How to make "minis" for your RPG game on the cheap


Miniatures

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

I just started up a Kingmaker game, and was a bit worried out how I was going to run the game with NO minis whatsoever. I love painting minis, but can't afford to go out and buy several 100 minis, and then paint them. And certainly not when my game was in TWO days.

So, I came up with a cheap alternative to buying tons of miniatures. I told some friends, made a post on Facebook showing how I did it, and got a really positive response. So, I reposted to my Livejournal page, to share with the larger community.

Non-Facebook Post is here

I hope this idea helps other, like-minded gamers.

Let me know what you think!


Very interesting, Tim. I'm going to be saving this for future reference.

Scarab Sages

very cool thank you, was thinking about doing that as is


Wow! Nothing short of awesome! Thank you!


I had put images that I found and cut out on top of some square glass mosaic crafty things before, so that the cut out images had some weight to them and didn't slide around on the battle mat before, but I never thought of putting the image on the underside of a clear glass "token."

Cool idea.


Well done! I'll have to show this to my DM for things we don't actually have minis of... building the scenery and whatnot is almost a 2nd hobby for us. :D


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Lost Omens, Maps, Starfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Timitius wrote:
Showed us awesomeness!

Very, very cool way of doing this. Where did you find the images in the end, any central place or all over?

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

Dhampir984 wrote:
Timitius wrote:
Showed us awesomeness!
Very, very cool way of doing this. Where did you find the images in the end, any central place or all over?

I have the PDFs of the bestiary, so a lot of "snapshot" clips from there, and pasted into Powerpoint. For the Kingmaker specific images, I scanned those manually with my scanner, saved as a PDF, and "snapshot" clipped those images. Many other images I just searched for on Google images, until I found something I liked.

(btw, almost NO good bandit images on the web...I ended up searching "most wanted criminals" to get mugshots, and then "police artist sketches" for some others).

Some of the clips from the PDFs included text on the edges, so I opened them in GIMP, and removed the extra text.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Companion Subscriber; Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber

This site has lots of "token" images, for use with open rpg. You could probably use some of them as good bandit minis.


I tried this out, and although I couldn't get the same glass drops you got it still turned out pretty good. (mine were not perfectly round and had a bit of a metallic sheen to them) Thanks for making this thread and sharing!

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

jlord wrote:
I tried this out, and although I couldn't get the same glass drops you got it still turned out pretty good. (mine were not perfectly round and had a bit of a metallic sheen to them) Thanks for making this thread and sharing!

Mine weren't perfectly round, either. More oblong/oval in many cases, but still "round enough".

And you are most welcome! I'm glad to share.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 8

1 person marked this as a favorite.

Sweet. Really nice idea. Plus the glass drops provide some durability, so even for being "on the cheap" you have something that should be nicely reusable.

I wonder if there's easily used materials for Huge and bigger creatures?

Contributor

Perhaps clear or colored plastic lids for cat food tins and such? Those are about 2.5"-3" across, and you could easily paste an illo into one of them.


DeathQuaker wrote:

Sweet. Really nice idea. Plus the glass drops provide some durability, so even for being "on the cheap" you have something that should be nicely reusable.

I wonder if there's easily used materials for Huge and bigger creatures?

I's consider using some of the 3" and larger thin plywood circles that most craft store areond my area (Hobby Lobby, Michael's, and JoAnne Fabrics) carry. Like most of the small wooden discs, the 3" even come polybagged, but I've also seen then loose in bins.

You'll need to put the pictue on top of the token, not underneath, and then use clear contact paper as a top coat, but it should work out just fine.


I want to try this.

Can you get the punchers at your typical office supply shop?

Do most craft stores carry glass globs in such sizes?

Another alternative for larger creatures might be make a "glass glob". Take your cut out card stock image and lay it on the table. Then build a little mould/wall around it with plasticine. Then pour some epoxy resin into your mould. When it has set peel away the plasticine. You may want to coat the inside of plasticine with vaseline first, so the epoxy doesn't bond to it. Most epoxys should dry clear and leave the equivalent to "glass glob" over top of your image. This could make some nice gargantuan and huge minis since you can't seem to find glass globs in those sizes. I haven't actually tried this, so I can guarantee it will work, but I think it probably would.

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

P.H. Dungeon wrote:

I want to try this.

Can you get the punchers at your typical office supply shop?

Do most craft stores carry glass globs in such sizes?

The Punchers are typically used for scrapbooking, so a craft store will have those.

The glass drops? From an online search, I find they are often called vase gems. You'd want clear glass ones. I would think they'd have those in stock. Obviously to fill vases, but in the store I went to, they were shown to be used for making fridge magnets and such. I got the 1 inch ones, some 2 inch ones, and went back and found a half-inch size that will be perfect for small/tiny creatures.

For huge and bigger, I just printed the image on cardstock, cut it out, and will use it like that..as is. Something like that is pretty special, and I wouldn't think you'd be trotting those out very often.


super cool man. I prefer paper cut out minis to tokens tho.

Sovereign Court Wayfinder, PaizoCon Founder

I just "upgraded" my tokens, by creating blood splotch token images in Powerpoint, and then printing to a full-sheet label paper.

Punched out the blood splotch tokens, and stuck them to the bottom of each mini-token.

So, what does this do? Well, upon that creature's defeat, flip the token over to reveal a lovely blood splatter, indicating DEATH.

Also, I created 1 inch squares of fire, useful when a character (or opponent) does fire damage to certain squares (I'm thinking web, for instance). Work pretty well when the alchemist kills them with his bombs, too.

I'll try and amend my tutorial to show these new additions.


ShwEEt!

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