Plastic Monster Goodness

Have you ever needed a monster or dragon in a game, but didn’t have the big bucks for a metal model? Never fear, there are wonderful plastic models on the market that don’t cost an arm and a leg, and best of all, they don’t look like everyone’s favorite purple dinosaur, Barney. For this last article of the year, I’m sharing some of the pieces I’ve found that work great in games with 28mm figures.

Theodore Roosevelt from Wargames Foundry’s League of Exceptional Gentlemen pack

Teddy has graciously agreed to be our model to show how 28mm humans compare to the monsters.

Safari Toobs
First, I want to look at Safari Toobs’ plastic animals and terrain pieces found at craft and hobby stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and Hobbytown, U.S.A. They are actually sold in plastic tubes and contain 10 to 12 pieces. None of it is in a constant scale. One tube might have buildings in 6mm or smaller mixed with humans that are 54mm. So, you need to look closely and see if the contents will match what you will be placing on your table. The one I selected was the Alligator one to serve as crocodiles in my Mission St. Mary games. The list price is $11.99, but you will almost never see them at that price as the hobby stores discount the price. In fact, when they are on sale you can pick them up for around $4.99.

toobs reaper crocs
Toobs animals are to the left of Teddy & on the right is a metal crocodile from Reaper

The animals on the left side of the picture are plastic Toobs, 7 crocs, 2 turtles, & one snake, which I bought last year for $6.99. The crocodile on the right is metal dire crocodile from Reaper that costs $13.99.

reaper metal and toobs
Repaer metal croc on left & Toobs plastic croc on right at Texicon.
teddy gators
Teddy up to his ears in alligators!

The snake is supposed to be a water moccasin, but for gaming purposes it is a giant python or boa constrictor. I used it as a piece of scatter terrain on the table at Texicon. None of the players would venture near it.

giant snake
Teddy and the giant snake
Large snake on the jungle floor.
Large snake on the jungle floor.

Safari, Ltd.
Safari also makes animals, dinosaurs, and dragons, which range in price from $7.00 to $16.00. What makes them attractive to the gamer is that the price is usually 1/4th the price of a comparable model in metal. Again, these tend to be a slightly larger scale, but hey, they’re monsters!

Wooly mammoth by Safari, prehistoric people by Reaper
mammoth 2
A different angle
mammoth 3
Teddy and the mammoth
dino 1
Never a dull moment for Oog’s family.
Teddy and friend
Teddy and Friend
Amazons and the dragon
Amazons and the dragon

Reaper Bones
All of the Safari products come pre-painted. Models from Reaper’s Bones line are molded for the most part in a white PVC-type plastic. The best thing about Bones is that they are also about 1/4th the cost of the same model in metal. Here are three larger than man-sized monsters that I’ve finished.

Each monster costs about 1/2 of the price of the meerkats in the foreground
Teddy and the giant bug.
bug 2
Backside of the bug
river troll
Teddy and the river troll.
river troll 2
Backside of river troll
rat ogre
Teddy and the rat ogre.
rat ogre 2
Another view of the rat ogre.

I really do like the Bones line for monsters and miniatures that I would not normally collect. For instance, I have 7 bugbears on the painting table. I have no desire to build an army of bugbears, but they will come in handy for dungeon crawls and Warrior Heroes: Legends encounters. They were part of the Bones kickstarter, so they cost me less than a dollar per mini.

Next Year
As usual, I have more ideas than what I will be able to accomplish. I plan to do one more colonial game at Texicon in 2016. I’m calling it “Up the Napondi River” and it will feature British troops against Nobelongga rebels and slavers. I have 2 science fiction story arcs and I’m having difficulty deciding which to do first. One takes place 3 years after the events in Pearl’s Plight where Nina aids a COG unit and uses the 5150:Infestation scenario. The second one takes place 18 years after the events in Pearl’s Plight where Pearl’s daughter Jun dumps grad school in favor of joining an adventurous crew of privateers. This story arc will use the upcoming 5150:Fringe Space rules.

Maybe I should do a poll as to which stories to work on. I have an idea for a group of adventurers in WHL which includes the Startwinkle sisters. Edie Startwinkle is a bad-ass gnome sorceress. If I get enough Vikings painted, I plan a Mirholme invasion of Valkae using WH:Warbands & RRtK. But alas, the big hang up for all of these plans is that I’m a slow painter.


Oog wishes you all a Merry Christmas and thank you so much for reading the stories.