Monday, February 6, 2017

2016 Mini of the Year Voting

It's been another full year of Mini of the Week entries, which can only mean one thing, it's time to vote for the Mini of the Year from 2016! 

I went through all 52 of the entries from the past year and picked the top 10 most viewed. These were the 10 that you, the reader, decided you liked the most just by virtue of how popular it was. Now it's your chance to pick which one of these 10 deserves the top spot of Mini of the Year. Take a look at all of the entries below then vote for your favorite at the bottom. On Friday I will reveal which one is taking home the honor of being everyone's favorite mini from 2016!

Stormcast Eternal Liberator by Toolinger 

There have been plenty of versions of the Stormcast model that came for free with the White Dwarf back during the AoS release. A lot of them have been very well done, and this one is no exception. The non-metallic metals are spot on, with smooth transitions and crisp highlights. They have even added battle damage all over to really make him feel like he's been in the thick of things. It might be a little overboard in a few areas, but for the most part I think it works.

Tzeentch Warrior by elfhead 

Ben Curry of Bad Dice fame ran a painting competition this past month to celebrate the launch of the new White Dwarf magazine. Everyone had to paint the same model, the free Slaughterpriest that came with the issue, but were allowed to do anything they wanted with it. There are some truly stunning entires in it, but the one that caught my eye the most as this Tzeentch conversion by elfhead. He didn't just slap a Tzeentch symbol on the model and call it a day, instead he did a pretty extensive conversion. The loin cloth is completely new, as well as the right arm, and the horns on the head. The most impressive part to me are the flames coming off of the flail. The sculpting and conversion work is pretty much flawless and looks like it could have been a stock model, which to me is when you know they did a great job. It perfectly evokes the imagery of Tzeentch as well, complete with feathers on his mutated arm. 

Ultramarine Captain by Mathew Kane 

Wow, this guy's whole Ultramarines army is amazing, but this captain is particularly awesome. It's so unique, I doubt you will ever see a model like it in another army. Based off his description this mini has parts from the Praetor, Pollus, Loken, Horus, Guilliaman, and even more models. That's dedication to a conversion, and it all goes together so well too. Being able to seamlessly combine all of these different parts into a single model and have it look like it was meant to be this way all along is a talent. Keep in mind that some of these parts were from Primarchs, so a completely different scale. The planning that must have went into making this is intense just to think about. Those are some pretty expensive models you're poaching parts from. The pose he achieved too is perfect for an Ultramarine. It's heroic and slightly arrogant.

Gordrakk by Martin Waller 

You may have seen this mini already, it's the Slayer Sword winner from the Age of Sigmar open day this past weekend. I first saw this on Facebook a week or two beforehand and was instantly blown away by how amazing it is. Martin stuck with the standard yellow and black color scheme for Gordrakk, and it looks great. All of the colors are very subdued and desaturated which gives it a very realistic look. The blending and weathering on the yellow parts of the armor are pretty much perfect. As amazing as the armor is, the most impressive part to me is the skin. The face has a suitably raw look to it. I love the red tones worked into the skin around the exposed skull.

Ironjawz Megaboss by RUmc 

Orruks seem to be the model of choice for fantastic painters lately with the Gordrakk last week and now this Megaboss. Just like his cousin, this mini was entered into the Age of Sigmar Golden Demon and also took home an award, a bronze in single figure. I am absolutely floored by how crisp the highlights are on this. I know I always talk about crisp highlights on well done models, but this is a whole other level. Just look at the yellow dags on his ax or his skin. That yellow is awesome as well. It's so rich and the blends are smooth and at the same time dramatic. The skin is wonderful too. I love how they went for a rich green color in the recesses while the main skin tone is a little more drab.

Neferata by Anton Pryakhin 

Besides just being a fantastic paint job, this is a rather unique looking Neferata. While the actual model itself hasn't been converted too much, the inclusion of the scenic base really adds a ton of atmosphere to the model. I really like the spirit hosts coming through the walls of the crypt. The crypt itself is very nice too, and a little more subdued then we are used to seeing in Warhammer scenery. Having the armor painted a sickly looking green on her mount is not something I have seen before. It seems odd at first for a vampire, but it contrasts really well with Neferata and the more ruddy tone of the Dread Abyssal's "skin". That's another thing I really like. Usually it would be painted like bone, and while it has a definite bone feel to it, it also has a lot of warmer, fleshy tones to it. You can see this most around the mouth. It makes it truly creepy looking and even more unnatural. Is it made of bone or some kind of weird fleshy bone?

Warplock Jezzails by Morback 

Blog dé Kouzes always has amazing models, both painting and conversion wise, and these Jezzails are no different. The classic Jezzails models are getting a little long in the tooth and look a bit out of place amongst the new Skaven models. These guys fit in perfectly though and look awesome to boot! They look to be mostly made from the Stormvermin models, but with a gun from the Skittari from 40k, and a bunch of green stuff.

Studying Forbidden Arts by Arbaal 

I'm a sucker for well done dioramas, and this one certainly is very well done. I love the story it tells, of a wizard who is dabbling in the dark arts. The candles all around lend an air of the occult, and the skull and candle on his own head is perfectly Warhammer to me, just a tad over the top, and of course, involving skulls. My favorite part though is definitely the floating cauldron. Everything about it is great, with the flaming skulls beneath it, the floating chains on the side of it, and the cloud of mist shaped like a skull coming from the cauldron. That has to be one of my favorite bits from the GW range.

Gaunt Summoner by Angelo Di Chello 

I'm sure most of you will have seen this by now, but it's a fantastic model I just had to share. This is the Slayer Sword winner from the European Golden Demons this year, and it definitely deserves the award. There's no conversion on the model, but the painting is just to such a high degree. It has that Tzeentch look with the multitude of colors, but they have managed to retain a more muted, realistic look to it. When you look at the blue armor in the close up shot you can really see this.

Mista Snaakes by samson

This is pretty dang cool. I'm not sure if those snakes are 100% free hand sculpted or if there's some conversion in there too, but either way it's awesome and adds a ton more character to the model. The painting is amazing with that smoke being a definite standout. They perfectly captured the ominous green lighting on the black smoke. It's just the right amount of color and lighting to add to the smoke. It looks magical, but not over the top.

Now it's up to you to decide which of these 10 will be the Mini of the Year for 2016. Vote for your favorite below and the winner will be announced on Friday!

EDIT: Obviously ignore the option where you can vote for the question, I can't edit the poll now that it's live.

Which Model Deserves Mini of the Year?

Which Model Deserves Mini of the Year?
Stormcast Eternal Liberator
Tzeentch Warrior
Ultramarine Captain
Ironjawz Megaboss
Warplock Jezzails
Studying Forbidden Arts
Gaunt Summoner
Mista Snaakes
survey maker

Until next time,

Tyler M.

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