Posted by Cera Smart on Apr 13, 2019
I highly recommend buying miniatures to use during your tabletop gaming sessions, it will make your game play come to life. Using mini’s and maps will help your players better visualize the world you are trying to portray. If you want to get crafty, you can make an afternoon out of painting miniatures with your buddies. I promise it will be entertaining and even if you’re not artistic and it turns out like crap, only your friends will see it. Plus, that just gives you something to laugh at during the campaign. If you have never done it before and need some ideas, YouTube is a great resource! Trust me there are tons of videos on how to paint minis and some of them are actually very entertaining. Check out this one from Black Magic Craft on how to paint your miniatures, from beginning to end.
Now you don’t have to buy expensive paint and brushes (although I would buy some very fine tip brushes, it is a mini after all) just spend what you’re comfortable with. Most of my crafting supplies I buy from hobby lobby. I’m really fond of the 40% coupon they always have available online. Fine touch is a brand that I like to use for brushes and you can usually get a nice set of them pretty cheap. While you’re picking those brushes up, I recommend picking up some of the Master’s Touch acrylic paint. They come with a very nice variety of colors in the sets they sell. Plus, you can buy the individual bottles as well. You will probably want to pick up bigger bottles of the black and white paint because trust me, you will use it a ton more than the colors. Black and white paint can be used for base coats and also for shading the colors you have. Want to lighten up a color add some white paint or if you want it darker add a little black.
It is a little taboo in miniature painting to mix your own colors, but I am more of a canvas painter. I love mixing together my own colors, so I get to create more and buy less paint. If you are going to attempt this you must use your color wheel. Otherwise you end up with brown. Adding a little white and black can also change up the shade of the color. Just make sure you have air tight containers to store the color you create in and that it’s enough that you won’t run out. Recreating it can be more difficult, which is why you have to make sure you have plenty.
As for buying the miniatures I would definitely check out any local game stores. You can usually score some good deals on minis and in the process support your local small businesses. Plus, they usually have lots of other cool things to browse for ideas while you’re there. Reaper Miniatures is a good brand to go with when you are starting out, and your local game shop will typically have these on hand. We prefer to stick with the Reaper and WizKids Miniatures. They are fairly comparable in quality, but we have found that the WizKids miniatures tend to have a little more detail. There are more expensive miniatures on the market, but I recommend starting out with one of the Reaper Bones series or WizKids. They typically only run $5 - $6 bucks tops.
Now if all of this is too much and you don’t have the time, money, or maybe you just don’t wanna paint minis, you can always buy ones that are all painted and ready to go. Booster packs are nice for stocking up on all the monster you might encounter in your battles. From our experience, booster packs can be purchased in bricks (typically 8 packs) and they run a little cheaper, generally giving you the equivalent of a free booster pack . D&D is about having fun so do what feels right for your campaign but hopefully this will help you get a little more creative with your game play.
Must Have list for painting:
Let me know if you have any questions!