If you have spent any time on my website you probably know that I have made a whole lot of dioramas. I have made scores of them. I love dioramas. And adding a figure or some figures to it makes all the difference. Miniatures make a diorama come alive.
And I have bought just about every kind of miniature figure from the ones that come in toobs to the bags of them that you can get cheap to the expensive and very detailed ones that cost five dollars or more each! And I love them all. And I guess you could say I know a lot about them. So, let me give you some guidelines on where you can buy them and which ones to buy.
There should be places near where you live that you can buy them. Some good places are:
Walmart: in the toy section and in the arts & crafts section. You could probably guess the toy department but you should also check out the arts & crafts section The arts & crafts section is where they sell craft foam, fabrics, floral stuff. Look for products from Woodland Scenics. That company makes diorama stuff including miniature figures which are quite nice and made specifically for dioramas.
Hobby Lobby: Also has a section with diorama making materials, which includes miniatures and terrain supplies.
Model Railroad shops: There used to be a lot of these around but not anymore. There are fewer places like this. But if you have a model railroad shop nearby that is the perfect place to go for miniature figures.
JoAnn Fabrics: They have a section of their store with diorama making materials. This section will also include a small selection of woodland scenics figures.
Michaels: Same thing as JoAnn Fabrics. They usually have a small section of the store with diorama making supplies.
Dollar stores: In their toy department they will often have very inexpensive bags of figures. These could include soldiers, animals, dinosaurs and more. This is a good inexpensive option for you.
HobbyTown: This is a mid size chain of hobby stores. I have never been to one. But I checked their website and they do carry miniature figures. So, it's a good guess they carry them in the stores too.
Remember that in any of these stores if they have a toy department you can check there. But some stores also have an arts & crafts section and you should check there too. They often have diorama making supplies which would include miniature figures.
Buying figures online is quick and easy. The only thing to consider is the size of the figures.
A great place to start, and a safe bet for you is to go with the Woodland Scenics series of miniature figures called the Scene Setters. They are specifically made for dioramas.
Scene Setters Figures - A Great choice for dioramas
For dioramas made by kids my absolute favorite series of miniature figures is in the woodland scenics scene setters figures. They are worth looking at and reasonably priced.
You can go directly to the amazon listing of scene setters right here
The bag of scene setters shown here is African Wildlife
These scene setters are a pretty good size. They vary because you have all different kinds of animals and figures but generally everything falls between 1 1/2" and 3 3/4" in height.
There is a large selection including:
- Civil War figures
- Native Americans
- Revolutionary war soldiers
- Castle dwellers
- Marine Life
- African Wildlife
- And more....
This is such a fun option for you. You get a tube full of figures. And they have a variety of themes including Insects, Jungle Friends, Coral Reef, Arctic Animals and more.
Lots more TOOBS right here on Amazon: TOOBS
If you want tiny figures for your diorama you can look through the Woodland Scenics figures that are in Model railroad scale. They will be labeled as HO Scale. That means that the typical human figure is about one inch tall. Really really fun figures. But consider the small scale.
The picture at left shows a diorama I made using this scale of miniature. It is inside an actual egg.
HO Scale people
HO Scale campers
HO scale summertime jobs
HO scale farm animals
If you want high quality figures look for Schleich Miniatures. They are professionally sculpted and hand-painted.
See a whole bunch on Amazon here: Schleich Miniatures
Here are some examples. And note that these are larger than the previous miniatures we have looked at. For example the black panther and the tiger are about 2 inches tall and 5 inches in length. And the T-Rex is about 11 inches long.
Schleich Black Panther
Schleich Tyrannosaurus Rex