Saturday, July 11, 2015

Top Ten Miniature Ranges

Over on the aptly named Too Much Lead was a post covering that blogger's top ten miniature ranges.  I'm a sucker for lists, so 'ere we go!

Before we go, a little clarification:  it must be more specific than "All RAFM" but the entries can represent an entire line "Charlie Company" or a specific section "Eureka Rhodesian Cavalry."

10 - Games Workshop/Citadel:  Squats 
from Wikipedia
Of all the Games Workshop games that have intrigued me, original 40k Rogue Trader has the right amount of strangeness and absurdity.  To me, the Squats personify that.  Sure, they're short humans fighting with modified mining equipment, but every model I've manged to snag my hands on has a different feel.  Sure it's a planetary militia of miners, and mechanics, and hard drinking Squats on motorcycles.  Half the figures look like they're going on a hunting trip with Lasguns. 

Oh my God... they're 40k rednecks!

There's so much personality in those figures that I'm afraid to replace them with the more uniform Olley's Armies or Hasslefree variants. 

 9  - Brigade Games - WWI in Africa
Gnomes might have gotten me interested in fighting the Great War in Africa, but Brigade's mini line are so clean and easy to paint that I'm afraid of using cheaper, less quality lines to fill in the units.

8  - Ral Partha:  Battletech
While I struggled with painting fantasy minis as a teen, I didn't have that issue with Battletech.  The old Partha pre-Rallidium lead mechs were easy to assemble and had great detail that, twenty years later, I'm learning to appreciate more.  Haven't bought any Iron Wind

7  - Global Games : Legions of Steel (UNE Commandos)
Yes, all those Nightmares are a dream to paint, but one thing that hooked me onto LOS was the UNE Commando Armor.  Compared to the industry leaders, and a lot of third party "near future" sci-fi figures, the armor is bulky, but realistic.  It's a great canvas to work on a dozen different schemes, but it's regimented enough for mass painting, because it is a uniform.   And the Pioneer is always cool, for some reason.

6 - Games Workshop:  Mordheim
Despite my hatred for modern Games Workshop, Mordheim was the one game they released that worked.   Even at the levels of  of an expert warband versus a brand new one, there was some level of balance, even if a fighting retreat was the best option.  The human warbands gave everyone a chance to customize their figures (but in the case of the crossbowmen/Dogs of War figures I'm working on, there's only so many combinations actually look good and aren't a pain in the butt to paint.  The special characters were just enough over the top so they would stand out in the battlefield, and their war dogs are pure perfection.

From, but come on, these are plastics and they have so much personality!

5 - Pulp Figures:  Savage Seas
I've come to realizee that anything the Bob Murch sculpts is pure gold, from Pulp to Cthulhu to space ships.   I could pick out anything from his lines, but  I have painted 80 Melanesians from the Savage Seas line, and they are awesome figs.
4 - Reaper: Dark Heaven - The Early Years 
This week was the beginning of another Bones extravaganza, but nostalgia takes me back, not to the earliest days of Reaper and old Hertiage/Liberty recasts and Scrye counters, but the beginning of the Dark Heaven line.    Those low numbered releases were great sculpts, very utilitarian (which is why my store sold so many of them), and inexpensive (another reason).   
Gwendalyn The Healer (RPR 2035) - Not too shabby for 15+ years ago
3 - Brigade Games: Gnome Wars (Swiss)
Like I say, this is Gaming with the Gnomies.   Of all of Brigade Games' Gnomes at War line,  the Swiss are the best.  For starters, they're the universal gnome, so even if no other nationalities had ever been sculpted, we could use the standard garden gnome format to paint them up.  They also had just enough detail for an experienced painter to go to town on, but are clean enough that a beginner can basecoat, line, highlight, and end up with a quality mini.

2 - Grenadier - Fantasy Lords II
1 - Grenadier - Julie Guthrie Fantasy Personalities / 700 Series

Fun fact:  I never had any interest in plastic 20mm historical figures like a large number of wargamers.  Despite numerous visits to the local hobby shops, my focus (foci?) was slot cars, my friend's RC cars, Lionel, and Marklin trains.   My first acknowledgement of lead figures was a small selection of Grenadiers in the D&D and Avalon Hill section of Hobby Hangout.  It wasn't much, and for a kid mowing lawns or making two bucks a hour at real job, the minis seemed pricey, but I snagged up a bunch of Dragonmen and PCs.  Despite the scale creep to 28 and 30mm, I still try to snag some of these up.  The practically of the figure types (Dragonmen excluded) and the poses are far better than the current Reaper releases.

1 comment:

  1. I agree the Swiss Gnomes on the whole are wonderful. I like to think that across the range there are a number of gnomes that stand out for attention.

    Think of a D&D adventure where your players each have a gnome whom have special abilities whether from the rules or made up. Could be a fun adventure.