Friday, January 24, 2014

Ask the CFM: Devils and Clerics (and other folks)

Pic credit: Zigzag Journeys to Northern Lands; via Project Gutenberg.
It's "Ask the Cheap Fantasy Miniaturist", where I try to answer reader questions about 1/72 fantasy miniatures. In this installment, Raph from the 1/72 Minis Google+ group asks:
1- what about tieflings and other d&d playable races (halfeling, ferals, etc.)2 - what would be your choice for a typical d&d cleric ?
1.) Tieflings could simply be any old human figure painted red or some other exotic color, maybe with some horns made from Milliput or Kneadatite. If you're looking for something more overtly devilish, there are certainly possibilities. I've discussed some devilish conversions I made previously. You may also want to check out these demon figures from Twilight Creations; they're a pretty good match for 1/72 figures.

I could do a pretty detailed post about halfings, but I'll keep it short (heh). Turns out there are a lot of DnD halfling figures that work with 1/72 scale. I'd also consider 15mm figures, such as these guys, for 1/72 halflings. Lord of the Rings hobbit minis from Games Workshop may also be something to consider; they look a little too chunky next to 1/72 figures, but aren't bad.

A DnD halfling, Games Workshop hobbit, and Sven.

I'm not sure what you mean by "ferals." If you mean wildmen, there are lots of 1/72 barbarian sets available (these are my favorite). If you mean beastmen, there are various 20mm and 15mm metal figures that ought to work, and headswaps with animal figures are always an option.

2.) There are two images that come to mind when one thinks of a DnD cleric; the armored warpriest, and enrobed holy man. For the former, any old knight figure (such as these) should do the trick. You may also find this post helpful for finding suitable clerics of this type.

There are more 1/72 scale guys in robes than you might imagine. For Christian priests, consider these sets among many. For more generic dudes in robes, these sets may be useful.

Any more questions? Feel free to ask the Cheap Fantasy Miniaturist, and I'll do what I can.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cheap Superhero Miniatures! (Zerboz)

I spotted these at Walmart months ago, and this post by indigo777 at the DM's Craft message boards persuaded me to try them out. Zerboz are licensed blind-packed superhero minis advertised at an inch high. Hey, that's almost 1/72 scale, the preferred scale of this blog, right? Well, it depends:
Some seem just about the right size (though Batman and Daredevil are a little bigger than they look due to their crouching positions).
Others are just a hair on the big side for the scale, though they'd probably be okay on the game table with properly 1/72 figures if you aren't picky like I am.
These fellas seem particularly apt for fantasy gaming. The Green Arrow makes a pretty good, if hyperbolically muscular, ranger. Gray Hulk would make a good freaky-strong antagonist, or maybe a golem of some kind. Zerboz also makes clear versions of all their figures, which can serve as nifty spirits and other incorporeal dudes.
I forgot to photograph Dr. Doom, who as indigo777's post shows makes a pretty good warforged (just a bit big for 1/72 unfortunately). The Thing would make a dandy rock monster, and a clear Storm in particular would be good for an air elemental (though she's also a little big for the scale).

When I was at Walmart a few weeks ago, they were still selling Zerboz on clearance for 50 cents a piece, though they had packed them all in a single display column and I had to hunt a bit to find what I wanted. I haven't tried painting them, but they're made from a slightly rubbery plastic that seems both sturdy and capable of showing a fair amount of detail. The fate of the Zerboz line seems uncertain, so if you are interested and can find them at the right price, get them while you can

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cheap Scifi Miniatures! (Star Wars Micro Machines)

Ron had a post on his blog a few years ago that turned me on to these. Remember those Micro Machines figures that came with all those cool Star Wars playsets back in the '90s? Turns out they are in 1/76 scale, just a scoach shy of the favored scale of this blog. Of course they're out of production, but they are readily available on eBay, and while some sellers seem to have a tenuous idea of what the market will bear for these collectibles, some patience can yield some excellent deals, well under the 50-cent/mini rule I try to follow. I just lucked into a huge lot of these figures for a steal myself, so I thought I'd share.

Some humans. They're quite a bit smaller than Sven, though it's worth remembering that Sven is a bit big for his scale, as this post shows (maybe I need a better comparison mascot?). For the most part these figures will only look a bit smaller than 1/72 minis.

Aren't you a little short for storm troopers? Fittingly, these guys are superabundant on the secondary market.

Other masked humanoids, some of whom should seem familiar.

Aliens! I think the Gamorrean on the right makes an excellent fantasy mini. Too bad Galoob never made a Gamorrean set! 

Various pipsqueaks. The Ewoks have a lot of potential for fantasy, and I've already used a Jawa figure for conversions (more here).

Finally some droids(TM). The 2000's era Trade Federation Droids are kind of hard to find cheap, which is too bad, as they make excellent generic robo-soldiers.
This gallery is great for checking out more of these figures. I think the Gungans and Tusken Raiders also have some potential for fantasy gaming.

Again, when shopping for these, don't imagine that the prices you see most on eBay are what you have to pay. My sense is that even all these years after they were produced, the supply of Star Wars Micro Machines is fairly saturated, and that it's basically a buyers market. Just save a search, be patient, and the deals will become apparent.