Introduction to Pathfinder Miniatures | Things You Need to Know Before Buying Them
Hello and welcome to the vast world of tabletop games.
Pathfinder, often talked about as one of the best rpg board games when it comes to tabletop board games and tabletop rpg games, is a great tabletop game for kids and adults that few board games top when it comes to customization and player options. Similar to The Dungeon and Dragons tabletop games, Pathfinder is actually compatible with all versions of D&D and can be played as a completely homebrewed campaign. Pathfinder is ideal for players who like to have control over every aspect of their character creation, from physical appearance and racial traits to race and class variants created by both Pazio and third-party publishers. One of the best parts of creating a character is watching it come to life on the table. For a lot of people, this means buying and painting custom miniatures.
Miniatures are a fun and immersive part of tabletop gaming. While it is not 100% necessary to have miniatures, it does bring a whole new level of depth to the game. Being told that your town is under siege in-game is one thing, but being able to see the hoard of approaching wargame miniatures draw closer every turn brings a level of realness that can only be accomplished with miniatures. When it comes to finding the right pathfinder miniature, you have a multitude of unpainted miniatures to choose from, and while you will be able to find some painted miniatures there are not nearly as many options.
You will find in this vast gaming community that many players prefer to paint their own miniatures. Doing so allows players to control every aspect of their character creation and how the rest of their party perceives them. If you are one of these players and would like to pick up your own miniatures, here are a few things that you need to know before buying them.
First and foremost, most miniatures come in a 28mm scale. This scale represents a miniature's own five-foot space. This is a common size for a medium creature in the game. Large, huge, and gigantic creatures have bigger bases and represent their own 10, 15, or 20-foot space. By doing this, any player can look at the battle map and know the size category of the creature they are facing just by its base. Now, there are other miniatures out there, most are cheaply made or made specifically for other games. Their sizes vary wildly from 18mm to 30mm for medium-sized creatures, so when you pick out your miniatures, make sure to check the scale so you know exactly what you’re buying.
The next thing to consider when picking out miniatures is material. Most will be made out of plastic/resin. There are some higher-end miniatures made from metal cast, but most of the time you will find the plastic/resin ones. When you look for miniatures, you’ll want to look for miniatures with deep cuts like this set of necromancers. The deep cuts on this miniature are great for beginners as they allow for easier painting when it comes to shading and small details. Deep cut miniatures will help the novice feel like a pro in no time.
After you find a miniature of the correct size with nice deep lines, the next thing you’ll want to check for is the primer. Miniatures such as this ogre come primed and ready to paint. Other miniatures such as this Iconic Cleric miniature come unprimed. Some painters like this option because it allows them to choose their primer. The most popular colors are black, grey, and white primer. Each color will bring out the colors in unique ways. White makes the colors pop and is a great choice for bright flowery characters. Black mutes the colors and is a favorite for painting monsters and Drow. When it comes to miniature painting primers, you typically have two options. You can buy a brush on primer or a spray primer for miniatures and the main reason most painters choose to use a primer is that it ensures the paint sticks to your miniature.
Now that you’ve got your miniature that is the correct scale with deep cuts and primed you are ready to paint. So, what is the best miniature paint set out there? Well, that is up for debate but we can say which ones are popular. A great choice for a beginner’s paint set is the Army Painter starters set. This set has all of the basic colors. A reason why this brand is so popular is due to the dropper cap. The dropper cap keeps paint waste low and gives you more control over where the paint goes. That being said, the colors themselves are vibrant and long-lasting. Make sure to shake your paints very well before starting.
The next thing you’ll need for this project is paintbrushes. It is always good to have a variety of paintbrushes. Since miniatures are what they are, you’ll need small brushes and smaller ones for detailing. Some paint sets will come with one or two brushes, but your best bet is to buy a variety and practice with them a bit so you can get used to them before painting your miniature. Getting a starter brush set will give you a nice variety to start with. You could also buy a couple of practice miniatures to help build your confidence when it's time to paint your PF.
With your miniatures, brushes, and paints nothing stands in your way. So let’s get to it. You’ll want a decent sized sturdy workspace. The kitchen table or desk works well here. Lay down newspapers for easy cleanup later on. You may find that a table lamp is helpful and for the detailing a stand-alone magnifying glass comes in handy. If you are using spray paints to prime or varnish make sure that your area is well ventilated if you are not able to go outside.
If you get to this point and you are unsure where to start, consider heading to social media. There are many platforms online for TTRPG painters. There are tutorials to help you get started and give you a multitude of tips when it comes to shading and detailing your miniatures. If you paint your miniature and find that it doesn’t meet your expectations, you can also find tips on stripping the paint and starting over.
Once you have finished your miniature art project, I have a couple more tips for you. Make sure to clean your brushes thoroughly. Stiff and dirty brushes don’t perform well, and you’ll want them in pristine condition for your next project. Secondly, share your success! Hop on and post your miniature masterpiece for all to see. Share it with the store page as well. You never know, your unique experience may help someone else take the leap and get started on their own project.
When all is said and done and you have your very own custom miniature, get together with friends and play. In this age when we find ourselves isolated and alone, reach out to friends, grab some snacks, and make your boring Wednesday nights into a night of adventure. If you can’t go out or get together, try social media sites. There are online platforms for playing the game digitally online. You can find people near and far who play online.
Written by: Melissa Crosby