Inside Pulse 12

Life During War Games 11-18-2011

My personal miniatures collection is a bit like a katamari from Katamari Damacy. There are the big, overarching themes, like my love of fantasy dwarfs and Games Workshop’s Sisters of Battle. There are also smaller leitmotifs, like my love of jetpacks. I thought this would be a good time to show off some of the more eccentric items in my miniatures collection.


The first oddity that comes to mind is one of the first miniatures I ever purchased. I was still a very hardcore Magic: the Gathering player, playing Battletech occasionally and eyeing the Games Workshop Warhammer and Warhammer 40k games. On a visit to Asylum Comics, now Asylum Anime, I saw that they were blowing out the Magic: the Gathering miniatures at clearance prices. I would have skipped them altogether, but I caught a glimpse of my favorite Magic card rendered in lead. Officially known as the Prodigal Sorcerer, my friends and I all called him Timmy. I was a huge fan and my decks were often built around using him. I bought the model, threw it in a shoebox, and promptly forgot about it for six months or so. In the mean time, everyone in my little group of Magic players had started using the Scrye Life Counter from Reaper Miniatures. I had a blue one that I used for every game. The wizard miniature atop the moving element became unglued and I was saddened. My friend, and war gaming enabler, Bryan offered to paint my Timmy and mount him on the Scrye in exchange for a Subway sandwich, the currency of choice in our group. He did a magnificent job and Timmy became the first painted miniature in my collection. Even though I gave up Magic: the Gathering for good 12 years ago, I have kept my one of a kind Timmy Life Counter in a special place in my collection ever since.


Dwarfs have always been my Warhammer Fantasy army of choice and one of my favorite aspects of Dwarf collecting has been the depth of Games Workshop’s back catalog of Dwarf miniatures. I have a unit of Dwarfs with hand weapons and shields that is 25 strong and has no repeat miniatures. The mascot for Games Workshop’s magazine White Dwarf is, predictably, the White Dwarf Grombrindal. This has been a boon for me, since the periodic promotional miniatures from White Dwarf have been Dwarfs. The two I own are pretty cool. The first is the 300th issue of White Dwarf miniature. This version of the White Dwarf is a uniquely posed miniature with an amazing beard. I had hoped he was the shape of things to come with the Dwarf line, but he was the only Dwarf in that style. He definitely looks distinctive on the board.


The other GW promotional Dwarf miniature, for the 30th anniversary, I have is actually 3 pretty illustrious Dwarfs on one base. The White Dwarf Grombrindal is an imposing model on his own, but being held aloft on a shield makes him even more impressive. The shieldbearers are only two of the most famous Dwarf characters in the Warhammer universe: Gotrek the Slayer and Josef Bugman, the leader of Bugman’s Rangers and the best brewer in the world. While I have no complaints about the Dwarf line, there are very few centerpiece models. I suspect height is a big reason for that. A gleaming, brightly painted pile of Dwarf legends sauntering into battle is a perfect centerpiece.

The Hobbytown USA in Lawrence, KS is where I developed my addiction to wargaming, particularly Warhammer 40k. I bought my first issue of White Dwarf there and stood in line to buy the 5th Edition Warhammer Fantasy boxset the day it came out. Towards the end of my time in Lawrence, they had a particularly memorable display. It was a beautiful tableau of cowboys and Indians, with buildings and cacti and split rail fences. The miniatures were all slightly cartoonish, with big, expressive heads. I inquired with the clerk and he told me they were long out-of-print Stone Mountain Miniatures Wild West figures. For a decade, Wild West miniatures have been a Holy Grail for me. At the Fall Recruits convention, I was lucky enough to score two blisters for a grand total of $5. Unpainted Wild West miniatures might be the miniatures I want the most in the world.

This is only a taste of the weirdness I have accumulated and I suspect I will have to update this in a year or so. Anyone else have some strange models in their cabinets?

  • Jianju

    Wow, your White Dwarf is amazing! I love the face you’ve painted for it! My White Dwarf is the other one that resembles the magazine icon.