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European Minis ??


Candra
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Hi,

 

I'm ranting, and this seems the best place ...

 

I've seen in another topic about why minis are so big in the US, that most mini manufacturers are european (apparently, mostly UK?) based.

It's in this topic and one poster (can't remember who) goes on to say that they almost always buy eurpoean minis.

 

But what I don't get, is how come you guys in the states know of all of these, and me in europe hasn't heard of any of them before joining this forum? I only actually heard of Reaper minis after browsing through Bruce Hirsts site which mentioned them, up until then I'd only heard of GW. I've also heard mention of this thing you americans call FLGS - can't say I've every met one, they must be a rare beast indeed. The only place I've seen to get minis in a shop in the UK is in a GW shop. It's all GW, GW, GW or occasionally you get a special surprise ... GW

 

Up until last year, I honestly thought that the only mini manufacturer in the world was GW - I know that probably sounds really stupid to some people, but it's the truth. I was over the moon when I found another brand of mini, with better sculpts and a wider range of mini.

 

Okay, I've going on a bit here ... but worry not - my spleen is almost vented. I'm not what you'd call a gamer, I prefer the painting side of the hobby, and I don't know anyone at all who is involved in the hobby in any way so I've noone to compare products with. But where do you guys get all your info from?

 

Anyhow, sorry for rambling, but I thought this needed to be said (at least to myself)

Candra

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Okay, I've going on a bit here ... but worry not - my spleen is almost vented. I'm not what you'd call a gamer, I prefer the painting side of the hobby, and I don't know anyone at all who is involved in the hobby in any way so I've noone to compare products with. But where do you guys get all your info from?

 

 

For me, I hear about other figure companies through other board members or other board members websites. I frequently look at peoples websites mostly to see what they have painted. But this is also where I get names of other companies that make different minis. I would suggest doing just that.

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Well, for me, it's because I've been a gamer (rpgs) and mini-painter since the very early 80's. Back then there was no GW. It was Ral Partha, Grenadier, Superior, or other, smaller companies now long gone.

 

Also, in the US, GW doesn't have a complete stranglehold on the market. Because there were so many other manufacturers in the US before GW they have a hard time with GW-only stores keeping business. At least, around my area they do.

 

 

My Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS) started out as a comic-book store in a teeny, tiny little shop inside a home near the University campus. Mostly filled with back issues and some odd rpg books and paperbacks, it eventually grew into larger proportions until, now, they have several stores between Round Rock, Austin, San Marcos, and San Antonio. Through them I discovered Reaper, and the ancient silver/white/green color-scheme the Reaper site was pre-Kit.

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Well, for me, it's because I've been a gamer (rpgs) and mini-painter since the very early 80's. Back then there was no GW. It was Ral Partha, Grenadier, Superior, or other, smaller companies now long gone.

 

I remember those days. I remember when you could buy GW stuff for a decent price. I only have a dozen or so GW figures but they are all well over 10 years old.

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Well, for me, it's because I've been a gamer (rpgs) and mini-painter since the very early 80's. Back then there was no GW. It was Ral Partha, Grenadier, Superior, or other, smaller companies now long gone.

 

Actually that's not quite correct, Citadel miniatures were available in the US in the early to mid-80's initially Ral Partha was importing them (or perhaps casting them under license) and then by '84 Citadel was available under its own Moniker. The White Dwarf magazine used to be devoted to RPGs and the original Games Workshop releases were TSR products under licencse in the UK and the original Fiend Folio produced by TSR was actually written by the GW crew. Then in about '83-'84 the first Warhammer game was introduced which was both RPG and a battle game although the 1st edition of Warhammer was really a skirmish game.

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Definitely check for a local game store. I didn't think any existed until I was brought to one! And now, I just have to know what I'm looking for. Also, you can use a store finder to find gaming related products. So, if you check the Wizards of the Coast site for store locations you may be able to find a game store.

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Then, technically, it was Citadel, not GW, right? ::P:

 

And I remember when the FF was released because the entire group had to rush out to buy it. I started gaming around early '81, and all I recall are RP, Grenadier, and smaller companies. The only reason I even remember Superior is because I have a few of their minis still.

 

It's also dependant upon what companies the FLGS at the time stocked. The one I frequented then was mostly railroad and historical minis, with a small section for rpgs. It grew a bit as '83-'88 built on a burgeoning rpg market, but has since dwindled into a miniscule area mixed with the historical minis as the other, larger FLGS has taken over that niche. They still don't sell GW and I don't think they ever did. The only Citadel I recall seeing was at the now larger one, which didn't carry minis at all until around '91-'92.

 

The third comic-book NSFLGS store that I didn't frequent much at all may have carried them, but I didn't even walk into that one until around '88, and that branch had no minis and mostly back issues of comics, very few currents. The main store was outside of my roaming range at the time and they were always rude.

 

That is, of course, based on my own personal experiences with the FLGS's here in town. YMMV.

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I married a historical gamer, so I'd been hearing of Peter Pigg and Minifigs for ages before I came across Reaper. I suppose it all depends on what your genre is and what circles you move in. The only fantasy minis makers I knew by name before Reaper were GW and the ones WoTC made (though I think they were still TSR back then). I had no clue about Ral Partha even though by most peoples' reckoning they are/were one of the "biggies" in fantasy.

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Then, technically, it was Citadel, not GW, right? ::P:

 

Well actually, Citadel has always been owned by GW. Even now if you look on the back of a pack of GW miniatures it has the Citadel Logo and says Citadel miniatures on it. In fact the distributor I worked for listed all their products as Citadel because there were so few actual GW products.

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Like I said over in that thread...Game stores in the UK are almost all gone except for GW.

 

Hit the conventions. You can post over on TMP or Frothers or the Forum of Doom to get more info on conventions in your area and what they are for.

 

You may be surprised that there are some going on in your backyard...most aren't as big as the ones we have here stateside (granted there are generally more smaller ones over there).

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Also hobbies tend to be little pocket societies and if you aren't interested in that hobby you'll know little or nothing. I've lived in the same city for nearly twenty years and could not tell you where to buy coins or stamps, vintage teddy bears, or hummels. I don't know where the closest baseball card shop is to my house or where the quilting club meets... because I'm not interested.

 

People here on the Reaper board know where minis are... whether that be in their town or across the ocean, because we want minis. Also it's easy to know of companies in other countries because everything is sold online and through the mega retailers like Michigan Toy, Squadron,

Red Lancers and Colorado miniatures.

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While there may be a game store issue in the UK, there is not a GAME CONVENTION issue -> unless alot of them is an issue. The ones that I've had friends attend or can find with a quick review of a few sites that list the shows they are attending are:

 

Salute!

Triples

Excaliber

Phalanx

Colours

Old Glory

SELWG

Reveille

Crisis

Attack!

Warfare

WMMS

 

Sooo... hope that was helpful!!!

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Yep, and those are the fairly big ones. Last time I was over there, I went to 3 different conventions in the course of two weeks without even planning it. On top of that - everything is within a days drive in the UK...so even when the convention is on the other side of the country, it still isn't something you need to save up for.

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