Old Mini Monday 06 – SciFi pt. 01

Old Mini Monday 06 – SciFi pt. 01


While visiting my brother, he rounded up all his old painted minis and let me borrow the box of them to share on the blog.



“Excuse me mister, do you have a license to be tall?!”



Ral Partha. 1985-ish.

The big guy in the middle, is part of the Shadowrun Assassins pack 20-550:

I couldn’t find an official date for him, but he did appear in a 1997 catalog.

The other minis, I think had a 1985 stamp on them. I wasn’t able to track down any info on those.



We mainly used these minis during a SciFi RPG campaign that my brother ran. Originally using the rules and some of the campaign material from Alternity. It was a pretty fun campaign. We were military personnel that got abducted by aliens and taken away into the ‘Alternity’ universe. If memory serves, we escaped our abductors. This being a brand new system, we were learning everything right along with our characters. There’s a gun, but it fires some sort of beam. There’s a weird looking guy, but we have no idea if its friendly or not, or what it can do. Everything was new and it was up to us figure things out the hard way.



No real big tangent this time, but the big guy in the middle is a perfect example of what I was talking about with scale being distracting. The guy is about a full head taller than the others.

Interesting enough, while searching through some of the Ral Partha catalogs, there was a small article about scale. They were talking about how some of their minis were purposefully a bit larger than others. The premise was that these were ‘heroes’ and should stand out a bit more. That probably works fairly well in a wargame, where you might want to easily identify a hero mini on a table filled with armies. In RPGs, with maybe a handful of minis in a scene it looks a bit weirder. My two cents.


14 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 06 – SciFi pt. 01

  1. It’s only a theory but I think our expectation of figures was aligned to the quality available in years gone by. We may have wanted better quality but the “engineering” wasn’t sophisticated enough and as we and the manufactures knew this we just made the most of it. These days our pursuit for accuracy is much higher, the technology is out there and the competition from manufactures is huge. It’s a win win really. We get to enjoy nostalgia and have better figures to paint.

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    1. Sounds like a good theory! I think for myself, I never imagined that more detailed miniatures were a possibility. As a kid playing with figures, we got used to imagining things, and therefore things looked a lot better in our mind than they actually were. I imagine that was probably applied to miniatures when we started getting into role-playing games. “Rose colored glasses”. 🙂

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  2. You can definately fit more detail onto larger models. In turn they become more visually appealing. That’s one of the key reasons for GW’s scale creep over the years.
    As for scale, there’s a guy at my work who is genuinely like 6’6 or taller. Maybe 6’8″. He is genuinely distracting as I am about 5’10”, so he’s pretty much a full head taller than I am.
    The difference between my colleague and your model scale issues is that other proportions remain broadly the same with my colleague and I – our heads and hands aren’t all that different (though this is where we could talk about sexual dimorphism when it comes to hands!). Your Shadowrun guy there is proportioned normally for a 28mm figure – so his head is even larger than it would be if truescale. So he comes across more as someone with gigantism.

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    1. Hey, we’re around the same height. Though I’m getting closer to that age where I’ll probably start shrinking, so who knows. That’s a funny picture. The guy on the left looks like he has some teeny baby hands in comparison.

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  3. Most of the stuff we used in the 1980’s was 25mm, especially Ral Partha. The Lost Minis Wiki is a great resource to research older models if you have not seen it previously: http://www.miniatures-workshop.com/lostminiswiki/index.php?title=Main_Page

    One of the issues I have with scale creep is how the weapons have become waaay too large for the figures. Sure, I don’t mind a Frog with an assault rifle or a Star Duck with a blaster – all I ask is that there be some size proportionality.

    As GW was winning the market with scale creep, RP tried to do the same in the early 90’s. Then all the anti-lead crap came along…

    Nice post Faust!

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    1. Funnily enough, GW aren’t the worst with the scale creep/weapon proportion thing these days. They were pretty bad but have rolled back some of the worst of their ridiculousness while others have taken the ball and sprinted off to weapon-gigantism-town.

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    1. It’s great and not perfect, but you’re right, those old catalog PDF’s can be a pain. Certainly not the best graphics (if even there were any). I have contributed several photos which I consider paying it forward hobby-wise. The guy who runs the page has really been a hero that way.

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