Monday 7 July 2014

Snap! I've Got A Pair!

You might think that the right number for a group of miniatures is a squad of 5. Or perhaps it's a regiment of 30. You're wrong of course, I've recently had the realisation that the correct number is 2. This realisation only came to me through two sub-consciously created events:

Event #1
I purchased this Citadel Pilot from the classic 40k Adventurers range:

"So what's my point?", you might ask. It's a perfectly good purchase of a lovely, classic Citadel figure. No different from buying the Space Eunuch or Worldburner.

"Ah, but this is different!", I would say back to you, and the reason is that I bought the Citadel Pilot because I thought he would make an excellent complementary figure to the Spacelords Pilot I bought a week or so ago.

They look great together, don't you think?
Event #2
As I watched the dull drudgery of second half of the Netherlands v Costa Rica on Saturday, I decided to do something useful with my time. I had a root around in my box of spares and pulled out a Squat Biker severely lacking in the arms department. After fettling around with some wire and greenstuff for an hour. I had produced this little fella:

I stuck him on the shelf right next to the Spacelords Adventurer I painted last week. "That's pretty cool", I thought, "they would make a nice little pair of figures." And they do:

Trader Yakob Pento with his Squat appraiser

At that moment I realised I was matching pairs of figures by theme or perhaps just by complementary look. And I hadn't just done it on these two occasions:

A pair of Brat dandies, one in black, one in white, both with canes

A pair of Blood Bowl Witch Elves

A pair of Blood Bowl Dark Elf Linemen
If the two Linemen don't strike you necessarily as being a pair, then look at on of them compared against the look of the rest of the Linemen:

Fairly instinctively I have created a pair of bare-headed, eye-patch wearing Linemen, both with long boots, within a larger grouping. I can honestly say, this wasn't really intentional - I was just using the bits and pieces that were in my bits box. The long boots on the model on the right were only done because I couldn't be bothered to trim all the studs off the original Elf lineman's leggings!

As it turns out, I might have been doing this for years:

Female Space Elf Trader I commissioned Bob Naismith to sculpt a couple of years ago. I wanted the figure to be complementary to the Citadel Rogue Trader Eldar also pictured.

And it's not just me, or even just miniatures related. Superheroes have their sidekicks, Sherlock Holmes had Watson. Citadel produced their Collectors Series:

Picture courtesy of Collecting Citadel Miniatures Wiki

Picture courtesy of Collecting Citadel Miniatures Wiki

Marauder even went one step further with their Chaos Dwarf mini-me series, copying the earlier Citadel Chaos Warriors:

I have managed to convince myself that pairs of figures linked by a common theme or look really tie figures together to reinforce narrative and visual continuity. I also think that it's something well worth doing within larger groupings of figures (be it squads, teams, warbands or units). You'll probably tell me that you've all been doing this for years, but I've enjoyed the realisation and will make sure it's a key part of my figure selection going foward.


  1. I just had a similar vision this week while painting the models of my new RT warband. It is built on models from many different ranges (a sapce skellie, a JD Klegg and some adventurers) and by painting them I realised I could make very convincing pairs and that they all matched far much better that I previsouly thought (I thought only the PJ would tied them together).

    You could add that the RT power-amroured squats are all derived from a chaos renegade as well. (I'll write about this)

    Anyway, a couple of models is all yo uneed to have a cool band and to start incredible stories !

    1. How funny JB - I've just bought a JD Klegg as a bodyguard for my Spacelords adventurer. I take it you'll be sharing pics of your lovely selection of figures soon? ;)

    2. Then just compare th eJD Klegg and the "Irn Bounce" (aka space dwarf from th eoriginal RT release). They have just the same boots !
      I'm o nthe details right now so they should be ready very soon :).

  2. Nice post Jon, and your squat conversion is excellent.

    1. Thanks Steve - it's funny how a lack of a part can actually help a figure sometimes by allowing you to be more creative! What to do with the other 10 squats without any plastic arms? ;)

  3. Great post.
    I always liked to look at the miniatures in a particular range and see which of them were from a common basic sculpt. Also, finding the same sculpted equipment on differing ranges.
    Love the squat with the new arms :)