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Subject: Noob Miniatures Question rss

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Alex Lim
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We're in the works of a new game and we are trying to go from Meeples to actual Miniatures of the characters from the game.

What is a good standard size for a game piece? I've heard 28mm is pretty good, yet 30mm is better? I'm very new in this area so I need help. The pieces need to be able to fit on a standard playing card for multiple players.

Is 28mm the size of something like in Flashpoint? What about Kingdom Death: Monster?

Thanks in Advance!
Alex Lim
 
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Russ Spears
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Absolutely no help in answering your question, but some things to keep in mind:

2 quick links to read over, because everyone has a different definition of what scale is:

The Miniatures Page Scales
Is 25mm different from 28mm

Minis greatly increase the production cost of your game, so keep that in mind. Plus, the bigger the mini, the more it'll cost to produce.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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30mm is the new standard. Checking minis from 98 on I have none under 30mm that arent dwarfs.

Problem is there is no standard scale. Everyone is using their own scales from 25mm to 40mm+ and up. In general though the more incompatible your minis are with other games, the less interest the game may generate.

The FFG Mutant Chronicles and the GW Inquisitor both ran into this problem as did Wiz Kids Shadowrun which were something like 100mm scale.

Cost-wise a minis intensive game is costly even at the best of deals. Figure a minimum 1k$ per mold, and more likely 5k per. This on top of a sculptor. Good news is that the actual pressing of minis is pretty low, pennies a figure. Problem is, factories will want you to order alot usually. The lower the print run the more its going to cost you, so 1000 minis may cost you 50c each while 10000 might only cost 5c each, etc.

As with everything in the gaming biz. Varies wildly from one factory to the next.
 
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Don Weed
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A good scale for replacing meeples is 1/72 scale or often quoted as HO scale (I know they aren't exact but they are constantly used as the same). The minis are usually plastic, which means they'd be cheaper but may be somewhat less than desirable if you want them to hold paint well. They would need to be washed thoroughly to remove any residue from the release agent and I'd recommend coating them with 1-2 coats of matte protective coat when done.
 
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Ryan Powers
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Omega2064 wrote:
30mm is the new standard. Checking minis from 98 on I have none under 30mm that arent dwarfs.


In fairness, 25/28mm miniatures scales historically related to the height of the eyes, not the top of the head/figure. Mostly due to the various funky Napoleanoc hats and such.

Therefore, even without the scale creep that has been ridiculous for at least 15 years, most "average" (human if we're talking fantasy) figures in 28mm scale *should* be taller than 30mm, and should be pushing 30mm to the top of the head even in 25mm scale. Many newer manufacturers have never used this, but it was the standard way back when.


As far as the actual question, there really isn't enough detail to answer what might be a good choice. Though you make a good point. Making them similar to some other same genre figures means that people who may not be interested in the game may still grab the figures, and people who like the game can add variety. Both are nice bonuses.
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John "Omega" Williams
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hmmm, from the eyes then lets see... Reaper 30mm, Dark Haven 30mm, Heartbreaker 30mm, My Ral Partha Greyhawk Revival award mini 28mm, Lego 35mm...

Add another 5mm for various pointy hats.
 
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Alex Lim
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Thanks for the great answers! There's a few factories overseas that I've been talking to that can help with manufacturing and offer sculpting, but I find their sculpts are terrible. Really terrible. Over here, we can get great sculpts but then producing them breaks the bank.

Hmmm.... if we get a professional sculptor to create a sculpt, will they also be able to make the mold that the overseas manufacturing company can use to mass produce? Or am I missing a step in between?
 
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Justen Brown
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I'm curious, anyone have experience sculpting and molding themselves? I used to dabble making terrain out of sculpey for my friends' war games. I assume you can cast a mold out of any quality sculpted figure? If so, I'd love to make sculpts for buildings and ships and stuff for people's games. Could be a fun side business.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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ranma8 wrote:
Hmmm.... if we get a professional sculptor to create a sculpt, will they also be able to make the mold that the overseas manufacturing company can use to mass produce? Or am I missing a step in between?


No. Molds are a totally different process and cast from metal and to a factories individual requirements by the factory. You cannot cut corners on this as one screwup and either you have workers injured, ruined molds, or worse, ruined machines with YOU holding the bill for damages.

Just no. Really. No. Never.

Either be prepared to fork out thousands for minis. Or go with pawns or standups or counters.
 
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John "Omega" Williams
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jaybeethree wrote:
I'm curious, anyone have experience sculpting and molding themselves? I used to dabble making terrain out of sculpey for my friends' war games. I assume you can cast a mold out of any quality sculpted figure? If so, I'd love to make sculpts for buildings and ships and stuff for people's games. Could be a fun side business.


Theres tons of stuff on home plastic molding. One of the groups Im a part of have some vary interesting set ups to mold replacement parts for figures.

There are many different ways to go about it. Take note that home casting tends to be more costly than going to a factory. Theres allways a tradeoff. But if you can get the production to a certain point its possible.

Metal casting is a totally different field and takes very different set ups to safely handle.

Lastly 3d Printing is sloooooooowly getting closer to a point you may some day make viable minis at home. But right now quality is still too low for minis unless you fork out for one of the more serious machines and there are still issues yet.
 
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Justen Brown
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3D printing may be something I look into. The type of stuff I can quickly create from sculpey are the equivalent of the buildings from Clash of Cultures or the imps in Dungeon Lords/Petz. With a lot of time I could probably craft tabletop quality miniatures but that's not a field I'm really interested in.
 
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