Friday, June 14, 2013

Arcane Legions for generic fantasy gaming

This is essentially a repeat of a post I made at ENWorld a few months ago, but since I still have a few of these miniatures and other related items for sale on eBay (see the sidebar!), I thought I could talk a bit about Arcane Legions miniatures.

Arcane Legions is a miniature fantasy/quasi-historical wargame produced by some refuges from Wizkids, the company that makes Heroclix, Mage Knight, and other popular miniature games. It was unique in that its miniatures were in 1/72 scale, the preferred scale of this blog. Maybe it's because of this "weird" (not 28mm) scale, or its unusual setting, but despite some innovative ideas, the game recently went defunct after a few years of production.

Their loss, while unfortunate, is the cheap fantasy miniaturists gain, as it means an already cheap minis game is now being liquidated in many places. Miniature market now sells booster bricks (60-70 painted figures, including several larger figures) for $24, and the core game, with over 120 unpainted minis, for $15, as well as individual army and cavalry boxes for $8. For generic fantasy gaming, the core game might not be very useful unless you need a lot of centurions and other bronze-age troops. But the boosters have a lot of figures useful for all sorts of fantasy genres. I'll detail some of my favorites here (note that they look a bit taller in these photos than they are, as their peg bases meant they had to be mounted a few millimeters from the backdrop.

Some moderately modified centaurs, with headswaps from Italeri's Barbarian set (the originals had Greek-style helmets that I chose to replace). Most of the spears are from the Egyptian cavalry, while the rest of the centaurs are from the Egyptian booster brick

A large undead, a cyclops, and two minotaurs. The minotaurs are Roman boosters; the rest are Egyptian.

Some "great ones" from the Han booster set.

More Han boosters, which make suitable generic quasi-Asian fantasy heroes and troops.

A Roman wolf, Han foo-dog, Egyptian sta, and Han yeti.

Nuwa, and two jorogumo, both Han boosters. I included an Age of Mythology medusa and a toy Halloween spider for comparison. The spider is actually about the same size as the spider-people; it just has a flatter pose.

Three constructs, and three ghostly figures. The two middle constructs are Roman, the rest are Han booster. The ghosts and the woman sorcerer are cast in clear plastic. I may try to see if I can strip the paint.

Some Egyptian heroes. The pharaoh on the far left is a painted Age of Mythology figure for comparison. The mummified pharaoh to his right is about the same size, just on a smaller base (for now). I think I'll repaint him with a more vital complexion.

Some Egyptian monsters: a sphinx, an Anubis guard, and a criosphinx. The tan minis are Age of Mythology figures, there for comparison.

Some unpainted Egyptian undead, from the Egyptian army set (and core game).  The Age of Mythology mummy and Caesar Miniatures lich are for comparison. The Arcane Legions figures are not really over 30mm tall, but they are a bit taller than other 1/72 figures.

All of the preceding paintjobs, except for the centaurs, are from the manufacturer. I plan on repainting most of these. Here are some comparison shots to show what a decent paintjob can do for these figures (these are all Roman boosters, by the way).


  1. I recently purchased a large number of "Arcane Legions" figures, thanks for directing me to them! I'm very pleased with them overall, but I can't figure out a way to 'de-peg' them easily. Have you come up with a reliable method by any chance?

    1. You're welcome! You'll need a good hobby knife and cutting surface to de-peg these figures. Hold the figure on its side—some Sticky Tack (aka Poster Tack) can keep the figure steady. Then push down with the blade on the peg, as flush to the base as you can. Holding the knife in your fist may be necessary to get the necessary force. Be very sure that the blade isn't pointing at you in case it slips! It takes some pressure, but the peg should come off fairly cleanly. Some more work with the knife and filing with a file or emory board can get the rest.

      The peg happens to be just the right size as the hole in a 3/4" fender washer. If you're using these for basing on a human-sized figure, it can help to glue the washer on first before depegging