There are a host of excellent miniature manufacturers/creators out there at the moment (early 2015). We are spoilt for choice. Even when looking at 15mm alone the guys feeding the habit are doing some splendid, even amazing, things.
My personal journey in 15mm started about 20 years ago. Then it stopped for about 15 years and only kicked off again a few years ago. The change in that period has been quite impressive. The first few months ‘back’ was like being a kid in a toyshop as new creations and suppliers were discovered – or older ones rediscovered and bearing witness to their growth (or not in a couple of cases).
One of the many joys I found was Splintered Light Miniatures. Great range, imagination and quality sculpting and casting. Fair prices too – shame SLM are in the US as postage (and the Customs man in particular) can be painful. I now possess more lead from SLM than I will likely manage to paint.
One of the many highlights at SLM are the sculpts by Bob Olley. I don’t care that the ones at SLM are technically “20mm”. The majority (dwarfs aside) work happily along side other 15mm “Fantasy” miniatures. “Fantasy” being the operative word there – it is after all fantastical subjects we are looking at. If you want to argue the height of an elf compared to an orc is such and such I’ll probably laugh in your face and suggest you take up train spotting instead.
Here is the tip of the Bob Olley mountain of lead I have to wade through. When I say “wade though” that makes it sound like a chore. It’s not. These are so much fun to paint, and admire afterwards, that the “Mountain of Olley” is indeed a fun place to spend a lot of time.
Enough musing. The Bugbears;
Requested Scale Comparison:
Clearly being 20mm may raise questions in the scale department when using alongside 15mm. As request on TMP here is a pic.
Left to Right: 10mm GW Warmaster Orgre (work great with 15mm too!), 15mm Essex Viking, SLM 20mm Bugbear, Foundry 28mm Pirate, finally, one of my oldest minis, a 25/28mm Ogre (from Grenadier I think).
Before anyone complains, I know – this band is a mash-up of a few periods and races. Trust me, I know; but I don’t care. My interpretation of a Dark Ages warrior band is simply that. Mine. And it benefits from lashings of fantasy, artistic license and buckets of personal preferences.
These are mostly Splintered Light Miniatures and Xyston Miniatures and at the moment represent a sub-Roman Arthurian band of warriors. Initially conceived for Songs of Blades and Heroes (specifically The Song of Arthur and Merlin) but with additions from my more ‘conventional’ 15mm hosts I could easily run forces for SAGA or either of the Dux rule sets. But that’s a different story.
Gamer Confession*: Despite having a few hundred painted Dark Age and Early Medieval forces, and a host of unpainted of the same, I am waiting for a new order from Splintered Light Miniatures for more Vikings, sub-Romans and other friends. Does that make me bad? (David at SLM was having a 20% sale!)
* Gamer Confession is a new category I’m going to be adding occasionally. This represents the little miniature demon that haunts all wargamers/miniature painters/collectors. Basically the ‘shiny syndrome’. I’m doing this to remind myself when I’ve been bad and need to pull myself up for adding unnecessarily to the lead pile, extensive and growing project list or similar.
A while back I bought in to some of Rebel Minis “Armies” of re-packaged Splintered Light miniatures (Set 1 and Set 2). Clearly, not an army in the traditional sense but certainly a great way to get your hands on virtually all manner of ‘human’ type adventurers you could shake a stick at.
Add to that the range of Dungeon Crawl adventurer packs or Fantasy Gladiator packs (Heroes of the Arena and Warriors of the Arena) directly from Splintered Light and you will be hard pushed not to be able to cover any dungeon bash requirements (not to mention great stuff for any fantasy skirmish games).
The mix in the Rebel Mini ‘army’ is such that several really nice themed warbands can be created (see below for a couple of them).
As mentioned in a post sometime back, these centaurs have been sitting waiting for attention for quite some time. Finally I got round to painting them up for SoBH or larger affairs (copy of God of Battles from Foundry arrived this morning, currently half price).
They are a mix of Demonworld, Splintered Light and I think a couple of old Ral Partha. Whilst more “heroic” in scale, the Demonword ones hit the mark for me. I have duplicates if anyone wants to trade.