I haven't made a secret about my preference for plastic minis over metal. Not only are they cheaper, but they are lighter, easier to perform conversions on, and you never have to worry if your minis are going to poison you. And since modern plastic-injection techniques offer miniatures that are almost indistinguishable from metal in terms of casting, I simply don't see the advantage of going metal when plastic is available.
Of course plastic isn't always available, as the one advantage metal has over plastic is that it's cheaper to make metal molds than plastic injection molds, meaning there are more metal manufacturers out there than plastic, and a greater variety of figures. So I've been keeping an eye out for metal minis worthy of the name Cheap Fantasy Minis.
Readers, meet Syr Hobbs Wargames. It's a niche little hobby shop out of the Kansas City area that seems to specialize in imported metal miniatures. What attracted me to them is that they have a lot of already cheap mini lines on clearance, making them competitive in price with the cheap plastic minis I know and love. Here's some of what I ordered:
The boar is a 15mm figure from East Riding Miniatures. Though it's supposedly in a smaller scale, it looks pretty good next to Sven the 1/72 scale comparison viking. Syr Hobbs sold a bag of 6 for $2—one of which was unfortunately miscast or damaged, but it was still a good deal for 5. The fellow to the right is a 20mm "octopoid priest" from Elhiem Figures—the bit to his left is a tentacle arm which I may use, or I may use a replacement arm. Either way, he'll make a fine Mind Flayer. The two blobby things to his right are "night horrors," also from Elhiem.
I also bought some Elhiem tentacles and some 15mm scale heads from C-P Models for future conversion projects. Turns out most of the C-P heads will work just fine for 1/72 conversions. I'll review the heads in greater detail in a future post.