Moving the ruleset for my A Red & Pleasant Land campaign away from Torchbearer and towards Into the Odd gave me another excuse for a big crafting project. I set about finishing the miniature work I had started earlier. My goal: make a cardstock miniature for every beast and person listed on the AR&PL encounter table.
As always, thanks to Zak S. for the amazing and inspirational art. Here we have minis intended for player characters. Mostly drawings of Alices from AR&PL, but I snuck in some Vornheim art as well.
The Colorless House
If I ever get ambitious, I might redo the Colorless Rook as a 2.5d mini (make a 3d chariot out of cardstock or something). The book says that Colorless Rooks are 50' tall, but that is huge and feels like it might have been a typo. I made mine a relative 15' in height like the other Rooks. Looks about right.
The House of Hearts
No large figures for these guys. Where did that tiger come from? Digitally added stripes and cheek floof to the snow leopard from Frostbitten and Mutilated.
The Pale House
Love how the relative size of the Pale Rooks turned out compared to the normal figures. Looks imposing.
The Red House
At some point, the Red Rook might get a 2.5d palanquin, and I might make a Red Pawn on 15' tall stilts.
Ozwick the Gryphon is from Vornheim. Wolf and (hard to see clearly) bird on tree branch are from Frostbitten and Mutilated. The figure up front is my generic, Ordinary Animals figure. Also fills in for the doormouse form of The Sleeper.
Filling out the ranks
Since I only made a single mini for each creature, I had the idea that generic chess pieces would be good for filling out the rest of the ranks. E.G. An encounter with 4 mome raths would be 1 mome rath figure and 3 chess pawns. Also works well for any "I don't have a mini for that creature" situations. Art for the chess pieces is from Frostbitten and Mutilated.
And I lied a little bit. Still need a good "Goblins, Hobgoblins, etc." if I'm going to have a mini for everything on the encounter table.
A matter of scale
For reasons I'll explain in a future post, I changed the scale for my minis from whatever random scale it was before (roughly 28mm, I think) down to 15mm.
If you've never used 15mm scale minis before, they're small. But kind of wonderfully small. Not so small that you can't tell what they are, not so small that they don't look amazing, but small enough that you can fit a lot on the table. Small enough that you can make miniatures of giants and dragons to correct relative scale and not need a separate suitcase to transport them in.
And small enough that you can use US pennies as miniature bases.
I dare you to find cheaper miniature bases. They literally cost 1¢.
Those following along at home with your copy of AR&PL (seriously, go buy a copy!) have probably already thought, "Wait, a lot of the minis you made only have art for their heads in the book. Where'd you get the rest from?"
First, no, I'm not an artist myself and I didn't just draw in the rest by hand. I'm not particularly good at that. But I am decent at coloring in existing images. And I bet most people are as well. So here's what I did.
- Take a figure like the Heart Queen. In the book, there's little but her head and shoulders included. But you can tell from the drawing that she's wearing a dress and roughly what pose she might be standing in.
- Google Image Search for "dress silhouette" (or "ballerina silhouette" or "knight silhouette" or whatever seems like it would give useful results for this figure).
- Find an image of the outline of a woman standing in a dress like you'd image the Heart Queen is.
- Grab that image, put it into GIMP or Photoshop, resize it down to your miniature scale.
- Resize and place the image of the Heart Queen on top until it looks like it fits reasonably.
- Put those "I had coloring books as a child" skills to work and use the silhouette to color in the rest of the Heart Queen as you'd imagine it. Use the original image as a color reference.
- Don't aim for perfection. You're gonna be printing out something that fits on top of a penny anyway. Don't sweat the details.
There's also the "just grab another character from the book and overlay this character's head on top" method. My minis for the Colorless Bishop, Hatter, Pale Bishop, Pale King, and Red King are basically just those heads on top of re-colored, Red Bishop bodies.
Never going to stop linking this. The above only got from digital image, to paper, to standing miniature thanks to Wyloch's method for cardstock miniatures:
Only recommendations I'd add to his method are:
- My newfound love for 15mm scale
- It's sometimes helpful to add a 1-pixel gray outline around the art to give it some separation from the 20-pixel black outline, especially for darker figures.
- The best cardboard I've found for the inner layer is whatever Whole Foods uses for their bread/pastry boxes.
So go get a loaf of sourdough and start crafting!