Christmas period is coming! Holidays, free time, good food… and GIFTS!
Hey, call me immature, but I love that part of Christmas. Decorated tree, family around it, packages under it… and all these surprises waiting for you… Socks, ties, books you’ve already read, CDs you’ve already bought…
Miniature painter’s Christmas tree
No, wait. Let’s imagine something better. The hobby Christmas tree. True paradise for every painter in the world. A place, where every one of us will find a gift we actually want and need. First things first though – we need to decorate our tree.
Right, I believe we can now pick our first presents! I’m pretty sure many of us would love to get something really big and impressive… Cang the Implacable from CMON Miniatures maybe?
Of course, a standard size mini would be cool, too! Fantasy, like Studio McVeyAzumi…
…or SF model like this Dragao from the Infinity game, it doesn’t matter at all!
However, we could use our tree to make someone leave his or hers comfort zone. A larger scale historical model, like this Pegaso Models Templar Knight might be interesting, don’t you think?
We don’t paint busts frequently, which is kind of shame, as they are often such a great sculpts. Young Miniatures have many of them in their range.
We also can’t forget about gamers among us! Why don’t you surprise someone with minis they can use for gaming, maybe even released by a different company? Every gamer should appreciate these dwarfs from Avatars of War. Variety is the key to a nice army.
Of course, we all need additional stuff to paint all these minis under our tree. What paints do you use? Maybe it’s about time to try other brands and compare them? There are so many paints on the market, find the one that suits you best. Relatively new Foundation Paints from GW…
What else could we put under the Christmas tree? Good quality brushes seem like a nice choice for any painter. Famous W&N 7 series…
… or maybe less-known but at least equally goodRaphaël brushes?
Miniature painting DVDs
For those wishing to learn new tricks there are many instructional DVDs out there. This one released by Darksword Miniatures showcases a great female tag-team of Jen Haley and Anne Foerster.
So many products to choose from… not an easy task, I tell you.
What about you?
What would you like to find under your hobby Christmas tree? What would you like to give to your fellow painters? Tell us, we are all eager to hear that… and maybe someone will actually follow your request.
Do you know Yarry from the Enigma Miniatures? I’m sure you do, it seems to be one of the most favourite models of hobbyists all around the world 🙂
Not that I’m surprised, it’s a really cool miniature representing a standard hobbit – small body, big heart and hairy feet – and you could surely paint it as one…
…but it would be a bit boring. It is always good to make a background story for models you paint, isn’t it? You could make a pretty decent farmer or animal breeder…
Longer legs would surely be helpful to have a good look at all sheep in the flock… but something is still missing here. He’s such a handsome chap, true heartbreaker, ladies surely fight each other to get to him …
As you can see on the last pic, Yarry would be great as a comic book character. Here’s another proof, if you’re not convinced…
Comic books are really popular among Hollywood screenwriters nowadays. Yarry – an actor? Perfect candidate for the Oscar award, if you ask me!
By the way, I didn’t know that Aragorn was a hobbit. Anyway, acting is good and profitable, but being a music star is much more exciting…
… a music star playing something good, please…
…much better now, thank you! Hobbits are well known sport-fans, so Yarry might want to be a sportsman, too. If only he could make up his mind and decide which of the sport disciplines suits him best!
Right, on that last pic Yarry looks like a bad MF, not a sportsman. It’s rude to say MF, so let’s just assume he sometimes resembles a devil and acts as one…
You know what? Frankly speaking it doesn’t matter who he is… He’ll always be the same, good ol’ Yarry…
This was my humble homage to invention, imagination and skills of modellers and painters. You guys keep me surprising every single day. Thank you for that.
PS: All images were used without any permission granted. I do hope that none of the painters and/or Raul Garcia Latorre mind using their pics.
Let me keep the tension high for a moment longer to share a few remarks with you. The original article caught attention of many readers, made many of them leave comments or suggest their own candidates. Many people had fun, some did not. I felt a few words of explanation were deserved, so instead of a commercial break let me tell you something more about it.
What’s the deal?
Some people expected the list to be very serious, objective, unbiased and complete. It was never the intention.
Some people expected the list to be a very serious, objective, unbiased and complete list of the worst miniatures of all time. Unfortunately it was not the point and it was never the intention. The idea was to come up with a tongue in a cheek poll, which would collect those miniatures which make somebody say “oh my, this one is bad”. Not just because of poor sculpting skills, but for any reason, as long as you can explain it somehow. A kind of inside joke, which grew enough that we decided to share it with others.
I believe many of you have your own candidates, and even now a few manufacturers keep trying to make the worst miniature in history.
Feel free to post pictures of the worst/silliest/ugliest/etc. miniatures ever made. And if you explain your choice – it’s even better.
Yes, be subjective, be biased, be sentimental, be nostalgic. Show no respect! 🙂
The only rule: don’t post THE MINI, we already know many of you don’t like it. we’re looking for alternatives 😉 It would be boring to see it over and over again…
Now does it sound serious to you?
I hope it doesn’t, because I hoped it was obvious I exaggerated it enough to make it clear it’s not a serious thing. But we all know people only skim the internet, not reading the whole articles, so I am not surprised many people only checked the pictures (thus missing the wider context). Sorry, but I can’t help much if one doesn’t really want to read the whole thing.
The list was created from submissions posted to the original thread on our forum. Everybody could post their candidate, and no candidate was rejected.
Yeah, I could have made it clearer, but I didn’t. Maybe it was a mistake?
Well, now to another point: many people mentioned ” the author of the list”, which only proves they haven’t really read the text. The list was created from submissions posted to the original thread on our forum. Everybody could post their candidate, and no candidate was rejected. We even accepted candidates suggested on other platforms. So no, it was not objective at all, and no, there was no single author of the list. But yes, I was the person who turned the list into an article based on information gathered from several relaxed discussions.
Some people complained that some miniatures are on the list, while many other worse miniatures are missing – yes, that’s where you can help and post your own submissions. They won’t make it to the first poll, but still over 10 candidates can be entered for the second one. And now you can understand the idea much better.
Moving on to another subject:
Sculpt = miniature?
One common misunderstanding was that the worst miniatures are actually the worst sculpts. Not necessarily, miniature is more than just sculpting. It begins with a concept, often only a description or subject, then it becomes to take shape and ends at the final stages of casting and assembly. So for us the term “worst miniatures” was much wider than “worst sculpted miniatures”. If you check the list, many candidates were entered not because of quality of sculpting, but the concept that was considered bad by the submitter.
Miniature is more than just sculpting. To use movies as a parallel, when one has seen a movie and says “man, the movie was bad!”, it can have various meanings. It can be because of the script, the story, special effects, acting, or just because one doesn’t like the genre. And what if you think about miniatures this way?
Now you may say it’s all wrong. Yeah, it would be wrong for an objective and serious ranking. But wait, think about it this way:
You go to the movies, see a movie and say “man, the movie was bad!”. This can mean something different to everybody. One will complain because the script was poor, another one – because the story was boring, yet another one because of crappy special effects, somebody else – for poor acting, and somebody else because he simply doesn’t like the genre. Right?
If you think about miniatures this way, you may find that one calls a miniature bad because he doesn’t like hentai, another one – because the sculptor did a poor job of translating 2-dimensional concept artwork into a 3-dimensional miniature, another one – because of poor casting quality, and another one – because he had bad time painting the model. Got it?
Publicity for free
Now some people fail to notice how much attention was brought to some sculpts, sculptors or manufacturers because of this list. With thousands of views it means that those candidates were displayed thousands of times. And I would be completely surprised if it wasn’t reflected in increased activity and traffic at their websites. I thought that some of the readers would actually go to see more miniatures from the manufacturers we mentioned, driven by their curiosity. This would be a little reward for having their miniatures listed here… Call it free advertisement, free publicity. And if you want your website linked in the original article, just let us know!
Comments motivate us and point to some things which could be improved. My biggest thanks go to people whose miniatures were submitted, yet they commented on the article.Thank you very much and huge respect to you!
Some people got the idea of what we were trying to do and added their own candidates to the list, and we’ve been collecting them not only at our forum, but also in the comments to the original article and on our Facebook page. Whenever possible we included their original comments, because it was what the list was supposed to be. At the moment we’re in high 30s of the list, and if we ever reach 50, we’ll make another poll. Then the winners of both polls will be rivalling for the title against “the mini” (yes, another inside joke from our forum).
Somebody at Tabletop Gaming News (and even in a comment at our website) suggested that I should be nominated as a candidate to the list of worst humans ever. Well, thank you very much. As surprising as it was to me, I appreciate the nomination. I may actually be the only miniature painter in this ranking. 🙂
On the other hand there were many other comments, too. Both defending and attacking the list, and we appreciate them.Such comments motivate us to do what you enjoy or expect, and point to some things which could be improved. Thank you!
My biggest thanks go to people whose miniatures were submitted, yet they commented on the article. Moreover, they didn’t complain, but often either said that they found it entertaining or even provided additional facts on these models. Thank you very much and huge respect to you!
Would painters appreciate a list by the sculptors of what they thought were the worst Chest of Colors paint jobs? I would appreciate serious feedback, and would hope that unserious comments would at least make me smile, even if at my own expense.
Now this reminds me of an interesting comment made by Patrick Keith, who asks if painters would appreciate a list by the sculptors of what they thought were the worst Chest of Colors paint jobs? Well, I cannot respond for others, but I am sure many of my works would make it to the list and I wouldn’t really mind it. I don’t have problems with receiving criticism or feedback and am aware that some people might like to make jokes of my paintjobs. Well, we do it all the time, so I am not very sensitive about it, maybe until some kind of a line is crossed. If the list was made with serious comments – I would appreciate the feedback, if it wasn’t all that serious – I would hope it would make me smile at least, even if at my own expense. But it may be just me… So if you guys feel like making such a list, let me know and I can even publish it here with full credit to you 😀
Now without any further delays, let’s announce the most important information:
The winners are….
Nagash with 14,80% of all votes
Sunbathing orc with 12,85% of all votes
Minotaurs with 7,10% of all votes.
Yes, the old skull-faced clown owned them all. Even the nude orc was unable to beat the king, although he was pretty close.
The losers are…
Archaon on foot (0,75%)
We are sorry, guys, you didn’t steal the show. You tried, but you weren’t convincing enough. 😉
Odds and ends
We received votes from nearly 900 people within the last two weeks. Probably it’s not enough to make the poll objective, but enough to show some trends and tendencies.
The most controversial entries were Wild Dunger from Ramshackle Games and Wet Nurse from Kingdom Death. None of these miniatures were actually bad sculpts. Technically speaking they’re both fine, yet they were on the list. No, none of them won, so they must have collected less than 6% votes each.
So can they be called bad minis? Objectively speaking – no, subjectively speaking – possibly yes? It depends on who’s talking. But don’t forget that the amound of support these sculpts received proves how solid fan-bases both manufacturers have. And it’s something to be proud about!
Before a new wave of comments starts, let me tell you something about the bad guy who published the original article. As some of you may know (and many of you don’t have to), I am very open to different styles and genres in the miniature hobby/industry/business – call it what you like. I’ve got some really “special” (to call them in an euphemistic way) miniatures in my collection and very often enjoy painting such models much more than latest popular bestsellers. Let’s call my taste for miniatures… uncommon, and it’s often a subject of jokes in our hobby community.
Maybe the list should be named “miniatures so odd, weird, ugly, awkward, silly, ridiculous, badly sculpted, oldschool, etc. that only Mahon would enjoy painting them”?
Oh, wait, I might not be a great fan of the hentai-porn style of some Kingdom Death releases, yet none of them were my own nominations. And all the miniatures I nominated would be precious additions to my collections and I bet I would enjoy painting them a lot! Yes, I excluded “the mini” from the poll not because it was painted by me, but because it was already such a popular and obvious candidate to the title, that it would ruin the concept. “The mini” is supposed to be the ultimate opponent for the winners, and we will see how strong its position is. 😉
But why am I telling you this? Only to make you realize, that Nagash, the winner of this poll and my own candidate, would be a real gem in my collection. So would the sunbathing orc, and so would the lowly wild dunger… These miniatures are very amusing and entertaining to me. If I was really negative about them, if my taste for miniatures was more mainstream, I might not start the whole “worst mini” idea. Yet I did, believing that people notice how silly and unserious the concept is, and will enjoy it.
So maybe the list should be named “miniatures so odd, weird, ugly, awkward, silly, ridiculous, badly sculpted, oldschool, etc. that only Mahon would enjoy painting them”? Maybe it would make my concept clearer? 😀
The good, the bad and the ugly
What makes a good miniature? What makes a bad miniature? It can be a subject for another post.
I think we all kind of agree that naming this list “the worst miniatures” was not really accurate. That’s right, I admit it. But bear in mind it was not supposed to be a serious list, so the name was a bit provocative maybe? Well, it caused hundreds of comments over the internet, so maybe it was not that bad a choice? 😉
But yes, if it was supposed to be a serious and objective list, the name should be different… Moreover, a serious ranking would require some kind of defined criteria, a common set of rules to make all entries comparable. After all we all should know what a “bad mini” really is.
Yeah, that’s a good question! What makes a good miniature? What makes a bad miniature? But allow me to leave this for a subject for another post. And I hope you’re going to share your opinions on this subject, so we can take them into consideration in the planned post.
Your opinions are always welcome, thanks for sharing them. Thank you and enjoy!