Let’s face facts. You can measure how good a Warhammer mini is by many metrics, but we all know there’s one measure that beats them all – the rule of cool is always king. We all might follow the meta and try to come up with competitive lists, but there’s often just that one model that looks so amazing on the table that you just can’t resist including it. Something extra shooty, extra stabby, extra badass or extra good looking. Everyone’s got a favourite, and this week the Handful of Dice writers have put their heads together to come up with a list of our five favourite Warhammer minis. If you’re more interested in some controversial opinions then check out the five minis we hate the most instead!
Arron (AKA @ajb_minis) – Morathi, The Shadow Queen
When thinking about the best looking Warhammer miniatures, there are a lot of strong contenders, but the one which really sticks out to me is Morathi. Specifically the larger Shadow Queen version.
The model combines everything which I think makes a great centerpiece in an army; a large imposing figure, an instantly recognisable silhouette, an interesting base, and a lot of character. On top of that, it’s a great looking female model which doesn’t rely on being scantily-clad to be badass. Whip out Morathi on the tabletop and your opponent is going to have to consider their gameplan carefully.
It’s also an incredible model to paint, partly because it ties together a little bit of everything. You get to flex your skills on a human face, long flowing robes, a snake-like tail, demonic looking wings and an ornate weapon. There’s even a small brazier emitting a fire if you want to try out some OSL lighting effects. If you’re not a confident painter, then Contrast paints would work really well with all of the small details. But if you’re a masochist like myself you can spend the time highlighting each individual scale on her tail (multiple times).
Ben (AKA @manyotterminis) – Fuirann
My preference for miniatures changes on a daily basis based on whatever weird painting idea I’ve come up with that day, and as a result I’m drawn towards more understated miniatures. Maybe it’s because I feel like they give the paint job a bit more room to shine, maybe it’s because they take less time and I find them less daunting to paint. So we can all agree that Sigvald is a fantastic, menacing, and beautiful, presence on the battlefield but no matter how he’s painted his flowing hair, billowing cape, and bare behind are going to be the real stars of the show.
For my favourite miniatures then I’m going to go to my favourite game, Warhammer Underworlds. All the models for Underworlds warbands are incredible but this model from Elthain’s Soulraid really stands out. No, stop, we’ve all had a lot of fun but it’s not Duinclaw the crab. It’s Ishlaen warrior, Fuirann.
A lot of larger models are posing. Staring into the distance, one foot invariably on a rock, trying to look regal/menacing/powerful. Fuirann doesn’t have time for that. There’s a fight going on, she’s in the thick of it, and you can tell by her face she’s super mad about it. It’s not just a still snapshot in time but gives you a vision of something in action, and you can picture what happens next. In my head an orruk is about to get bounced off that shield and driven into the sand with a downward swing of Fuirann’s sword but everyone can have a different interpretation and I think that’s what makes the best model.
Kristian (AKA @kregory03) – Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis
There are many awesome miniatures out there, but mine is stretching the definition of the word. Katakros has the honour of being the first ‘diorama’ miniature Games Workshop released, followed by the Triumph of St. Katherine for the Adepta Sororitas, and I’d argue he still stands as the best.
Detailed but not overly so, and each one of his retainers oozes with character that tells you what they do even before you look at their rules; you can clearly see the bannerman, the champion, scribe and spymaster easily from their designs, and each one is a character in his own right for you to lavish attention on if you so wish.
And at the centre of it all, stood upon one of the more impressive hero rocks that GW loves to use, is the man himself. Katakros towers over nearly every other miniature in the army even before his vantage point, and his almost bored posture really drives home that this is a master strategist that has yet to find his equal. And for those with the artistic skill, the large open spaces on Katakros can be a canvas for all manner of freehand work.
Matt (AKA @howes_the_painting) – C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon
Across my time with Warhammer there have been many fantastic miniatures that have won my heart. From the Warhammer Fantasy Empire Warrior Priests to the gravity defying Lord Kroak! Whilst my favourite part of miniature hobbying is converting (which you’ll read more about soon) there are some models that are just too cool to mess with…
The C’tan Shard of the Void Dragon is one of those models!
The main beauty of the model is the sheer magic of engineering to make this thing fly! Almost gone are the days of flimsy flying stands, and the social contract to pretend they’re not super obvious and that they don’t ruin the aesthetics of the model, and in their place are starting to appear models like these. And whilst the green lightning may look fragile, as someone who has seen one of these knocked off a gaming table and come out unscathed, they are much stronger than they appear!
Next up is the C’tan shard itself. The model is surprisingly simple – a metal body with a Necron construct strapped to its back. But the beauty of this model is just how simple it is! It doesn’t try to fight against the Necron powerhouse that is the Silent King, and keeps things a bit more low-key! I personally think the mark of a great model is that anyone could paint it – that it does a lot of the hard work for you. And the C’tan shard certainly delivers there.
Niall (AKA @nb_minis) – Ghazghkull Thraka
I had to think pretty hard about this one, there were a few possible contenders. My first thought was The Light of Eltharion – that sculpt is incredibly (read: terrifyingly) delicate and incredibly (read: terrifyingly) intricate. It was amazing fun to paint, and there’s no denying it holds a commanding place on a battlefield – even with a mountainous war cow striding overhead.
But the one that gets the nod as my favourite mini is from a different millenia. If you ask me when it comes to the rule of cool, no one does it better than 40k Ork’s. Giant, ramshackle war-machines that are seemingly held together by faith (sometimes more literally than not), insanely fast flyers that look like they’re defying the laws of physics as they hurl bullets and bombs at their targets and a riotous, reckless, looty and incredibly fun approach to war that leaves . What’s not to love?
When it comes to Orks one quite literally rises above all others. In a system where might is right, the biggest, baddest Ork of them all is going to be something special. The fact that he got a brand new and suitably large new sculpt a few years ago, which is crammed full of beautifully brutal Orky detail, means Ghazghull Thraka, my favourite mini, makes a huge and eye-catching centrepiece that brings some serious dakka to any waaagh. Plus he comes with his own cute little grot bannerman. There are also some very talented artists who’ve done a fantastic job on him across Instagram if you want some inspiration for a paint scheme!
Did you enjoy this article? You could always tip the author with a coffee (or something stronger). If you fancy getting yourself any of these amazing looking minis, then check out Element Games. They have great deals on a wide range of Warhammer and accessories. Finally, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date and get involved in our community!