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Toy Animals

One of the great challenges with tabletop minis is getting regular animals. There are basically two choices: (1) pay way more for a few animals than you do for your star attraction minis, or (2) get things that are horribly out of scale.

Well, I'm definitely in the horribly out of scale camp. But this will show that with a little tolerance and some creativity, you can get price and reasonableness to converge. Sometimes.

So here are a couple of sets of toys I got for less than a buck a piece, Safari Toob animals. Will they work? Well, the first thing to do is to give them some decent paint jobs.

So, a standard base (1"x2") and a quick paintjob - a few base shades, one drybrush, a bit of detailing and a black wash - and they don't look too bad. Not sure if the highlighting on the horns comes through, but they have two colors and a highlight color on the tips. I figure the horns are the part you spend the most time looking down at on the table, so they get the best detailing.

And these three are not too bad for scaling to these two 28mm Northwest trappers ...

... which is more than can be said for these two. The deer are much larger than the elk and moose in the previous pic. Still the buck could reasonably be used to designate the "lead" deer - the one the rest of the herd follows. And they woudn't be bad for giant, prehistoric deer, either.

Mixed bag here. The wolf will definitely have to be some type of prehistoric or fantasy realm giant wolf. The mountain goat is not horrible, but the other two will definitely have to be stand-ins for some other large livestock animal. And if you're ever in need for a billy goat gruff to smash up some trolls, we've got your man.

The lizard is a decent size for a komodo dragon, but I have painted him up with my standard prehistoric lizard color scheme. It doesn't match much other than itself, but I like it and use it for consistency where I need it in prehistorics.

The bear is waaaaay too big (as opposed to the other bear). But it fits on the standard base (bearly!) and helps create the ambience of a large threatening predator, if not the ambience of biologic realism. I was hoping to do my Rumple Minz conversion with this guy, but he's just too wide to get a cavalry figure on him.

Yeah, they're not raccoons. Not after I painted them. They're giant red pandas. Again, a little large, but they do create the exotic hope-they're-friendly feel, and easily fit on a standard large mammal base.

And the squirrel is just too big for anything. Well ... anything except a golden squirrel god idol! Those are 20mm Splintered Light minis in the foreground, and they seem to mean business!


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