The Art and Making of Fantasy Miniatures is a 238 page hardback, coffee table book, packed full of colour photos and artwork, with a sprinkling of text, which aims to ‘showcase some of the best talent in the industry’. The industry in question being fantasy figures, so historical purists should look away now as there is nothing for you to see here.
Note: The text below is the transcript of our flipthrough video (for those who would rather read than listen).
It’s easy to get an angle on this book with a quick flick through its nicely bound glossy leaves i.e. there’s page after page of photos of well painted figures which should thrill any fan of the genre.
By looking at the Contents page we can see that the book is divided into 11 chapters with each one showcasing figures and artwork by 11 different manufacturer’s.
Just before we take a look at some of the entrants we should pause to read the introduction by author (or perhaps compiler is a more appropriate title) Jamie Kendall, in which he highlights something of the ethos of the book by pointing out that one manufacturers take on a dwarf, will not be that of another, therefore as fantasy figure fans we are treated to a wealth of options when it comes to admiring and collecting dwarves and other figures.
Jamie then proceeds with some cod philosophy -“Miniature figures are a lot like people in that they are simultaneously completely unique and yet totally unoriginal” which is best glossed over, until we get to the salient point that “you should view this as an art museum in book form” which is a good summing up of what’s on offer!
As mentioned each chapter contains lots of lovely photos of figures, plus relevant artwork, a smattering of text which introduces the manufacturer and has some inside information from the sculptors or other members of the design team.
The book does what it profess to do very well, it doesn’t set itself a difficult task in that it is just trying to show off lots of nice looking figures. Any book about fantasy figures which does not feature Games Workshop leaves a large Games Workshop sized hole in its wake, but that can’t be blamed on the author as no doubt GW wouldn’t play ball if asked, so although I’m no expert I’ve not doubt this is a showcase of some of the best ‘other’ fantsy miniatures out there and at £30 or $52 it is not overly expensive. The book will doubtless age very quickly (some of the figures are already several years old) but if you can live with that and you would like a tabletop-hardback-fantasy-miniatures-museum – The Art and Making of Fantasy Miniatures, published by Pen and Sword, could be for you.