Monday, 31 December 2018

Top Ten Miniatures Of 2018 - A "Rantings From Under The Wargames Table" Viewpoint

Well the year is nearly at an end and so it’s that time again, when both Simon and myself hand over the reins of our respective blogs to each other. This means that I get at least one piece of quality writing (actually it’s two this year) on my blog, and Simon gets to moan at me for picking the wrong figures from his prestigious output for the year. However to quote Eric Morecombe - “I’m picking all the right figures, but not necessarily in the right order!”. Anyway this is always a joy to do, even if Simon has it much easier than me as he doesn’t have anywhere near as many posts to sort through over on my blog!

Right, well, before I get into the list, I’ll just clarify a few of the ground rules, figures are only eligible for the list if they were completed in 2018, no “works in progress” allowed, and vehicles or pieces of scenery can also count for list entries, So now that’s sorted on with the Top Ten itself…

One of the great things about Simon’s blog is that you really don’t know what you are going to get, and this amazing find from the “Wizkids” “HorrorClix” figure range is a great example of that. Re-painted to represent the “Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog” of “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” fame, this wonderfully horrific looking “lupus” was as wonderful as it was terrifying!

Another “Wizids” figure at number nine, this time from their “Dungeons and Dragons miniatures game”. This wonderfully weird creature was given a remarkably simple paint-job by Simon, yet that doesn’t detract from the gruesomely great result. It instantly reminded me of “The Mire Beast” from the classic “Doctor Who” Dalek story “The Chase”, and became one of those “I’ll get one of those myself one day figures”. Sadly however, that day has not yet arrived, but if anyone has one going spare?

No. 8 - Arnulf by "Games Workshop" - May 18th
Though I make it no secret that I am neither a "Games Workshop" fanboy, nor someone who will be dipping their toe into the expensive “Age of Sigmar” pool, I have to admit that they do produce some truly awesome miniatures now and again. Arnulf and the rest of the miniatures Simon painted up from “Garrek’s Reavers” were all pretty awe inspiring, and would make a great band of Barbarians for pretty much any game, especially as a fantastic bunch of "Frostgrave" mercenaries. Ultimately though I chose Arnulf as my favourite as the painting of his flesh is just so right, along with his well suited metallic coloured weapons and helmet. A cracking figure!

No. 7 - Orange Adder Combat Lifter by "The Ion Age" - October 12th
All the 15mm “Ion Age” figures and vehicles Simon has produced over the last year are worthy of inclusion here so it was after much “to’ing & fro’ing” that I finally decided upon this particular model. I think what swung it for me in the end was the wonderful “Crimson Fists” Space Marine chapter inspired colour scheme. Painted to the usual high standard this is going to look mighty impressive on the battlefield.

No. 6 - The Master by "Warlord Games" - July 25th
I have said it before, Simon excels at painting black! He’s also pretty good at painting “Doctor Who” characters too. So this 32mm version of Roger Delgado’s version of the classic villain was always going to be in the running for this years “Top Ten”. As always the colour match is absolutely spot on with even the grey at the actor’s temples exemplary, and the painting itself seamlessly accurate. Painting black is hard (well it is for me anyway), but Simon makes it look easy, and that’s the real skill.

No. 5 - Hybrid by "Wizkids" - January 30th
Simon’s almost encyclopedic knowledge of super-heroes and super-villains stands him in good stead on many occasions, allowing him to pick up and enhance many an obscure character from “comic book history”. “Jimmy Marks” meant nothing to me until he appeared on "Fantorical" as Hybrid, but fortunately Simon accompanied the excellent paintwork he’d applied to the figure with a great little bit of background too. These little insights are always a pleasure to read and go to prove that he really knows his stuff. What struck me most though was what a great job he’d done on the figure!

No. 4 - Astronaut Action Man by "Ground Zero Games" – December 17th
15mm figures is something I have stayed right away from this year, whilst Simon on the other hand has produced some beautiful “little fellows” with the wonderful “Ion Age” figures very nearly making it onto this list themselves. It was however when he started showcasing these stunning Astronaut figures as part of his “Race to the Moon” Action Man project that he really outdid himself, with some top notch painting on both the figures and vehicles. I even warmed to his idea of basing them on “green flocked” bases once I’d seen them.

No. 3 - Mei-Lin Mayfair by "Statuesque Miniatures" - August 31st
Okay, so I’ve established that Simon can do black, but he is equally at home with white! This gorgeous figure by "Statuesque Miniatures" has been given this treatment to perfection. He intends to use her as a stand in for Major Mira Killian from “Ghost in the Shell” and should look mighty impressive on the table, especially surrounded by the rest of his “Killer Fembots”. Many of Simon's miniatures are deceptively monochrome, but this is not to say that the paintwork is basic or simple, layer after layer is built up producing a well-rounded finish, it’s just like good movie music, when it works you don’t realise it’s there!

No. 2 - Mandrels by "Black Tree Design" December 28th
Simon has painted a lot of "Doctor Who" miniatures this year (and I do mean a lot!), taking figures from both “Black Tree Design” and “Warlord Games” ranges. To be honest, the 32mm offerings from “Warlord Games” are the better representations, but I do have a soft spot for the 28mm figures “Black Tree” produce. As a result I was having a tough time deciding between “Kettlewells Robot” or one of the excellent “Sontarans” to add to this list when just before the deadline up popped these marvellous alien beasties from one of the all-time great stories “The Nightmare of Eden”. The colours are, as always, perfectly true to the originals, the details are spot-on, and the shading is absolutely first rate. Some of the best figures Simon has produced in my opinion.

No. 1 - Garrp Croaak by "Oathsworn Miniatures" - June 18th
So I hear you ask if they were so good, what has made it to the top of Simon's painting tree this year? Well the funny thing is each time I have done one of these “Top Ten’s” I wrangle and debate about what is going to be in it and what position they will take. Yet every year I know what will be number one as soon as I begin looking back through Simon's posts (if not sooner). This year was no different as the second I saw this 'so ugly he’s cute' little toad mage I knew he would top this year’s pile. In fact all of the figures Simon has painted from this range could have been in this list but I’ve tried to limit myself. The painting and colours are subtle and perfect, and his trademark gloss finish works so well with this chap, I could go on and wax lyrical regarding the subtle shading on his throat and the perfect colour used on his “bone staff”, but the truth is I just love everything about him. Just a truly great miniature, and that’s why he’s number one in my book.

So that’s it for another year, the votes are in (well mine are anyway and they are the only ones that count!). You may not agree with all (or any) of my choices but these are my personal favourites. Obviously, you will have your own (they are wrong, but what can you do!). As always I’ll finish by saying a huge thank you to Simon for letting me play “fast and loose” with his baby, and I will now give control back into the hands it is safest with. Here’s to another great year's painting and modelling on the pages of “Fantorical” in 2019.

A very happy New Year to you all, Cheers Roger.

And don't forget to check out Blax The Kleric's Top Ten of 2018 over on "Rantings From Under The Wargames Table"

22 comments:

  1. Obviously I want to give a huge thanks to Roger for spending some of his spare time pouring through my postings over the past twelve months. I believe there were in excess of over a hundred and forty or so miniatures for him to consider and his choices seem to have covered most of the main manufacturers I’ve taken to heart in 2018. In addition, I’m really pleased to see my return to 15mm has already made its mark upon a couple of his choices… Even if that had meant a few of my favourite “Doctor Who” and comic book related characters haven’t made the final cut!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a busy year you’ve had Simon with some truly great figures.
      Now I might not agree with all of Roger’s choices, I can certainly understand why he chose them. Here’s to more in 2019

      Delete
    2. Thanks very much indeed, Dave, and, predominantly due to your own infectious enthusiasm for "Star Wars", I hoping that next year's Top Ten will include at least one mini from "a galaxy, far far away" ;-)

      Delete
    3. Who knows what time will show, maybe a very large ape may make the list ! lol

      Delete
    4. LOL! It's right in front of me as I speak, as "Boom! Studios" released a "Kong On Planet Of The Apes" comic book this year, and its put me in a Simian mood :-)

      Delete
    5. Damn I must have hit the on switch on the psychic link again ! lol

      Delete
  2. Replies
    1. Steady now Fran, I don't want the success of Roger's Top Ten choices to go to his head... LOL :-)

      Delete
  3. Good choices, the output is prodigious and the quality is always great

    ReplyDelete
  4. An interesting choice to be sure and whilst I'd have chosen very differently, such lists are always subjective, so I'm not criticising Roger for the choices he made. It is always a pleasure to see these annual posts that you and Roger do.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Bryan, I too always enjoy these sort of postings, as Roger's choices aren't all aligned to my own either. Not enough "Doctor Who" or "Age Of Sigmar" for my liking, LOL.

      Delete
  5. Nice selection of figures that delivered a good retrospect of Simon's year in painting. You are both braver (or less of a control freak) than me. I'm not sure I'd be comfortable handing my blog over to someone else and would probably only do it if they lived nearby and knew I'd hurt them if they did it wrong :P .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks very much Horridperson. I've known Roger for many years, so am perfectly happy with him taking over the blog for a time - and I get to do the same with his. I also very much enjoy seeing what others think of my minis, good and bad, as its always so very subjective :-)

      Delete
  6. Cracking choices Roger, that bunny always gave me the creeps.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Michael. The bunny seems to be the picture "Face Book" picks to highlight this posting too, so it certainly seems to be catching people's attention judging by the response to Roger's Top Ten. LOL!

      Delete
  7. A nice read and some great choices. I agree that everybody would choose differently and that if we all liked the same things the world would be a boring place! What this does show is the diverse and eclectic selection of minis you can see on this blog. Roll on 2019!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Undercoat. Obviously your own Top Ten will show just how diverse a selection of minis people can choose ;-)

      Delete
  8. Nice selection Roger. Happy New Year to both you and Simon's families.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cheers Simon. Happy New Year to you and your family too.

      Delete
  9. Wow it seems that I have picked wisely this time as nobody (thus far anyway) has jumped on me for not picking this or that, I must be getting better at this!

    Sorry for the late reply to all your comments, the internet has been playing up here.

    All the best to you all for 2019.

    Cheers Roger.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well... I could go on about no Blightkings, Sea Devils, "Red Dwarf" or "Stix Brothers" Roger, but that might by picky ;-)

      Thanks once again for doing this for me, and I look forward to seeing what 2019 brings with your own postings :-)

      Delete

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.