Everyone DMs differently. Whether you use paper tokens, VTT, theater of the mind, or miniatures no two tables are the same. What helps shape these tables isn’t just the preference of the DM and the players but also the amount of time that the DM has to prepare. While it can be nice to drop down pre-painted miniatures on the table there’s a great feeling to be had from painting your own minis. Wizkids has just released their Critical Role Unpainted Miniatures Wave 3 which meets the needs of those who are interested in high-quality minis while wanting to shake them up in your own way.
Wave 3 of the Critical Role Unpainted Miniatures set consists of 10 different collections. Each box has one to three themed miniatures inside. The boxes are:
- Wisher Pixies
- Mage Hunter Golem
- Female Human Wizard and Female Halfling Holy Warrior
- Fey Werewolves
- Male Human Sorcerer Merchant and Tiger Demon
- Vampire and Necromancer Nobles
- The Laughing Hand and the Fiendish Wanderer
- Male Sphinx
- Female Sphinx
- Revenge Demon
For fans of Critical Role, you’re likely to take one look at the “Necromancer Nobles” or “Holy Warrior” and understand immediately that it’s a miniature of Delilah Briarwood and a Paladin. Some of the naming does seem a bit “Spirit Halloween” but just like with their costumes you know exactly what you’re looking at so it’s not a worry.
Some Assembly Required
These minis aren’t as ready to go out of the box, each set that you open will contain the figuring with some flooring and then a separate plastic disc. For some of the larger models the miniature's unpainted base might be enough to keep them standing, but for best results and for best demonstrating their size at the table it’s recommended that you glue these together.
There are a few nice benefits to this system like having a floor for a character to be on that is paintable and not just a flat plane. For a character you want to theme a certain way that terrain could be rocky caves, grass, or a hoard of crystals they’re standing above. For some of the larger models there were some issues with the bases slightly warping, or being slightly sunk in. This did mean that there was a bit more trouble getting contact between the two plastics with the glue but nothing a bit of added pressure couldn’t take care of.
As always, the minis from Wizkids are of exceptionally high quality. For smaller minis that you’d expect to be more fragile like the collection of three Wisher Pixies, it’s the complete opposite. The plastic used in their creation has a lot of give to it allowing features like small transparent wings to flex if too much force is placed upon them. This is good for the safety and future-proofing of your figurines but for certain items that are meant to be stiff but slim in frame, like a sword or dagger, the pieces can end up warping if stored improperly.
While the more humanoid characters of the Human Wizard, Halfling Warrior, and Human Sorcerer the generic look and stance would allow you to create replicas of pieces like Gilmore or use it as a template for almost any PC or NPC in your game. The versatility here is what makes these unpainted minis a fantastic addition to any table.
The beastial Fey Werewolves and Tiger Demon are all poised and ready for action. Some key features that I really enjoy from this group are the flowing cape of the Tiger Demon. Subtle additions like this help get a sense of motion bringing further life to what is otherwise a very small statue. This actionable posing is also present in the Werewolves, ready to lunge or standing with claws bared.
Is Bigger Better?
There are a lot of minis that fall into the regular size range but there are others like the Mage Hunter Golem or Revenge Demon that are much larger to behold. The Fiendish Wanderer and Laughing Hand both tower over regular-sized miniatures and even unpainted shed a sense of malice.
The Revenge Demon being done in all clear plastic is a fantastic design choice from Wizkids. Seeing him in his all-black shroud from the Painted Critical Role Wave 3 set was a sight to behold but the opportunities to color or accentuate certain features. Even for a new painter, it gives opportunities to create a more dynamic piece as painted features transition to transparency.
How do they compare?
Receiving this box I did expect to receive unpainted versions of miniatures that had been covered in our review of the Wizkids Critical Role Painted Miniatures Wave 3 but was pleasantly surprised to find that each of the minis has a different pose. If you’re someone who wants to have painted and unpainted editions of Critical Role characters the benefit of this is that you’re not ‘punished’ by purchasing both.
The other large benefit is that as you position these miniatures differently in your stories or paint them differently you’re getting unique and quality minis. If you’re someone who wanted four different types of Sphinx you can have the painted and named Kamaljiori as well as the uniquely posed Male Sphinx and Female Sphinx.
What are our final thoughts on Wizkids Critical Role Unpainted Miniatures Wave 3?
Once again Wizkids has produced a fantastic set of miniatures. Each box has a nice range of minis that you could use to help fill your world with versatile miniatures or even create set pieces around some of the larger creatures. Aside from a few issues with indentation of bases for glueing, or some bending swords this collection gives DMs a lot of options.
Should I buy Wizkids Critical Role Unpainted Miniatures Wave 3?
The simple way to figure out if you want to buy this collection would be if you're someone who wants their own Critical Role minis and wants to paint them in their own way. For the generic "Holy Warrior" players it can also be an affordable way to get a high-quality mini of a specific type of race/class. If you're a DM I'd recommend seeing which minis you feel spark joy, or you can immediately imagine yourself building an encounter around.
The Wizkids Critical Role Unpainted Miniatures Wave 3 used in the creation of this review were provided by Wizkids.