Cheers!