How To Organize Your D&D Miniatures

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Table Of D&D Minis

My Table of D&D Minis

I had a need to organize my D&D minis. I was finding that just to  locate a particular one for D&D night had become a chore. I was always sifting through a box or bag of them just to find one in particular. Not to mention storing minis in a box or bag is not the best thing for them.  Parts get bent or broken if your not careful. So I have come up with a way to organize your Minis. For the most part your only going to need 3 things.

  1. Sterilite Draws (You can find them most retail stores)
  2. A Label Maker
  3. Apple’s iPhoto (mac only) or Google’s Picasa (Mac or Windows) Software

STEP 1: LABEL THE DRAWERS

The first thing I did was to label my drawers. I printed labels from my label maker saying “Drawer 1″, “Drawer 2″, “Drawer 3″, and so on and stuck them to the front of each drawer. The drawers I am using I picked up from Wal-Mart and they are called “Sterilite“. Just little plastic drawer storage units big enough to hold my minis.

STEP 2: LOOK UP EACH MINI ONLINE

I layed out all my D&D minis on the kitchen table. I then proceeded to look up each one online. I would use a site like Alter Reality Games to search for each mini individually. When the search would come back I would be presented with an image of the mini and some text including the mini’s name and the set it came from.

iPhoto D&D mini collection

iPhoto D&D Mini Collection

STEP 3: PUT THE INFO INTO IPHOTO

Save the mini’s picture to iPhoto (or Picasa).

SIDE NOTE: You can create a brand new iPhoto library so as not to add a bunch of pictures of minis to your personal photos by holding down the option key and launching iPhoto. The program will ask you if you want to create a new library or open an existing one. I created a new library and saved it in my computer’s D&D directory.

Next I created an album for each drawer. So I have one album named “Drawer 1″, “Drawer 2″ and so on. As I copied pictures of minis into iPhoto’s album named “drawer 1″  I would select the image and paste in text related to the mini that I found from the website.

In both the iPhoto and Picasa programs you have the option to enter text information about the image. Here is where I enter the mini’s name and the set it came from. (See the image on the right)

D&D mini drawer

D&D Mini Drawer

STEP 4: PLACE THE MINI IN THE DRAWER

After all the all the information about the mini was entered into iPhoto I then put the mini in the corresponding drawer. Repeat steps 2 through 4 till your whole mini collection has been cataloged in iPhoto.

So now If your looking for a green dragon all you have to is type in “Green Dragon” In your search field and iphoto or Picasa and it will tell you what draw the mini is located in.

SOME HISTORY

I have almost been playing Dungeons & Dragons for a year now. For less time then that I have started collected D&D minis. My collection has grown quickly and I needed a way to store then. Rather then reinvent the wheel I turned to Google for help. I figured I was not the only one with this question and someone else must have come up with a solution that I could use.

Well sure enough I found a hand full for websites selling products for miniature storage. But I was not finding a lot of end user experience. Since I was not satisfied with what I found on a few Google searches I turned to Twitter and asked the following question of some DM’s I Follow.

@theodudek, @SlyFlourish, @newbiedm I need a way to store my growing #DnD miniatures collection. Do you guys have any suggestions?

NewbieDM sent me the following response:

@Nicap (thats me)  I buy these plastic drawer storagethings at Wal-Mart. keep them there, sorted by undead, PC’s, creatures, etc…

Right off the bat that sounded like a good idea to me. I went to the store and picked up a couple of these plastic drawer storage things and tossed my minis in them and life was good. Life was good till my collection of minis grew to the point that finding ones needed for a particular game was becoming a chore.

After some time thinking about the problem I am up with the solution above that has been working out for me very well. I hope you all find it useful.

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