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5E Miniature Collecting/Use and D&D

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
Hello fellow travelers,

just interested to hear about any fellow miniature collectors/users out there and how you use and collect.

I have a healthy collection of minis but have focused on miniatures that can be or rather will be used in game.

I have been pruning preening and trading to get to this point. For example I have perhaps 15 kobolds but have traded off a neoghi to get there.

I have supplemented some groups with miniature that I have painted myself but have largely focused on icons of the realms minis.

what about you?

my group uses minis a fair amount though terrain and building vary by the DM. My pal uses minis and dry erase grid while I have buildings, mountains and trees.

I am interested to hear about others’ use of terrain as well.

last year I made a modular foam dungeon. It took forever and was hard work.

I bought pink Foam insulation Sheets, cut them, used a roller to texture them and then painted. Will add a pic if I can fine one...

here! Foam dungeon! Sadly all those hours and never used thanks to the pandemic...

and here is a part of the minis!

this is becoming a new hobby with the gaming. Perhaps telling (regarding the gaming hobby) is the fact that when we had nothing but dice and a few metal figures I had no less fun. This collecting bit has helped me stay immersed though when life prevents playing.

happy gaming!
 

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Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
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tommybahama

Adventurer
That is a very impressive collection!

I don't DM but I have a drawer full of minis to paint for characters I hope to play some day. The rest I'll give away to DMs that I play with as I don't have the storage space to keep them all. I'm only a little above average in the painting department. I pretty much stick to base coat, dry brush, wash, and done. It's good enough for TTRP.
 

Stormonu

Legend
I've had miniatures for D&D mere days after I got the rules for Christmas back around '80. They used to be all metal and I'd try and get the ones I'd use in game, but I started migrating over to plastic when the prepainted figures started coming out.

Before the random boxings of the prepainted, I specifically bought miniatures for use in the game - mostly monsters. Now, I try to collect any and all that I can get my hands on - especially ones I've used in the past or have a fondness for. If a player's character survived long enough, I'd usually buy a mini and paint it to represent them.

I also have quite a bit of dwarven forge and used to love breaking it out to map the dungeon. It's a bit too unwieldy these days though, so it's mostly collecting dust now. Did pull it out recently to have a little fun with the new Wizkid Warlock tiles...



 

dave2008

Legend
We I started playing D&D I had more time with my miniatures than actually playing. I built an elaborate set with a forest, a swamp, a grassland, a graveyard, and a mountain w/ removable top and dungeon inside (I was trying to get as many different terrains as possible I think). The whole thing as approx. 6 feet by 12 feet and populated with dozens (hundred+) metal minis that I painted. Alas, that was way back in the '80s and I have not photos only my memories. However, I do still have most of those minis.

We neve used the set in play, but we almost always used minis to at lest show group position.

PS. I really like the idea of using rigid insulation to make dungeon (castle) walls and floors. That is a fantastic idea.
 

briggart

Explorer
I was heavily into the D&D miniature skirmish game that came out with 3.x. I think I have a few thousands of those, plus several others from various boardgames (Conan, Cthulhu Death, Kingdom Death, and others I can't remember right now) and from a couple of Reapers Kickstarters. However, most of them are in storage, so when we played live we ended up using the same 50 or so minis I keep on hand to proxy almost everything. :)
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
That is a very impressive collection!

I don't DM but I have a drawer full of minis to paint for characters I hope to play some day. The rest I'll give away to DMs that I play with as I don't have the storage space to keep them all. I'm only a little above average in the painting department. I pretty much stick to base coat, dry brush, wash, and done. It's good enough for TTRP.
Thanks! I started buying prepainted minis in the mid 2000s. Miniature market has a buyback program so over the years I have been selling them back and buying more suitable (singles) ones.... think most or all of my first sets have since been “converted” one mini at a time
 
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jgsugden

Legend
I've played since the 70s and began collecting minis in the 80s. I had a small collection of metal miniatures, then added more and more metal minis slowly through the 1990s. When the Dungeons and Dragons Miniatures (DDM) collectible mini game / D&D mini product was released, I collected heavily. I really enjoyed the DDM game, and being able to construct a massive D&D figure collection for RPG was a great additional benefit. I bought between 1 and 6 cases of each of those sets, and was nearly set complete for every set. Since that game ended production, I've added the occasional mini that fills a gap in my collection, sometimes buying a case of a new Wizkids release that has a bunch of uncommon or common figures that would augment my collection meaningfully, but usually just buying singles.

I have about 11,000 minis (6 fully packed floor to ceiling bookshelves, with over a hundred shoe boxes filled with certain types of minim (skeletal undead pt 1, skeletal undead pt 2, zombies, ghouls/ghasts/wights, ghosts/specters, tribal orcs, civilized orcs, leader orcs, etc...) , and enough terrain to fill up a 5 by 5 pub table several times over. I also have my prized minis on display on separate shelves (either my favorite hand painted ones, or expensive ones from over the years). In addition, I have several board games I bought because the minis for it would make great augmentations for my mini collection (I make heavy use of the Far Realms and want to have a wide variety of nightmare creatures the players will have never seen).

The one thing I do not have enough of is dungeon dressing and features, such as bushes, graves, tables, stalagmites, etc... I have some, but I find I always want a bit more, but never enough to pay the prices I see charged. I really need to get into some 3D printing.

I have way too many of certain types of figures, but I also have two sons and I someday hope they'll enjoy D&D and that they'll enjoy using my collection (and eventually splitting it up). They're 1 and 5 right now - the 5 year old is already playing some story telling games, but is not quite ready to really dive in... although I was just barely 6 when I did.
 

Retreater

Legend
I have a lot of minis, collected from the pre-painted blind boxes, hobbled together from board games, stuff I've gathered from miniature wargames like 40K, etc. I have gotten to the point where my painting is significantly better than any mass produced pre-painted figures. (And for my tastes, better than many "pro painters" online.) Plus it's a fun hobby.

My terrain collection includes MDF terrain for wargames that I've painted: villages, castles, sci-fi scenes, ruins. I have also created tiles of foam dungeon in a similar scheme as the OP. (However, I don't use walls - they just get in the way.) I also have some heavy plaster Hirst Arts dungeon tiles that I don't use often.

It's been a long time since I've gamed F2F, and likely won't be doing that in the near future. So my minis and terrain are collecting dust as we play on VTTs.
 


Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
I've never used minis in a D&D game, except when playing in AL games at my FLGS. I frankly don't like the limited thinking that accompanies the use of miniatures in a TTRPG.

That said, I have a bunch of miniatures, many from the old Hero Quest game, and I have enjoyed painting them since I was 11 or 12. I also just backed a few crowdfunding campaigns (Altar Quest, an actual collection of 200+ fantasy miniatures, the new version of Hero Quest), which combined mean I'll have about 300 or 400 new minis showing up within the next year or so.

Now I just need to figure out where to put them all!
 

6ENow!

The Smurfiest Wizard Ever!
I've had miniatures for D&D mere days after I got the rules for Christmas back around '80. They used to be all metal and I'd try and get the ones I'd use in game, but I started migrating over to plastic when the prepainted figures started coming out.

Before the random boxings of the prepainted, I specifically bought miniatures for use in the game - mostly monsters. Now, I try to collect any and all that I can get my hands on - especially ones I've used in the past or have a fondness for. If a player's character survived long enough, I'd usually buy a mini and paint it to represent them.

I also have quite a bit of dwarven forge and used to love breaking it out to map the dungeon. It's a bit too unwieldy these days though, so it's mostly collecting dust now. Did pull it out recently to have a little fun with the new Wizkid Warlock tiles...



While the use of such modelling for a dungeon is very impressive, doesn't it take away from the exploration aspect of the game? It would seem like knowing what regions lie ahead could be problematic?
 

Warpiglet-7

Adventurer
While the use of such modelling for a dungeon is very impressive, doesn't it take away from the exploration aspect of the game? It would seem like knowing what regions lie ahead could be problematic?
It really depends on how you use it.

the best use imho is to quickly set up big encounters. I had a simple bunch of walls prior to this and we played as usual until a bigger encounter (then we would “build” the room.

As to what you see, this was a set up for a mini con in my basement for pals. Not used due to COVID sadly!

the other thing is that you can cover rooms with paper. I had some black cardstock scraps that work ok. You still know the shape of the table of course!

so my take is that premade dungeons can telegraph some, even if covered. Building rooms however doesn’t which might be the way to go for most.

for this ‘con’ though I wanted as little game time work as possible and had it preset. But it’s modular materials and you can make an area on the fly.

of course depending on your detail, this can get laborious. I have crates, treasure, furniture etc.i can throw in there. For quick and dirty Needs I can see it could be overkill Of course but it’s a fun experience even if just used sometimes.

I will tell you what sparked the idea. Years and years ago we drove to gen con in Milwaukee 1990 maybe? And some folks had some AD&D games set up with foam or cardboard encounters and it blew my mind. I thought I would like to do that one day.

it only took me 30 years!
 
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Ath-kethin

Elder Thing
Asuming you mean clarify my comment about limited thinking: a vivid description in a Theater of the Mind game helps players envision their environment and make more interesting tactical decisions, for example.

In the AL games I played, for example, players focused on what was on the game board. Across two years and some 50+ fellow players, in three different game stores, I never saw anyone but me ask what was up above, and/or try to utilize ceilings, walls, and rooftops for anything. There's no model for it on the table, so the players don't think of it.

Using a game board removes the onus on description from the DM, it's true, and for DMs who don't like providing detailed descriptions and/or envisioning and defining a full 3d environment in their head, miniatures and terrain can be a welcome tool. There are parts of the game I don't excell at too, and I don't begrudge anyone their style of play.

But in my experience, models on a table create a visual box out of which many players find it difficult to think. I'm not a fan.
 

pogre

Legend
Hello fellow travelers,

what about you?

this is becoming a new hobby with the gaming. Perhaps telling (regarding the gaming hobby) is the fact that when we had nothing but dice and a few metal figures I had no less fun. This collecting bit has helped me stay immersed though when life prevents playing.

happy gaming!
Miniatures and terrain are major hobbies for me.
Here is a shot of the set-up for today's game:
IMG_0925.jpg


Some pics of my cabinets and drawers of minis and terrain. Lots of pre-painted master maze, but virtually no pre-painted minis.
IMG_0926.jpg

IMG_0927.jpg

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IMG_0929.jpg

IMG_0930.jpg
IMG_0931.jpg

IMG_0932.jpg
IMG_0933.jpg

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I may have a problem....
 

briggart

Explorer
Miniatures and terrain are major hobbies for me.
Here is a shot of the set-up for today's game:
View attachment 127306

Some pics of my cabinets and drawers of minis and terrain. Lots of pre-painted master maze, but virtually no pre-painted minis.
View attachment 127307
View attachment 127308
View attachment 127309View attachment 127310
View attachment 127311View attachment 127312
View attachment 127313View attachment 127314
View attachment 127315

I may have a problem....
And now I need a bigger house...
 

Mull Ponders

Explorer
I have a lot of miniatures and thousands of dollars worth of Dungeon Forge. Not getting to use it much at the moment.

How about suggestions on how to add to our collection? As an example, I ran Tomb on Annihilation, found it was cheaper to buy the deluxe board game with the pre-painted plastic miniatures than to try and get them individually.
 


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