Now axiom has posted up a fantastic post on his blog, Magpie and Old lead, that goes into detail about his favourite top ten miniatures of all time. No aggressive 'I'm right you're wrong' list this, oh no, just an honest, personal journey through the models that mean the most to him and why. In the comments section, Edward George Gladdis has gone on to state that he hopes that other people jump on this particular goblin pump wagon and join in on this idea. By doing my own list, I hope that many more Oldhammerers in the future join us and list their own favourite models. We have done similar things in the past (the miniatures wishlist comes to mind) but the Community has grown enormously in the last couple of years and I suspect that many new faces would like to share their views on this most personal of endeavours.
Right, before we continue I suppose I should offer some criteria about how I am going to make my ten choices. Here they are...
1) No numbers - the list will just include my top ten models in no particular order. Trying to organise them in this way would be very difficult.
2) Sets of miniatures/plastic kits can be included- though not a 'single miniature' I feel that choosing from releases such as these is fair, but an avoidance of Big Boxed games is important to avoid comparisons between 'best game' lists.
3) These are just 'my' personal favourites for lots of reasons - nostalgia, design, pleasure painting them, avarice, covetness etc.
The Great Spined Dragon
I adore this model and I have written about it a great deal. It is an exquisite piece of art let alone miniature sculpting. In my opinion it still remains the best dragon produced by anyone anywhere and I very much doubt that it would ever be surpassed. A timeless creation that seems only moments away from flapping into life, even when just pinned together as bare metal. In case you are not aware, it was sculpted by Nick Bibby who has gone on to become a world class sculptor in bronze. If you are going to own a dragon - make sure its this one!
The Skeleton Horde
Still the best plastic skeletons ever produced. I love them for their realistic proportions and accessibility. In fact, they were originally released in 1986 and were available for a long time, well into the 1990s. The plastic set that replaced them was inferior in many ways. I love the creepy look the models have and the way the flat round shields inspire freehand designs. Rarely for such a seminal release, the sequel, Skeleton Army, was even better than this as it included rusty pieces of armour, a chariot and skeletal horses. Nothing beast the sight of ranks of these models in a collection or on the battlefield though. They were developed by Bob Naismith who still does a great deal of plastics today.
More gigantic sculpting prowess from Nick Bibby. The Realm of Chaos era Dragon Ogre is a nice weighty model that takes a bit of time to assemble so makes you feel that you have accomplished something before you are rattling the spray paint can. For me, this model is the perfect blend of dragon and chaos warrior only on a larger scale than normal. The ogrish face, heavy armour and drooping layers of chainmail produce a monster that reflects many of the most common design elements of 1980s miniature sculpting and imagery. I am lucky enough to own one of these though it resides in storage somewhere and similar to both the skeletons and the spined dragon it was replaced by far inferior models later on.
Jes Goodwin's ultimate chaos warrior has everything going for it that you would expect of a chaos warrior, only he is sporting two gigantic axes. The pose, the design, the authority of the figure make it the greatest chaos warrior model for me, and one that I own and have painted up. As you can see in this photograph. If you have any interest in chaos warriors you really need to own this model.
These giants are a curious entry on this list. If you had asked me a couple of years ago about these models I would have laughed all the way to the Marauder giant but time has changed my attitude of them to such an extent that I now love them. Especially since Steve Casey gave me a complete example a couple of weeks back, so thanks again Steve! You may be asking why I like these models so much, well the answer is simple - they are just soooo Warhammer Third Edition. The look, the style, the sculpting, the ethos, in fact everything about them just fits in with my preferred edition of the game. They may look as ugly as sin in the photograph above, but with a little skill and painting ability these models can be made to look really impressive. Again, these models are the work of Nick Bibby.
Its just so silly and so zany that it just works! Aly Morrison's bizarre model dates from a time when anything went with everything else! Any wild idea or concept imaginable was sculpted into existence and were bought up by eager miniature fans who just didn't take themselves too seriously. I have actually witnessed an argument between two gamers over whether or not this model even existed, with one GW fanboy refusing to accept that such a model was once produced by Citadel Miniatures. Was it actually canon? he asked me nervously after I informed them that such a model was made. Sadly, I have yet to lay my hands on one of these though I once used a petrol station lavatory that looked similar on the A34 once.
I have always loved the concept of these giant walking robots ever since an example was printed as the front cover of my first White Dwarf (108 if you are interested) and I once owned two of them. I think its something about the suggested power behind them as well as the graceful design. I cannot recall who first designed them, but looking at the shape of the model above something about them suggests Jes Goodwin. Somewhere in my bedroom cupboard is an old plastic pint glass full of bits to these wonderful models, a sad remnant of my once might Space Marine collection.
Trish Morrison produced quite a few great monsters back in the day and this one is my favourite. Its so well done that the model can make your skin creep, especially when the legs are flexed out in a realistic manner. I own three of these models, though I have yet only painted one example (which you can see above) which is part of a Tzeentch force. A word of warning about these models though, the legs are about as weak as can be and often snap off.
Kevin Adams did most of these and his zany style and great sense of humour is obvious throughout the range. I own loads and have yet to see a definitive collection of them. These models are great fun and come from a time when horror was made more horrible by including a little dark humour into the mix. Sadly, all the subsequent versions of these models have not had one hundredth the charm of these originals. Much like many of the other miniature types on this list.
If I ever had to put my finger out and point to my favourite model of all time it would have to be this lovely, lovely example of a fantasy miniature. Still wonderfully original today. I don't think anything else needs to be said really does it?
So then, what is your top ten miniature countdown of all time? I am sure that you will have one, just as I am sure that your lists is likely to be completely different from mine. So I hereby lay down an Oldhammer Gauntlet and challenge you dear readers to do the same. Share with us your favourite models either by blogging your own list or starting a thread on a forum you use, using the comment section below or whatever. I would really like to see other people's lists.
Big thanks to axiom for having this great idea.