Where to find cheap miniatures?
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Thread: Where to find cheap miniatures?

  1. #1

    Default Where to find cheap miniatures?

    ok, so I have just recently gotten into painting miniatures... I have worked on scale military models for a while, made some dioramas.... Then I painted all of my Doom board game peices using block painting and dipped them. So I have a little bit of experience with painting and builing and converting... However, I mostly have used enamels... Now that im using acrylic, Im trying to make the stuff more artistic than just plain/functional.

    That all said, I want to find some peices to practice on, something I can paint, fail at, strip if i want, try again. I dont want to go spend $15 bucks for a mini at the local hobby shop, and am not looking to order online just yet.

    I found a few pewter minitures at a Antiques/Flea market, and they were like $2 bucks a peice. Does anyone have any other ideas for places to buy cheap minis? They dont need to be any specific kind or size, just something to practice technique.

  2. #2

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    You may have some luck at charity shops, most have a games section along with the clothes and books they sell
    Ebay, sometimes you can find a job lot kind of sale, where Timmy's mom is selling all his silly old toy soldiers, that kind of thing
    My Gallery <IMG SRC=http://www.coolminiornot.com/rank.php?name=mickc22> Paragon Studios

  3. #3

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    good idea, thanks. Do you happen to know what kind of plastic I need to look for when looking at toys to paint? I had some little rubberish plastic aliens laying around, and I primered them, but they stayed sticky..... does just the normal toy solder type plastic work? And also, if I get a figure that is pre-painted, do I have to strip it before repainting it? or is it ok to just paint over?

  4. #4

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    you want to be looking for a hard plastic, you shouldn't be able to press your thumb nail into it

    The toy soldier plastic is usually polyethylene, you'll be able to dent it with your nail, acrylics wont stick to it, and not many other paints either

    You can repaint over painted stuff, you may lose some detail but if you're just getting some practice in then I wouldn't worry too much. If they are metal, then go ahead and strip them off, otherwise I wouldn't really bother

    just thought most comic book stores stock an assortment of figures you may find something there that's in your price range. Usually they are simply block painted, with no shading or highlighting, you could get some of those and shade and highlight them. You wouldn't need to strip them for that
    My Gallery <IMG SRC=http://www.coolminiornot.com/rank.php?name=mickc22> Paragon Studios

  5. #5

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    If you're going for plastic, aim for armys of minis like you see here on CMON that are cheap because they've been painted by a beginner who's lost interest. Easy to strip with various household products, reglue parts, etc. I wouldn't waste money on new pre-painted figures for practice pieces. Too much hassle & from what I've seen on here, generally only worth the effort if they're for a specific game or suit a personal fancy.

    Hobby shop (model railway, remote control, etc) toy soldiers are generally designed to be painted, toy shop ones aren't (as a rough guide).

    Good luck B.
    My CMON Gallery Rank...

  6. #6

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    Go to a game store, and try to find the clearance minis. Several that I've been to have a box where they've marked down the old ones by a lot. I've picked things up for $2-3 sometimes. They're not the best minis in the world, but if you get metals ones and are trying to do things on a budget, you can always strip the paint off after a go and do it again.

    Might get boring trying to do the same one over and over (or maybe you're just buying GW? Sorry, couldn't resist). But, eventually, you'll have an unpainted mountain just like the rest of us.
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
    Want to know when to fry your neurons? My painting twitter will announce the videos.
    To judge how far to follow my advice, consider this: ---<>--- Slappin' paint on minis since 2006

  7. #7

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    my local games store has a 2nd hand box where you can pick up bargains
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  8. #8

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    thanks again for all the nice info. PegaZus, the clearance minis is a good idea, as soon as i finish typing this Im heading over to the local hobby shop. I completely forgot that they have a clearance box, they like hide it in the back. They are usually minis people dont want, and I are pretty cheap, it would be a good way to practice with painting (especially blending, mine is terribly splotchy right now) and converting. Looking back I wish I would have done my doom minis this way, but I hadnt really started using enamels and thinking of it as an art form, I was more of a minitary modeler. Thanks again guys for tolerating my newbness......

  9. #9

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    I would just buy a figure that you really like spend the $15, spend more time on it than you used to, try different techniques, you should get better results on something that you like, have had to spend money on, and make an effort to get results.
    A great job on a poor mini is always going to look worse than a great job on a great mini!

    we are all practicing every time we paint.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tercha View Post
    I would just buy a figure that you really like spend the $15, spend more time on it than you used to, try different techniques, you should get better results on something that you like, have had to spend money on, and make an effort to get results.
    A great job on a poor mini is always going to look worse than a great job on a great mini!

    we are all practicing every time we paint.
    I was just going to say this... you'll get better results on a figure you genuinely like than on one that is just "meh" but was cheap. I usually don't even get around to finishing minis that are just "meh" to me. But if cost is an issue, at least around here Reaper minis can be had for $4-$6 and are very high quality. Avoid GW for reasons of economy, of course...

  11. #11

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    i'd echo what these guys said, get at least one good one that gets your juices flowing. spend the rest on crap if you want to polish up some skills but really go to town on the nice one
    http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v433/freak-in-a-cage/freakinacage-1.jpg

  12. #12

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    you can probably go to trading site like bartertown and pick up figs in a batch for 50 percent of retail if that helps.

  13. #13

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    I'm not sure if you are from the US or UK but there are so don't know about shipping but if you look really good through the cool mini store you can find some nice deals.But there are also 2 websites I have ordered from that sell realy cheap reaper mini's plus other's (minituremarket.com) and (miniature-giant.com) you can find some mini's for like 2 or 3 bucks but like I siad don't no about shipping Miniature giant has free shipping on all US orders hope this helps.

  14. #14

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    Well, the most cheap are obviosly 'Army Men'.

  15. #15

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    Hey, turns out I got a nice compromise, I picked up a set of three guys out of a 40% off bargain bin, they are really col, and were just discounted cause the cardboard was partially ripped on the package, I checked the minis, they are in good shape.

    http://www.jakestabletop.com/forsale...ek2.html#link3
    Its the third picture on the left, called.

    2102 Cyclos Heavy Weapons (3)

    I think they look really neat, and ive decided to make kinda a mini diorama out of them. I made one 3" diameter base for them, with a few rocks, some grass, and a fallen tree branch. Also used a helmet out of my bits bucket from military modeling, and did a little blood splatter around it as if it was one of their victims. So far the female is about 1/2 done, and turning out ok. I've learned already after a few days alot more about blending, particularly how if you use subtle color shifts, you might as well not blend at all, cause it doesnt stand out. I might post it, but I fear it will be horrific in comparison with some of the true art ive seen around here.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by ohaple View Post
    I think they look really neat, and ive decided to make kinda a mini diorama out of them. I made one 3" diameter base for them, with a few rocks, some grass, and a fallen tree branch. Also used a helmet out of my bits bucket from military modeling, and did a little blood splatter around it as if it was one of their victims. So far the female is about 1/2 done, and turning out ok. I've learned already after a few days alot more about blending, particularly how if you use subtle color shifts, you might as well not blend at all, cause it doesnt stand out. I might post it, but I fear it will be horrific in comparison with some of the true art ive seen around here.
    Now, now, now! Pictures are needed, no matter how bad you think they are. Posting will help you see what you're missing (that ol' find your error just as you hit send thing), plus others can see exactly what is wrong and help you correct. Mind you, hasn't done a lot of good for me, but that's probably because I still haven't managed to get a single mini painted this year so far.

    Oh, and I finally get to use this, in jest:



    EDIT: Although... maybe just start it in the WIP forum, or submissions place instead (<--- yet another case of the FYEJAYHS).
    "Reality, she's a mathematical bitch from hell.", MaxedOutMama
    Wanna be bored? Watch me twitter. --<>-- Still have neurons? Watch my YouTube channel on painting!
    Want to know when to fry your neurons? My painting twitter will announce the videos.
    To judge how far to follow my advice, consider this: ---<>--- Slappin' paint on minis since 2006

  17. #17

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    I will make a WIP thread, but as of now it will only have the base, and some of one of the minis done. I will edit this with a link once ive made it.

    http://www.coolminiornot.com/forums/...534#post529534
    Last edited by ohaple; 02-03-2010 at 05:55 PM. Reason: Link added

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