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Author Topic: Sources for quality fantasy minis  (Read 192784 times)

Offline FramFramson

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Sources for quality fantasy minis
« on: March 30, 2012, 07:06:25 AM »
This has effectively become a list of all the Fantasy minis manufacturers of at least reasonable quality.

List of manufacturers:

This is by no means a complete list, but here's a few to get us started (all listed sites have an English version).

- Rights to the Alkemy line have been acquired by a fan group and new minis are being created! Along with the usual fantasy tropes, their factions also include some wonderful Shaolin-fantasy figures, and one of the best cat-people lines ever sculpted.

- Normally known for 54mm showpieces, they also have a few small 30-32mm ranges of good quality.

Avatars of War
- Dense, robust minis. Heavily textured with extensive detail and a powerful and aggressive presence.

Ax Faction (NSFW!)
- Small line so far, mostly consisting of very fine resin fantasy/steampunk minis, with a definite love of, er, skin.

Bad Squiddo Games
- Small line focused on “believable female miniatures”, so far with shieldmaidens both human and orc.

Blackball Games
- A small range still concentrating on various outlandish monsters, beasts, and elder horrors.

Black Scorpion
- Their pirate ranges include several fantasy races besides the regular human ones. Also many Fantasy Football/Bloodbowl characters.

Blood Moon
- A small selection of beast-, spider-, and snake-people, and not-fimirs. The current version of the website is a bit odd and may not load all the fantasy miniatures right away. I was only able to see them all by repeatedly going back and forth between the homepage and fantasy page.

Brigade Models
- Have a fantasy range under their "Celtos" line of figures. Ok figures for the most part, but there are a fair number of standout winners among them.

Bronze Age Minis
- A small to medium fantasy catalogue, combining conventional fantasy with classical and Hyborean motifs.

Brother Vinni (NSFW!)
- A small collection of fantasy miniatures, mostly (but not all) women in rather advanced states of undress. However, Vinni is an excellent sculptor and does have some perfectly ordinary fantasy miniatures suitable for any game table.

Cavalcade Wargames
- A few unremarkable humans & human-like figures, where they really shine are are their nicely interesting beasts and monsters, with lots of personality and good detail.

Former catalogue at http://cipher-studios.com, new owners at http://sodapopminiatures.com/
- Two minis lines, Anima Tactics (with very fine-featured, nearly ethereal figures, inspired by anime-flavoured artwork, with many useable in fantasy) and Hell Dorado (fantasy Age-of-Exploration). The Hell Dorado line is heavily stylized with a hint of cartoonishness to it, but has a wonderful and beautiful motion, great poses, and a high overall quality. Recently sold to Soda Pop miniatures.

Cool Mini Or Not
- Normally a reseller and an aggregate site, they do have a small line of exclusive figures created for their own sale.

- Focus mostly on fantasy historical lines of the classical world, but has many miniatures adaptable to general fantasy purposes.

Dark Sword
- http://www.darkswordminiatures.com
Noted for their unique focus on accurate and genuine human proportions for their figures. Some figures feel posed or static, but the sculpture quality is quite high with a large, well-developed catalogue. Also produce the official Game of Thrones minis.

DGS Games
- Medium-to-small line of stock fantasy figures, with good detail and quality. Source a lot of material from some of the lesser-known-but-still-top-shelf French/European sculptors.

- Small line of conventional fantasy minis, suitable for skirmish games. Sculpted and sold by our own Cotton Eyed Joe.

- Another manufacturer of detail heavy, fairly aggressive figures. These ones have something of an "edge" to them, with a distinctly sinister "dark fantasy" look to their line.

10mm: http://eurekamin.com.au/index.php?cPath=87_100_101
18mm: http://eurekamin.com.au/index.php?cPath=87_110_116
28mm: http://eurekamin.com.au/index.php?cPath=87_126_144
- Buried in the gigantic Eureka catalogue are several traditional fantasy packs. The 18mm lineup is comprehensive, but there's only a small smattering of 10mm minis and the 28mm figures are limited mainly to a series of centaurs.

- Multiple smaller fantasy lines, including their Draugyr undead and their Wyrdworld line of anthropomorphic fantasy creatures.

- Like Andrea, they mainly do 54mm showpieces, but have a few 28-32mm figures of good quality.

- Long-established manufacturer stretching back to the dawn of time, or, well, close anyway. Focus much more on historicals, but there has always been some fantasy mixed in.

Four A
- Assorted fantasy minis in a little more of an old-school style, with a mix between conventional personalities and some unconventional creatures.

- Werner Klockes' private enterprise, mostly consisting of pirates, though there are a fair number of pure fantasy figures sprinkled throughout the catalogue.

Games Workshop
Oh, you know the url.
- Everyone's favourite Evil Empire. Quality has risen steadily over the years, but character has declined. They employ an excellent stable of sculptors and still have some winners. CAUTION: Warhammer Fantasy range is currently being exploded and many kits are falling out of production to be replaced with who knows what.

- A fairly detailed and dynamic line that seems to follow the WHFB factions and units fairly closely, possibly offering a high-quality alternative to GW.

GCT Studios
- Makers of Bushido, an Asian-flavoured (specifically Japanese) game with some interesting and dynamic figures. A nice selection of Asian-style beasts, demons and monsters too.

Guild Ball
- Another fantasy football game, this one with teams themed by medieval guild trades; fishermen, butchers, masons, etc. A bit overblown, but fun, with lively sculpts.

Guild of Harmony
- A small, but respectable line of minis. Split between Asian-flavoured and more conventional fantasy.

- Much of the lineup is modern or sci-fi, but a sizeable chunk is fantasy. Clean, well-sculpted figures, many of which are quite affordable. Most of the figures universal fantasy types, of games, but there's also the small but very distinct "World of Twilight" fantasy creature line.

- Energetic and colourful minis, with a focus on a variety of lively demonic or barbaric creatures. Has Steve Buddles' Spyglass range and a few of the old Eolith miniatures as well.

Historic Art Miniatures
- Another site which mainly makes busts and large display figures, but has a few wargame-sized figures of very high quality. Also known as Nocturna Miniatures.

Imbrian Arts
- No human-types so far, but many and fantastic goblins and other fantasy creatures, all full of vibrant energy.

Lead Adventures
- Our very own! The lines produced so far trend towards certain specific areas (I doubt anyone else has quite so many furious pot-armed women lol), but the quality and character is undeniable. 

Mad Puppet
- A very small fantasy range, but with some excellent work on those few minis to be had.

Magister Militum
- Mostly a historical manufacturer, but has a good-sized line of 15mm and 28mm fantasy minis with an old-school 80's/early 90's style.

- Specializing in amazons and beastwomen.

Mannikin Studios
- Miniatures based exclusively on Arthur Rackham's paintings. Very small and rather eccentric range, but excellent quality.

Mantic Games
- Another company offering a "Not-WHFB" set of lines, with reasonable quality at a fairly decent price. A good affordable way to assemble a non-GW WHFB army.

- A small line of stock fantasy heroes and villains, offered under Matchlock's Lone Wolf line.

- A small-to-medium range with a slightly older style. The site has a special focus on dwarves and characters in winter gear, but has a variety of other figures.

Mierce (Bane Legions section is NSFW!)
- Carry two lines. 1) Bane Legions (formerly by Maelstrom Games) is very high quality, but practicality is not their strong suit. Line consists primarily of incredibly large and elaborate multi-part monster kits, and women warriors who wouldn't be out of place at an S&M convention, with a few "chaos"-flavoured "heroes" as well. 2) Templar's Forge is more conventional, with a fair variety of hero figures.

- Venerable supplier of a variety of Middle-Earth miniatures, from The Lord of the Rings all the way back to Tolkien's first age. Many figures are generic enough to be useful in a wide variety of settings.

- A small not-GW fantasy line, with a style sometimes reminiscent of Avatars of War or Confrontation.

Morland Studios
- A small line, consisting entirely of non-combat female miniatures from a variety of backgrounds (geisha, mermaids, traditional fantasy, etc.).

- Range consists of goblins, faeries, imps, gnomes and other assorted oddities. A slightly darker and more mischievous take on traditional fairy tale characters.

- A norse-themed game with a variety of factions, which is new and being slowly expanded. In addition to their particularly peculiar interpretation of "Norse", they also have some very "civilized" Orc heroes.

- Old-school style D&D monsters and adventurers, sculpted to modern standards.

- Conventional fantasy, but in 10mm format. Nice work at a smaller scale.

Privateer Press
- PP's world is much more Steampunk than fantasy, but they have a large number of minis adaptable for pure fantasy. Figures often have excessive detail and greebling of steampunk, but are still of a very good quality as well as often being dynamic and interesting. Some minis are quite large.

Raging Heroes
- A newer company, with many detailed and extremely fluid sculptures. So far mostly focusing on monsters and other strange creatures, with a few other figures besides.

Ral Partha
- Not quite their glory days anymore with few new offerings and a lineup that has its share of dated sculpts, but a good selection that still offers most of their legacy miniatures. The orcs, ogres, trolls and such are still of a high standard, with loads of personality and character and still compare very well to modern high-grade miniatures. They're also very affordable.

- Such a wide variety of sculptors that there's a tendency to be hit or miss (quality varying by age and and sculptor), but there's still plenty of good figures. Huge catalogue with a tendency to keep much of it in print. The new BONES line of figures in cheapo bendy plastic also offers some of the absolute cheapest wargaming fantasy figures out there, without these being too much worse than regular minis.

Red Box
- A large and growing line of fantasy sculpts, which - while still fully in the realm of fantasy - have a wonderfully conservative and realistic kit. Tends more towards the smallish side at 28mm non-heroic scale.

Rogue Miniatures
- Mostly a producer of modern-era "not-[TV or film character]" minis, they also have a smaller fantasy lineup ("sword" miniatures) based on similar "not-" characters.

Scibor's Monstrous Miniatures
- Scibor's owner has a particular love of dwarves, as well as for dwarven-like intricately detailed and textured surfaces. Great poses, expressions, and attitudes (especially in the holiday offerings). Has a fair number of non-dwarven minis and is working to expand those lines too.

- A medium-sized selection that covers a fair cross-section of stock GW-esque fantasy types. Has both monsters and heroes.

Sphere Wars
- Medium-sized range of alternate fantasy, similar in some ways to Confrontation's Cadwallon universe. Combines some unconventional beastly folks, new twists on demons, and some humans as well.

Splintered Light
- 28mm line of monsters and dragons, and a 20mm line of old-school 80's style fantasy sculpts.

- Small range of very colourful and characterful minis by our own Andrew Rae, with the initial offerings fitting the traditional fantasy adventurer archetypes.

- Newer company starting out with dwarves and gnomes, but with elves coming soon.

Studio 38
- Previously Kraken Editions, they have a decent quality line, including many anthropomorphic creatures if that's your bag. Unfortunately the site does not have an English option and - much worse IMO - is clunkily designed and does not even display their full line of figs. For instance, if you go to their Fantization shop at http://www.fantization.com/alkemy-krakeneditions.aspx you can see there are many more minis there than are on their site. Still worth a look.

Studio McVey
Some of the very highest sculpture quality available, these extremely fine resin works are priced to match (not for the faint-of-heart!). They are concentrating more on their sedition wars sci-fi line these days, but are still releasing fantasy miniatures as well (albeit at a reduced rate).

Tale of War
- Mostly focused on their very nice and dynamic Ron & Bones pirate line, but their expressive work can also be found in several additional smaller fantasy ranges.

Tercio Creativo
- Spanish manufacturer similar to Hell Dorado (age-of-exploration figures, with a Spanish focus, and a flowing stylized feel), but more realistic in sculpting and kit, with a few figures here and there suitable for use in general fantasy settings. Great motion and posing. 

- 54mm minis with several fantasy/pirate/animal skirmish themes.

Thunderbolt Mountain
- Tom Meiers' personal line of miniatures. Similar to Otherworld and Dark Sword, with a focus on older-style figures and more realistic anatomy.

Titan Forge
- Several mid-sized ranges of fantasy miniatures, concentrating mostly on conventional baddies, like orc, demons, and pirates.

- Several small lines with fantasy and medieval characters, with some eastern European flavour.

- Older Foundry minis as well as new ones in the same vein by some of Foundry's longstanding stuff. Range consists of various old-style orcs.

- A small range mostly revolving around orcs, trolls, halflings, and beasts, with a specific focus on halflings, zombie pirates, and "fantasy rednecks" such as bayou-dwelling orcs.

- A moderate sized range by several of our own longtime LAF members. A fairly comprehensive halfling army line, with a few humans, goblins, ogres and others. More to come!

- A newer one-man operation, who mainly deals in fantasy-football figures, but quite a few of them are easily adaptable for regular fantasy - many without any conversion.

Wrath of Kings
- Bizarre semi-human creatures of various kids. Fairly outlandish and unique sculptures, perhaps slightly reminiscent of Confrontation, only more wild and outré.

- Primarily a steampunk/western manufacturer (though one with more of a wild fantastical flavour to it) with a fair number of good-looking minis that can be easily used in a fantasy setting. 

- A newer Spanish game with a sort of Wakfu-feel to it. The figures are cartoonish, but a little less so than Hell Dorado (comparable to Freebooter). Nice fluid sculptures with plenty of energy.

Special Mention:

Confrontation Miniatures
No website
- Some of the highest overall quality and best character in a major miniatures manufacturer. Also has a fairly unique fantasy feel, with many very distinctive figures. Sadly defunct, with many old minis commanding ridiculous prices. A slightly stylized comic feel typical of many French game companies, though more muted and realistic in tone than some other offerings.

Feel free to add or suggest anyone else - no maker too small!
« Last Edit: March 12, 2018, 07:01:16 PM by FramFramson »

I joined my gun with pirate swords, and sailed the seas of cyberspace.

Offline jthomlin

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Re: Sources for the highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2012, 07:18:26 AM »
The masterful Mr Meier's own range:


Joe Thomlinson
"There is a pleasure sure In being mad which none but madmen know."

~John Dryden, The Spanish Friar, 1681

Offline Weesparky

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Re: Sources for the highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2012, 07:29:26 AM »

Offline Bloodsbane

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Re: Sources for the highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2012, 12:34:24 PM »
Great initiative!

Otherworld Miniatures
Old school style D&D monsters, sculpted to modern standards.

Freebooter Miniatures
Werner Klockes' private enterprise, mostly consisting of pirates.

Heresy Miniatures
Stocks Steve Buddles' Spyglass range as well.

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2012, 04:58:30 PM »
Added. Also updated the post with a brief blurb for the "Big Fellows" and added Cipher Studios as well.

Offline Cherno

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2012, 06:46:58 PM »
Ral Partha, the earlier stuff by Tom Meiers and lots of the later stuff, esp. monsters.

Offline Bloodsbane

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2012, 06:47:36 PM »
Imbrian Arts
Fantastic goblins from Australia

Mannikin Studios
Miniatures based on Arthur Rackham's paintings

I'll keep adding them as I think of them :)

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2012, 07:37:31 PM »

Also, added Brigade, Cavalcade Wargames, Mad Puppet, and Wyrd.

Offline white knight

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2012, 07:46:40 PM »
I made it a sticky to sit alongside the cheap fantasy minis thread. ;)

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2012, 08:12:48 PM »
Oh keen! Thanks!

Also added Thunderbolt, which I'd forgotten to add.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 08:19:34 PM by FramFramson »

Offline Orctrader

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2012, 08:36:09 PM »
I thought it was April 1st already.   ::)

Hasslefree...Can be fairly hit-and-miss for quality. Sometimes the figures tend towards being a bit "doughy" with a rounding that obscures detail and figures...

Personally, I could not disagree more with your comments.  Hasslefree quality is second to none and they produce some of the finest miniatures available.  (Which is why I paint so many of them.   :) LINK )

Brigade Models
- Have a fantasy range under their "Celtos" line of figures. Mostly mediocre...

I'm speechless...

Offline Comsquare

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2012, 08:41:37 PM »

Offline Anpu

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2012, 08:42:59 PM »
I thought it was April 1st already.   ::)

Personally, I could not disagree more with your comments.  Hasslefree quality is second to none and they produce some of the finest miniatures available.  (Which is why I paint so many of them.   :) LINK )

I'm speechless...

I have to agree with Orctrader here.

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2012, 09:04:46 PM »
It's not so much that I think all that badly of Hasslefree or Brigade, but they simply do not compare with the offerings from many of the high-end manufacturers on this list, such as Andreas, Confrontation, McVey, Red Box, etc.

I would point out that I still thought Brigade and Hasslefree were worth including on the list and they will most certainly stay on the list.

For the sake of avoiding arguments in what's supposed to be a utility resource thread, I will soften my language somewhat in the OP, though I still stand by my opinion.

EDIT: Added Tales of War.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2012, 09:12:43 PM by FramFramson »

Online phreedh

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Re: Sources for highest-quality fantasy minis?
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2012, 05:49:21 AM »
Great thread, Fram! Not much to add, I'm afraid. Black Scorpion, maybe? They only do resin nowadays, but the sculpting is top notch!


The only problem with a thread like this is it's a "slight tad" more subjective than "fantasy, lead and below two quid". =) I would never include the cricket players of Celtos on a list of highest quality minis. =D
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