Hidden Heroes

Whilst my previous post highlighted those companies who have a specific line of superhero miniatures, these are not the only places you can find superhero figures. Several companies produce actual superhero miniatures, but these are concealed in ranges where you wouldn’t expect to find them. Furthermore, some companies produce miniatures with an entire different usage in mind, but for those with a specific four-colour mindset, such as myself, they are superhero figures and I’ll use them as such.

So, as before, all figures showcased below are 28mm scale and are all available to purchase today, should you so wish.

Our first port of call is Black Tree Design and their venerable Doctor Who range, the molds for which must be getting a little tired by now. “Doctor Who?” I hear you cry, “There are no superheroes in Doctor Who!!” Actually, there was. Way back in 1968, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth and television was only available in two colours, the second incarnation of the Doctor encountered the Mind Robber, in the serial of the same name.

The KarkusOne of the fictional characters brought to life within the storybook world featured was the Karkus, a fictional superhero from the far future – the year 2000(!). And Black Tree Design currently produce and sell a miniature of this character. Here he is in all his heroic glory. This figure is listed as DW220 and the normal price of nearly all the Doctor Who miniatures is £2.75 each, but Black Tree regularly have sales, where specific lines or ranges are discounted, so it’s worth checking their site on a regular basis.
Now, there are a few additional figures within the Doctor Who range that are suitably superheroic.

AmbassadorFrom the Ambassadors of Death serial, featuring the Third Doctor, we have DW332 Ambassador. The characters within the serial were alien impostors masquerading as astronauts returning from an ill-fated Mars mission. However, the space-suit and pose scream cosmic-powered space-farer, empowered due to faulty shielding on a space mission, who now uses their powers to fight evil. Or commit criminal acts. You decide…

 

Ice Lord IzlyerFrom the Curse of Peladon, another Third Doctor series, we have DW326 Ice Lord Izyler, an Ice Warrior ambassador to the court of King Peladon.

The bullet shaped helmet and cape are all Silver Age accoutrements, the pose is dominating and I can imagine this figure shouting, “Meddlesome heroes! Minions, kill them all!”

I do actually own this figure and he is currently on my paint bench, being transformed into King Cobra, the criminal mastermind, and leader of A.S.P.

Weng Chiang

Our final figure from the Doctor Who range comes from a Fourth Doctor serial, The Talons of Weng Chiang, one of my favourite stroies from the Tom Baker era, even if the giant rat was a little bit cheesy (unintended pun). This miniature is DW413 Weng Chiang himself. Oriental masked mystic? Disfigured criminal mastermind? Man with coal scuttle on his head? Once it’s yours, it can be whatever you like…

All these figures can be found at: www.blacktreedesign.com

Next we have another British company, Hasslefree Miniatures, who produce beautiful miniatures sculpted by the very talented Kev White. We will start with two miniatures from the Fantasy Humans range.

HFH042 Dominatrix Libby

This, as you can see from the caption, is Dominatrix Libby, who is apparently modeled on Kev’s wife Sally. Best. Catwoman. Ever. Nuff said.

For some reason, Hasslefree list all their miniatures prices as £X+vat, rather than the actual price. The above figure is £3.34+vat, which means it’s actually £4.00.

HFV010 Narg the torturer

Our next entry from Hasslefree is HFV010 – Narg the Torturer. However, the leotard, belt and boots are more evocative of a wrestling outfit. Add a mask and gloves and we have a crime-fighting masked wrestler, which if it’s good enough for Alan Moore, it’s good enough for me. Narg will set you back £3.50.

Our next three offerings may ring a few bells, as they are all inspired by cinematic superheroes. Firstly we have HFA071 Aaron, who will kick your ass… (£4.50)

HFA071 Aaron

From the distaff side we have HFA132 Major Stephanie, who appears to have had a sex change and been promoted since we last saw him/her… (£5.00).

HFA132 Major Stephanie

Our final entry is HFA092 Sgt. Spanner, who is a tool in all senses of the word… (£4.50)

HFA092 Sgt. Spanner

All can be found at: www.hfminis.co.uk

A brief trip across the Channel next, to Excalibur Miniatures, a German company who produce a wide range of both fantasy, sc-fi figures and erotic miniatures. This company cropped up on the Stuff of Legends website, under the Superhero miniatures section, and I was a little surprised they were still going, as all the others listed on their have vanished into the mists of time…

Anyway, they have two miniatures of use to the discerning superhero gamer. The first is 9252 – Mr Long. Pretty obvious to all concerned who this is supposed to be. Mr Long “mit extralanger Handwaffe”, which with even my rudimentary language skills I can work out, is available for 4.90 Euros. 9252 - Mr. Long mit extralanger Handwaffe

Our second figure doesn’t even bother to hide its inspiration – 1057 Batgirl. I don’t remember any incarnation of DC’s version of this character showing this much flesh, but a lick of paint can hide a multitude of sins. She is available for 4.50 Euros.  Both can be found here: www.excalibur-minaturen.de

1057 - Batgirl

We cross back to the UK and Warlord Games, who are known for their multi-part historical plastic miniature ranges, so not the most obvious place to be looking for superheroes. However, Warlord also distribute the Judge Dredd miniatures range, which not only have an actual superhero figure in their collection, but several figures that are suitably heroic.

Firstly, we have the Judges of the World box set. Whilst they are available as individual figures at £5.00 each, but as the boxed set is £30.00 for eight figures, which means they work out at £3.75 each, which is a cheaper option.

So, in my eyes, the four Judges at the bottom, which are the Judges from Vatican City, Hondo City, Luxor and Cal-Hab, are the most superheroic looking. The Vatican City Judge (bottom left) reminds me of the Elseworlds version of Batman from the Holy Terror prestige format, wherein the Church ruled the World and imprisoned all ‘unnatural’ powered characters.

Next we have the actual superhero miniature, which only comes as a two pack with a pyrokinetic, for £10.00.

Both useable figures, although I am tempted to add a base-ball cap to the superhero and make it into Duffman from the Simpsons!

Next we have the Bat Burglar, at £5.00.

And we finish with Warlord Games with this sharply dressed simian, the Gorilla Gangster, also £5.00.

One last port of call in the UK, the wonderfully named Space Vixens from Mars. From what I can gather, this website is dedicated to a set of novels, miniatures rules and 28mm miniatures all set within the same setting, which is described as a “light-hearted ‘girl’s own’ adventure…referencing the cliché and metaphor of sixty years of sci-fi”. They have an eclectic range of miniatures, including Klingon proxies, Elizabeth I, a Margaret Thatcher lookalike, the Beatles and Jesus of Nazareth!

However, we are interested in superheroes, so I present Comrade U.S.S.R…

Comrade USSR

Available for a very reasonable £1.75 from : www.spacevixensfrommars.com

Next over to the United States and Victory Force Miniatures, who amongst their SurburbaKnights range have these two:

332503 Super Guy  332504 Super Gal

 
Super Guy (332503) and Super Gal (332504), both at $4.00 each. Whilst they are supposed to be convention goers ‘dressed’ as superheroes, I feel they work just as well as actual supers. The only issue is that, as plastered all over their website, they only accept PayPal and only ship to the USA, so if you’re elsewhere in the World, you’re out of luck. Can be found here: www.victoryforce.com

Our next figure is from the Atomic Cafe 1957 range from Brigade Games, namely the wonderful Super Duper Man:

Brigade Games ``Super Duper Man``

Available from $4.50 from: www.brigadegames.3dcartstores.com

Next, we’re popping up to Canada and RAFM Miniatures, who are probably most well-known for their Call of Cthulhu range. However, hidden within their USX Modern Day Heroes range, along with very familiar characters from the silver screen, we have three supers:

El Rojo    Mad Daddy  Baby Doll

These three are (l-r), El Rojo, Mad Daddy and Baby Doll, all prices at $5.95 each. I’m speculating that the first is inspired by or supposed to be a version of Grifter from WildCATS, but I could be wrong. The second two are inspired by Kickass and are, of course, versions of Big Daddy and Hit Girl. All can be found here: www.rafm.com

Finally, we take a visit to Impact! Miniatures, who produce a whole slew of Fantasy football figures for their own game Elfball, and specifically their Middle Kingdoms range, which a team of humans with a definite Greek vibe.

      

If you want an Ancient Greek styled superhero or villain, you can’t really go far wrong with one of these chaps. This is just a small selection of the models they have on their site, so take a look if none of the above meet your needs. They range in price from £3.32 to £4.19, with extremely odd increments in between. I’m speculating that they are actually round figures in another currency, but my browser automatically lists everything in pounds sterling, so I can’t tell. All can be found at: www.impactminiatures.com

So, it took me longer than I thought and encompassed a few more ranges than I initially thought it would, but hopefully my alternative figures for superheroes post was helpful.

No doubt I’ve missed some, so if you know of any others, please feel free to comment on here or The Miniatures Page.

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Not-So-Secret Origins

A question that I see regularly posted on forums is “I’ve got <insert rules system here>, but where do I get superhero miniatures so I can play the game?”

As I have been buying, painting and gaming with these kinds of miniatures for a fair number of years, I thought it might be worthwhile, as my first proper post in my new home, to provide a guide to which manufacturers currently produce superhero miniatures. As the primary size for these figures is 28mm, I will be concentrating on this scale, so whilst I know that you can buy 15mm supers, you won’t find them listed below…

So, we’ll start with Wizkids and their ubiquitous Heroclix line, which has been going since 2002. Various licensed properties have been produced by this company, but for our purposes the most important lines are the Marvel and DC Comics ranges. A vast number of individual characters have been released in each range, from well-known characters such as Batman, Spider-Man and Captain America, to more obscure characters, such as Vance Astro, Cave Carson and Ambush Bug.

Pros with this manufacturer are that singles can be bought relatively cheaply on the secondary market for more common figures, the huge range of figures means that you can generally find a figure to represent any character you may come up with and the more recent sculpts are pretty good. Cons are that the rarer figures and specials are very expensive, scale between characters that are supposed to be the same size has varied over the years and some of the older sculpts are bloody awful (Umar, I’m looking at you…).

As I’m based in the UK, I buy all mine from Blue Rat Games – www.blueratgames.com – who have a good range of figures dating back to the first releases and have always given good service.

Our next manufacturer is Reaper Miniatures, who employ some of the most talented sculptors in the world, who entered the superhero miniatures market in 2008, with the new Chronoscope range. As Reaper had been primarily known for its fantasy miniatures, this range encompasses everything else, so you will find cowboys, aliens, modern zombies, pulp miniatures and, of course, superhero miniatures.

The above two miniatures are Blood Widow (50219)and Captain Griffon (50027). The average cost of normal sized figures is $5.99, but larger and more complicated figures are obviously more expensive. The range is currently fairly small, but covers a good range of archetypes and is constantly being expanded. Link – www.reapermini.com

Our next manufacturer is a relatively new company, namely Crossover Miniatures, who have only been in existence since 2012. A labour of love by their creator, they produce a range of “high quality, customizable heroe, villains and minions”. Most of the figures come with three separate heads, so a single figure can be three different characters and as they sell the heads separately, you have even more customising options.

Of course, what would a good (in relative terms) supervillain be without faceless minions to be-devil the heroes? And Crossover comes good on this score as well.

Paramilitary Goons – I.R.S. Agent Head

Hail Hydra! Crossover Miniatures can be found here: www.crossoverminiatures.com

Our next manufacturer is Black Hat Miniatures, a British company who cover a wide variety of scales and ranges. However, for our purposes, we are only concerned with their Mutants and Madmen range, which may be quite small, but has figures that are full of character and well-cast. As each miniature is only £2.00 each, they are also very reasonable.

MM001 - Captain CrusadeMM009 - Armourdillo

The figures above are Captain Crusade, who you may very well see on here in a later post as the villanous Paragon and the wonderfully named Armourdillo, who is on my buy list. They can be found here: www.blackhat.co.uk

At the other end of the scale, both size and price, are Knight Models, a Spanish company, who produce licensed DC Comics and Marvel miniatures at 35mm scale. Whilst beautifully sculpted and very true to the characters they represent, they do tower over the ‘regular’ figures produced by the majority of the other superhero manufacturers. And at approximately 15.00 Euros each, they do represent what I would consider ‘premium’ miniatures, more for collectors and painters than gamers. I think I’d be afraid to sully these miniatures with my brushwork…

image ARROW   image DEADPOOL 35

However, if you have the money and want accurate representations of Marvel and DC Characters and are happy to only buy their range so there is no discrepancy in scale, then they can be found here: www.knightmodels.com

Our next range is an older one and for many, the first ‘proper’ superhero figures that they may have come across. I am, of course, referring to Superfigs, which were produced by Four Color Figures, to accompany the SuperSystem superhero miniature game by Scott Pyle. This range has a wide variety of archetypes and was my initial go-to range when I was looking for superhero miniatures. That was until the only stockist in the UK decided to no longer carry them. Thank you, West Wind Productions…

Brick 8 - Krieghunde Shield Maiden

This range is stocked by Old Glory Miniatures in the US – www.oldgloryminiatures.com – and will fulfill the majority of your super-heroic needs, including the wonderfully Kirby-esque Alien Host and a variety of super-powered simians.

Our final manufacturer only recently entered the superhero figure arena, having previously only been known for the wonderful Dick Garrison range of retro-science fiction figures, namely Wargames Supply Dump. Their range only consists of three figures so far, Captain Garrison, Ballistic Man and the Ultra Retrovian, as pictured below:

  

I’ve not yet picked up a pack yet, but think that they’re true to the spirit of the Silver Age of comics and as you get all three figures for £5.50, I can’t really think of any good reason not to buy them. They can be found here: www.wargamessupplydump.co.uk – under the Miscellaneous Miniatures section.

I believe that I have covered the majority of the current manufacturers who produce either a range of superhero miniatures or have multiple superhero figures available for sale.

I am aware of companies that do have one or two superhero figures concealed within ranges you wouldn’t expect to find them, and a future post will deal with these “secret” heroes and other sources for super-heroic miniatures that you may not have thought of.

Hopefully this will have been of use and any comments are gratefully accepted.

 

Edit: As with all posts of this nature, no matter how much comprehensive research you believe you have done, they’ll always be one or two that slip through the net. However, the advantage of blogging and the wargaming community is that those who also have an interest in whatever you’re posting about will happily provide additional information on those things you’ve missed…

So, firstly thanks goes out to Roger of Wargames Supply Dump, who was not only very complimentary, but also pointed me in the direction of a range of figure that I was not aware of…

Irregular Miniatures are a British company who have been in existence since 1981 and produce a wide variety of scales and ranges, from 2mm to 75mm, and their 28mm ranges encompass many historical periods from Biblical up to the modern-day and beyond. What I wasn’t aware of was that they also produce a small range of superhero figures, 9 characters in total. And what characters they are!

These three figures are (l-r) Igneus, Falcon and Torch. You will also find characters such as Octo, Lead Man, the Evil Ninja and the wonderfully named Optimus Vine. The smaller, human-sized figures are priced at 90p and the larger figures at £1.80. The sculpting may not be to your taste, but I think they have a funky charm and you can’t argue with the price point. Now that I’m aware of the range, I may have to add some to my collection…

They can be found here: www.irregularminiatures.co.uk

I need to thank both Will, who posted on The Miniatures Page and Dave, who commented on here, for reminding me of the Pulp City range of miniatures, which I was aware of, but for some reason completely failed to mention…

Pulp City is a 32mm superhero skirmish game, set in the fictional Pulp City, which is located on the west coats of the USA. The game has been in existence since 2007, with initially a free downloadable set of rules, before a printed version became available. But you’re not here for the rules…

The Pulp City miniatures that accompany the game are divided into separate factions, so those from the Jade Cult have a definite oriental vibe, whilst super-powered primates are represented by the Ape Revolution Committee. In between we have a wide range of characters, including steam-powered power armour, characters inspired by fairy tales and your standard spandex-clad powerhouses.

 

Individual figures range in cost from 7 Euros up to 10 Euros, with larger boxed sets with multiple related figures falling in the 18-20 Euro mark. They have just completed a successful Kickstarter for the Supreme Edition, so the figures from the Kickstarter will no doubt be available to the general public shortly.

Details of the game and their online shop can be found here: www.pulp-city.com