Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Top Ten MIniatures of All Time


Well I've been thinking about starting a hobby blog for a while now. My gaming interests are firmly rooted in the old school- Golden Age GW/Citadel, some historical wargaming, as well as D&D OSR kind of stuff. Even though my interest has risen and abated in waves over the years, it has certainly been a constant in my life. It may sound strange but for the most part my pursuit of this hobby has been a closely guarded secret, I haven't a clue what my friends would think if they knew of my obsession with little lead men. So I'd like to use this blog to record what I'm working on, and maybe even to use this as a basis to make contact and start to discuss with others who share an appreciation for lumps of lead and antiquated RPGs.

Reading the recent post on Realm of Chaos inviting others to discuss their top ten miniatures, it seemed like an opportune time to finally begin this blog. So in no particular order...

Eldar Farseer

When the Craftworld Eldar appeared towards the end of 1st edition 40k it must have blown peoples minds. They possessed a design ambition and clean quality of form unlike anything that proceeded them. The fantasy miniatures equivalent of Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus revolution. I knew I had to include something from that era in this list but it was a struggle to choose one model, the Swooping Hawks, the Dire Avenger Exarch, Great Harlequin, Warlocks etc are each iconic in their own right and they all radiate "cool". In the end I went with the Farseer. Love the little details on this guy- his bizarre insect like helmet, alien armour, dangling bracelets, rune clutched in his hand, ceremonial power sword strapped to his back and classic pointing commander pose. Much prefer my models with an "at ease" pose like this, never much been into the over the top action balanced on one foot with arms clutching ridiculous weaponry flailing wildly. Will get him painted soon along with a bunch of other old eldar.

Genestealer from Space Hulk

The humble plastic Genestealer. I'm sure everybody probably have dozens of these laying about, yes I've lost my mind. I think this is a remarkably designed model. Space Hulk is a superbly tightly designed game, much more board-game like than the rest of GW's main games which often have a roleplaying element. This design aesthetic is carried across to the miniatures that it was boxed with. The plastic Terminators are often decried as horrid but to me they have a certain charm, they are great playing pieces- minimalist, lacking extraneous details, they do a really good job of representing what the character symbolises in game terms- a marine, so heavily armoured that his large and encumbered mass fills the narrow corridors of the Genestealer infested spaceship that he is obligated to awkwardly waddle through single file.

The Genestealers too successfully fulfill their role as playing pieces, they are fast, deadly, and mean. A hoard of them looks really effective on the table, despite being monopose plastics they look like  a chaotic swarm of rending claws, chitinous armour, and glistening worm-like flesh, and express a lot of movement. They make for great generic skulking aliens. They are much more highly detailed than the other Citadel plastics of the era, and something about the design says Jes Goodwin to me, it would be interesting to know if that was the case. I find these guys are tough to paint, partly because you need alot of them, partly because of the detail. The painted miniature is from my collection.

Genestealer Hybrid with Autogun

The Genestealers are an obvious homage to Alien, but GW developed this concept into a disturbingly unique idea, this along with the style of the bald headed, asymetric hybrids with their ribbed armour have always appealed to me, and this fellow with his hunched, menacing stance is the best of the lot, perhaps being a single piece model helps to make this a more successful design. I've always thought the metal bodies/plastic arms figures of the early 90s (such as Imperial Guard, Orcs, Guardians, Hybrids, etc) tend to look a bit daft, the single piece alternatives are always preferable. The trade off of poseability vs character is not worth it in my opinion. The painted miniature is from my collection.


The old C18 series zombies are my favourite zombie sculpts. Each one is so unique and imbued with character. They bear a great likeness to the zombies of Return of the Living Dead, Iron Maiden's Eddy, and Army of Darkness. Archetypal 80s undead. Some viciously and purposefully wield scythes with exposed skulls grinning, while others merely shuffle along dressed in rags, rotten flesh sloughing from their bones. The crow perched on the shoulder of Pek-Gregri pecking at his brains is fantastic. Unfortunately I don't have this one, but I'm always on the lookout for C18 zombies, you can never have enough zombies. Eureka Miniatures "Generic Zombies" are the only ones I've found that have a similar feel.

Uruk Hai

This pack of Orcs from the Lord of the Rings line defines how I see Orcs. Monstrous and savage, but completely unlike the unappealing muscle bound apes that seem to be the norm these days. A dark ages aesthetic, like a 3 dimensional Angus McBride painting. The painted miniature is from my collection.

RTB01 Marine
In my mind Space Marines will forever be linked to these models. Perfect as figurehead for the tongue in cheek, ultraviolent, 2000AD-esque universe of early Warhammer 40k. Frequently depicted in artwork dying horribly, and policing anti-empire graffiti.

Bugman's Dwarf Ranger
The archetypal dwarf. Love the faces on this era of dwarf, their exaggerated proportions and variety of different sculpts are very amusing. This fellow is well-equipped for any circumstance, he wears a coat of mail, a helmet, and carries a shield, hand axe, crossbow, and double handed axe strapped to his back! This model is from my collection.

Skaven Poison Wind Globadier

I read somewhere that Jes Goodwin's Skaven got him the job with Citadel. It's no wonder, they are extraordinary miniatures, and share the characteristic strong, iconic design he seemed to bring to everything he worked on. The progression from his earlier sculpts such as his Orcs at Asgard is evident- shabby, ragged, mangy, and flea-bitten, with cobbled together, scavenged, rusted equipment, yet meticulously, carefully, and cleanly detailed. The Poison Wind Globadier stands out to me as a model that sums up everything I like about the Skaven. This one is from my collection, I have many more I plan to show here sometime in the future.

Mengil Manhide's Champion

What can I say I'm a sucker for minis with birds perched on them. I have always admired the somewhat expressionistic style of sculpting on these Dark Elves.


Is it cheating to include a set like this? Each component and crew member deserves a place on this list. And check out that advert! You've got to love this era of Citadel Miniaures graphic design. Will get mine painted up one day.

In the future I plan to show off my Skaven army, orcs, dungeon crawl miniatures, Genestealer Cult, Rogue Trader stuff, random musings, and who knows what else.

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