Penny Minis – A tutorial

I’ve been interested in minis for a while, especially after reading Chris Mcdowall’s blog posts on his project Grimlite. The project drew me in considerably especially as it looked like something that could be run without a DM, which is something that I, selfishly, am drawn to.

I then proceeded to look for Minis on sale, and stopped once I saw the prices. There are probably affordable options but I decided that instead of buying I was going to make myself some minis.

Most of the results I found involved either:

  • A 3d Printer(Which I don’t have)
  • Or polymer clay(Also don’t have)

So I felt a bit lost until I found this video on youtube:

The video was godsend for me, but I know that a lot of people(me included) prefer written articles to videos, so I thought it would be a good idea to make one.


You’ll need:

  • Some kind of easily manipulated wire(I used florist’s wire)
  • A roll of painter’s tape
  • Pliers
  • A Utility Knife
  • Sharpie
  • Acrylic Paint and Brushes
  • Hot Glue
  • Pennies

PART ONE: The Armature

Use the wire cutters on your pliers to cut two pieces of wire. One 4 centimeters long and another 6 centimeters long. Don’t worry if they’re slightly off, it doesn’t really matter.

Bend the 6cm. wire in half with the pliers. As before precision is nice, but not entirely necessary.

This will become the head and the the legs of your mini

Twist the bent wire with the pliers. This bit is honestly quite hard. I used two pliers to do it because I have terrible fingers.

Now you got head and legs for the little fellow.

Give him HIPS. These are important. Make em nice and wide.

Take the 4cm. wire and twist it like shown.

These are the mini’s arms.

Slip the 4cm wire’s loop over the mini’s head.

Once it’s on you can use the pliers to tighten it by making the loop smaller. If it wiggles a bit it’s not a problem just get it as tight as you can.

Stick a piece of painter’s tape onto a cutting board or something similar and use the utility knife to cut it into little strips. These will be wrapped around the mini’s armature to give it shape.

Wrap the armature with the paint strips until you’re happy with its shape. While wrapping you can use the strips to properly fasten the arms to the body, if it was wiggling before.

After wrapping it you can use the pliers to pose it as you like

PART TWO: Painting

It’s time to paint! I honestly just used an old set of acrylic paint supplementing it with some yellow gouache I had on hand.

I’m going to paint a mini I posed and wrapped before the one I was working in the previous photos.

First start by doing a base coat of a color to cover up the painter’s tape’s blue as much as you can. I used yellow for the mini.

After covering the mini with the background color use another color that stands out against the background for some details. I used red because it stands out well on yellow.

After your done with your secondary color work, add some final details to the mini with a sharpie to add character.

I added a little skull and outlined some stuff.


The last bit, the set up is the easiest part, add a blob of hot glue to the penny, press down the mini and hold it until it sets.

Now you’re done! I made a bunch of these and honestly I’ll probably make more, I hope this article was helpful and I encourage you to try it out yourself.

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