Desert Island Miniatures

Posted by MortiS-the-Lost MortiS-the-Lost

If you were stranded on a desert island which 8 miniatures would you want with you?

In a recent White Dwarf (well 2 White Dwarf's in fact - 377 & 378) Jervis Johnson, in his regular feature Standard Bearer (the name of which always makes me think the Mr J is the only person at GW with any standards any more) did a sort of favourite (Citadel) miniatures of all time thing based around the Desert Island Discs idea. (For those of you reading this who don't buy WD or read the store copy and still don't buy it, I will summarize here and urge you not to bother buying WD).
The concept is as follows: Pick 8 miniatures from different periods of your hobby experience and talk about how they influenced you at the time. Because this was in White Dwarf (and because GW seem to keep Jervis in a cupboard to keep him from seeing what GW is doing to the hobby) Jervis was restricted to Citadel Miniatures and further restricted to ones that GW currently has available (meaning he had hardy any nice minis left to choose from). Anyway we here on The Lost and The Damned Forum are not so restricted – so here's an idea for a discussion ...

Pick your 8 'Desert Island Minis' and talk about them and how they influenced your hobby

They can be any miniatures from any company, any period, whether they are currently available or not as long as you like them and they has some influence on you (they don't even have to be ones you own)

Please include pictures as part of your post so we can see the miniatures you are talking about and please don't just make a list of your top 8 miniatures - take a few lines to talk about each miniature you've chosen and why (and if you'd like you can also include a luxury item and a book)

I will be posting my own choices later


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Billiam Babble Billiam Babble
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Re: Desert Island Miniatures

Eep.  Can't we just list the 8 figures we'd take to a desert island? - In a practical gaming sense?  

I mean, as a RPG-er WHQ-er I reckon I could improvise most scenarios with eight figures - possibly ...
(1) WHQ's wizard (or anything with a hood or Gandalf hat), (2) elf with bow, (3) dwarf, maybe a (4) knight (not the barbarian although the barbarian is very cool) and (5) halfling-thiefy type (perhaps something which is cross between the elf and halfling) - anything small with a cape, or even Frodo (or that cool halfling Mortis posted).  
Okay that's five, I'm already outnumbering the monsters - but PCs could double up as bad guys sometimes.  
(6&7) Two very early Citadel Orcs. Or maybe an orc and a skeleton (loved first generation plastic GW ... or tomb guardian). Minion-fodder.
(8) An ogre or troll of some kind - a big humanoid (old citadel Minotaur -metal? - I turned one into a balrog / Chaos demon thing with dragon wings).  Challenge/tribe leader/boss (but doubles as a fodder)
...and (9) a dragon...
I particular like the red dragon I bought last year, Smaug-ish thing LotR? Not painted it yet.  (Struggling to find pictures on line)
 Or maybe a smaller non-humanoid monster that would double up for everything big.  In saying that, you'd be surprised how many monsters in games are like bears/wolves/giant warthogs (I'm now torn and that's before acknowledge all the giant insectty beasties).
I do have a baby dragon which could pretend to be bigger.  Lovely little thing.  Gold, green, red, I think he's been every colour so far (been with me a long time, wings fall off every five years).

Drop the elf? or keep the dwarf as the second fighter/cleric and have the barbarian.  
I had some really nice old figures - some got swapped and sold I think (damn), I still think of some of the later figures as imposters.

The idea would be that I could play many different types of scenarios with myself, perhaps using pebbles for dungeon walls, and real ants for giant ants.

Now I want to play WHQ in the sand.  Or something D&D or T&T but made up - maybe Fighting Fantasy?  (Maybe MortisQuest? *grin*)  I guess I'd have to make some dice...

Sorry, if it wasn't quite the intention of the original article, but I've enjoyed smuggling the figures on the boat, anyhow. :) Cheers.

messyart messyart
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Re: Desert Island Miniatures

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If I can take a fuckton of GS & my full kit, then I'd take
1. My tank

2. My boomer

3. My Herald
4. My Greater Unclean One
5. My Witch

6. My Squig
7. My pirate cat

8. The model I refuse to show people.

I think that'd cover it.
I'm thinking practically. I figure I'll be there a while and not have alot to do.

+ after they are all done, I'll be able to start new models, using twigs and stuff as manequins
Mankinds first mistake; Questioning why those around him, are dying.
MortiS-the-Lost MortiS-the-Lost
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A few photos would be nice guys, just to give people an idea of what your talking about, even if they are catalogue photos pulled off the web  
~The ravings of a single mad Goblin is bad enough, but such a power-hungry, malice-filled creature as Mortis can never hope to be understood~
BobbieTheDamned BobbieTheDamned
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Re: Desert Island Miniatures

In reply to this post by MortiS-the-Lost
Ok I think you guys might have missed the fact its meant to be the 8 minis that most influenced you rather than trying to actually game with them

I'll try and get these in rough chronological order:

1. ESCI Plastic German infantry:

(Images courtesy of
My favourite figures from about the age of 5 when I started wargaming with all the Airfix, Revell, Esci ect stuff that my dad had. Still a great looking set of figures today (originally released back in '82), way to many specialist weapons but wargamers always play with to many of those so it works out well. This inclusion is more a shout out to how I started gaming than anything, without these sort of figures I might not be here today.

2. 1990 Ultramarines Captain:

(image poached from google search)
Not my first GW miniature by quite a way but one of the first that I bought and still really love. I've managed to loose the photo I have of mine and its all the way across the country at the moment. Mine isn't nearly as neatly painted as this one but this mini really did push me to try and improve my painting skills.

3. The Entire BFG Line:

(a few of my own BFG ships)
OK ok I'm cheating a little now, but I loved BFG when it came out. I'd been messing around making my own Star Trek ships and playing my own fighter games with the MicroMachines Star Wars fighters but Battlefleet Gothic was my first proper space game and its still great fun to play. I think the initial release was possibly one of the best balanced games I've played. This coupled with some amazing miniatures made for an awesome game.

4. Plastic Catachans!!

(One of the original promo shots taken from lexicanum)
I loved these figures when they came out, I bought about 6 boxes straight away. Not only were they incredibly cheap (£12 for 20) but they fitted nicely with the existing metals, everyone I knew at the time at least started an IG force because of these figures. Looking back at them they not the best plastic set GW have ever done but they're far far from the worst, sure the arms look pretty terrible but its the great faces that really makes these figures still make my top 8.

5. Peter Pig WW2

(image stolen from Peter Pig's website)
Now coming back to WW2 took me a while, but the Peter Pig line of figures forced me to. I first got shown them and the game they are produced for at a wargaming club and was hooked instantly. Such amazing detail for 15mm figures and very good levels of historical detail, its obvious this guy has done a lot of research before doing any of these figures.

6. Ground Zero Games New Swabian League ships:

I absolutely adore GZG's spaceships. They're always great casts, just the right level of detail for my eye, and sharp designs too. I love the NSL fleet in particular, not sure why but they're just interesting to look at. Definitely played a big part getting me into buying more spaceships.

7. Heresy Ghouls

(old picture of my ghouls)
Now I've been a bit remiss to not include any fanatasy miniatures until this point, I've always liked fantasy stuff but its not really until relatively recently that I've been buying a lot. These ghouls (sculpted by Paul Muller) are fantastic, just the right level of twisted odd-ness to stop them from looking like naked humans. Must get mine based properly.

8. Mantic Skeletons

(equally crappy picture of my skelies)
Now I've always loved the undead but never been 100% pleased with GWs attempts at skeletons. They've always seemed a bit naked to me. Mantic's on the other hand look amazing. I've been working really hard on some of their zombies and ghouls too (as well as using their parts with some other figures that I will post later this week). Getting more and more impressed with Mantic's plastics the more I use them.

There's so many more I'd love to include, so many great manufacturers and minis that I either own and treasure or wish I owned!
Marchomer Marchomer
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Re: Desert Island Miniatures

In reply to this post by MortiS-the-Lost
I realized that most of my "Desert Island" miniatures was already in the forum, this could be a good opportunity to resume old posts and explain why they will be the 8 of the Desert Island. Obviously my self-made miniatures don't need any comment (I want to take in the fucking desert island all the stuff I've made by mysef with so efforts! OK?)

1. The old Wood Elves Dragon by GW
Some simple reasons: I really do like dragons, this is my first dragon, this is a present and this is one of the most hated Players-Killer of my RPGs / Wargames.

2. The old Saurus by GW
This is one of the first miniatures I ever painted... I'm talking about 15 years ago (I painted it with varnish... I mean the varnish you could use for a car or a banister! The Saurus dried in two days. I was a little inexperienced... I didn't know acrilic paint yet!) , so more than anything else, he has every right to be part of the eight.

3. The HeroQuest Gargoyle bt GW
I get hooked on Wargames for the third time about two years ago because two things: "HeroQuest" and "The Lost and The Damned Forum". This is the miniature of the HeroQuest set I like more than anyone and this winged guy represents my reborned hobby.

4. The Orc Warboss ov Vyvern by GW
Like the Gargoyle (Bloodthrister?), this orc represents not only the second time I get hooked on wargames but also my painting improvements.

5. The Tarrasque by Marchomer

6. The old Troll by GW
The first miniature I bought after the Warhammer Fantasy box (when I didn't know that a Troll can't fight in a Lizardmen army), this troll preannounced my future orcs mania. (What a good paintjob! )

7. The Homer Juggernaut by Marchomer

8. Demogorgon by Marchomer

^ The Saurus and The Troll in detail.
+ Other planes lie beyond the reach Of normal sense and common roads But they are no less real Than what we see or touch or feel. +
Madame M Madame M
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So these are my models in chronological order. There aren’t eight of them, as I’ve only just really started getting into the hobby, so I’ve chosen a luxury item at the end of it.

1. Original Blood Bowl elf
Now I realise this is an old figure and I have only just gotten into the hobby, but this I remember from when my brother bought Blood Bowl way back when. I remembered it so well that by typing ‘Blood Bowl Elf’ into google I found the below pic almost immediately. I loved the Mohican!

2. Citadel Dragon Master
This mini is here as one year my brother convinced me to buy it and paint it up for Mothers Day. He bought the Lava Dragon and needless to say did most of the painting on both of them. Still, I got the kudos of being able to say I had done it.

3. Space Hulk Genestealer
Again, this one is more a memorable model than one I had any dealings with. I loved the sci-fi effect of it, and my brother painted the models he had in the original blue and pink colours. Having not seen the film Alien at this age, I thought the genestealers were based on the Alien. But now I see that I was off the mark. Not completely though – there’s definitely some resemblance.

4. Reaper lemur cleric et al
These figures I just love! I’ve managed to buy two of the triple so far, just missing the hedgehog hero, which I am searching eBay for. So far they remain unpainted as I am never around paint when it’s open, but that’ll be sorted one day. For now, have a pic from the Reaper website on how the lemur can be painted.

5. Sister Anja
‘My’ mini (well, Mortis’ if we’re being honest) for the Mortis Quest game. I love the way he’s painted her up (again – not getting me anywhere near paint at the moment) and she’s a fab little character. She’s even written a memoir post about the first Quest she was on. So this mini has to be included.

6. Warmachine Protectorate of Menoth
The model below is more an idea of a set of minis that I like. I keep meaning to buy some Menoth minis to be able to start playing Warmachine, and am yet to get around it. Seraching through google images I came across the below mini, which I like as it reminds me of Ludo from Labyrinth. Just the stance – it looks a bit bumbling.

7. Reaper Mousling Zombies
Okay, so these are in here to satisfy my girly need for something cute (like the platypus mage and others at number 4, but look at them – they’re so cute!!!! And that’s the entire reason they’re in the list.

8. My luxury item
Can’t believe I managed to remember/find seven mini’s that I liked to be honest, but sticking an eighth one in would have just been a case of flicking through random pics of mini’s to find one, and that would have no meaning whatsoever. So for my luxury item I would choose to take Mortis. I know, soppy as hell, but at least he could try and think of something to do with the above eight models, unlike me, who would be stuck on a desert island with eight mini’s and nothing to do with them!!

Hmm....hang on - is that Mortis or Gary Oldman? Or is there any difference?!  
Metropolis Metropolis
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MortiS-the-Lost MortiS-the-Lost
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Argh! This is a lot harder than I thought it would be, I've revised this list several times and I'm still not sure if I'm happy with it. There are some many miniatures I love to choose from ... ok here goes 8 miniatures to take to a desert island with me

1 A Citadel C-Series Orc

Ok definitely number 1 on my list has to be some thing from the Citadel C-Series and since my favourite race from the C-Series is the Orcs it has to be an Orc … this Orc in fact. This Orc was among the first miniatures I ever had. He may not be the best sculpted miniature but he's so full of character, the pose is just great and (I think possibly) unique. He's getting ready for a fight but he's clearly thinking hard (for an Orc) about something because he's scratching his head with his sword and his facial expression seems to say “wha?”.

2 Citadel Plastic Skeleton Hoard

Another bit of personal nostalgia is my second choice, these are the original plastic skeletons, again some of my first miniatures (yes I know it's a set and not one miniature, but if Jervis can pick a box of plastic Spacemarines in WD, I can pick a box of plastic Skeletons on my own Forum!) The ball-and-socket type joints meant that these little guys were pretty much infinitely poseable and have so much character because of it. They may be dead but the little things you could with these miniatures really made them come to life!

3 OtherWorld DD1 - The Demon Idol

If you don't know already; it's based on the iconic image on the cover of the 1st edition AD&D Players Handbook – this miniature/terrain piece/dungeon dressing is simply awesome and captures all the atmosphere of the original image in 3D forum and makes it (in some way) real. For me this what miniatures are all about, I watch fantasy films, read books, play computer games and even listen to songs about fantasy worlds, but it's through miniatures that I feel I really have part of those worlds for myself. If a picture is worth a thousand words then surely a miniature is worth a thousand more, for me miniatures bring fantasy to life more than any other medium and that is why this is my 3rd choice.  

4 Heresy Netherlord MK1

Now sadly out of production and replaced with the MK2 Netherlord which isn't nearly as nice, this is one model which I wish I had in collection but don't. I do own the similar albeit smaller 'Azaroth The Fallen One', but this is the one I really wanted. IMHO Heresy produce the best demon miniatures around, to me this is how Demons should look – it's Tim Curry in Legend … with wings!

5 A Citadel Stone Troll

For me these are the definitive Trolls, these are the Trolls that the pictures of the GW Mail Order Trollz from the 90's were based on. They're mean and dumb looking and carry huge stone troll-hammers, apart from one which is posed about to hurl a bolder down at some smaller creature and crush it to a pulp, again these are miniatures which I feel capture all the character of the creatures they represent.

6 Reaper Eyebeast

I've always liked Beholders and their unlicensed D&D-copyright avoiding kin, this is one such miniature from one of my favourite companies, Reaper Miniatures. This isn't just a regular beholder type either, it takes the inherent weirdness I like one step further, the sculptor (Julie Guthrie according to the website) has added extra eyes all over it's body, making it for me the perfect union of the classic beholder and the beholder-like creature from 'Big Trouble in Little China'  

7 A HeroQuest Miniature 

I'm not even sure which one, since I've only picked monsters so far, it should probably be one of the heroes … well not the young wizard I've never been that keen on the wizard really. Having said one of the Heroes, the Great Gargoyle is an awesome miniature and is the one that people remember best when they think of HeroQuest, beside the Barbarian of course …hmm ... can I take the whole game? I took a box-set as my 2nd choice, why not a boxed game?

8 Grendel's Magician's Study

Like my 3rd choice this is another bit Terrain/Dungeon Dressing. Although the photo from Soctia Grendel's website doesn’t show it very well this little set has tones of detail on it.
The sculptor seems to have been heavily inspired by some of the paintings from the old DragonLance series of novels and adventure modules, just look at the carved stone desk and the 3-headed dragon-portal, also the book cases and the magical paraphernalia they are cluttered with can be seen in background of several of the paintings and illustrations from DragonLance.

So that's my 8 miniatures, although there is of course many many miniatures I'd like to include (I havn't even picked any Sci-fi ones yet!), but now for the book and luxury item.

For my book, probably WFRP 1st edition

As for my luxury item, well I'm tempted to say my Girlfriend Madame M, but I believe it's frowned upon in modern culture to referee to attractive women as objects or property. So I think for my luxury item I'd have to go with a Coat D'arms Mega Paint-set so I could paint all the miniatures

Before I finish I'd just like thank everyone who's taken part in this article so far, it's been great reading everyone’s choices and seeing how different and similar all our choices have been so far.  
I'd also like to encourage anyone reading this to make a post here as well
~The ravings of a single mad Goblin is bad enough, but such a power-hungry, malice-filled creature as Mortis can never hope to be understood~
keith baggott keith baggott
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Re: Desert Island Miniatures

In reply to this post by Billiam Babble
‎ my list would be
1 the original plastic space marines the first box set i brought,
2 the original white dwarf,
3 the orginal rhino converted to a wirlwind the first conversion i did,
4 GRENADIER MODELS FANTASY LORDS GIANT UNDEAD CYCLOPS the model ive never got around to getting,
5 mantic ghouls/zombies for conversions,
6 grenadier war giant because its f**king awsome,
7 gw baby red dragon because this dude has been with me a long time
8 EFM bastard of the depths because its cool and ive got them for sale   lol
General Biakal General Biakal
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Re: Desert Island Miniatures

In reply to this post by Billiam Babble
finally got round to finishing my list:

iv not put pictures: i cant be arsed. you all know what modles i mean, if not google them you lazy twat. x

1. Venom
A very recent model, and the last model i bought. Not because i want a DE army, just because it’s such an amazing model. Very elegant sculpt and a very nice fit. The current DE range is easily the best collection of models GW has EVER made. And some other companies too. So dynamic, flowing and elegant.

2. Thunderbolt
I covet a Thunderbolt very much. It fits perfectly into the look of the Imperium and it has such a sense of movment about it. A very exiting model. Wish they would make it plastic!

3. IG command squads
With the new Guard codex came the new HQ squads. The Catachan one was brilliant and the cadian one was good, but you have no idea how these two kits changed the imperial guard. They opened up a huge new world for conversions and made exiting looking command squads possible. They also made you a fighting chance to get hold of decent special weapons. I cannot emphasise enough how important these are to guard players.

4. Tomb spyder
I just love this model. The head and arms have a sense of purpose and character. Much of the Necron range is “fuck it that will do” but the spyder is a real diamond in the rough. Its got a menace and a soulless but belligerent air.

5. Land Raider
I don’t have a land raider, and i would never buy one, but it is still an important and influential model. It was the first “modern” tank- great detail and loads of extras. It obviously represented a step forward in the technology at Lenton and the fact it is still a cool looking, timeless model says volumes. Every one of the new wave of amazing tank and vehicle kits call this one daddy.

6. The chimera family
From one standard chassis sprue GW have made a whole family of medium sized tanks, all with their own identity. Even weak looking ones like the deathstrike and hydra add to the feeling of continuity and identity within the guard.

7. Garden Of Mors/tomb banshee
There are not many Fantasy models i have a boner for, but these two, which are very much companion pieces, really impress me. I am impressed by the size and scope of the Garden and i am so impressed by the sculpt on the banshee. It looks so light and ethereal, yet still full of character. Easily my favourite fantasy model.

Luxury: precision glue and cutters
Book: Xenology (eldar poo blue crystals!!!!)

"WAAAAGH! VROOM VROOM!!! DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA! Dead gud innit yoof?!" - typical Mekboy sales pitch