With this post I want to give thanks to Aly Morrison for creating one of the most varied, rich, funny and scary ranges: the Citadel Metal Talisman miniatures designed for 2nd edition of the boardgames. I have been working on collecting and painting the range, which consists of 70 metal miniatures. With help from Trish Carden (and Bob Naismith for some toad conversions), Morrison created a masterpiece of a range, in my (humble and biased) opinion the greatest set of minis Citadel ever created.
The original Talisman game didn't have any minis and instead players used little paper cards to play the game. But when second edition came out in 1985, Citadel decided to add minis to the mix. Based on the illustrations by Gary Chalk, Morrison set out creating an initial set of 14. Over the next few years he sculpted all the other minis, except the 8 Timescape ones, done by Trish Carden, and the 4 toad conversions, which were done by Bob Naismith.
For me personally, painting a mini is just as important as owning it. If a model paints up poorly, or you have to paint 40 of them in the same way, my hobby becomes a slog. The Talisman range avoids that. Even if you paint the mini just like it shows on the paper card (I don't anymore), you still feel like each of the miniatures is its own range. There's no need for repetitiveness and that's how it was designed.
There is also a host of non fighting minis in the range, quite unusual actually for a game where you will have to battle your way to the center of the board: we have a Merchant, loving his coin, a Minstrel playing a tune and a Gypsy harvesting food.
There is also a lot of humor in the designs: the fan favorites (drunk) Pirate and the Monk (who is preaching peace with a mace behind his back), the hilarious toads and the confused Philosopher.
And there are some truly scary miniatures, the ones when you imagine having to face them, it will end badly.... painting up the Troll, I realized how menacing that model really is. And the ghoul is wonderfully creepy, with a great degree of menace. And lastly, the Rogue has always bothered me, just a deranged and violent looking sculpt, you definitely want to avoid that guy in the street.
And if that variety wasn't enough, here comes the Timescape expansion from 1988. Eight Science Fiction miniatures, sculpted by Trish Carden and pretty hard to find nowadays for reasonable prices. What other game can field a Spacepirate and the Knight on the same board? What is not to like - it's just a wonderful diversion from painting fantasy minis - suddenly you get to paint a rogue trader Space Marine for the same game, set in a classic fantasy world.
Some of the minis are true 80's classics in my book, models that just haven't been surpassed in years since (mind you, Talisman minis are a mix of humor and malice). Two of my favorites are the Necromancer and the Dwarf, just splendid minis!
You can paint your Talisman collection in a few ways: follow the traditional color scheme from the character cards, completely abolish that and paint them all however you want to or do a hybrid version with a mix between the first and second. I started out following the colors of the cards and I enjoyed trying to match them as close as possible. But earlier last year I decided to just do something I liked and give up on the card color schemes. It has given me a great deal of freedom, and I really enjoy that part, pondering over color schemes and choosing some colors I normally would not use. Sometimes I still paint something really close to the original card design, without ever looking...