During my last post about game miniatures I gave 6 ways to fill out your armies on the cheap, mostly by repairing or repainting other neglected mini’s or toys. For this post I’d like to introduce those of you unfamiliar with scratch-building to Epoxy and Card-stock miniatures.
For the mere price of ink and a few sheets of cardstock or printer paper, you can field armies as large or small as you wish. Paper armies make a great filler when you lack the tokens or pewter figures to represent characters on the table, especially in vast numbers.
One of the best sources for paper miniatures can be found at Paper Friends, http://www.seven-wonders.co.uk/. This is a 100% non-profit venture, which has generously proved hundreds of downloadable, printable miniatures and stand-ins for all different genre of games. Just print and attach to office-clips, and you’re ready to watch the mayhem.
Epoxy glue is a substance many of us wish we’d had as children. Sitcoms and cartoons taught us that a dab of ordinary glue would seal two people together until the end of time (or the episode) but only if the duo in question really hate each others’ guts. Super-glue in cartoons could also mend rocket ships and submarine hulls if the plot called for it.
Epoxy glue is the closest we’ve come to this fabled material, and should be in every model-maker and scratch-builder’s toolbox. The hallmark of epoxy is that it comes in two containers as a liquid or putty, and once combined will set hard as plastic or rubber. You may need to do some shopping around at the hardware store to find an epoxy suitable for the job you’re planning. For this post, I’ll be referring exclusively to glass-repair epoxy and clear resins.
I first read about molding glass epoxy into fantasy miniatures from Abaroth, who can be found here at Abaroth’s World. His site contains a plethora of tricks and tips for crafting professional looking miniatures, scenes, heraldry, and terrain, much of which is out of my humble skillset. The build I’d like to focus on for this post are his transparent water elementals and slime creatures.
If you haven’t been to Abaroth’s site, I highly recommend checking it out. With this simple method of cutting shapes out of clear plastic and pouring liquid epoxy over the form, Abaroth has demonstrated how to make translucent, colorful 3-Dimensional monsters.
I was able to scrap together a few elementals of my own for much less than the pewter figures would have cost, which would have come pre-painted in solid color, and not translucent. Below are some of my attempts.
Above: Plastic shot glasses from the dollar store, cut into thirds as basins. I scotch taped the coke-bottle forms into the bottom.
Lastly I’d like to mention the value of aquarium rocks. I have used smooth, glass aquarium stones as counters, slimes, and elemental icons in almost every game I’ve run. They’re cheap as dirt, come in bulk, and are easily one of the most versatile tools in my GM box.
You can also get the jagged acrylic aquarium rocks to use as crystal shards, wondrous gems, or stack them atop each other to create elemental golems. With a little super-glue and some time, this:
Above I use super-glue to hold the rocks in place. I then fixed the figure onto a plumber’s putty base with a steel washer on the bottom for balance. He’s impressive enough as a clear-plastic figure on a rock, but let’s add some paint.
The finished product stands on a glacial base, which I painted sky-blue and dabbed with a ripped sponge to get a white, snowy effect. I also put a dot of clear epoxy between each rock to reinforce the joints, and covered those up with snow as well.
By re-using and conserving materials, and with a little planning, each miniature cost less than a can of Mt. Dew.