25 Worst miniatures ever made?

EXPLANATION: While the post was supposed to be not-quite-serious and written with the tongue-in-a-cheek approach, some people took it pretty seriously. Still, some interesting discussion arose from it, so we thought it’s good to keep the post, but with the declaration of the original intention.

People often discuss which miniatures they like the most, which releases were the coolest, and what they would like to paint. Now we had a totally different idea!

Throughout the years many ugly miniatures have been made. Not only ugly, but also badly sculpted, or based on bad or ridiculous concepts. It’s time to find them, collect them and to find the worst one of all! 😀

When we started the discussion at our forum, it seemed obvious that everybody’s first candidate was Nagash. Some must have even wondered if there can be anything to beat this ugly model. But we have good news for you! We collected 25 miniatures which will compete for the title of the worst miniature ever made! And believe me – Nagash cannot be so sure of keeping his title!

We created a little poll for you to vote. Please review our candidates, and choose your favorites. The winner of this round will compete with a few next winners for the title of the ultimate Worst Miniature Ever Made!


Candidate #1: Nagash [Games Workshop]

This used to be unrivalled favorite in the ‘worst miniatures’ category before some other candidates were found.

Taking a quick look at the original artwork and comparing it to the sculpt reveals all the horrbile truths about this model. What was supposed to be the most sinister lord of the undead, became a poorly sculpted clown. Unfortunately there are many others, who try hard to earn the title of the worst miniature ever made!

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #2: Sunbathing Orc [Metal Magic]

If you don’t have a strong mind, better don’t check a full-sized photo of this miniature. It’s a challenge to your sanity! You will see an orc with all the anatomical details, and it’s not a pretty sight. Well, you’ve been warned… It’s great that sculpting quality isn’t too good on this one. 😉

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Sunbathing Orc

Candidate #3: Ariel [Games Workshop]

Some people claim the model is not bad at all. But some can’t accept this huge butterfly lady as the queen of wood elves. Although Games Workshop’s sculptors often proved they see female beauty in their own special way, this is one of the times they outdid themselves! Just look at Ariel, the Queen of Athel Loren and behold the fullness of her beauty!

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #4: Wet Nurse [Kingdom Death]

OK, this is a strong candidate. Maybe not bad as far as sculpting skills go, but the concept is controversial at least. Some say it’s offensive with all the private parts exposed here and there, some say it’s only ridiculous. If you want to see a penis-nosed snail in a shoe, check this miniature out. You will get a raping tail and lots of arms and boobs as a bonus 😉

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Wet Nurse

Candidate #5: Infant Sunstalker [Kingdom Death]

Kingdom Death again! This time with a vomiting toad of many arms. Need to say more about how silly this concept is? Or is the photo enough for you?

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Infant Sunstalker

Candidate #6: Mezoghoul/Ezoghoul [probably Target Games]

It wouldn’t be all that bad if it was a small miniature, but this beast is not small. Call it a classic if you want, but it’s difficult to defend such a sculpt. Here it goes – for your viewing pleasure 🙂

UPDATE: As we learned from the comments left by our readers, the model was labeled “Mezoghoul” by mistake. Probably the author didn’t want to give it a second look, which would be necessary to correct the typo. 😉

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #7: Musician [Rackham]

Although Rackham was famous for their great sculpts (and poor business decisions), they had several memorable pitfalls, too. This musician os one of them. General concept and composition make it one of their classics for sure.

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #8: Archaon on foot [Games Workshop]

Now we’re back to Games Workshop’s models. Although some people stand in defense of this model, we will not try to ruin its chances of claiming the title! While the mounted version of Archaon became a classic (especially for its monumental pose and excellent steed), this one is just an opposite. It looks like a quick and poor conversion of the mounted version. The legs look a bit awkward and the general proportions don’t help – huge and massive legs plus a tiny head are a killer combo!

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Archaon on foot

Candidate #9: Great Space Ape [TinMan Miniatures]

Unless you’re much into retro sci-fi, you may find this concept disturbing or at least weird. Maybe it will be enough to make it a winner for you?

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Great Space Ape

Candidate #10: Mind Eater [Reaper]

Reaper Miniatures presented many surprising sculpts in their catalogue. This one became a candidate for the title of the worst miniature ever made. Isn’t it cute in its way? So what is it? A brain on insect legs with leaf-shaped claws? If it isn’t enough for you, take a look at the amazing sculpting quality and behold the mind eater!

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Mind Eater

Candidate #11: Dark Elf Witch Elf [Games Workshop]

Games Workshop must have mastered the art of making excellent female models! Here they are again with dark elf witch elves. Fantastic and well sculpted haircuts and beautiful faces are what these models… surely don’t have. And anybody who thinks weapons should be at least usable will be surprised with the funny objects they carry…

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Witch Elves

Candidate #12: Barbarian [Assassin Miniaturen]

If you’ve never been to a body building contest, you will reconsider any chance of seeing one after taking a closer look at this barbarian. His muscles must be the example of beautifully built masculine beauty. The question is only: Is he human, or some other species? No human I’ve ever seen looked like this. But maybe barbarians have different muscles than us, modern humans?

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #13: Tiki the Wood Golem [Reaper]

Now, focus for a few seconds: It’s not a toy, it’s not a cheap toy. It’s a miniature from Reaper. Just take a look at those wonderful proportions, great texture of wood and excellent facial expression. Add to this its great body shape, stance and you have another candidate for our title!

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Tiki the Wood Golem

Candidate #14: Minotaurs [Games Workshop]

If you know what smoked ham looks like, you don’t have to look at those minotaurs. Or maybe take a minotaur and put it on your sandwich instead of ham? The official paintjob didn’t help those guys, but if you take a look at the way their muscles are sculpted, you will be amazed how creative the sculptor good. Or maybe they live on the same planet as candidate #12?

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #15: Dimitri [Taban Miniatures/Eden – rejected]

Taban Miniatures and their Eden line of miniatures are most likely known for nice miniatures in post-apocalyptic theme. They ooze character, and generally look cool. But sometimes you want to ooze too much and look too cool. That’s what you get for trying too hard:

UPDATE: Thanks to information from Mohand we know that the sculpt was rejected and wasn’t released. Good decision, guys. But we can’t allow this little gem to be unknown by people 😉

Photo: 25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made

Candidate #16: Etoile Mortant [HeartBreaker/Target Games]

We can’t recall the name of this model, but it’s a good miniature from the Warzone game. The face is another interesting approach to sculpting female faces, but this time the sculptor was pretty successful… at making her look like Whoopi Goldberg. Is this enough to make it a good miniature? Don’t think so…

If you can tell us the name of the model, it will be very helpful!

UPDATE: Thanks to Thomas Schadle we know the name of this model now.

Photo: 25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Etoile Mortant

Candidate #17: Imperial Rams Air Cavalry [Target Games/Heartbreaker]

Fortunately this time Warzone gave us another chance to show something remarkable! Take a look at this soldier and compare it to the original artwork. Don’t you see real combat stress and exhaustion on his face. Boy, it’s a real war face! Or should he be given a latrine instead of the rocket? 😀

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Imperial Rams Air Cavalry

Candidate #18: Dusk Realm Demon [Target Games/Heartbreaker]

Are we done with Warzone? Are we done with Target Games and Heartbreaker yet? No! Without this dusk realm demon this list wouldn’t be complete! And to give you some explanation of how horrifying this thing is, let me quote this description:

…the Dusk Realm Demon is a brute in every sense of the word. It exists only to kill and maim and while it is given to fits of blinding rage, it commands a keen intellect. These Demons seem at home in the utter dark of the Under Realms and the sweltering twilight of the deep jungles. So hideous is the presence of a Dusk Realm Demon that it causes abject fear in all who encounter it and like its smaller cousin, is capable of devastating attacks with its horned head. A charging Dusk Realm Demon has been known to be able to withstand the charge of a Bull Myrmadon…..

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Dusk Realm Demon

Candidate #19: Stygian Venom Spawn [Target Games/Heartbreaker]

Shouldn’t this miniature be called “Stygian venom spider spawn” – it will remain a mystery. But even without the mystery you can see that it’s a really uncommon sculpt. A model which will have its place in the history of miniature painting hobby.

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Stygian Venom Spawn

Candidate #20: Bad Girls [Fenryll]

Fenryll must be one of the masters of creating mediocre sculpts and presenting them with mediocre paintjobs. But sometimes they do something that really shines. Something that will change your concepts of ugly and nice. Just see what their bad girls look like. Most likely they won’t need any further comments…

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Bad Girls

Candidate #21: Kaos Monster [Acheson Creations]

Why would one sculpt such a thing? Why would one buy such a thing?
And no, it’s not a small mini. Can’t justify it with size. It’s big and it’s memorable. It’s even unforgettable. Solid candidate to the throne!

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Kaos Monster

Candidate #22: Wild Dunger [Ramshackle Games]

This one will be haunting you in your dreams. And prepare for some worse news: There are more of them. And a huge version of a dunger, with lots of crew on platforms, nicknamed a “fork lift with idiots on top”. Are you brave enough to see it, follow the link to the thread on our forum. Yes, you need to see all the pages! 🙂

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Wild Dunger

Candidate #23: Wight Lord [Heresy Miniatures]

Mr. I-believe-I-can-fly, or maybe a gymnast? Or maybe he’s dancing zbójnicki – a Polish regional dance? Aside from the pose, sculpting quality alone would be enough to impress us! Just take a look at the armor he’s wearing. It’s some plate armor and… no, it can’t be chainmail. Chainmail doesn’t look like a cloth with holes. Or does it?

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Wight Lord

Candidate #24: Drakon Riders [Mantic Games]

If Mantic Games were supposed to release a wargame with 10mm miniatures, these would be decent dragon riders for the scale. Unfortunately they’re not 10mm and they’re not cool. Enjoy or watch out..

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Drakon Riders

Candidate #25: Lurking Danger [Assassin Miniaturen]

Nameless already described this model so well, that adding anything would be ruining this description which already reveals all the assets of this model! But read it by yourselves:

Please note the pretty face, cool anatomy, street lamp with height suitable for a dwarven city and clever use of that lamp to create the flight effect… guys, stop it, she IS FLYING…

I’ve just noticed two… spherical objects (no, I will NOT use word “balls” here) in a very unfortunate place, right under her left palm…

25 Worst Miniatures Ever Made
Lurking Danger

Vote for your favorites

This poll will run for a month, which means it will be open until the end of November. Until then you can vote for your favorite three miniatures from the list. This will allow us to find out which miniatures are the worst of them all. So…

UPDATE: We removed the poll, because it is closed now. The results were posted in a separate announcement.

That’s (not) all, folks!

The subject is so wide and there are so many gems to be found, that we decided to allow more candidates to be entered. When we have 50 candidates, we will allow to vote on the next 25 (candidates #26-50). And after a few such polls, we will make grand finals, to find out the ultimate winner of the title of the Worst Miniature Ever Made.

If you would like to add your own candidates to the list, feel free to add them in comments here, in the respective thread on our forum, or respond to one of the Worst Miniature announcements on our facebook page. Thanks a lot!

And in the meantime, please vote for your favorite candidates. Support the worst miniature of your choice! 😀

PS – most photos were found on the internet and used without permission of their respective authors. If you are one of them and want your photo removed – let us know and we will remove it at your request.

Next step: Mona Lisa – Scandal at Golden Demon Australia?

Just as most of you probably know, Golden Demon Australia 2011 was held in Sydney on October 1st. And as some of you know, there was something wrong with one of the entries. I mean the dreadnought which won gold in Warhammer 40K Vehicle category, and you surely guessed it already.

Dreadnought Twins

For those of you who are not familiar with the subject, let me explain that after the Golden Demon some photos of entries were published on the internet. And somebody spotted a suspicious photo… “Hey, isn’t it Bohun’s dreadnought?”, he said. And yeah, he must’ve been right!

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Dreadnought entered at Golden Demon Australia 2011

The dreadnought in question looked exactly like the one Bohun showed on our miniature painting forum a few months ago. He even posted some WIP pictures, so we had no doubts he actually painted that one. So the new one had to be either painted by Bohun himself or a perfect copy of his paintjob.

Of course it’s possible to commit a forgery that can’t be disclosed, but it’s very unlikely in this case. Bohun‘s style is quite unique, and we recognized the paintjob with ease. We immediately contacted a few people, who could be interested in it – including Bohun. He thanked us for spotting the issue, because he wouldn’t even known about it.

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Bohun’s Dreadnought (official photo by Bohun)

The plot thickens…

Most of you probably know that at most Golden Demons there is a rule that one must be present at the Golden Demon to enter his works in the contest. And I mean personal presence, or otherwise they should be disqualified. It works a bit different in Australia because there is no requirement of personal presence, and there’s store and regional qualifying instead. We knew Bohun didn’t go to Australia and we know him as a painter who doesn’t need to do something as wrong as asking somebody to enter the miniature for him to win yet another Golden Demon while risking his reputation and good name. So we could be quite sure that it wasn’t entered by him or on his behalf. This was a commissioned job, so it was very likely that the customer who bought the miniature decided to enter the miniature in order to try to win a Golden Demon.

Unfortunately similar things happened before, too. Some people entered purchased or commissioned works before, and while some wanted to make a nice surprise to the authors and credited them as authors of the miniatures, some entered them as their own. Well, Bohun had bad luck of having the latter kind of customer. The person who entered the miniature, entered it as his own work. Now that’s really bad conduct, isn’t it?

Epic fail

Fortunately the guys from Australia (Sebastian Archer and Kyle Morgan) took care of the whole thing very seriously. Thank you guys, you did great job! They investigated the case and when they received pictures of the original work by Bohun, it was obvious the miniature at Golden Demon was not a copy but the same model as on Bohun’s works.

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Comparison of both photos.
Slight adjustments in colors made to recreate studio lighting conditions better in order to make comparing them easier.

But then yet another attempt was made, (un)fortunately a failed one:

Somebody signed up to our miniature painting forum and posted such a message and signed it as INTHEKNOW. We can’t be sure if it’s the same person or not, but let’s quote the message:

@ Angora and posters this my apply to.

I has come to my attention that there are accusations being made not only on this forum but on others. I would be very careful about making slanderous comments in public without proof. I can assure you this matter has been fully investigated by the event organisers and they have been in contact with the people who are actually involved.

While the Dreadnought in question was based on Bohun’s painting style, and a tuition and feed back was given by him, it was not painted by Bohun.

To save any controversy, and with the agreement of all parties involved, the Demon for the Vehicle category was was handed back, and given to 4th place.

As he had not cheated he was able to retain all other Demons won. The person at question will also be able to enter next years GD without limitation.

However, if this isn’t enough information for you I suggest that you either get in contact with GW AU directly or I’m sure you can contact Bohun by sending him a PM or finding the email from his site. Failing that please feel free to PM me.

So what is wrong with it? Why do we call it a failed attempt?

Just a day before this message was sent I had a chance to meet Bohun in person. We talked a bit at Hussar 2011 and even had a chance to visit him again and to see his works. And Bohun denied having given the person any tuition or feedback about how to paint such model. Now the real shame is that he could have chosen to say he was unaware that entries had to be sole works of the entrants, not just owned by them. Although still difficult to believe, this explanation would be more credible than his. But he still claimed it’s a different model…

Now take a moment and compare these two models. Take a little adjustment for different lighting conditions at the contest and in a photo studio. Don’t they look like the same miniature? To me they do. These small swirling patterns look exactly the same on both minis. One would have to be a fantastic painter to replicate this pattern with such perfection. Then look at those stains on both bases. Identical, aren’t they? And if he has such skills, why didn’t he enter his original work but a copy of Bohun’s dreadnought?

Next stop: copying Mona Lisa

Kyle nailed it with his comment at the OZ Painters forum:

I have to say…. if this guy is did infact manage to copy the original Dreadnought, so much that it even came down to getting the battle damage and rust in the exact same spots, then he is truly entitled to winning that Demon…. Hell he should have won the Slayer Sword for being able to copy the original to a tee…. I mean why paint minis when this person clearly has the skill to copy any artwork…. next stop, copying the Mona Lisa!

You still don’t believe?

According to a post from the OZ Painters forum, this was not the first time he was disqualified for playing unfair and breaking the rules. As member difsta writes:

Hi all, I’m new to Oz Painters, but not new to [him]. I used to me “mates” with this guy. That was until he was caught cheating at tournaments with loaded dice. The same dice he used against me in friendly matches, at my house, while drinking my beers.

I was involved in catching him out with the dice as well as catching him out with the Golden Demon issues. For ages [he] used to send me photos of models that he had supposedly painted. When this all came out I provided photos which he sent me, which were found on places such as cool mini or not as well as bohun’s galeria (some of which you have already seen). he didn’t even take the photos, he just sent me the photos that the actual painter had taken. Here is an example.

Then he posts pictures to prove his point. I will leave it up to you to judge by yourselves.

And justice for all

Eventually the entry was disqualified, and results corrected. And justice for all…

Oh really? For all?
He won more trophies on that day, but he was only disqualified from this one category. Fair or not? Let’s leave the judgement to you, but that’s what the rules say. There’s no reason to disqualify him from other categories.

But to show you a different approach to the subject, let me quote the rules of Hussar competition:

2.1. Submitting an entry breaching the rules will cause disqualification of all works of the painter.

2.2. Submitting a team work or work of other painters will cause disqualification of all works of the painter and ban for all future editions of the competition.

2.3 Disqualification can happen after the results announcement, if evidence is found.

It doesn’t pay to cheat, does it? 🙂

Space marine’s regret

Unfortunately it was not the only time such things happened. We only know about a few more, which involved us in some way, but there have surely been more. Let me give a few examples.

Many years ago somebody entered Irkuck‘s and Demon Color’s models at one of Golden Demons in the US. Fortunately for all parties involved those models didn’t win anything and we never learned who did it. We simply spotted these painted miniatured on photos of entries in one of photo reports from that Golden Demon.

Then in 2007 we received an email from one of our customers, informing us that he won a Golden Demon with miniatures painted by Ana. He entered them as his own and to his misfortune, they won a silver Golden Demon in Warhammer 40.000 squad category. He apologized about it and even sent us the trophy, but it still felt a bit unfair because Ana was not there and would surely be unable to afford a trip to Canada. It was the first Golden Demon won by any of her works, so some people might suspect she was involved in it, so we tried to resolve the issue with Canadian Games Workshop, but we only heard that they didn’t help us much beyond telling us they’re glad to know the winner passed the trophy over to the author of winning miniatures. Well, nevermind… Not the best way to get your first trophy, nothing to be proud about. Yet all the lists of GD winners, like the Demon Winner site, credit the person who entered the miniatures for his winning entry.

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Squad entered at Golden Demon (photo from GD gallery)
Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Obviously the same squad. Official photo from Ana’s gallery.

Fortunately the guy really regretted what he had done and in 2008 entered his own work depicting a space marine asking for forgiveness. Nice touch…

Kindness of strangers

Ana wasn’t very lucky when it came to such situations. It must have been in 2009 that her Dark Angels command squad was entered by the owner of their miniatures at Golden Demon in Baltimore. This guy was fair enough to enter it as Ana’s work and credit her for the entry, but the miniatures… win a silver trophy again. Unfortunately it was done without Ana’s consent

Photo: Scandal at Golden Demon Australia 2011 - Bohun's Dreadnought
Yet another victim of kindness of strangers…

Some people congratulated Ana, some said it was a pity they didn’t have a chance to meet her at the Golden Demon. Generally the social reception was very positive, but we didn’t want to go the unfair way and contacted Games Workshop US about the case, asking the customer to do the same. We asked them to decide how to resolve the problem, because Ana wasn’t present at the GD, and it’s required by the rules to be there. We suggested it would be best to give the silver trophy to the winner of bronze, and to give bronze to the next person in the line – unless it’s impossible or too difficult to do. Fortunately things went just the way we suggested and the owner of that Dark Angels command squad didn’t object to returning the trophy. We believe he only wanted to do Ana a favor and win a trophy he thought miniature painting deserved. But we were happy to know the trophies went to people who won them abiding by the rules. You can see the corrected list of winners to see that things have been addressed properly.

There are plenty more fish in the sea…

Maybe you can share some suggestions how to deal with such problems? We are aware that Games Workshop cannot know the authors of all the works entered in Golden Demons. That’s where the international community of painters steps in. It’s us who can spot such cases and report them to the responsible persons. Hopefully they will act as promptly and efficiently as some of the examples above prove.

And what is your experience with this subject? Did you have similar problems, or do you know somebody who did?
It surely is more of a problem for people who paint for others, as they lose control over their works after they’re shipped to their new owners. That’s where our “community watch” is most useful and necessary.

Were there more of such problems? Surely, but we don’t know about them.

Maybe you can tell us about the ones you know about?

Feel free to leave a comment to share your opinion with us.

— Mahoń

Between the Lines – Episode 2

Bases are very important for any miniature. They set up the mood and help to create a story behind the model. Usually they are made after completion of the painting work.


Szczurek’s approach to this issue is already legendary on our forum, as he first creates a base and only then thinks about a mini to put on it. Interesting, isn’t it?

I had to use one of his bases for Between the Lines. I had to.

X-Files. 20 years and 1 minute later.

X-files - Between the Lines #2

Enough of Szczurek’s works. Next episode of Between the Lines will showcase another painter.

Between the Lines – Episode 1

Everything was better, when we were young. Everything. Girls were prettier. Bands were playing harder. Beer was tastier. Miniatures were looking…

 Ok, they weren’t. But there was that special, magical feel about them, right?

 Everything was better when we were young. The best thing about those days was that we were young.

 TV series were better, too.

X-Files. 20 years later

X-files - Between the Lines #1

By the way, this is one of the Szczurek’s old paintjobs. I have a feeling we will see another one from him here in Between the Lines cartoon quite soon…

Between the Lines – Grand Opening

Do you have that feeling sometimes? I mean, you see a picture with painted miniatures and a story comes to your mind?

I have it quite often.

I believe you have it too. Your stories are – I guess – pretty serious. Nothing surprising, if you ask me. Miniatures we usually paint are just like that – serious. Dead serious. How could your stories not be serious then?

Mine are not. Well, frankly speaking – not always. And that’s how Between the Lines came to life. I began writing these less serious stories down. It all started when I saw this great diorama by Julien Casses, which had got him bronze demon at one of the GDs in 2009. It was brilliant, perfectly executed and painted, but there was one small detail which caught my attention. Picture is worth thousand words, or so they say, so I’ve made this strip for Julien instead of a more standard comment.

Lethal Weapon

War of Macragge - Lethal Weapon - Between the Lines #1

Let’s finish this first episode of Between the Lines with an invitation and fun contest.

First, I recommend you the Julien’s website – it’s just packed with miniature goodness. And now the contest… the first person to contact me with title of the film I quoted in this episode will get my congratulations.Wait, you haven’t expected a serious prize, have you?