Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Looking for Miniatures

With the Eld likely to play an increasingly big role in the Dwimmermount campaign, I find myself in need of "evil elf" miniatures. The problem seems to be that the Drow have had that niche cornered for so long that it's hard to find evil elf minis that aren't intended to be used as Drow. So does anyone else out there have any good suggestions for sinister-looking elves?

The Eld are physically pretty much your standard D&D elves: lithe, shorter than humans, and with pointed ears. They have red skin, but that's easily dealt with. They also have a slightly "science fantasy" vibe to them, with weapons and armor that could have come from Barsoom or another planetary romance locale. Are there any minis that look anything like this?

27 comments:

  1. What about the Canal Martian series from RAFM for Space 1889? If you disregard the musket armed ones it might fit the bill. http://www.rafm.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=RAF&Category_Code=S1889

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  2. Ral Partha made a series of Elfquest miniatures.

    The closest I could find to photos of them.

    Probably a bit overpriced for real world usage, though.

    Heh. While searching for images of them, I found these: Wizard with a machine gun, and Fineous Fingers!

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  3. Why are the "drow" minis unsuitable? Too much spider imagery or something? It would seem otherwise easy to just paint them as Eld; maybe with a darker/more sinister palette of colors for their clothing and weapons than you use for regular elves. Games Workshop's Dark Elf line might also be suitable. You can buy a whole box of multipart plastics and customize them a bit.

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  4. What about some WH40k Eldar minis? Many of them are fully armored, but some have un-covered heads... Just a thought!

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  5. I would suggest "Dead Earth Imperials" from bronze Age miniatures.
    http://www.bronzeagemin.com/miniatures_html/25MM/SCI-FI/Red%20Men/Dead-Earth-Imperial-citizens-set6.htm

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  6. i'm guessing the issue is you don't want to paint them? I've painted drow to be elves, and elves to be drow..

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  7. How about Tharn Blood Trackers from Privateer Press?
    http://privateerpress.com/hordes/gallery/circle-orboros/units/tharn-bloodtrackers-unit

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  8. I might second the suggestion of Eldar/Dark Eldar from WH40K (Dark Eldar minis seem to wear less helmets than standard Eldar). They might be a bit too sci-fi though.

    If you want to avoid having to explain bolter guns on your figures you could try Dark Elves figures from regular Warhammer. They're not too Drowey, but still clearly sinister-looking and you can get them riding odd lizards and other such Barsoomy-things.

    Plus the Dark Elf Executioners look cool in full suits of chainmail.

    http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/listProducts.jsp?catId=cat440016a

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  9. I find regular WarHammer High Elves to be pretty sinister (or at least stern) looking already. Maybe others are more jaded than me on that score.

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  10. Games Workshop's old Melnibonéan miniature line might be useful, as might their old "Space Elves" series. Good luck finding them for a decent price, however!

    The Retribution of Scyrah miniatures for Warmachine are elvish in appearance, with a bit of a weird edge, and some have some moderate technological gear. They are quite modern in terms of design though.

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  11. "Elves With Armor From Barsoom" is an extremely narrow (yet extremely awesome) request. I tried to find some examples of Elves that would at least come off as otherworldly or with a decadent/orientalist villain look. These are some ideas I had:

    These are "Sheel" Mages. I think they would convey the most "Planetary Romance" style you're gong to find with their exotic robes and big crazy gloves. They're all bald, though:
    http://privateerpress.com/files/products/battlemages.png

    These are some Warhammer Wood Elves - I think their vaguely Spartan helmets would be a cool suggestion of them as "precursors" to the quasi-Roman Thulians. Their flowy tunics suggest "martian desert wear" to me and I think they'd pair with those Sheel mages pretty well.
    http://www.games-workshop.com/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m1280600_99110204094_WEEternalGuard5Main_873x627.jpg

    Here are a pair of somewhat rococo looking elves from Reaper's pathfinder lines, that might be good leader types, we have a rogue and an alchemist, "Ironbriar" and "Damiel."

    http://www.reapermini.com/graphics/gallery/4/60023_w_1.jpg
    http://www.reapermini.com/pages/figure_finder_image.php?sku=60044_w_1.jpg&image=3

    Also from Privateer, these are some "Scyrah" Elf Knights. They have a fairly "science fantasy" style to them, I think, but they are really heavily armored. You might not want the party walking away victorious with a suit of that!
    http://privateerpress.com/files/products/Dawnguard-Sentinels.png

    In any case, I think all of these would at least look pretty cool, and plausibly of the same culture, if painted with an Eld color scheme.

    One caveat I should offer is I think all of these guys are going to be pretty tall. I think if you just describe them as "They're about 5' tall," players understand the compromises inherent in minature scale even if those slightly built elves are towering over their own minis. But I thought it worth saying.

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  12. I also thought of the Games Workshop Melniboneans, though AIR they're at least as tall as a human 28mm mini.

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  13. With the switch over to D&D Heroscape there are a number of drow figures that might work with a little repaint. Your original Eld link said six feet tall. Are these degenerate versions or are humans taller in Dwimmermount? How many are you looking to get?

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  14. And I second ckutalik about the RAFM Space 1889 figures. Inexpensive, Canadian, and I think that some of the Canal and High (with some wing clipping) would work great.

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  15. If you do decide to go 40K Dark Elves you might wait a month or two if possible. The new edition of the army is supposed to arrive toward the end of the year and the old editions typically hit ebay pretty cheap when the new ones come out.

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  16. If you can't wait for the dark eldar to come out (lord knows the long-suffering 40k DE players have been!) I'd suggest giving a peek at the Warhammer line of Dark Elves. They may not be as 'science fantasy' as you like, but they're still exotic looking by elven standards...

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  17. If only Pulp Figures made some elves, I reckon they would fit your bill - http://www.pulpfigures.com/

    Not quite 'elven', but some of Parroom Station's "City Dwellers" might be suitable - http://parroom.net/PSM_catalog/PSCat_CDTroops.html. Their name is clearly a hat-tip to Barsoom, indeed if you look at the "Renegades of Mars" line, you'll see that they mention "a certain Virginia gentleman".

    (I spotted both of these ranges within the showcases on http://marbles.frothersunite.com/. Look especially at the Victorian SF, Weird WWII, and Pulp Era pages.)

    Flintloque is a game of fantasy Napoleonics, "British" orcs against "French" elves. It's a badly layed-out website, so use the search box - http://www.alternative-armies.com/Flintloque.htm.

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  18. Point of order... I didn't see it in the comments: dark elves in WFRP (or WFB) are not the purple-skined "drow" of D&D. Dark Elves are the religious and political antithesis of the High Elves (the High Elves' redneck cousins live in the woods... Wood Elves).

    I agree with @Delta... the High Elves are sinister.

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  19. Warmachine is a little pricey but they have a very sci-fi feel (although not in my mind Barsoom)

    http://privateerpress.com/warmachine/gallery/retribution-of-scyrah/units/stormfall-archers

    http://privateerpress.com/warmachine/gallery/retribution-of-scyrah

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  20. Check out Reaper's Darkspawn line for their Warlord game. It's a little drow-ish, but more demon than spider.

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  21. I'm fond of Werner Klocke's regular Elf minis from Reaper, as they have a high-cheekboned alien look and intricate armor and clothing (as do his humans really), but I can see scale being an issue.

    http://tinyurl.com/2uumbhu

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  22. Did someone say space elves? Fenryll has something:

    http://www.fenryll.com/product.php?id_product=106"

    They're 28mm though. Perhaps they're on the Eldish basketball team?

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  23. Point of order... I didn't see it in the comments: dark elves in WFRP (or WFB) are not the purple-skined "drow" of D&D

    Not now, no, but they once were.

    Or rather, GW's drow design became GW's dark elf design once they switched from AD&D to Warhammer. See also broo and beastmen.

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  24. I've been using modified plastic WH40K Dark Eldar for years. Just swap out the modern weaponry for archaic, and you're good to go.

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  25. You might want to also check out the Mantic elves--plastic, and a lot cheaper than GW: http://www.manticgames.com/Shop-Home/Elves.html

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  26. The Mantic ones actually might be a good fit. They're slightly smaller scale than Games Workshop; and actually have extremely thin and narrow limbs as well. Too much so for me to consider using them with my wargaming stuff, but they might fit in better with your D&D minis.

    Another note- if you are inclined to check out the GW dark elves, I'd take a peek at either the spearmen or, maybe better, the Corsairs. The corsairs have very distinctive lizard/dragon-ish skin cloaks, but other than that and their height, I think they're pretty perfect. They also come with funky repeater hand crossbows as a weapon option.

    http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/content/article.jsp?pageMode=multi&categoryId=&pIndex=1&aId=8600002&start=2

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