As I’ve written before, I always attempt to use suitable miniatures for the creatures in my game. I collected a lot of the pre-painted D&D miniatures. Early on, I heaped the minis in a storage tub, but that quickly became unworkable. Finding the proper figures for a game took way too much time.
To solve the storage problem, I went to the discount store after the back-to-school supplies reached the clearance shelves. I purchased a cart-load of plastic pencil cases at $0.54 each. I printed sticky, address labels with the names of sets and ranges of numbers within the set. For example, “Blood War 11-20.” Now I could organize the miniatures by set and figure number in the little boxes. In the picture, you can see some of my collection sorted into a larger cardboard box.
To solve the retrieval problem I rely on the wonderful, online miniature database at dracosaur.us. The database includes all the pre-painted D&D miniatures along with their pictures and, for most, their card images. You can search by name, or by tags such as ‘female’, ‘crossbow’, or ‘insect.’ If you sign up for a free user account, you can track the number of each figure present in your collection.
With dracosaur.us, I can run a few quick searches to find the miniatures I need from among the ones in my collection, and then I jot down the set names and numbers. This lets me quickly locate the correct figures in the pencil boxes.
Now if only I could find a better way to manage my dungeon tiles. Does anyone have a system?