06 July 2016

Guilty Pleasures - Loving Terrible Miniatures

We've all done it. All of us. YOU especially. We've all had our heads turned by less than fantastic minis. We've picked up the box or blister, noted the poor proportions, weird hands or crap hat, and fallen instantly in love. 'These are pretty awful.' we muse to ourselves as we walk up the the cashier. Conversely, I've seen some technically just plain beautiful minis that left me cold as yesterday's pizza.

It can possibly be explained by those who delve for lead online via nostalgia. We saw a mini in White Dwarf back in the day, but never owned it. Now though, with the multitudes of old lead online, it's possible to hunt down that model, only to notice the sculpting isn't too great. And then not care and love it possibly a little bit more.

But that's not always the case. The first time I saw the undead of the Witchlands for Slaughterloo, I was taken in right away. They look like Jim Henson zombies, but the very idea of Napoleonic undead frog vampires and skeletal dog-men hits me right in the want. I adore them. So there. Feast your eyes:

Yeah! Check that out! Some full on muppet-style frog zombies there. I know many of you will be looking at the screen going 'What in the hell dude? Those are just terrible.' I care not a whit.

Anyhow, let's see what guilty love the rest of the Creeps have to share with us.

Asslessman : I'm pretty easy gong as far as model are concerned but I have to admit some really need a lot of love to make you want to paint them. Amongst the most stupidly designed models I've ever painted, there's the Khorne Bloodslaughterer, I won't go any further, you can all se what's wrong with it but see, like always, to paint is to love... and now I'm so fond of it. ;)

Captain Crooks: I have a soft spot for old, old models, just like you -  that's a big part of why we are here showing you things and saying stuff at you. When I come across a small, lesser known miniature supplier I scour every last corner of their webstores seeking treasures and inspiration.

Viking Forge in the US of A have a lot of the old Asgard moulds available to produce lovely ogres, orcs and dwarves and Jes Goodwin barbarians a-plenty, and for the more adventurous among you, they have dragon lizards, pteradactyl things, weird claw monsters and other creepy crawlies.

They also have this. This is apparently a troll champion, and it is terrible.

"Why... am I?"

This miniature is one of the oddest and most poorly conceived sculpts that surely has ever been sold by a professional company for actual money. It is ugly. It is oddly proportioned. It is chunky, yet also flat. His wizened little legs are barely adequate for his frame, and his 'shield' looks like a mushroom. One hand looks like several caterpillars making a break from the tyranny of his elbow-pit and the other looks like he stuffed it into the hand equivalent of a pointy high heeled shoe. Made of chitin. 

And yet for some reason he compelled me to 'add to cart' (actually Viking Forge don't have a cart, but I added his serial number to the list in an email, so clearly I was functioning on more than just a whim). I bought this model for the princely sum of $8.95.

Noone took him seriously as 'evil castle guard' so he was demoted to 'evil stairs warden'

Viking Forge make minis to order, as evidenced by the delightfully fresh shiny models they sent me. But not this one. This one was made of dark, tarnished metal that looked like it had been rolling around in someone's bottom drawer for 30 years. It's possible noone has ever bought one of these hideous things before. This could be the master for all I know. 

Anyway when I had the model in hand the true horror of it dawned on me. This mini was awful and I had no real use for it at all. And yet... yet... It still compelled me. What was it about this model? His soup-like face with no features save eyeballs with the pupil sculpted on? His stupid detailess axe that comes as a seperate piece? His pointy ears? Are they even ears?? Horns????

I rolled the dice and got 'ears'

In the end I did a bit of subtle converting here and there, gave him lips, teeth, cheekbones, some more hair coming out of his sad little helmet plume. I gave him a bigger shield. I took his axe and made it into a meaty halberd, and sculpted skulls on it because he has a bit of a skull theme going on.
The end result is... less terrible. I think. I mean he looks okay. From a certain angle. In a certain light. It's still pretty awful. But I'm really really fond of it!


  1. As a certified* turd polisher I should really get in on this.

    But not with any of the abominations shown. They are crap. The opposite of the ones I like.


  2. Love the converted troll - that is a real labour of love!

    1. He is such a goof. He's like a Jim Henson badguy, but made by Jim's non-union counterpart, Chim Benson. Somewhere under all that latex and cardboard is an underpaid studio intern sweating themselves into a coma. For art!

  3. Of the zombies I only think the last group are crap sculpts. The rest are cute.

    The Blood Slaughterer and the Troll truly are crap sculpts though. Yet I still want a BS and what James has done with the Troll is miles more than it deserves. I have a few turds I should put out in public.

  4. Bit of threadomancy, but I sculpted those Jim Henson Toad Zombies... :D

    Glad you like them for the charm, there are things I would love to redo on them, but I remember being pretty proud of them at the time.

    I even painted the ones in the photo there!

    1. Hey Rob, ahahahhaa... well... let me explain!

      To be frank, many folks I've talked to aren't a fan of the Slaughterloo/Flingloque ranges, for my my part, I love them. ESPECIALLY the undead frogs. My favourite sculptors are the ones that inject a ton of character into their sculpts, and these have it in spades. Add in the humour element and I'm all in. They're fantastic!