Mage Knight Figures

Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy Some Cheap Minis?

Geek Culture Kickstarter Tabletop Games

Mage Knight Figures

Miniatures are nearly as ubiquitous an image of table-top gaming culture as dice. They are necessary for some games, useful for many, and a great addition for more. Miniatures, though, are quite an expensive aspect of gaming to get into. So, how can you cheaply start a collection of miniatures?

The cheapest way to get miniatures is through a Reaper Bones Kickstarter. The third such Kickstarter is ending this Saturday July 25th. Reaper Bones come unpainted and are “Inexpensive, high quality, soft gaming models that are easy and fun to paint and won’t break when you actually use them for games!” From experience I can attest that they need no priming and are extremely durable. A $100 pledge currently gets you over 150 miniatures, plus two weapons packs for miniatures customization, and circular bases of varying sizes. That’s just 66 cents per miniature, and more miniatures are being added to the $100 Reaper Bones Base Set as stretch goals are met. Large miniatures and other add-ons are also available for insanely cheap prices through this Kickstarter.

Reaper Bones Figure
This huge figure is available as a $10 add-on in the Reaper Bones Kickstarter. With a base pledge of one dollar, you could have this for just $11. Image from the Reaper Miniatures Bones 3 Kickstarter.

But if painting isn’t your thing, how can you get prepainted miniatures for less than a dollar each? How can one start a miniatures collection without breaking the bank? One trick is to find old Mage Knight lots on Ebay. Mage Knight is a collectible miniatures wargame that was introduced in 2000 by WizKids.

A quick search on Ebay shows numerous lots that yield from around 80 cents per miniature for 40 miniature lots to as little as 40 cents per miniature for 100 miniature lots. These prices include shipping.

Mage Knight miniatures’ special bases include a dial that allows you to track various combat statistics. If you don’t want these bases, you can easily remove them and add plain bases. Bases are available from many sources including Reaper Miniatures, Amazon, and they can be found in bulk on the web with a little searching. If you want to keep it cheap, here are 72 laser cut stands for just $4.99, or you can use one-inch washers as well. It’s easy to remove the figures with a hobby knife and a little force.

Comparison of Clix base vs plain base
The image on the left shows an unaltered ‘Mage Knight’ figure with its Clix System dial as a base. With a hobby knife you can remove the figure and attach it to a plain base such as this one from Reaper Miniatures on the right. Image by Ryan Hiller.

Many of the lots available on Ebay contain a random mix of figures. With a little looking, though, you can find sets like this lot of 52 similar figures that would be excellent for a large group of orcs or goblins, for instance.

Image of Ebay lot
Ebay lot of 52 similar figures. Would be excellent for to represent many different gaming foe’s such as orc or goblins. Image from Ebay seller jtomaha currently pending listing.

Mage Knight miniatures are available for cheap and are more than adequate for many role-playing and miniatures games. They can be used as is, or easily modified to provide more generic looking bases. While I have many different miniatures ranging from Pathfinder Battles prepainted plastic to metal to Bones Reaper Miniatures I’ve painted myself, I purchased one large lot of Mage Knight miniatures a couple of years ago to fill out my collection for use in gaming. I am also more than comfortable letting my kids play with these figures as they are durable and really, really cheap.

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7 thoughts on “Hey Buddy, Wanna Buy Some Cheap Minis?

  1. Hey there, I have a tabletop game, Fortune and Glory, with a lot of unpainted miniatures. Do you have any suggestions on folks who will paint miniatures, or a dummies guide to painting them? I’ve never tried it, I just don’t want to screw them up too bad.

    1. YouTube is your friend. I painted minis for years in the 80’s before there was Such a great resource as the Internet of course. When I started again a couple years ago I little while on YouTube made me SO much better. You could probably find videos of people painting your exact miniatures. I am not at my computer to easily pull up resources (on my phone out boating) … But off the top of my head, one painter on YouTube that I learned from was “GirlPainting”.

      I recommend getting some cheap minis similar to your game and practice before jumping in with the important figures. I use Reaper Paints and have some paints from Games Workshop.

      I have never commissioned anyone to paint minis for me. I imagine it’d be pretty spendy ($20 each?) Maybe another reader can answer that.

  2. I am starting a new campaign for dnd 5e, and I wanted to find a cheap resource for the players to get minis (or for me to just buy them for everyone) – as well as for me to purchase the mobs they’ll face.

    Can you point me in the right direction?

    Thanks!
    -Eric in GA

    1. Sorry, I didn’t see this post.

      For players I’d recommend just finding what they want and buying a single. Paizo sells all their figures as singles – http://paizo.com/pathfinderbattles/singles

      Also, searching eBay for what you want.

      For the DM needing many monsters…

      There’s cardboard pawns – http://paizo.com/pathfinder/miniatures/pawns
      But I like 3D Minis

      If you hunt around on eBay you can often find large batches of minis for a reasonable price.

      Here’s a search on Mage Knight – There’s some good batches in here – http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xmage+knight.TRS0&_nkw=mage+knight&_sacat=0

      There are quite a few Mage Knight bundles where the figures are less than $1 each.

      Here’s a search on D&D, quite a bit more per mini, but pretty cool stuff – http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_sacat=0&_nkw=D%26D+miniatures&_pgn=2&_skc=50&rt=nc

      If you’re willing to paint or don’t care if your mini’s are unpainted, check on the next Bones Kickstarter from Reaper.

    1. Yes, that’s an excellent idea. It’s a reasonable price per mini, AND you’re getting a board game as well! The minis are excellent too.

      I thought this the other day when I was looking at my countless Zombicide: Black Plague minis. Great way to get a HUGE zombie horde. Many other similar games out there, Massive Darkness, etc.

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