Miss Fantorical 2022 - An "Undercoat" Painting Pageant
Once again, I have been given the honour of picking my top 10 painted miniatures of the past year for this blog. However, I thought I would do something slightly different this time and pick a favourite miniature for each month, before selecting an overall winner. My choices are based on the miniature, the paint job, the rule of cool and other eclectic factors, such as nostalgia etc. This format means some great models didn’t make the cut, but those are the rules - only one per month! You may disagree, which is fine, as we all like different things.
January - Ro-Jaws by "Wargames Foundry" - January 21st
This was picked because of a number of reasons. I love the metallic green colour scheme first of all. Coloured metals look amazing and this really makes the robot pop for me. However, it is the nostalgia factor that hits me too. Reading "2000 AD" in my youth has great memories for me. The stories and characters were just incredible and really made me love both science-fiction and fantasy to this day, so seeing the smart mouthed robot brought to life was a real treat.
February - sMG34 Machine-gun Team by "Battlefront Miniatures" - February 15th
There have been a large number of blog posts in 2022 featuring Flames of War infantry stands. These are multiple 15mm soldiers on bases that form teams that make up larger formations. Firstly, the details on these diminutive sculpts is amazing. Secondly, the painting is top notch with details picked out superbly, camouflage painted on individual helmets and other great touches that make these really stand out to me. They also look amazing in a group shot and will look stunning in any future battle reports. Fantastic little project.
March - American Civil War Command Strip by "Warlord Games" - March 5th
These "Epic" models are something of a revelation to me. A strip of ten soldiers in one piece of plastic that still have individual details that I think look incredible. Again, the paint scheme elevates them further with each Confederate trooper having different coloured bits of uniform like trousers and jackets. Considering that these models are approximately 13mm in scale that is just insane! But they look great for it. These just look phenomenal to me.
April - Black Widow by "CoolMiniOrNot" - April 30th
This 40mm miniature comes from the Marvel United miniature game and just oozes personality. It is instantly recognisable as the Marvel character from the comics and films, but is just refreshingly different, while also being instantly familiar. It is packed full of detail and the paint scheme captures the ex-Soviet assassin turned Avenger brilliantly. I remember reading this blog post vividly and being blown away by it. Fantastic stuff!
May - Red Skull by "CoolMiniOrNot" - May 19th
Now, before you say anything I want to admit to breaking a rule I had here. I didn’t want to pick multiple miniatures from the same manufacturer/genre to increase variety and not have my favourite themes dominate. However, I just love this miniature. Again, from Marvel United it is a cartoon/chibi-like representation of Hydra's leader that looks sensational. The pose, the haughty look, the paint scheme, I could go on. This has the wow factor for me.
June - Strawbear by "Crooked Dice Game Design Studio" - June 13th
A total change for this pick. I am still not entirely sure what a strawbear is. Is it a person wearing straw as part of a carnival procession or is it a creature made of straw? Dunno! What it is though is quirky and different. It looks simplistic as it is just straw but the paint scheme just makes me look closer. There are different colours in there like greens that make it look so interesting. Different, unusual and not something I have seen before. All good in my opinion.
July - Space Marine Sergeant by "Games Workshop" - July 4th
I have to confess I love the Horus Heresy. I have read the books, love the lore and do like the models, so it is perhaps unsurprising I have included this Sons of Horus sergeant. I really like the shade of green that these space marines have for their power armour. It looks amazing. This guy also looks full of character as well: his brutal looking Mk3 armour, his sergeant's helmet crest and that wicked looking claw just make the Age of Darkness come to life for me. Great stuff once again.
August - Sentry Robot by "Twisted Pinnacle 3D" - August 2nd
Sculpted by "Big Mr Tong", this mechanical sentinel bears more than a passing resemblance to the robot bad guys in the 1979 Disney film, "The Black Hole". The film had some great designs for its robots (although the less said about the film’s ending the better!) and this simple but effective paint scheme just captures my memories of those images perfectly. Again, something different that brings back memories and nostalgia. This blog is superb at showcasing the unusual and the quirky and I love it for that.
September - Zygon by "Encounter Terrain" - September 9th
This blog has shown off a lot of miniatures themed around "Doctor Who" and I fondly recall models from other ranges showcasing lots of the BBC science-fiction teleision series' villains in the past. However, once again, we have a different take on the familiar. This 3d printed model is sculpted by SplunJohnny in a very appealing and different style. Slightly comic book, definitely stylised but still eye catching and appealing. The skin tones look amazingly smooth, eye catching and another master class in how to paint eyes. Just memorable on so many levels.
October - Frankenstein’s Monster by "Encounter Terrain" - October 31st
Yes, I know it is a miniature from the same designer as the Zygon. Rule broken again! But just hear me out here. It looks so cool. The design has that classic arms out straight legged walk of so many Frankenstein tropes, and I love it for that. It just makes me smile. Another example of a well designed miniature brought to life that just appeals on so many levels. Are there better painted miniatures on this blog? Yep. However, it isn’t just about that its about so many other things and the fact I smile when I see this means it is the pick of the month!
November - Yeti by "Warlord Games" - November 8th
I don’t really remember these "Doctor Who" villains from the television series back in the day. But I am aware of them as part of the science-fiction programme's pantheon of baddies. I just like the whole package here, the sculpt, the paint scheme, the throwback to a time when the budgets for "Doctor Who" were smaller than the cost of a weekly family food shop today. The fact when I googled them this looked just like the images I saw was everything. Simon is very good at painting fur and although a simple paint scheme again they just pop for me.
December - Lazer Face by "C27 Studio" - December 14th
This (not) Destroyer is once again a character from "Marvel Comics". However, it is a very different style to those already mentioned. I recall this brute from the movie "Thor" and it cut an imposing and destructive figure! I just like this sculpt. It looks big, it looks interesting and it looks distinctive. It is just painted in a metallic hue, but I just love this paint job as it looks amazing. So much so that it has sold me on the "Duncan Rhodes Two Thin Coats" paint range which were used to bring this to life.
And the winner of Miss Fantorical 2022 is...
Lazer Face by "C27 Studio"
I just love the way this one is painted. Less is more. Get the basics right and it just pops.
Well that was fun. I am looking forward to more of the same in 2023 as I find this blog a source of inspiration to get my own miniatures painted. It's a fun read while enjoying a coffee and a great source of both the unusual and often different miniatures which reminds you that there is a lot more out there than just the stuff produced by the bigger companies. What would you have picked? The world would be boring if we all liked the same thing, right?