I'm going to have to work a bit harder in future months to get these out a bit earlier in the month... if I wait to long then I'm already collecting favorites for the next month! Anyway, here are my favorites from May:
Wow, the sheer amount of character and atmosphere present in this miniature/diorama is fantastic! I also love to see miniatures that aren’t so focused on combat. I don’t know if it’s the roots in D&D, wargaming or “toy soldiers” but most of the miniatures out there are warriors, wizards, soldiers or are wielding a weapon of some sort. That can be very limiting and there are so many more scenes to depict regardless of whether the theme is high fantasy, far flung future sci-fi, or wild-west steampunk. These minis demonstrate that admirably! (also, +1 for a steampunk setup that doesn’t feature meaningless, function-less cogs and gears everywhere).
Massive Voodoo have been posting a series of blog posts showing entries into their second Bananalicious Contest. There are many many great looking minis in here, so please check out all of the minis on these pages, but I’ve included just a few favorites below (you'll have to scroll down in the pages to see the ones I'm referring to):
While I want to try and be a bit more diverse in what I paint, I still paint mostly for wargaming - Infinity and Bushido - so the army entries were right up my alley (all comments above about war-focused miniatures aside!). There are some great entries here, but the stand-out for me is #14. I have no idea how or where those lion-warriors hit the gaming table, but they are a brilliant looking unit with a great color scheme. If anyone knows what game they’re from, please let me know in the comments!
There is just so much to look at in this base. The tone is perfect, from the carefully maintained asian doorway with the beautifully painted wall art to the slowly decaying upper level where the wall art is marred by graffiti. Part of me wants to see a figure creeping about this base… but there’s so much story present without one that I think that could be a mistake. Either way, a beautiful piece.
Orks are funny. Ok, so maybe that undercuts their Tolkein-esque archetype somewhat… but since GW got a hold of them and imbued them with the “Waaaaaagh!” spirit, their humor has risen to the surface and that’s just what this diorama shows. Where else would Orks setup a seafood restaurant? In the mouth of a bloody great fish, that’s where!
I don’t think there’s much I can say here to sum up this stunning piece, you have to see it for yourself. The details, the details, the details – referring to both the immense level of detail put into painting the fabric, the textures, the armor, the banner… but also the level of detail in the composition of the piece which is clearly meant to be seen from all sides.
Perhaps my absolute favorite part of this piece, however, is how the composition works to undercut the mood. The “glorious warrior gesturing proudly atop the spoils of a righteous victory” is a very common theme in fantasy miniature painting, even if the “spoils of a righteous victory” part of that is implied by the pose and the theme. So, when first looking at this piece, I assumed I was looking at that same old trope. However, with closer inspection it quickly became clear that the warrior in gleaming plate and golden cloak was standing on dead and dying soldiers with little glory to be found. Add in the scared little girl cowering behind the wall and all of a sudden the “hero” of this piece doesn’t look quite so heroic any more. So while this may be a “10” based on execution alone, I think the composition equally (if not more) makes it deserving of highest marks.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a badly painted Kingdom Death mini… I don’t know why that is, but this is another beauty. This is a great piece all around, from the color choice, to the beautiful skin tones and hair to the lovely base that complements the mini perfectly.
And now for something completely different! Be sure to start with the first photo here… if you don’t, you’ll be quick to dismiss these as just photographs of New York. These storefronts are absolutely amazing in their realism.
This is an as yet unfinished piece, but it still deserves to be ogled as it progresses. I’m usually not a fan of Nurgle miniatures (ditto for undead and anything else rotting, squirming, dripping, oozing… you get the picture). But that’s just me and my squeamishness… they’re just not something I want to paint. However, that doesn’t stop me from appreciating when a mini of that ilk is painted well and this is a good example - I just can’t stop looking at those slick, dripping tentacles - so great!
A bit more steampunk now: this take on Florence Nightingale is lovely. Delicate and detailed if a bit thematically on the nose. My only complaint is that gun dangling behind her. Sure, it’s a nice enough gun, but does she really need it? I wish she could be left as a healer and not need to carry some implement of death on her person. Still, that aside, this is one for my wishlist.
I began on a diorama, so let’s end on one too. As with the first, this one is completely devoid of weapons and warriors, but instead populated with the hapless miniature painters unsure of what to do after the resin well dries up and the pewter mine is exhausted! I love this idea - it’s so much fun with the theme, the tie dye and Wyrd t-shirts and then the actions of all the miniature painters (literally and figuratively!) unsure of what to do with themselves.