Board games are a great way to add an extra layer of engagement and interaction when playing. They involve more than just rolling dice and moving pieces: they often require tactical knowledge, quick decision-making, relationship-building, problem-solving, strategy and communication skills. With the addition of minis (miniature figures) in board games, they become even more engaging as physical representations of characters or objects on the game board lead to increased immersion and connection with what is happening in the game. Miniatures can also be used to personalise the gaming experience with customised minis tailored to players’ tastes.
Common Materials and Techniques for Making Minis
You can create miniatures for your board game by using a variety of materials and techniques. Cardstock or construction paper is an economical material for making small figures. If you have access to a printer, you could use it to print out scaled-down versions of the game characters onto paper before cutting them out with scissors.
You could also use foam core or cardboard to create 3D models of the game characters. Simply draw the shapes, cut them out and glue them together to construct a figure. You may want to color the figures using markers, acrylic paint or watercolors if desired.
If you prefer more detailed pieces, resin is an excellent material to use when casting figures with multiple parts that fit together like a puzzle. Once cast in resin, these parts can be painted and glued together as desired”great for getting any character’s mind ready look down your board game! Wiring miniatures is also an option that works especially well with metal figurines; wiring your characters can add extra depth and details to their features. Finally, for maximum detail on a larger scale, 3D printing technology may be the way to go”3D printed parts provide very smooth details and uniformity throughout all of your figures.
Craft Supplies and Finishes for Decorating Minis
To give your minis and game pieces a unique look, you may opt to decorate them with craft supplies and finishes. Popular finishes include: paint, markers, beads, glitter, sequins and other craft supplies like silly putty or googly eyes. You can also find various sizes of paper circles to make tokens and floor plans for the board game if desired. Other materials such as cardboard, cotton balls, tape, glue and scissors can be used to create buildings and landscapes on the game board. Additionally, if you want your minis to have more depth or texture you can use fabric scraps or felt to customize them into characters. If you’re feeling extra creative then consider adding magnets or velcro patches to the bottom of each minis so that they are easier to pick up during gameplay. Finally, a varnish application is recommended when it comes time to seal your work before introducing it all into play!
Action Figures, Dolls and Other Figures to Use as Minis
Using action figures, dolls, or other figures as minis in a board game is a great way to bring the world of your game to life. Action figures provide an easy and relatively inexpensive way to get the unique characters of your game onto the table ” they can also be incredibly fun to paint and customize if desired. Dolls and other figurines provide a wide range of poses and body shapes that allow you to capture the most engaging scenes of your game. Be sure to check out thrift stores for affordable miniatures, or alternatively purchase unpainted minis from specialized board game stores or online retailers. No matter which type of mini you choose, you’ll have a great time setting up the perfect scene for your board game!
Online Resources for Making and Purchasing Minis
Making your own minis for board games has become increasingly popular in recent years. There are multiple online resources that can help provide everything necessary to make your own custom pieces for tabletop games. These resources range from websites offering 3D printed models, 3D model files and even an open source community of talented individuals who design and create their own versions of the miniature characters you need.
You can easily find tutorials on Youtube and tutorials on specific sites such as Thingiverse to get you started in making minis yourself. 3D printing is a great way to ensure that all the details of the mini will look exactly the way you desire it, since they will be made directly from a digital file. If you have access to a 3d printer, you can use dedicated software such as Zbrush or Sketchup to design and 3d print your own minis right at home.
If DIY is not for you, there are pre-made options available as well. Most popular collections of miniatures come pre-painted so all you have to do is open up the package and play. Websites like Amazon and Miniature Market offer an array of figurines ready for playing with minimal setup required so you can start playing with your friends quickly.
Tips for Organizing and/or Storing Your Minis
1. Store minis in plastic containers or bags: Plastic containers or bags with dividers make it easier to store your minis. This will help you keep the pieces organized and easy to access.
2. Use labeled storage boxes: If you have a large collection of minis, consider buying a few labeled storage boxes that can be used to organize your pieces. Each box should have a label indicating what type of pieces it holds and when they were last used.
3. Create a reference guide: Have a list or chart of all the different types of minis in your board game and specify which ones are needed for each game type. It helps quickly determine that you have the right kind of minis prepared before playing the game.
4. Sort your minis by size and color: When not in use, consider sorting your minis into small, medium, and large categories based on their size or by color groups if you prefer this method better.
5 .Invest in carrying cases or totes: Heavy-duty plastic carrying cases with removable casters can provide easy portability so you can transport it anywhere you need to go while allowing safe transportation of all your components together at once!Alternatively, there are also more compact options such as clear zipper totes that have specially designed slots to hold boards games and their different pieces securely inside for easy transport.
Creative Ideas and Inspiration for Minis
There are many possibilities when it comes to minis in your board game. One of the most popular types of minis are figurines, which come in a variety of styles and materials. From plastic to resin to professionally painted pieces, these figurines can provide an extra layer of depth and character to your game. If you’re going for something more DIY, consider using pom-poms or other small objects for movement markers. Poker chips and wooden tokens also make great minis for resource management or token tracking games. You could even repurpose Monopoly pieces as minis if you don’t mind painting them. Finally, don’t forget about cardstock stands! If you need a specific piece that isn’t easily accessible/affordable, consider printing off a few stands and affixing them together to create unique minis personalised just for your game. With some creativity, there’s no limit to what type of minis you can use in your game!
How to Buy Minis On A Budget
Minis are a great way to bring your board game alive and add excitement to the game play. But, what do you do when your budget doesn’t allow for expensive purchases? Here are some tips on how to buy minis on a budget.
1. Research Suppliers: Finding the best prices and availability of miniatures often takes research. Consider different supply shops either online or in-store. Don’t forget to read reviews as well ” these can be down right helpful when it comes to choosing between suppliers!
2. Check Auction Sites: Auction sites like eBay provide an inexpensive alternative for miniature collectors and gamers alike who are looking for good deals on miniatures and other gaming supplies. Plus, at most auction sites, buyers can write reviews allowing customers to make informed decisions before making a purchase.
3. Offline alternatives: If you’re the type of person who likes a hands-on shopping experience, consider hitting up flea markets, consignment stores, or second hand shops near you which may provide discounts on high-quality classic miniatures.
4 Forgoing Minis Altogether: Sometimes working around a budget means sacrificing certain elements of your game play completely – including miniatures! Instead of going entirely without minis consider creating items that represent your characters such as standees or tokens. These will not replace the classic mini feel entirely but they will give a sense of presence during gameplay at an extremely affordable cost!
When it comes to choosing minis for your board game, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you should consider the theme of your board game. If your game has a specific theme, such as animals or fantasy creatures, then look for minis that fit into this theme. When shopping for minis online, you may also want to look for reviews left by people who have purchased similar figures in the past. This will help ensure you purchase quality pieces that fit within your budget.
Next, think about the type and size of mini you’ll need based on how many players can join your game. Selecting the right size of mini will make the board game enjoyable and easy to play. Lastly, decide if there is any necessary customization that can be done to bring more character to the minis according to how they will be used in the game play.
Once you have all these factors in mind, narrow down your choices by looking at various options available online and determine which ones are best suited for your specific needs. With a little planning and research ahead of time, you’ll be able to find perfect minis for your board game!
I love playing all kinds of games – from classics like Monopoly to modern favourites like Ticket to Ride.
I created this blog as a way to share my love of board games with others, and provide information on the latest releases and news in the industry.