Home Forums General Game Design Instructions for Miniature Assembly

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    Avatar photoBandit

    It is incredibly uncommon for manufacturers to include assembly instructions for miniatures.

    A fun example is illustrated by a recent thread here.

    It is ultra common for miniature manufacturers to just provide all the parts and no directions for assembling it, and it is typical across genres from historicals to Sci-Fi, to fantasy.

    Even companies like Battlefront who really embrace the “kit” that includes everything you need including bases and the like don’t bother with assembly instructions on all of their products – they do offer them on some.

    My question to the brain-trust is:

    1) Why do you think this is?

    2) Do you wish some type of assembly instructions were included?


    The Bandit

    Avatar photoJohn D Salt

    Kids these days certainly do want jam on it, at no extra charge.

    I strongly disapprove of the idea of including assembly instructions with anything that isn’t a construction kit of at least 50 parts.

    It is just possible that I am influenced by the pleasure of having noticed, something like forty years ago, that the 1/76th scale T-34 in the Airfix catalogue had been assembled with the exhausts on the rear hull uʍop-ǝp!sdn.

    All the best,


    Avatar photoPaul

    1. ?
    2. YES. My QRF Casspir has been sitting unbuilt forever because of this.
    Maybe i should have a bash at it now that you have reminded me about it.

    Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them!

    Avatar photoVictoria Dickson

    1) Because it’s easier not to provide them?

    2) For 20th Century artillery I would really like assembly instructions, which way up the gun shield goes really isn’t obvious to me half the time.

    Avatar photoJohn D Salt

    Surely the Casspir must count as a special case. Even put together right, it looks as if it’s been put together wrong.

    All the best,


    Avatar photoirishserb

    Since most miniatures are single piece and don’t require instructions, I think the need escapes most manufacturers out of habit, when they might be needed.  That said, I think the need is rare, but occasionally, instructions would be helpful.

    Generally, I think that a decent photo or two on the manufacturers website would suffice. I don’t include instructions with my 15mm models, as I assume that the photos on my page will serve the builder, better than my illustrations would.  I never released my M-ATV as it has about 20 pieces, and is so fiddly, that I didn’t want to deal with the problems of assembly and ten pages of instruction that it would need (or the bunch of fiddly molds that would be needed to cast it).


    Avatar photoPiyan Glupak

    If it is something  simple , then it might well be obvious, so no instructions needed.  Maybe I have been lucky with wargaming stuff, but even  doing 28mm chariots, I haven’t found  sticking bits together more difficult than it needs to be because of lack of instructions.  On the other hand, some wagon kits for my toy trains I find much more lacking in that department.

    Avatar photoGeneral Slade

    I’ve got a Minifigs Old West stagecoach kit that I have never been able to put together because I didn’t come with any instructions and I can’t tell how to fit the springs (in fact I’m not even sure how much of the piece in question is spring and how much is sprue).

    If anyone knows how to put this together I’d be very happy to hear from them:

    Avatar photoDeuce

    1) Because it’s easier not to provide them?

    Since most miniatures are single piece and don’t require instructions, I think the need escapes most manufacturers out of habit, when they might be needed.

    I think these are the key points. I have to say, in all fairness, that this is something that GW have always been very good at, in my experience. Some of their more recent kits go a bit far on the fiddliness scale, but almost any kit they have where there’s any question over how to assemble it has always come with instructions.

    In most cases it is unnecessary, but for the customer there’s no downside to having them provided. Usually it is pretty obvious how things fit together, but there can sometimes be uncertainty: whether it’s over where some pieces fit into the whole, which way round a piece should be placed, or precisely where a certain piece should be affixed, which without visual instructions can be a problem. Particularly so if there are few or no pictures of the assembled whole to refer to, as with many smallish manufacturers who don’t have pictures for every item on their webstore and supply them in plastic bags or the like with no visual reference.

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