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"how do you find or choose your figures" Topic

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22 Mar 2010 8:34 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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17 Sep 2010 9:43 a.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Areas of Interest


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Apparently, great minds think alike...

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RAJAHPAKDEE04 Mar 2010 5:59 a.m. PST



One camp believes that the way to go is via search engine generated sales.
This seems to mean spending as much time as possible studying trends on google, learning how to maximising its use etc,and hope that people will find their site and their products in that way
The second camp ,which I am in ,because apparently I am an aging technophobe, uses magazines and sites such as this to find manufacturers directly after allready becoming interested in their products

We would greatly appreciate any comments, either way


Barry ( Git's )

nycjadie04 Mar 2010 6:08 a.m. PST

Google is my friend, but invariably whatever I'm looking for has the best information right here on TMP. That's how I found this website many years ago. I also find figures by word of mouth.

Cavalcade Wargames

FireZouave04 Mar 2010 6:12 a.m. PST

The very best way is to go to a Wargame or Miniature Convention. Then you can see everything in person and evaluate them by quality and actual size that best suits your needs! Pictures never let you see exactly what you are getting!

Thomas Whitten04 Mar 2010 6:13 a.m. PST

Bah, Search engines are for people who don't know already were to look!

As to the question, I already have enough projects on my table I don't need to go looking for anything new. So I'm very passive in choosing my figures. If I happen to see something I like on a blog or at the TMP, I'll go buy it.

Which sorta brings up the point that if something is new, the search engine is not the way to go. People have to know about it to search for it. This is where minature news sites + things like twitter come in.

VonStengel04 Mar 2010 6:14 a.m. PST

I would strongly suggest that making something available on a website is not selling it. Web stores are great but I feel you need a presence on sites such as this to drive sales to you. Freebies to well known bloggers comes into this area ie I have bought several items after seeing them on the Dropshiphorizon blog. Get active and get out there…buyers won't come to you if you sit on our hands waiting for them.

Admiral Yi Sun Sin is my Homie04 Mar 2010 6:17 a.m. PST

TMP and Friends first, Conventions second the remainder is third. Good magazine adds reinforce what I find on other sources and have been known for me to lock in my purchasing decision. <- This is mostly if not exclusively for my historical purchasing.

My 15mm Sci-Fi craze is all sourced from TMP and blogs like Dropship Horizon. Any 15mm Sci-Fi I find at a convention I'll probably snap up if I don't have it already. So that's another good source for me I guess.

Regarding conventions, I'm refering to HMGS-East conventions although I suspect Williamsburg Muster and the new summer one may/has become a source for me too.

nickinsomerset04 Mar 2010 6:17 a.m. PST

Today I found that Scotia produce a 4.7cm PaK(t) auf PzKfw 35R(f) in 1:300. I did this by Google and ordered some. I also see figures on line, other peoples galleries, sites like this (waiting for sight of a certain Duke of Brunswick!)at shows and at the club, sometimes I get a lucky lead like a link to Armstrong Models who produce 1:300 21 Pzr Div stuff (except the 4.7cm PaK(t) auf PzKfw 35R(f))

Tally Ho!

(I make fun of others)04 Mar 2010 6:19 a.m. PST

I take it you are a retailer or other merchant? One good way to get to customers is to crowbar open your wallet and become a sponsoring member of TMP. Or at the very least, a supporting member, for goodness sake. wink

Goldwyrm04 Mar 2010 6:24 a.m. PST

I get a majority of game company information on TMP, the Frothers FU:UK forum, or via emails from Yahoo groups for specific gaming periods. I also see what's at game stores 3-4 times a month. And I'm at game conventions 5-6 times a year as well. Gaming periodicals are my least likely source of discovering new figure companies. I use Google a lot, but mostly for researching period information or looking up a specific company I'm already aware of. I don't often go searching for sources by googling- "X type figure XXmm scale", unless I'm looking for something I already know about and seeking clearance sales.

RAJAHPAKDEE04 Mar 2010 6:32 a.m. PST

Thankyou Porfirio

That is a plan , but at the moment the discussion is about what I posted, cheers

The Picktree Brag04 Mar 2010 6:32 a.m. PST

I have to say I usually solicit opinions of various ranges on this site and then buy a small sample pack from the 1 or 2 that look the most interesting to me. A final decision can never be made until you have a figure in hand to assess.

By the way is that a crossposting record?

RAJAHPAKDEE04 Mar 2010 6:34 a.m. PST

Thankyou Joshua

trying to get a broad spectrum of opinion……… I said, it is quite a heated debate

wickerman55504 Mar 2010 6:42 a.m. PST

My group uses EVERYTHING when buying their miniatures. We reference paper magazine, read peoples reviews on the net, search for seller sites, use trade sites, go to local hobby shops and conventions. I didn't realize there were people that limited their search to just one or two reference points. That may blow my mind.

Defiant04 Mar 2010 6:47 a.m. PST

I have several folders in my PC devoted to many facets of the hobby. This is where I store my many links to many sites that I wish to save and keep.

I have folders devoted to Figure manufacturers, Figure painters, Scenery producers, Flag sellers, Blogs, Wargaming groups, book sellers, Forums like this one and many other groups. You name it, I have saved it in a folder group. This allows me to keep permanent records of every site so that when the need arises I am assured of finding the information I need directly through the records and links in my PC, and yes, I also have an external hard drive which all of this information is saved for back up.

Personal logo Fergal Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2010 6:56 a.m. PST

I use the net exclusively. I live in the wilds of Vermont and there is one GW fanboy store an hour away and that is it. There is a convention once a year within a days drive. I don't think I'm alone in these types of conditions in the USA. The UK is a very different story, I used to live there and they are spoiled!!

If you are like me, you come to TMP first and ask opinions, but that's because GAMERS SUCK AT CREATING INTERNET STORES!! I mean seriously suck at it. Most stores on the net for our hobby were created a number of years ago and look like the height of technology for 1995, most likely when the owner learned his web skills and there was no such thing as google. They haven't ever progressed.

I have had talks (well email exchanges) with gaming companies where they say that they are not concerned about things like usability and googleablility. They have links that aren't easily identified, poor or no shopping carts. That's just horrible thinking and they loose money because of it.

If you build a web store, each item needs it's own URL for seachability, simple as that. Imagine if you wanted to know who produced 28mm Prussian Musketeers, typed it into google and you could see a selection of them and feel confident that the search was inclusive.

There are many things that could be done to bring the hobby up to modern times, but alas when the competition is just as crappy, it's not as important.

Look what companies like Battlefront (like 'em or hate 'em) have done with a strong and modern web presence.

Personal logo Fergal Sponsoring Member of TMP04 Mar 2010 6:59 a.m. PST


I returned to gaming after a 15 year hiatus when I stumbled upon Battlefronts website, I have since become convinced they are evil and have moved on to other companies/periods.

28mmMan04 Mar 2010 6:59 a.m. PST

Without taking the best of both worlds option, I would say the bulk of your customer contact will be via the computer and thus google or other.

Now that said, TMP has an average of 115,000 hits a day and that is something that no miniatures magazine or other website could hope to offer.

The Frothers Unite forum is another source (and there are others), I mention this one because of the UK connection. But be prepared as the frothers are frank and will hold no punches when considering miniatures or gaming products, opinions fly like rocks…some on target and others just hit you in the head.

The old school paper trail will only touch a limited market share of a niche market.

Proper web presence is your first and best opportunity for world contact.

Best of luck with your project.

aecurtis Fezian04 Mar 2010 7:01 a.m. PST

"trying to get a broad spectrum of opinion…"

More likely to get you a grey box.

richarDISNEY04 Mar 2010 7:01 a.m. PST

I usually hit up TMP first. Or if I see the figs themselves.
Other than that… Well… There is no other option that I do.

Stewbags04 Mar 2010 7:06 a.m. PST

Yeah, we are all about everything as well, i found TMP through google and this is my usual starting point now, but trying to find all Manufacturers of, say 15mm Scythians (for example) is not so easy from here unless you ask in the message boards.

Google is my (very random) friend (and my walletes enemy) for that. if someone could build some kind of system that worked like google but instead just returned relevant links that it would be awesomely useful. I would be happy to put a bit of legwork in to help construct it.

Gunfreak Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2010 7:09 a.m. PST

TMP, always TMP, Now I know most of the sites I use from heart, but if I need a special fig I always go to TMP

Jana Wang04 Mar 2010 7:19 a.m. PST

Most often by word of mouth, that is, someone posts an image of something they painted (on a forum or blog) or a friend shows me what he just bought.

2nd is through the TMP news and ads. Nothing like promoting your stuff to the right niche market.

3rd is at conventions. A nicely painted display will get my attention every time, but I only go a couple times a year, if that.

4, I sometimes visit mfr websites just to see if anything is new. If I can remember their names.

Magazines almost never enter into it. Searching through Google is often futile for reasons others have outlined above. If I am looking for something specific I get on TMP and ask (see 1 and 2 above).

Palafox04 Mar 2010 7:31 a.m. PST

1. I go to the links I have
2. If not in the links I ask on TMP
3. If minis/terrain/books/whatever exist I add the link to my list

Ceterman04 Mar 2010 7:50 a.m. PST

TMP first, Conventions 2nd. That's about it.

Personal logo Lentulus Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2010 8:01 a.m. PST

I keep track of who is making my period and scale; I started with personal recommendation from people I generally agree with on this forum and others.

Really odd stuff tends to start with adds on TMP.

I can't think of the last time I found anything useful, that I had not already known about, by a web search.

Insomniac04 Mar 2010 8:08 a.m. PST

I check out the internet miniature news sites…like TMP, Tabletop Gaming News, Frothers Unite and other forums. Generally speaking, all of the new stuff turns up eventually so I get to see pretty much everything I need to.

Occasionally, I buy wargames magazines to have a browse through…I also have a subscription with Ancible magazine…so I pretty much cover all of the bases.

Why limit the options by sticking to one route…

(I make fun of others)04 Mar 2010 8:10 a.m. PST

That is a plan , but at the moment the discussion is about what I posted, cheers

Yes of course. Naturally you're likely to get a more intelligent answer in the sponsors forum, but you have to pay to be a sponsoring member for that, which you have deemed out of bounds in this conversation. grin

BarbarianJ04 Mar 2010 8:11 a.m. PST

Same for me as many others:
- Go on well known forums, see what the buzz is like
- Then go onto the manufacturer's website
- Then find a decent distributor via ad banners on miniatures pages (e.g. Maelstrom Games are sponsors of, Renegade Miniatures are on several forums)
- Occasionally, when flicking through a magazine such as Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy, something will catch my I, such as Perry Miniatures plastics and the Warlord Games plastics… but the real thing which increased my interest was finding out that the sculptors from these are ex or current GW staff doing jobs on the side: same high quality, but much lower price AND historicals.

Mick in Switzerland04 Mar 2010 8:12 a.m. PST

I search TMP threads and news when I start new periods or try new manufacturers.

If it is an item stocked by a good distributor with a good range and reputation such as North Star or EM4, I would go there by preference and add the new thing to my order.

Otherwise, I go direct to the manufacturers websites.


vojvoda04 Mar 2010 8:36 a.m. PST

Cross post to as many board and groups as possible, Wait that has already been done. ;-)

After some 37 odd years in the hobby I have gone from reading about them in the Courier or Wargames Digest and seeing them at conventions and word of mouth to now seeing posting on the Web (TMP 80% of the time) to hearing about them via Yahoo groups (about 20% of web) to seeing them at conventions.

Hands on and word of mouth at conventions is still the best sales method for a miniatures line. I really believe most in the industry do not understand the power of the word of mouth and seeing the figures in person.

True the internet has changed the way we find out about figures but there is nothing compaired to holding the figure in your hands and seeing the detail and styling first hand.

James Mattes

War Monkey04 Mar 2010 8:38 a.m. PST

TMP first then I follow the threads and blogs from there, everything else is secound, magazines last, lots of sites and blogs have TMP as a link, why it's a great community of gamers and more, if you want or need an answer I know I can always find it here.

SpuriousMilius04 Mar 2010 8:50 a.m. PST

I frequently check the webstores of companies that I buy from often, & I rely on announcements & posts on TMP for new vendors & for new lines or additions from other figure makers. I also get updates from the sellers whose contact lists I'm on.

LongRange04 Mar 2010 9:08 a.m. PST

Porfirio –
I think you'll find that the answers Rajahpakdee would get on the sponsors forum would be heavily different from the general boards, simply because many of the sponsors are in the wargames trade one way or another.

Rajah is looking for feedback from the general wargaming public if I read his first post correctly, not from the trade or those with a vested interest in promoting their own ranges / services.

To answer his question, with 35 years in the hobby, I have my own favourite manufacturers, many of whom would barely even show up on an internet search, who are unlikely to be found at shows outside of their own UK region, and whose adverts in magazines are often mere classifieds text lines. But, I've met all of them personally, spent many an afternoon in their workshops drinking coffee and discussing designs and manufacturing, and regard them as friends.

Most importantly, I'm old-school true-scale in outlook. A man should be 15mm tall at 15mm scale – not 18mm bordering on 20mm. 25mm scale is based off 1/72 (one inch = 6 feet) for me, not random 28-32mm figure heights. I've not seen a "new" manufacturer adhere to those restrictions for at least 20 years, so I don't buy from newbies, no matter how highly regarded their products are.

I come from a generation who went to school, learned the three R's and also did geometry, trigonometry, algebra and Latin before they were 12 years old, without computers or even calculators. We weren't even allowed to take our slide rules into exam rooms.

Despite that, I've embraced the I.T. age, and for researching both historical and fictional periods, theatres, genres etc., the internet is my playground. For assessing new (to me) manufacturers, Google and forums are vital. For eye candy and light entertainment, magazines come into their own – and I say that as someone who is a "full time" sponsored writer for one of the main magazines, complete with government-issued press card because of it.

Magazines are good for show diaries, and I used to attend 50+ shows a year, every year, in the UK. Those were pre-internet days. I rarely bought direct at shows other than pre-ordered for collection. I used shows for "browsing" – to assess the models, took a catalogue and ordered by phone or mail at my leisure, with strict instructions to the manufacturer to take their time and ensure the order was complete before despatching.

I was never in a hurry to receive goods, and never pressured the supplier – something I rarely experience with online buyers nowadays, and yes, I do have an online store, with a full shopping cart experience, choice of 10+_payment methods, and 12 shipping methods balancing cost and speed with full worldwide delivery.

As a buyer of figures – I'm definitely old school.
As a seller – I'm "bleeding edge"


Mehoy Nehoy04 Mar 2010 9:54 a.m. PST

I hope you aren't.


Gailbraithe Games04 Mar 2010 9:57 a.m. PST

When I use google to try to find stuff I want, google sends me to TMP nine times out of ten. Up above someone said that gamers suck at creating web stores. It's true, they do. Luckily gamers are great at creating informal information sharing networks like this one.

Shagnasty Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2010 10:24 a.m. PST

I try to get everything possible through my FLGS. If I can't, i tend to get friends to order it for me as I am a confirmed Technophobe. I never Google search but do regularly use the TMP info to see What Is Out There.

highlandcatfrog04 Mar 2010 10:31 a.m. PST

RAJAHPAKDEE is the winner! Topic posted to 30 boards! Now no one can possibly miss it!

If you do decide to start a company, make sure that you:

1. Don't bother getting a sponsoring membership to TMP. Why should you have to open your wallet in order to get others to open theirs?
2. Make sure to start a new topic for each figure you release. If you make a rifleman figure in standing firing pose, kneeling firing pose, marching pose, advancing pose, and reloading pose, start 5 different topics.
3. Repeat each topic every day for at least 5 days so that no one will miss it.
4. Post each of your topics to at least 30 boards to get a broad spectrum of opinion. Relevance be damned!
5. Make sure to give your company a catchy name that people will remember, such as Spam Miniatures, troll Industries, or L@@k At Me! Figures.

You wanted opinions, now you've got an opinion about posting a topic to 30 boards.

nazrat04 Mar 2010 10:51 a.m. PST

I'm with Highland! Nuke all those extraneous cross-posts!

trailape04 Mar 2010 1:04 p.m. PST

You can post (cross post) as many times as you want; unless someone opens the post, (in other words, finds the heading intereseting) it won't be read.
I don't see what the issue is.
BTW, I find my figs through sites like TMP, word of mouth, magazine ads, and conventions.

aecurtis Fezian04 Mar 2010 2:44 p.m. PST

Yeah, but how do you know you're getting good answers?

Connard Sage04 Mar 2010 2:52 p.m. PST

RAJAHPAKDEE is the winner! Topic posted to 30 boards! Now no one can possibly miss it!

I have a disc of black vinyl, about 12" in diameter. It has grove on either side, and a small hole in the centre.

Is this a record?

Last Hussar04 Mar 2010 4:39 p.m. PST

I go to Pendragon, then contact Dave.

Personal logo rampantlion Supporting Member of TMP04 Mar 2010 6:09 p.m. PST

I use the mfg's directory on TMP as well as the news about new releases on the page.

Kaoschallenged04 Mar 2010 6:42 p.m. PST

Here on TMP and the Yahoo Groups I own and the ones I am a member. Along with a few other sites. Robert

donlowry04 Mar 2010 7:46 p.m. PST

Search engines are for sissies! I take a compass, a machete, and my trusty .357 magnum and beat the bush until I stumble across what I want. Or I ask on TMP.

nazrat04 Mar 2010 8:11 p.m. PST

"You can post (cross post) as many times as you want; unless someone opens the post, (in other words, finds the heading intereseting) it won't be read."

Post, yes. But it is against the Forum rules to excessively cross-post. Bill generally swoops in and removes all non-relevant cross-posts, and I would say it's only a matter of time before he does it here, too.

Flat Beer and Cold Pizza04 Mar 2010 8:24 p.m. PST

I agree, Nazrat. This post should be in the "Wargaming in General" or "Industry" threads where it belongs and nowhere else.

Covert Walrus04 Mar 2010 9:18 p.m. PST

*ahem* back to the question . . .

I choose figures for forces based on their look, i.e. if the aesthetic of the design and the technology looks close enough to be employed by the same force. This usually entails looking at catalogs and websites, but when fairly flush and having heard good reviews or seen a few examples, I will occasioanlly make a purchase 'blind' to see what they are like.

RAJAHPAKDEE05 Mar 2010 6:03 a.m. PST

Guys………..what is the problem .
I look on the boards and open what I think will interest me.
Deleted by Moderator
By crossposting I may get the opinion of two guys who might not normally read the same boards
Thankyou to all those who have given intelligent and helpfull answers.
I am Barry Carter of Timeline-miniatures.
most of you will never have heard of me, but I hope at some point to be able to help some of you with well designed ,inexpensive gaming figures and terrain
All the best

RAJAHPAKDEE05 Mar 2010 6:27 a.m. PST



The site isnt finished and you may not think it is particularly well done< as I said I am a technophobe, and also extremely busy doing a full time job as a London bus driver to try to make ends meet………but look now and again, you may find something that interests you

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