Looking to add a bit of visual flair to your D&D game?
There’s nothing quite as satisfying as watching your players’ eyes go wide as you pull out an incredible-looking D&D miniature from your DM bag of tricks.
But where do you look?
We’re here to help. There are a ton of different options to source your Dungeons & Dragons miniatures from. Whether you’re looking for officially licensed products or just some awesome-looking minis for your tabletop we got you covered. Find the best D&D Miniatures below.
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There are a few official sources for D&D miniatures lines, and one of them is through their Icons of the Realm series.
Each line has a set of different miniatures in the box and is usually tied to a set D&D module like Tomb of Annihilation or Elemental Evil. The miniatures come pre-painted and are perfectly suited for the particular scenario, or in the case of the Monster Menagerie, the sets are filled with random monsters.
They’re an easy way to pick up some great minis for Dungeons & Dragons, but there is a catch. Wizards of the Coast decided to use a Mystery Box or Gashapon system. Basically, you buy a booster pack from the set, and inside every box are 3 small/medium minis and 1 large mini. Which one you get is entirely random, and if you want the whole set it’s going to get a little pricey.
There are some Epic miniatures that are sold separately, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting. These are the bigger minis like Tiamat, Bahamut, or a tree Ent.
Our Top Picks for Icons of The Realms:
- Icons of the Realms Starter Set
- Icons of The Realms: Single Booster – Monster Menagerie
If you’re not okay with mystery boxes or boosters there’s an official D&D series called Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures. They’re a little more expensive, but when compared to the cost of the mystery boxes and duplicates the prices tend to even out. The sculpts on them are rather impressive, and they’re ready to be painted right out of the box.
Yes, these minis all come unpainted, so you’ll have to either try your hand at painting or just use them unpainted.
They can be found at most hobby shop retailers, but our friends over at Noble Knight Games have some of our favorites.
Our Top Picks
- Coolest Thematic Mini: Skycoach
The Skycoach Minis Set from WizKids is available from Noble Knight Games.
- Coolest Mini: Red Slaad
The Red Slaad Mini comes with a Paint Night Kit and is available from Noble Knight Games.
Dungeons & Dragons Board Games
Another source for some great miniatures for D&D is actually the Dungeons & Dragons Adventure board games. These of course also pull double duty as fully-fledged board games and they come with a box full of incredible miniatures perfect for the tabletop.
Each box set is typically associated with a different D&D module and comes with all the minis necessary to play. For example, if you pick up the Castle Ravenloft Adventure game, you’ll get a box full of themed miniatures that are perfect for the Curse of Strahd module. It comes with nicely detailed unpainted miniatures like heroes, zombies, vampires, and even a dracolich.
This is a cheap way to get a lot of D&D miniatures, and a nice board game in the mix. If you’re interested in the Adventure game series you can check out our best D&D board games list here.
Our Top 3 Picks
Dungeons & Dragons: Castle Ravenloft
Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of Ashardalon
Dungeons & Dragons: Legend of Drizzt
If you have a 3D printer, then this just got a whole lot easier.
The cost of 3D printers has steadily gone down and there are actually quite a few models specifically geared towards miniature modelers. In addition, there are a ton of cheap (and free) files available online that are incredibly detailed.
3D printing has become its own hobby as well, so if you’re having trouble with prints, there’s a huge community ready to help and answer questions.
If you don’t want a whole dedicated 3D printer set up in your house, that’s okay too.
There are a few services that let customers choose and customize their own personalized minis.
Hero Forge is possibly the most well-known company that’s doing this today, and for good reason. Their online design software is super easy to use, and when you’re finished customizing you can have them print and ship it or you can purchase the 3D file to print at home yourself. Even if you’re unsure of whether you want a customized mini it’s still fun to play around with their mini builder software.
If you’re perhaps looking for something a bit more epic when looking for your custom D&D mini, there are a few services out there that will create your own custom miniature from anything.
Den of imagination is probably my favorite when it comes to completely customized miniatures. With their Wild Mesh team, they can design and 3D print anything you want. The design could just be an idea or a drawing, but they’ll make it a reality.
Budget & Bulk
Not all of us can afford a library shelf full of miniatures for game nights, and luckily there are a lot of budget options available. They’re not always going to be official D&D models, but they’ll easily do the trick.
Games Workshop’s Warhammer Age of Sigmar or Lord of the Rings miniature lines fit perfectly into most Dungeons & Dragons campaigns. The bonus to this is that boxes of skeletons and goblins usually come in bulk numbers (usually around 15-20). New models are still expensive, but the wargaming hobby is so expansive that you can easily find second models online through forum exchanges like Reddit or eBay.
If you’re not concerned with brand names or don’t mind off-brand items, you can always try bulk wholesalers like AliExpress. They’re incredibly cheap, but you’ll usually find very off-brand products with widely varying degrees of quality. We’re talking Dungeons & Dragons vs. Basements & Basilisks level of off-brand.
They’re going to be cheap, but the shipping times will be long, and you never quite know what you’re going to get.
As we all know, unpainted minis don’t work as well as painted miniatures. If you show up to the table, the character that’s unpainted will always suffer from unlucky dice rolls, and the minis that are painted will always perform better or come through on that clutch moment that saves the day. It’s not superstition… that’s just science.
Okay maybe a bit of superstition, but I do hear your unasked question.
What if I can’t paint?
Miniatures are an amazing way to add a visual element to your D&D tabletop game, but they also can be very intimidating. Painting those little guys can be extremely time-consuming and it does take a bit of skill to make them look like the box art.
Even if you’re not the best miniature painter around, that’s okay. Even a simple coat of paint significantly improves its table presence, and that’s part of the fun of the hobby. Painting miniatures add that extra bit of effort that transforms a particular faceless goblin mini into a fully-fledged character. It doesn’t matter if you’re good at it or not, you’ll learn and you’ll improve as time goes on, and you should be having fun doing it.
If you absolutely find that you hate painting minis and have a horde of skeletons, goblins, and kobolds sitting in an unbox waiting for their turn to be painted, you can always hire someone else to do it for you.
There are actually quite a few different painting services out there that offer miniature painting for a fee. The quality level and prices also vary from bulk to showcase quality painting including customizing miniatures, and here are some of our top picks.
Probably one of the best budget professional options is from the team at Painted Figs. They do an incredible job of getting your minis ready for the tale, but more importantly, they offer several different levels of service that are surprisingly budget-friendly. If you have a ton of unpainted minis and just want someone else to paint them for you, this is probably your best option.
If you want your minis to look like they came right off the display box or right from a competition, then I think Siege Studios is probably the best quality option. Their lowest level tier of painting is absolutely incredible and looks like it could be on-the-box art, and their platinum tier is just mind-blowing.
If you want an absolute quality top-tier level paint job, then this is your best option.
We hope you enjoyed our guide on how to find the best Dungeons & Dragons miniatures! Where do you find your minis? Do you like to paint your minis? Drop a comment below and let us know what you think! We’d love to hear from you.
Looking for more D&D inspiration? Check out our list of DnD Books.
Find the best DnD Games to play in our video below:
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.