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DnD fan hand carves wooden miniatures for his campaign

If you find painting DnD miniatures relaxing, maybe you should try wood carving – just like this creative Dungeons and Dragons fans.

Wooden Beholder DnD miniature by Craig Griffiths

One Dungeons and Dragons fan took to social media recently to show off his rustic DnD miniatures. Instead of store-bought or 3D-printed, Craig Griffiths’ minis are all carved by hand. Griffiths shared pictures of his collection via Reddit on April 15, and we were so enamored with tiny wooden Beholders and Fighters that we asked Griffiths more about his creative process.

Griffiths, from Leicestershire, England, is a clinical psychologist with an art background. “Like many people, I came back to D&D in my thirties during Covid”, he says, “and since then it’s been a real focusing point for the things that I make”. Griffiths had always wanted to try wood carving, but it took a DnD campaign to push him into the hobby.

“I was playing in a campaign as a Forest Gnome DnD Druid (called Snipe), who was themed around ponds and followed everywhere by a duck.” “Not knowing where else I could go to find a duck at the time, I decided to make my own”, he adds.

Wooden DnD miniatures carved by Craig Griffiths

“The process was straightforward and satisfying, and I enjoyed playing with a wooden game piece. It reminded me of playing with a chess piece, and I enjoyed the satisfying, tactile ‘clunk’ of a wooden piece over a plastic one.” “It’s so satisfying to see them go from humble blocks of wood, to characterful little critters, and finally to the tabletop to tell stories of their own.”

“The whole process of making them takes a long time, and it’s delicate work”, Griffiths tells Wargamer. “With the focus they need to get them right, it’s hard to think about other things going on in life, so they’re a great way to distract myself and get absorbed in something.” “It’s a lot like mini painting in that respect”, he adds.

Griffiths’ DnD miniatures begin with a naturally sourced piece of wood, usually found in the parks he visits with his children. “I bring the branch home, leave it to dry out, then cut it to size with a handsaw”, he explains. “From there, I decide what I want to make and draw my design in a sketchbook.”

“Initially, everything was done with knives”, he adds, “but due to time constraints I’ve switched to a Dremel, particularly for the earlier stages where I’m trying to get to the basic shape of the mini.” After that, the details are carved with knives and fine engraving tips.

Wooden DnD miniatures carved by Craig Griffiths

Snipe the DnD Gnome and his beloved duck started a wood carving love story for Griffiths. Next, he carved a wolf and a bear for his Druid’s DnD Wild Shape. “Later, a DnD Paladin needed his steed, and the party won a Staff of the Python, so a giant snake was necessary.” “And then we met a wildfire Druid in need of his Firebird”, Griffiths adds. “Almost everything has been to meet a particular need in a campaign I’m playing in.”

Next up on Griffiths vision board is a host of DnD monsters, one of which he has already carved. “Where better to start than with a Beholder?”, he says. Additionally, “I’m hoping to get my hands on a good cross-section of a tree trunk, and from there to carve my first dragon.”

When asked if other Dungeons and Dragons fans should try their hand at wood carving, Griffiths offers an emphatic ‘yes’. “So many of the more traditional crafts are being taken over by digital tools, with map-making software, AI prose generation, and 3D printing providing low-cost, time-efficient means of creating high-quality gaming accessories”, he tells Wargamer.

Wooden DnD miniature carved by Craig Griffiths

“But if, like me, you yearn for the dull clack of a robust game piece, the feel of real materials between your fingers, and the satisfaction of seeing something and knowing that you built it using your own hands, then give it a go!” “Just remember to buy cut-resistant gloves – they’ll save you on plasters and trips to the hospital!”

You can see more photos of these minis in the original Reddit post. For more tabletop updates, be sure to follow Wargamer on Google News. Or, if you’re looking to play some 5e, here’s everything you need to know about DnD classes and DnD races.