Marvellous Men- being an examination of metal miniatures suitable for wargames and dioramas, depicting brave fighting men and also some scurilous rogues and villains- Compiled by Jakar Nilson
Concerning brave Captains
Our age hath made known
For all men to honour,
One standeth alone,
Of whom, o'er both oceans,
Both peoples may say:
"Our realm is diminished
With Great-Heart away."
- Kipling, Great-Heart
Now look here, Bell. I know you are nothing but a simple illustrator, but you will accompany our foreign friend all through his stay in London, simply because we cannot spare a single journalist.”
How I, Jack Bell, dreaded having to act as guide to these people, being a frail -man and much preferring to sketch than to act as groom. Yet, the Editor wished this favour; lest I lose that raise and be on the street by week's end. One talks lightly of people such as Quatermain, Holmes, and that American Reade, but they are not as you or I. They go on adventures and mysteries, conquer nations and invent every newfangled device all while we are still putting the marmalade on our morning toast.
The man whom I was to act as guide around this City of Cities was far grander than all these extraordinary gentlemen, quite literally. He wasn’t even a man, and yet he had two arms and two legs, and looked quite dandy in a suit. Over nine feet in height, and with skin of a greenish colour, his boney face was like a rock and his hooked nose poked out before his small, gem like eyes. His head was shaven, save for a long tress on his left side, and his grotesquely pointy ears stood out beneath his tall hat.
He presented himself as Jakar Nilson, a troll coming from extremely foreign parts. I could see that it was going to be a long day…
This, gentle reader, is an attempt to not only make a listing of companies that make 28mm characters for Victorian Science Fiction, but to also show examples of such miniatures. Note that the list does not include ranges that fall within 100% historical accuracy. The emphasis is on the odd twist applied; else we would have to list every manufacturer that made 25mm Zulu War British regular kneeling…
Also notice that we have not included the 'Evil Empire', mainly due to their high cost, bad basing, and difficulty of obtaining them. So no whining about Praetorian Guard, mind you!
The War of the Worlds has sprung out, and after the disastrous Martian invasion of England, the men (and women) of the world cry blood! With new technology, the Great Powers of Earth land on Mars to conquer it!
Now, with the amazing range of miniatures from Parroom Station, you can too! Just pick what you like from the catalog, from Tommies with breathers, Aeromarines, evil henchmen (with Tesla weapons!), or simply choose from the great range of Extraordinary Gentlemen (and ladies)! We can guarantee that you will not want your money back, nor part with the minis.
Coming straight from a country that was colonized during the lifetime of Queen Vicky herself, Eureka really has lots to offer for the Scientific Romance addict. From inane characters on penny-farthings (that’s an obsolete Victorian bicycle with a huge front wheel for those too young to remember…), to irrelevant inventors and Soldiers of the Queen that would make Monty Python look tame, one would think that they would have no new ground to cover. Never, never I say, assume that in the least!
Originally only a distributor, Lon Weiss went into the business of having his own line (s) of minis. Upfront here are the official G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. minis, mostly from an alternate War Between the States. “Official” here means that they have the name branded on, rather than a banning order on using other minis... a most enlightened view!
Formerly known as Icon, and Harlequin before that. They make a Doctor Who range, and while it is not quite what we are looking for, there were plenty of Adventures that the Doctor had in the Age of Victoria, so it does qualify. Although the sculpting is passable, it is of higher quality than the stuff from BBC’s prop department… Note that the packs tend to match Foundry prices for some reason, and that you’ll have to browse to find the figure you’re looking for, as well as four others you might have not wanted…
There is a Victorian Bobby in the range, as well as one or two characters that might fit in, not mentioning the various regenerations of the Doctor…
|Makers of England Invaded, a late Victorian wargame where the Great War breaks out two decades early. The miniatures vary in quality, but the concept hits the right spot. Unfortunately, they seem to have vanished off the face of the planet, but the miniatures can still be bought at Warrior Online.
|From the maker of Aeronef (VSF air battles) and Panzerfaust (Fantasy WWII), come forth the Voyages Extraordinaire miniatures. Theres more Bobbies and adventurers, and theres plenty of Tommies too…
|Long-time makers of Aether Marines and resin landships. As well as the space travelling Aether Marines (and their dastardly Prussian foes), one can find in their range all kinds of airborne (be it per steam kettle or Chinese kite) and underwater characters. Not to mention some troops who have been playing too long with either fireworks or nauseous gasses.
|Known for the card-dealing Weird Wild West game Deadlands, where magic runs wild through the North American frontier. The miniatures have character, and lots have weird things onto them, though they be a tad oversize compared to everyone else.
|Makers of Gothic Horror, a range that so diverse that a man could easily get lost in it…
Celebrated for services to capitalism and for not being carried in shops anymore. Many of their limited editions have had a wacky Victorian theme, from Moriarty to steam-armoured nuns. Shame the only thing now is the Jack The Ripper blister.
Well, there’s always second-hand…
|It was Mark Copplestone who gave Foundry and the world the Darkest Africa range. And he said that he would continue the range, but somehow Foundry never released anything. So he set up his own company and Return(ed) to Darkest Africa. Needless to say, the quality is good (just look at the pictures). Mr. Copplestone continues to dabble in this and that, from 1920s adventurers from the Gobi Desert, Inuit, Cavemen, and wotnot.
If you are of stout heart, gentle reader, then continue on to page two, where more hearty heroes and scurrilous villains await!
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