There is something to be said for unique characters. If you have a few veterans at your table, a new monster with a unique stat block can really shake things up. I’m going to go over a few ways that I’ve managed to change the miniatures I buy and turn them into fun, new encounters for my husband (our DM) to run.
This beautiful lady above is the Queen of Mirrors. The miniature was a custom printed one we bought online so it already had pretty unique features. After prime and paint, I added a simple dirt base but also added shards of glass, as if from a broken mirror, to act as the physical representation of her mirror shield. The mirror shield is a whirling dervish of mirror shards that whirl around her, protecting her from magic and doing damage to anyone who gets too close. Addding this small enhancement gave the table members more visual context of who this villain was. She was truly terrifying to fight.
The miniature above was more of a repair job than customization but it did help me learn that sometimes you can still have viable characters from damaged miniatures. I would recommend making sure your printer is a reputable one so you minimize the chances of receiving damaged miniatures. For this one I had to think on my feet. I didn’t have green stuff of professional filler of any kind so I used spackling. Yup, simple spackling. Once the hole was filled, i primed the mini and got to work painting it. My own husband has trouble finding where the hole used to be now.
There’s also a lot to be said for reworks and color customization. These were small comissions from a friend who wanted his spectral monsters to stand out more. So I gave the banshee more color while also keeping the spectral nature of the spirit. I gave her the typical white dress of dead female ghosts that appears in lore as well as corpse blue skin. For the wall of spectral skeletons I added a simple shadow wash in a few coats to bring out the tormented souls in the wall. It gives them a more sorrowful look that isn’t overshadowed by all the green.
Let me know what you think in the comments below and I might post some more customized minis!