Following on from last weeks “top 10 fantasy figures” this week it’s the turn of the sci/fi chaps. Whether it’s heroes in their longjohns, farm boys from distant planets, pepper pots from the future or monsters from alien worlds, we all love a good sci-fi story and fighting out our own battles is even better. So again in reverse order here are the ten favourites from my personal collection….
No 10.”Venturian” (Denizen Miniatures); Though they have been out for many a year now, and they are true twenty five millimetres tall “Chub” Pearsons sci-fi range is still a benchmark by which others are judged. Please excuse the rather strange base on this figure, it’s an upside-down 20mm “slotta” base, and no I don’t know what I was thinking. I think I have every figure from the Sci-fi stuff he did and they are all great, so I just picked this guy as I thought he had a bit of character.
No 9. “Plastic Space Marine” (Games Workshop); This is where it all began for me twenty seven years ago, with a ten pound box of “Space Wombles” and an invite to the “Chester Wargames Societies” Friday club night. Oh the happy hours I spent gluing and painting these chaps together, plastic Imperial Guard, Skeletons, Daleks and Cybermen and Fantasy regiments were also bought, but then I went to my first proper wagames show (The Nationals in Derby think it was) and the GW bubble was burst as a whole world of manufacturers was opened up to me. However I still have a soft spot for these guys and the battles we fought together.
No 8. “Giantess” (Four Colour Miniatures); Superheroes are great aren’t they? In fact their “super”, I’ve loved comic’s featuring larger than life super powered heroes since I was a child, so I just had to have some in my collection of Wargames figures. This statuesque young lady is my personal favourite (I wouldn’t mind being beaten up by her!), one day I may buy her again and adding a shield use her as a 1/35th scale “Miss America” as well.
No 7. “Future Warrior” (Grenadier, now EM-4); When I first painted up my “Future Savages” many moons ago I was really pleased with how the came out, even now they are some of the figures I am most proud of. The reason this unsavoury character has made the top ten however is on his right shoulder, though you can’t really see it that well on the photograph he has the word “psycho” written around his shoulder pad in neat clear letters. What is rather sad is that it is now appears to be neither really clear and neat, or even in sharp focus to my twenty odd years older eyes now (even with my glasses on!), he’s become a testament to what I could have achieved if I’d known then what can’t see now.
No 6. “Special Weapons Dalek” (Black Tree Designs); I love Daleks, if I ever win the lottery there will be a full size one in my hallway (I’d need a bigger hallway as well, but I digress), I’ve always loved them so you can imagine my pleasure when this hate fuelled cannon wielding monster glided out of Coalhill school in the Adventure “Remembrance of the Daleks”. So when “Black Tree” put one in their Dalek patrol set I had to have him, I actually bought mine from the gift shop in the Dapol factory Llangollen where they used to have a Dr Who exhibition (which contained the original, as it happens). I would have liked to see him make some return appearances, but that’s what Wargames are for right!
No 5. “Gridiron Bunny Girl” (Shadowforge); OK she isn’t very “PC” but it’s my list and I’ll include who I like. The first of these girls arrived in a bundle of samples I received back when I was writing for “Valkyire” and I just loved her, so it was onto the net and enough of the others were ordered to make up a full “Bloodbowl” team (the Borderdale Bunnies), these were a Christmas present from my wife (I said she was understanding, didn’t I). Now at the time you couldn’t buy these in the UK so with postage they weren’t exactly cheap, but well worth it just for the fun I had bending their separate bunny ears into different positions (it’s amazing how much character you can add to a figure just by repositioning the bunny ears on their helmet!).
No 4. “Kithix Hunter” (Hydra Miniatures); Now you can’t have a decent “space opera” with out monsters, and I have quite a few in my collection but this big chap is one of the best in my opinion. A few years ago I was on a bit of a “downer” as it were, both my father and my wife’s father were ill, and my own health wasn’t all it could be, it all reached a point where the only sensible option was to put WSD on hold for while till we could get things back on an even keel as it were, so sadly we shut the company doors till further notice. It was at this time that a package arrived from fellow pulp sci/fi man Matt Beauchamp at Hydra Miniatures, with a note to say “I hope things work out”, this beast was part of that gift and it meant a lot to me, the fact that the figures were so nice as well was just a bonus.
No 3. “Scrunt Dog Handler” (Olleys Armies); Bob Olley as I said last week is one of my favourite sculptors and his entire “Scrunt” line is worthy of inclusion here but as I also have a huge soft spot for Dashounds (we always had at least one at home while I was growing up), when it came time to pick which of the little chaps was going to make my top ten there really wasn’t any competition, lovely figure and smashing little dogs, I recommend them both.
No 2. “Dick Garrison” (Wargames Supply Dump); Well I had to get one of my own in here somewhere didn’t I, really the inspiration for the whole WSD thing was my desire for a pulp sci-fi range and I couldn’t have asked for a better man to sculpt it that Bob Olley, taking my written descriptions and some frankly “rubbish” sketches he turned out exactly what I wanted, (a mix of Flash Gordon, Dan Dare and Gerry Anderson). It was hard to pick a favourite as I designed the whole range after all but it eventually came down to two (Dick and Khang), but as we all love a hero Dick won through in the end (as he should of course!).
No 1. “Granite” (Wizkids and Me!); As predicted by “Blax the Kleric” (he can be so annoyingly right some times!) my number one sci-fi figure is my take on a “Marvel” stalwart, any long term readers of my blog will know I am a great admirer of the “Bashful blue eyed Ben Grimm”, so when I decided to build my own superhero team he had to be included. Taking the Heroclix figure of the Thing that I had picked up at a table sale a while back (but was never really happy with), I decided to cut him in half and re-built him from the waist down. To cut a long story short,If you want the long story it’s here,
I was very pleased with the finished figure and feel he is one of my best conversion to date.
Well that’s it with my “top tens”, and as it will be the big day before I post again it just remains for me to thank you for reading my nonsense, and to wish you all a very merry Christmas.
Wow… there’s some serious similarities between your choices (and why) and my own wargaming history Roger, and some stonkingly good choices to boot!! Spot on with the GW ‘Beaky’ Marine, still have all of mine from my Uni days and some great memories of the games we played (using Space Hulk tiles). It also wasn’t until I went to Salute that I realised there were really an awful lot of other companies apart from GW and I’ve never really gone back since then either. I have many of Black Tree’s stuff and hope for some to appear over the next few months as submissions for the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge but that Imperial Special Weapons Dalek is undoubtedly one of their best and you’ve painted it very well indeed. Wonderful story behind the Kithix Hunter, and those are the sorts of things which make this such a great hobby. There’s always a sense of extra satisfaction playing (and winning) with models which have a genuine connection to me (e.g. bought by a friend or loved one). I must confess I thought you sculpted Dick Garrison, indeed the entire range, and I only pulled him and a few WSD minis out the other day to admire your work. Heh… I’ve actually made my list of my favourite 10 minis you’ve painted this year… guess who’s number one (again) in my books!?! Terrific posting Roger. Just terrific!! 🙂
Thanks Simon, in many ways the Sci-fi list was harder to compile as I have quite a few more sci-fi mini’s than fantasy, and yet once I’d whittled it down to ten putting them in the final order was actually easier! strange. I totally agree with your comment about playing with figures you have a connection with, thats why I wont and don’t agree with playing with unpainted mini’s, I also think it’s bad etiquette and insulting to your opponent (but that’s just me).
I wish I had sculpted the Dick Garrison range (or had a modicum of the talent of those who did, (hats off to Bob and Brad Shier, here), but I’m very honoured to think you might of thought I could (even if i know I couldn’t!).
Looks like I’ll have to pull my finger out and get on with my list of your stuff, I’ve got it down to fourteen items at the moment (could have been more but I’m trying to keep down figures of the same type, otherwise there would have been about six or even heroklix alone!), So I need to get it down to ten, put them in order and add my comments. I do know what will be my number one (it might surprise you, though probably not as seen to be able to read me like a book).