Saturday, March 6, 2010

Lead Time Lords

So it's come to this - a Doctor Who-related post. Still, there's a cross-interest with this post as it's also about painting miniatures. And here they are.

These Doctors Who are for the most part examples of the range initially made by Harlequin Miniatures around 1998-2000, and subsequently bought and still for sale by Black Tree Designs. Harlequin's range was laudable but eccentric, and remains the pre-eminent version of DW miniatures in 28mm. Almost the entire old series was accounted for plus the TV Movie and two Peter Cushing films by Doctors, companions and other series regulars plus a serious stab at most of the show's best, worst and more infamous monsters. There were strange omissions among these though - no Rani, Meddling Monk or Valeyard for one, and Gallifrey was represented by one figure for the President (so no Borusae or Rassillon, no Chancellary Guard - not even a Maxil or Castellan). But as it went it wasn't a bad range in its time; some sculpts and likenesses were better than others, and the sizes were a bit understudied perhaps, but these factors can be surely overlooked by the range available, including several variants of Doctors Hartnell through Davison plus McCoy (there are three Fourth Doctors counting the deerstalker and cloak 'Talons' version).
Harlequin's/BTD's line ends with a small Paul McGann Era ensemble, and there is no official license for the new series. Eagle-eyed enthusiasts have found some pretty decent likenesses elsewhere though, as shown above. Heresy Miniatures, as part of their Scientists and Civilians range offer a "Dr Hugh McCrimmon", a "Malcolm Ecclescake" and a "Nerd Lord" which are pretty good likenesses for the newer Doctors, and enthusiasts have used figures from Heresy's range as well as Hasslefree Miniatures for a few other recent characters (a generic not-Buffy with some modification becomes Rose Tyler, for example), and for the time being these make-dos are as good as you'll get - if not better than the Harlequin jobs (and certainly better than the 1980s caricatures from Citadel).

So, story over, here's my little army of Doctors which were originally painted in quieter times a couple of years ago, though none are what I'd call complete, needing for the most part some highlighting and work on the faces. The Sixth Doctor's coat is a work in progress (famous last words), as is the Fourth Doctor's scarf. The Eighth Doctor is simply undercoated black, with a drybrush of grey to help the detail along (for some reason Harlequin gave him a perm and a HUGE head); the more recent acquisitions are awaiting even a proper undercoat, just given a thin wash of black for a bit of detail again. The Third Doctor isn't a bad Pertwee likeness, though takes on an air of Winston Peters from some angles - there's an alternative pose I'd like to get and paint in Time Warrior colours to break up the run of Doctors In Black the Terror of the Autons version seems to muster. Oh, and the alternative Fourth Doctor with hat and shorter scarf is a figure with great character and attire fit for a time when you want a touch of burgundy but don't want to go all Season Eighteen.

Miniature painting, I keep saying, is a winter sport and I have the aforementioned Tolkein Grenadier minis to redo as well. Wish me luck!

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