Sunday 22 July 2012

Citadel Miniatures: How much is too much?

My post about the Citadel Giant got me thinking about my own collection, rather than the wishlist collection I carry around in my head and unconsciously build each night trawling the depths of eBay.

How much is too much?

How much are these lumps of lead actually worth? Sadly, there is no David Dickinson of wargaming to step in and advise us, only inflated 'Buy it Now' prices and bidding wars on eBay. I think about Gaj's remarkable journey trying to collect together all the miniatures from the Lichemaster; he's now down to a single figure; the notoriously expensive Lichemaster himself.

But why is he so expensive?

I can understand the giant being pricey, there were after all only 1000 of the things casts. But that can be said of other miniatures out there - Kinky Chaosette, Slaanesh beastman with penis head... to name but a few. So why are certain things in the Citadel collecting world so expensive? And out of all the miniatures, books and other paraphernalia I have amassed in my collection which ones cost me the dearest? And how does the amount I paid compare to the prices other collectors paid?

A lot of questions...


The single highest item I ever paid out for that was related to Citadel or Games Workshop was The Lost and the Damned. This classic, and essential, publication set me back a whopping £57 a few years ago. 


At the time, I thought this was a real deal, as I had seen copies go for over £100 in the past. Occasionally, I still do, despite the fact that it is now available as a pdf online. The spread of pdfs has reduced the price of many of these rare publications. I sold my copy of Empire in Flames for £75 back in 2004 (at the time, it was the most expensive book selling online) but I've never seen it reach quite that much since, thankfully! I guess I was there at the right time for Empire and The Lost...


This was the Arcane Armorials transfers I scanned some while ago and put online (you can find a copy here). The were posted on eBay with a 'Buy it Now' of £29.99. I just had to have them! Sure, I'd seen small, tattered remnants up for sale but never whole sheets, let alone whole sheets with the packaging. I dropped the £30 there and then.


I believe so, simply because I have never seen another, and I often look for them. 


Not my paint job!

A Nurgle Champion. At the time of purchasing I had just seen one sell for £35 online. It was one of the few champions I did not have and I was desperate to complete the set. Checking out the listing, its had a couple of bidders and things were ate about £5 when, rather cavalierly, I dropped £25 down on the bidding. Bizarrely, the miniature remained at something like £7.84 up until the final 10 seconds. Some sniper took me out by slapping down £35 in the final seconds. Bastard! I thought at the time. A week or so went buy and I received an email from the seller saying aforementioned sniper has disappeared and debunked on payment. I was offered the miniature for £7.84 as a 'Buy it Now'. I didn't wait to ask the wife, I can tell you!



I guess 'how much is too much' depends on the spender. If you're willing, and have the capital, to spend over the odds for things then I guess you can. I prefer to spend less and get a good bargain (as I think the rest of you collectors do, too) especially if you think 'yes, I've got that cheap'. Nothing like feeling a little satisfied with yourself, after all, it makes the painting all the more sweeter!

So, out of interest... What was the single most item you bought relating the GW hobby and was the price you paid worth it?



  1. Much too much on a complete set of (mint) Citadel Combat Cards, which I've since scanned in their entirety.

    Worth it... is debatable, as I've seen single decks go for depressingly low prices on eBay since. But I'm still glad I've got mine (and the scans) in such good condition.

    One thing I'd love to get my hands on is the Kegox dragon, which last I checked is on Buy It Now for a few hundred pounds.

  2. I dropped a little over $50 (U.S.) for a collection of metal and plastic skeletons along with some plastic chariots, mainly for the Nightmare Legion troopers included with the lot.

    It was worth it to me because I can sell off the figs I don't want to recoup some of the purchase price, and now I have more Nightmare Legion halberdiers for my Hordes of the Things army!

    Of course, the reason I got into HotT in the first place was to use the old Citadel figures I already had--not to spend more money to collect them :)

  3. Most I ever spent was about $65 or $70 (can't remember exactly) for the Orc Wyvern, the one that has a head like a rattlesnake. Love that mini and was happy to get it for the price. I wish I hadn't been a poor teenager struggling to come up with rent back in the 80's

  4. I think the most I spent on a single infantry type mini was around £15 on Karl Ustracutter from the Magnificent Sven. Missed out on a few auctions where he went for anything between £7 to £20. Even missed some auctions because I hadn't been keeping an eye out on the time! So when he came along again after a year or so of fruitless searching I was willing to lay out a few quid - luckily he didn't go for more!

    I think it was worth it as he doesn't seem to come up very often and I now have all the major Sven characters - still smarts a bit paying that much for a single mini though...

    My main problem is getting carried away and splurging out each weekend on a load of figs around the £3 mark and having a heart-attack when I see the total for the next batch of Slann/Men at Arms/Chaos thugs I didn't really need and won't paint for the next five years...

  5. I've probably got a few more years of collecting on you all so more opportunity fore big spends. I've gone into triple figures for the odd collection before but somehow for one mini £30 is my current limit. If I can get over the barrier of how much these things cost in the first place then finally I'll get round to buying that kemmler I've always wanted.

    Stupidest buy, that third mighty fortress for I ain't telling you how much.

  6. When I saw #2 item in your list (the sheets of transfers) I had a funny feeling I'd seen them before. A few minutes later I was holding a sheet of them in my hand. I had no idea that they were worth more than pence, so I'm delighted to learn that they might be worth something.

  7. A Slaanesh beastman with a penis head?!?!

    I want it.

    The most I've ever spent on a GW product is £55.00 for 3rd Ed Space Hulk. The most I've ever spent on Oldhammer is £7.00 for the 2nd edition Ravening Hoards supplement but only because I was bidding on a 2nd ed box set from the same bloke (got it for 99p - a steal).

    On an Oldhammer miniature it's £2.50 on the figure I'm entering into the Golden Gobbos. As you can tell when it comes to miniatures I'm a cheapskate!

  8. I've spent well over £50 on individual figures more times than I care to remember.

    I've spent over £100 at least twice too.

    I also have a hefty amount of money stashed away for if I ever see a complete citadel giant (with all the bits).

    I need help.

  9. Having spent the last year collecting old school Fimir (never being willing to spend over £20, and even then only on my favourite, the Fianna Fimm model) there certainly is a heft price tag on some of these! Speaking as someone on a low income it's very sad to see beautiful models go soaring out of the budget. Ah well, the hunt is as much part of the fun... and it makes the acquisition, assembly, painting and presenting to the army in the centre rank of a spiffing unit all the more satisfying!

  10. Hi!

    To be honest I cannot justify paying more than about £4 for a single figure and making do with what I can get hold of. Ebay is getting a bit silly at present and I have had more luck trading stuff and looking through the occasional wargame store bits box or bring and buy at wargames shows than I ever had on Ebay.

    I spotted theres a chap selling the fantasy Zoat over on lead adventure for about £15 (it may have been dollars but I cant remember!) so there are some great bargains to be had for those who are willing to spend the time trawling for them! Its well worth checking the bazaar of obscurities over on the Lead Adventure forum as theres often old school lead going on it for very low prices!

    I am on a ridiculously low budget at present and can only really manage about £15 a month on gaming stuff so I have to be frugal but it hasn't stopped me perusing the dreaded Ebay and wishing I had more!

    All the best!

  11. I'm with cow on this one....there have been very few cases where I have spent more than $6-7 dollars on a figure. My budget just won't allow it. One that I did splurge for was the last of the MM15 dwarfs I was hunting for...dwarf with dropped £15 for it....was happy to have it...and then of course stumbled into 2 more copies for less than $10 total! Hy does that happen?

  12. I don't even want to think about how much I spend on this stuff.

  13. At least I'm not alone. It is good to hear others have a problem with spending too much money on OOP GW stuff. My biggest spend was easily a complete Warhammer Quest box set with quite a few extras (minis from expansion & one extra character box set. All together...99 pounds.

  14. Am i the only one here that thinks the reason that mini and related book prices are so damn high on ebay is due to people buying them in their original packaging and then storing them away?

    Its simple and demand. If you artificially restrict the availability of something then it will become more expensive.

    I don't get the whole "i will buy this mini/book coz its pristine and then i'll put it in a cupboard for the rest of its life, just so i have it" mentality. Why not sell it so someone else can use it?

    I buy mini's to paint up and use.

    my two cents.

  15. I'm not alone!!!!

    I have spent 80-100 USD per model in order to collect a group of four Crusader robots for Rogue Trader. I'm glad i'm not the only crazy hobbyist out there that has a serious E-bay problem. I know this probably belongs on your Rogue Trader blog, but I read this post first.

    I also got a parcel in the mail today! Squat warlord on Trike. I have a problem, I know this. I also managed to collect all the Rogue Trader books at about 50-100 USD per book. I don't see it as problem really. I mean, you could spend 100 bucks at the bar and all you'd get out of it is a headache.

  16. I bought Slaves to Darkness and Lost and the Damned for £60 each, over ten years ago! On those two books though, it was money well spent! I still flick through them now and would never part with them.

    I try and scour second hand stalls at shows and conventions for vintage chaos and other warhammer models. I used to find a handful of good ones each time, but not these days. It seems more and more sellers are realising what they can get for them on ebay and selling them there for massively inflated prices. :( I did find an mint Ambull for a tenner and a mint, unassembled Nurgle Beast for £8 at a show last year though, so there are still some gems to be found!

    As for ebay, it really isn't the bargain auction site it used to be. Most sellers know what things are worth, and sadly everyone else seems to have more money than I do. I'm almost always outbid because normally I'm just not prepared to spend more than a fiver on a single small figure. :-/

  17. I just fell back to some ol' citadel with the thought that I'd score some descent buys just out of nostalgia. And obviously, I had to collect a small set. Which wasn't that difficult a couple of years ago. But apparently, the prices have risen with a couple of hundred percent since last time I checked. Thankfully I come from a gaming thick city, so it's not too hard to score some citadel minis :) I'm really glad that I got an option to buy a great deal of Old School Orcs from a mate. And he doesn't want more than a couple of quids. I'll keep you posted just to brag ;)

    1. $250 bucks for a galactic grenadier converted with a ral partha wolf head.
      Mind you, it was by John Blanche and appeared in Ratspike... so I consider that a bargain.

      For raw, unpainted minis though... most expensive was a kegox dragon for about seventy bucks.

      Whenever I spend a lot on a figure something remarkable happens... two more appear on ebay for less. The theory I have is folk see the sale and remember they have one somewhere...

  18. I was lucky and got both Realm of Chaos books for a quid each at a wargames show years ago. :) On the other hand, the most expensive* thing I've bought was the old single-piece Zoat with mace - Thirty-odd quid that cost on Ebay. Twice as much as any of the other - larger - ones cost me. Still, it was Christmas, and like Jennifer Aniston, I'm worth it. :)

    * Compared to its "new" price, that is; I've got a few 'uge dragons I paid north of a ton for each.

  19. Just picked up a copy of The Lost and the Damned for $200. Looks like your buy was a pretty good investment.
    : )