Review: Dem Bones, Dem Bones

Posted: 18 April 2012 in Reviews

No, not a product called Dem Bones. One of the big timesavers for me is pre-painted miniatures, and here is a comparison of three lines. I’ve chosen skeletons since I have a skeleton figure in each line. Here they are on a 5mm grid:


Left to right:

  • D&D B8, LE/CE3 Warrior Skeleton by WotC from the now-defunct D&D Miniatures range. This guy is a monster, 39mm tall if you add up the lengths of his limbs, spine etc. The paint job is basic – he was one of the early sculpts – but the pose shows the right aggressive attitude, even if his sword arm is in an unusual position. I think he is shouting “Die, adventurers, die!”
  • Skeleton, 7 of 40, from the WizKids/Paizo range. Probably about 35mm high if erect. All of them are made of soft plastic, but this one is slightly stiffer than the other two; like many of his colleagues in the Paizo Wizkids range, he has a base, then little blobs of plastic under his feet, raising him by an extra millimetre or so. He has a permanently surprised look to him, as if unexpected adventurers have barged into his crypt from his right side, and reminds me of C-3P0. Probably the most realistic paint job. He is saying “What are you doing here?”
  • Skeleton with sword from the Reaper Legendary Adventures range. Again, I estimate 35mm high if erect. Reaper is the only non-random line; you select your monsters singly or in small groups, and can see what you’re getting, whereas you buy the other two lines blind, in random booster packs. This fellow is also the only one who doesn’t have a full 1” disk base, his is slightly smaller and oval. However, a bit of superglue and a spare base will fix that. He is my favourite of the three, and in my mind he is saying “Oh yeah? Come get some, meatshield!”

Not for the first time, my cellphone takes a blurry picture, but you can find sharper images on the web, if interested.

Like all other miniatures, scale creep is rampant. Not that it matters that much, but I confess to a mild annoyance at seeing figures advertised as “28mm” or “heroic 28mm” when they are actually 35mm. The average miniature height was roughly 25mm in 1975 or so, and 35 years later it is 35mm. I hope still to be playing when I’m 100, but at this rate, “28mm” figures then will be nearly 54mm high.

  1. Umberto Pignatelli says:

    Interesting, but what is the price?
    Personally I use lots of card figs. They are cheap, cool (especially Okum Arts and TAG’s ones) and easy to duplicate. But they start taking LOT of space.

    • andyslack says:

      Price depends on where you buy and in what quantity, but it’s somewhere in the region of £2.50 per figure. I haven’t found a set of card figures I’m happy with yet, but I have also used counters printed and superglued to the bottom of 25mm square bases, and Lego mini-figures.

      My players liked the Lego ones best. I’m waiting for Lord of the Rings Lego to reach the local toyshop!

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