Any long-suffering fans of “Rantings From Under The Wargames Table” who were expecting to take away some sort of festive cheer from this posting will sadly be disheartened to discover that once again I have momentarily deposed Dick Garrison so as to post my own Top Ten favourite miniatures which he has painted during 2017. On the one hand this has proved somewhat easier than usual as Roger wasn’t as proficient in his production as he has been in past years, but on the other much more difficult as the man has certainly painted some extraordinarily nice models during this time too. Indeed, during this period Roger has both seemingly completed his “Very British Civil War” collection by “Irregular Miniatures” and, yet again, provided an in-depth look at his awesome sculpting abilities with two more welcome additions to his ongoing “He-Man” project…
(10) “Hasslefree Miniatures” – Human Eve – Adventurer Lara Croft Style (Jan)
I’m guessing quite a few wargamers at least own a sculpt of Lara Croft, so it was hard not to see why, Roger’s take on the definitive “Tomb Raider” proved so popular on his blog. However, what was particularly impressive with this figure was his sheer perseverance to ‘keep going’ when the miniature’s fragilely-positioned arms “kept snapping off” whilst he was painting her.
(9) “Games Workshop” – Ork Stormboyz (Jan)
I’ve always had a soft spot for Stormboyz, ever since I first discovered “Games Workshop” and the world of “Warhammer 40K”, so was always going to try and squeeze in some of these old OOP metal sculpts into any Top Ten if I could. Fortunately, not only did Roger paint up quite a few of these greenskin shock troops that it would have been impossible to ignore them, but he gave them just the sort of scruffy, rusty palette one would expect from the Germanic-flavoured close combat assault infantry.
(8) “Moonraker Miniatures” – General Cowley (July)
One of the first models painted by Roger as part of his “Into The Wasteland Project”, I absolutely loved both this figure’s splendid-looking paint-job and the character’s fictional background story. There’s a real air of Benito Mussolini to this miniature, in my mind at least, with his marvellous array of medals and imposing gesture really marking him out as a determined dictator of men.
(7) “Irregular Miniatures” – Scorpio Bug (May)
An arguably rather unimpressive model when unpainted, this giant alien insect was transformed into vibrant life by Roger’s brushwork, and once again had me scouring the website of the miniature’s manufacturer looking for one to purchase myself. The red and brown palette really works by drawing the eye along the entire length of its carapace to its stinger, and is a great example of just how sellable a figure can become when it is properly pigmented.
(6) “Bend Sinister” – Sci-Fi Troopers (May)
If there is one thing Roger is very good at, apart from being the ‘Sorcerer Supreme’ when it comes to green-stuff, it is his ability to paint camouflage or stripes on his miniatures, and this pair of Sci-Fi Troopers are a marvellous demonstration of his skill. Jaw-droppingly clean-lined and well-pigmented, these two figures look excellent, with their colourful façade contrasting nicely alongside their gas-mask heads.
(5) “Hydra Miniatures” – Akarr (Feb)
I must confess to originally thinking when I first saw these blue-skinned extra-terrestrial that I’d never heard of the wonderful 15mm alien figures before Roger posted them up on his blog, and wowed me with their incredibly vivid colour scheme. However, these are actually the second batch of such figures over the past few years which the fiend has fantastically pigmented, so I immediately felt morally obliged to include them in my Top Ten; especially as the contrast between their skin colour and red bases is so very eye-catching.
(4) “Maidenhead Miniatures” – Woman on Terra-Bird (Feb)
Another sequel to a range Roger hasn’t previously touched since January 2015 (the Akarr being the first), this formidable-looking cavalry model actually made me contact the manufacturer to establish whether I could still purchase some for myself. This model is tremendously well-detailed, and Roger’s blended brushwork is absolutely stunning, particularly around the giant bird’s head and beak.
(3) “Ground Zero Games” – Gilbert the Alien (Jan)
Being a “Metal Mickey” fan I never really paid much attention to either “Get Fresh” or “Gilbert’s Fridge” as a child, so found Roger’s paint-work and detailed description concerning this sculpt of the much-loved alien puppet tremendously endearing. Not only is the model’s palette absolutely spot on, but once again Roger turned to a tin of green stuff in order to ensure his beloved figure had “his trade mark spikey Mohawk.”
(2) “Heroclix” – The Skunkwoman (May)
Rather embarrassingly my collection of unpainted “Wizkids” miniatures is rather extensive, and resultantly I will probably never manage to re-paint my own copy of Wolfsbane any time soon as I feel it’s one of the “Heroclix” range’s less impressive sculpts. Roger though has taken this underwhelming figure and with a bit of genuine green stuff magic, turned it into an absolutely awesome “villain from the early days of Bananaman back when he was a staple of the Nutty comic.”
(1) “Roger Webb” – Beast-man (June)
Essentially sculpted by Roger from scratch, or at least from a dollie, this corking creation of Skeletor’s leading henchman is absolutely mind-blowing in both pose and paint-job, and is easily demonstrative of Mister Webb’s jaw-droppingly good skills when given the time (and patience) to do so. Like many, I so wish Roger had been able to turn this figure into part of a range for “Wargames Supply Dump Miniatures” as I’m convinced it would have been a market-winner!
Needless to say, there are a fair few other models which disappointingly just failed to make this list. 2017 really did see Roger painting across a myriad of genres (and scales), with the likes of his wonderfully grubby “VBCW” Riflemen, extraordinarily extra-terrestrial “Silent Death” spaceships and wickedly wild “Wargames Foundry” Bondage Betty all getting close to the mark too…
(Well that just leaves me to finish off with my usual huge thank you to Simon for doing this again, and to hope you enjoyed it, as he’ll be doing it all over again in a few days time with his choices from my 2018 output, while I’ll be let loose on “Fantorical” with my choices from his. So till New Years eve, Id like to wish you all the very best of Christmas’s from the both of us! Cheers Roger)