With this post, I inaugurate a new regular series (for the next several months or so), in which I introduce my favorite “top ten” models from Games Workshop and possibly beyond, and include a hopefully illuminating explanation of how/why I believe these models merit the accolade. I will be posting on this topic at least once each week as we move down from number ten to my absolute favorite model, with the occasional digression for an honorable mention here and perhaps there.
In part, this series was inspired by several bloggers who have undertaken such a highly subjective and, I fear, potentially inflammatory topic in recent months; however, the greater impetus came from GW’s own surprisingly interesting Hall of Fame series (-I admit that I expected it to be more self-congratulatory and less insightful than the series actually is. Well done, boys).
And so, with all these lists floating about, I thought I might put my foot in the waters.
One catch. As a matter of principle and practicality, I have otherwise excluded models that I have not, in fact, painted. This logic is twofold. One, if I have not painted it yet, this could only be mean that I have not admired the model enough to feel the gut-wrenching compulsion to purchase, prime, and paint it. Two, by definition therefore, the model could not possibly meet my truly extraordinary criteria for what constitutes a “top” model. Naturally, this logic has a circular flaw that we will conveniently ignore for the sakes of both hyperbole and rhetorical convenience.
In addition, I have recently purchased one of those portable photo boxes, and this series will implicitly chart my ability to photograph models with an unprecedented quality and good taste. Already, I have learned a bit - not least of which is the fact that I have much, much more to learn on the matter.
And so my personal Top Ten Models of all time and space and history and all that:
NUMBER 10: THE MAGUS genestealer cult:
Perhaps more than any other similar model, the “one-piece” pose of this character model works for me. He is both diminutive and stagnant. He is flawed, and he embraces that flaw in order to make it a strength. You might note that this model is not even cast properly; the top of his staff is missing a connection at the gem. I did not discover this until painting (some years ago), but I actually quite like it –the deficiency makes it look old and used rather than incomplete… to me. as ever.
Consider his companions pictured above, whom I also quite like, but who suffer quite dramatically from the walks-like-an-Egyptian problem as most one-piece models. The Magus gets around the smashed flatness of these other models by simply not confronting the potential problem. He just stands there. Diminutively. Flaw becomes strength.
At the end of the day, the concept of this model gets me in the guts. He is brainy and powerful and malicious. His armor appears more formidable, and at least more bulky, than he, but he carries that burden about on his shoulders. All that mass around his head makes the Magus so wonderfully understated. –imagine, this slightly built, dare I say scrawny figure, who probably weighs 50lbs with those robes soaking wet -this modest, flinching weakling. Imagine. He controls entire brood of Genestealers, those horrific critters that are at least twice his size and one thousand times his mass in pure, raw viciousness.
Yet the Magus controls them with little more than his mind and bad intentions. He just stands there and does that. I do not expect that we will ever see a model as potentially significant to gameplay, or as representatively powerful, get such a humble, unbecoming treatment again.
So many years past his prime and he is still one of my favorites.