Right as the spirit of Christmas has really begun to set in now, and I need to spend much of my time out buying presents for family and friends, I have decided to take the rest of December off, that’s right no painting and no sculpting work for me till the new year. But panic ye’ not I will still be posting on all of the Saturdays this month has to offer. So to start with I thought I’d do something a little bit different and share with you my ten favourite 25/28mm fantasy figures in my collection, so in reverse order I give you….
No 10. “Wizard” (Portage Miniatures). John Lange of Portage Miniatures had some truly beautiful figures in his range and it is one of my major regrets that I didn’t buy more of them while they were available, he had a flying “Swan ship” that was stunning. Of the ones I did buy there were a few that I considered for this list, but in the end I went for this little wizard (John figures were true 25mm’s) because of the almost Sci-fi look to his helmet and staff, he could even pass muster in a chaos army. He really is all things to all men.
No 9. “Adventuress with sword and cross” (Producer unknown). Right your probably saying to yourself “Why’s he put this in, the figures not that good and his painting a bit ropey too”, well yes I know all that but it’s my list so there! Seriously though I really don’t know why she’s in here, I just like her I bought her on a whim from a box of second hand mini’s under someone’s stall at a show a few years back, and something just appealed to me (she was actually broken and I’ve found out since that she should be holding a flaming torch not the plastic sword I added).
No 8. “Goblin Wardancer” (Lancashire Games). What can I say about this little gobo? Well all the figures in Lancashire’s goblin range are rather good with great little “Mr Punch” style faces and the “Goblin Shaman” is another cracker, but a goblin in a “tutu” and hob-nail boots, come on what’s not to love! I call him “Louie” as a tribute to Mr Spence.
No 7. “Arab Chap” (Mega Miniatures). Tucked away in a pack of “Townsfolk” containing twenty four figures, there is just something out the haughty expression on this “son of the dessert” that really appeals to me.
No 6. “Gandalf” (Games Workshop). Well what can I say, if ever there was a figure that needed no introduction this is it. The whole early range of GW “Lord of the rings” figures were excellent (they’ve gone off a bit of late apparently, but let’s not get into that), but I think Gandalf, who I painted up for my “Soldiers of Fortune” column in “Valkyrie” magazine is my favourite, the original picture I took for the mag was one of my best too (but that has long been deleted I’m afraid).
No 5. “Armoured Lizard” (Reaper Miniatures). Reaper do some gorgeous stuff (I’m sorry I ever showed Myles their web-site as he’s often found trawling their pages now!), and I was lucky enough to have this sent to me as a sample for “Valkyrie” again. Writing for the magazine really made my up my painting (yes it really was that bad before!). At a massive 40mm tall he is an imposing sight on the battlefield and makes an imposing centrepiece to my lizard forces.
No 4. “Feral Elf on rock” (Maidenhead Miniatures). We used to sell this young lady (if lady is the right word posed like, that perhaps shameless hussy is nearer the mark!) and her brethren when we first started WSD, but shipping them over from Australia and later competition from other traders soon stopped all that, though they were a really nice range of figures, and this one was my favourite. A great little character piece I was particularly pleased with how her eyes came out, she was also one of the first figures I painted in that blocky highlight style.
No 3. “Cave Woman” (Copplestone Castings). Now this figure may be a bit familiar to some of you as she has been on my blog before because she formed the base of one of my superhero conversions way back at the start of the year. As I’ve said before Mark Copplestone is one of my favourite sculptors and turns out some truly lovely female figures.
No 2. “Ogre” (Olley’s Armies). Another figure that was painted up for the stall at show’s, I had great fun painting up all the figures I have by Bob, he’s probably my favourite fantasy sculptor and a really funny guy to boot (I once sent him a picture I’d found on the net of a Batman water pistol from the sixties and he sent me back a brilliant comedy poem he’d written about it!). Anyway I painted him start to finish in just over a day, he was one of those figures where I just couldn’t stop painting him, each new colour going on as soon as the last was touch dry. The final black wash just tied him all together and gave just the grubby result I was after. A great classic “fairy tail” ogre straight out of a “Brothers Grimm” story. (He’s also the painted figure that when on our show stall, the most people have asked if theycould buy him, needless to say he wasn’t for sale).
No 1. “Jin Chow” (Newbold Enterprises). Ian Newbold is a rebel, where as the vast majority of manufacturers are happy to add the ever growing pile if Orcs, Elves, Dwarves etc… He decided to create his own world from scratch “Newbold world” (why not?). And it is from one of his original races the “Grak” that the mounted chap comes. Now I love painting standards and very rarely use printed ones, but this is one of my favourites of the ones I’ve done, based on a design I saw in the “How to paint Citadel Miniatures” book the Chinese writing in the corner says dragon (or so it said on the internet, though it could be something rude and I’d never know). A smashing figure that I really enjoyed painting and I was pleased with the end result, if only that happened more often.
So that’s it my top 10 favourite fantasy figures, next time its time for the Sci-fi guys to shine, so till then….