Old Mini Monday 07 – SciFi-02

Old Mini Monday 07 – SciFi-02


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.



From left to right: Tanker/Vehicle Crewman (20-402), Paramilitary Operative 2 (20-011b), and ?



A big “THANK YOU!” to Mark A. Morin here, for pointing out this reference for tracking down old minis. Huge help in quickly identifying the first two!


Ral Partha, 1985.

Tanker/Vehicle Crewman (20-402)

Paramilitary Operative 2 (20-011b)

Sadly, my net searching skills are not turning up anything for the last guy. I thought he would be the first one I would find too. Ah, well.



Mostly generic characters here. The guy on the far right looks like a superhero character my brother used to draw and matches the color scheme of his costume. I’m guessing that was intentional. I don’t recall us using these minis, but quite possibly came out in the Alternity SciFi game or one of the Superhero RPGs we played. We played pretty much all of them, Villains & Vigilantes, Champions, Marvel Super-Heroes, and DC Heroes. I even owned Superworld, Gurps Supers, Golden Heroes, Heroes Unlimited, and Superhero: 2044. My brother had a copy of “Guardians”, which was a rulebook about the size of a mini-comic. I also tried running a game of Mutants & Masterminds later on, but we barely got past making a character.


Tangent – Availability

Speaking of superheroes reminds me of the days when minis were sometimes scarce. You could find some Fantasy minis here and there. SciFi/Modern minis in 25mm might be a little tougher. And good luck if you were looking to play superheroes. Even just finding the right minis for a Dungeons & Dragons module could be a big chore. ‘Oh, there is a pack of Stirges in this module, cool I’ll just…uh, wait, I don’t have any Stirges!’

It takes some courage, to fight the stirge!

‘Hmm, I do have 2 Kobolds, but this room has 20… There is also a Wight… I have a Gargoyle, maybe I’ll just sub that…. *sigh*’.

Nowadays there seem to be a lot more options. Though I have ran into the occasional weirdness, like the Stirge above, or needing a large Mummy but finding them going for $6+ per model on Ebay. With the collectible plastic crap games like Heroclix and MageKnight, and others…there is a lot of fodder for gaming and conversions out there. Reaper Bones is also a great source for cheaper minis. Just Ebay alone, made availability of any gaming materials much easier to get ahold of.

In the old days though, there was a mix of frustration and also wonderment. Companies often made things that had no relation to existing games and franchises, so I would sometimes run across bizarre minis, that I had no idea what they belonged to. I found that sometimes pretty cool that they took a risk to do something different, which isn’t something you see too often nowadays.

Thoughts? Do you find pretty much what you are looking for nowadays and that things were more scarce in the past?

13 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 07 – SciFi-02

  1. In response to your question. In the past I could only buy what the local model shop had to offer and that was pretty poor. The internet changed my modelling world on several levels. Being able to buy online from any where in the world, comparing painting schemes of the same model through images, tips, tutorials and materials and of course blogging! I love the old stuff and I love the creativity and resorcefullness of a time gone by but has there been a better time to be a modeller than now? Not for me there hasn’t.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Very interesting, regarding the online tips and tutorials. I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit as I work through my next project. I wonder if the online tutorials help elevate painting techniques and creativity overall? It probably makes it easier for someone to get past some of the basic stumbling blocks that could hold them up otherwise. I might have to revisit this thought later.

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  2. I think some of the tutorials only really work if you are honest about your own ability. Learning to walk before you run springs to mind. Some of the professional stuff is way over my head. I also think a complete beginner can be put off if their starting point is a pro site. Lots of beginner stuff out there and because I was largely self taught pre internet I’ve picked up loads from those sites.

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    1. I found when I started looking at YouTube videos, that there was just too much out there. It was hard to tell what was useful for me at the time. Though as I’ve continued to build on techniques, I feel like I probably wouldn’t have gotten there without that help too.

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  3. I find I can get nearly any model these days! There are also lots of plastic figures now in 1:72 as well (so near enough 1:76 or 20mm for me, my scale of choice) and 3-D printed choices in tanks and vehicles is growing by the day! So I used to scratchbuild what I couldn’t find, or afford, all those years ago, and I seemed to have plenty of time to do that! Now I seem to have less time (must be all the naps I have to take) but can buy all the stuff on-line I want (and you may need to edit that last bit out in case my wife spots it)! I love Old Mini Mondays!

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    1. Thanks justneedsvarnish! I’m really curious what the future will look like with 3D printing. I think for hobbyists, it will be pretty awesome. Miniature manufacturers, I think, need to figure out a way to embrace it somehow. Probably by making custom bits available for sale/printing. I’m not a modeler, so I imagine I will continue to buy premade minis for a long time.

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      1. Yep, I think you’re right about the future looking good as far as 3-D printing’s concerned! Quite a few miniature manufacturers are creating prototypes that way and then using more traditional techniques to produce them in bulk! And I’ll buy pre-made and pre-painted if it’s a product I want (just bought an Easymodels 1:72 French Char B tank, nice model)! And as far as you’re concerned, it’ll keep you busy with Old Model Mondays for years to come!

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  4. Thanks for the shout out and glad I could help. The Lost Minis Wiki is a great resource that grows with time.

    Things indeed were more scarce in the past. As TIM stated above, often you were limited to what a game store had. Ordering was a nightmare, as you often could not even see what was available.

    I fixated for 33 (yes 33) years on collecting enough Ral Partha Rooman War Party figures to make a large phalanx mob of these Roomen. If you have not seen my post on them, I think it goes to the heart of your question: https://markamorin.com/2016/10/17/after-33-years-i-finally-have-an-original-ral-partha-rooman-war-party-troop-es-44-or-01-044-from-1977/

    As for 3d printing, I guess I’m still in the analog school with mold-making and casting metal!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Mark. And if you can cast your own, then light them up! Oh wait, that doesn’t work…because the minis might be on fire and then there is the fireman at the door and…I guess I best leave that to the pros!

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  5. While I’m not quite as …*cough* experienced as you guys, I’m still from the days where the options were regular trips to the “close” (1hr trip each way) hobby shop or the much rarer trips (maybe expeditions is a batter word) to other hobby stores that were *much* farther away. To be fair, the one in town (the “close” one) had a pretty good range of models from GW, Ral Partha, Grenadier, Rackham, Heartbreaker, Reaper (and on and on) and also tended to support new games as they came out and about.
    Now of course, the internet opens the whole game up, and the models are better, in many cases cheaper (because of directly importing instead of making the middlemen fat), get delivered to my work or the post office around the corner from my home in 1-3 weeks (often for free) and of course, the variety and choice is outstanding by comparison.
    Like TIM, I’m mostly self-taught, supplemented by things like White Dwarf painting articles back in the day – but these days between articles on blogs that show how to do things do YouTube videos that range from simple-but-useful (Duncan’s Warhammer TV video on painting Black Hair) – to being able to watch three different videos on vehicle weathering where one of them is from a train modeller, one is from a plastic model kit modeller and one from a wargames painter and being able to use tips from all three really opens up the cross-pollination of techniques from related hobbies, even though we’d generally all be in our separate little worlds in the past.
    And there’s still plenty of odd and crazy stuff out there – to me it feels like more than ever of that stuff – you just need to poke around. Not everything is made in order to be “Warhammer-compatible” – not by a long shot!

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    1. Yea, great point about cross-pollination. In that regard, I think the hobby is really benefitting. The quality of the videos is what sometimes bothers me. Any ‘young buck’ with a camera can throw something out there nowadays, and it takes some work to sort through the bad stuff. I’ve wasted time on a number of overly long videos on some technique, and then find out about the same thing through a 5 minute Duncan Warhammer TV video. My Spidey-Sense is getting a lot better these days, about detecting people who don’t know what they are doing. I sometimes subconsciously think that I will find that one youtuber who paints just the way I like, and has all the answers. Nope, so I flit around between lots of you tubers and pick up bits from all of them.


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