DM Tools: Flatminis and Case

I’ve probably been a bit confusing with some of my posts so far, referring to my collection of Flatminis without really explaining them, so here it is.

Flatminis are series of RPG minis available on Thingiverse for free to 3D print.  They are more of what I refer to as 2.5D minis, as they are designed to print flat on a 3D print bed, and it adds depth to them in layers, not requiring any sort of support (though I do highly recommend printing them using rafting, or you’ll have a hard time getting them off the plate).  You print the mini that has a standardized connector tab, and you print a matching base system to go with them that you insert the tab into like so:

1.

flatminis 1

2.

flatminis 2.jpg

3.

flatminis 3.jpg

The base design is standardized, so if you have your printer calibrated well you can print a number of the bases, and then print an even larger number of minis because you likely aren’t going to need all the minis at the same time.

Also, by storing the mini and base separately, you can store them much more compactly.  I keep a lot of the bases in my toolbox, and the player character/npc minis in a separate case for ease of storage and access.  The case is a little display case that I found at a hobby store and added some layers of felt to thicken up the padding and make it look better.  I also had to tape back the display stand portion of it so it wouldn’t flap in the way.

flatminis case closed.jpg

flatminis case open.jpgflatminis case back.jpg

Personally, I sometimes refer to these as Crayola Characters.  Why?  Because I like 3D printing, but not so much doing the detailed painting others do with minis, I literally use crayola markers to color in the white plastic characters, and then clearcoat the outside with nail polish topcoat 24 hours later to seal in the ink and prevent smearing/wearing off on other items (or my hands) in use or storage.

flatminis-colored-in.jpg

Sure, these minis can be simplistic and goofy looking, but I like them.  It allows me to safely and easily carry a wide variety of minis for when someone (particularly newer players or players with new characters) doesn’t have a mini, or when we need some random NPCs in a game.

Also, my enemy minis are mostly Flatminis as well, allowing me to keep an assortment of common enemies on hand without having to carry a bulky foam case with a lot of fragile minis.  I have at least 8 of each of the following minis.

flatminis enemies.jpg

Thingiverse has a pretty good variety of them, which I and some others add to every so often as we create things for our own needs.  I tend to remix in the connector pieces from existing Flatminis, and use a combination of Paint and Microsoft 3D Builder to turn 2D images into minis designs like I did with the heads of the orcs.

flatminis orc.jpg

Sometimes I also find keychains or other mostly flat designs on Thingiverse and remix them into Flatminis, like I did with my ninja minis and making twig blights out of a model of baby Groot.

flatminis ninja and groot.jpg

For DM accounting purposes I made some modified bases with numbers on them,

numbered flatminis bases.jpg

There are also some large size Flatminis.

large flatminis.jpg

It’s really convenient storage and portability-wise to use Flatminis, and enables me to always have a good amount of mini variety at the table.  It’s also kinda awesome when we have new players at the table who don’t have minis.  There’s almost always something close enough for someone to use.

Note:  There are weapon sets made to fit Flatminis, but I don’t make these due to some issues with the 3D printing process of such small and thin objects.

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