Hi I am currently struggling to find a budget way of getting to minis that I want/need.
What are your methods?
I have looked into free models online, but the choice is not very large.
I know HeroForge exists, but I don’t really want to spend a ton of money on all sorts of minis.
Maybe you have some suggestions
What kind of minis are you looking for?
In general, you can always ask other people who have 3D printers like @Lux_Tenebraeque or @Mourni if they’d 3D print minis for you.
For player characters, Heroforge is the best option; you can order their color standees if you do not want to spend much money, or just download an STL file of your mini for a few euros and have someone 3D print it for you.
You can always check your local game store (Siren Games in Vienna for example), maybe they have some decent minis for what you need. Pathfinder pawns are a decent alternative, particularly for monsters and NPCs.
You can also craft your own minis from paper or Lego or use figures from other games as minis - ornate chess sets, old Cluedo figurines, Warhammer 40k models, certain amiibo… come to mind.
As already mentioned I can print minis. I’ve got a huge library for that purpose.
For cheap alternatives personally i think paper craft minis or tokens are great as long as you have a printer but you still fall into the rabbit hole of getting a mini for everything in your game. Make sure to use thick paper/cardstock. You can find tokens online easily. They are usually used for VTTs like roll20
If you want to cheap out i recommend getting generic minis for players, like some thief looking guy, some wizard and so on and using bottle caps for monsters.
Different colors of caps are great to keep monsters apart. The rings can also be used as handy condition markers for the player characters.
As long as the player characters look distinctively different from everything on the table it works well imo.
My recommendation for many minis for cheap is paper minis.
Either the Pathfinder Pawns or if you want to choose which monsters you want you can make your own.
I make mine via photoshop and print them on photopaper at dm or müller sine I have no color printer at home. And I use stands which I bought from amazon for like 6€. I choose pictures from the internet get rid of most of the background and the put them two times on the paper. One time normally and one time mirrored. It looks like this before printing.
There are also other sources of printable miniatures. For example “Printable Heroes” where you can also find a lot of art.
Sometimes you have to remove backgrounds.
That’s a few of my collection. But I have almost an entire box of them already.
If you want custom characters you might have to play around a bit with some programs and photoshop, but that is a different topic