2017 Best Plastic Miniature Nominees

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As 2017 winds down, here’s a look at some of the best miniatures that came out. Which one will end up with best in show?

2017 has been a heck of a year. Whatever else has happened in life, we can safely say that some pretty gorgeous miniatures came out this year. Whatever game you play, we’ve seen some true powerhouses of creativity around the tabletop this year–be it in the pair of Primarchs that pulverized their way through tournaments, or the gruesomely mischevious grinning gaunt ghasts of the Grymkin, from Privateer Press. Or the sately plastic ships of X-Wing and the Kharadron Overlords releases. But, there are a few that really stand out. So with some further ado, here are our candidates for the best Plastic Miniature of 2017–but here comes the ado part–we’re only considering plastic miniatures right now, mass-produced kits that saw a wide release. That means those swanky boutique and metal releases will get their own category.

Alright. NOW we’re through with the ado. Let’s get to the miniatures.

WitchWood Grymkin Solo – Warmachine – Privateer Press


Arkanaut IroncladAge of Sigmar – Games Workshop



Phantom IIStar Wars: X-Wing – Fantasy Flight Games


Daemon Primarch Mortarion – Warhammer 40,000 – Games Workshop

GoryoMalifaux – Wyrd


As you can see, we’ve got our work cut out for us. Be sure and check back next week to see which of these candidates comes away with the coveted Best In Show from the Westminster Kennel Club. Which, incidentally, if anyone should come ’round asking if you’ve seen us, or heard anything about a heist, caper, hijinks, or “job” then you know nothing, and last you heard we were headed for a country without an extradition treaty.

Not that we’ve stolen the coveted honors of the Westminster Kennel Club’s best in show like a gang of thieves making off with the crown jewels, or anything. Why would you even think of that? That’s a weird question. Just remember, we’re not here. But these miniatures are, and that’s what’s important.

There were TONS of plastic kits released from more companies that we could even count. What were some of your favorite ones from 2017?

  • Apocryphus

    Uuuuh, that’s not Magnus the Red…

    • Griffin

      Its bols they arent the brightest bunch….

  • piglette
    • SpaceDwarf

      I was not aware that Snorlock from Adventure Time had a mini out.

      • Coltcabunny

        “I’ll take you through the Realmgates for 25 Schmeckles!”

    • VanosOfManos

      Seriously! How is a prepainted brick vaguely shaped like a space ship (X-Wing) on that list but not this gorgeously weird and awesome mix of Jim Henson and Brian Froud? Friggin’ travesty, I dare say!

  • orionburn III

    I’d vote for the Ironclad. Whether you like AoS or not I haven’t seen a range of models stop traffic like the Overlords did when GW rolled them out. Those are some of the most fantastic models to ever be released.

    • ZeeLobby

      Agreed. I’d take that over any of the others, though Malifaux minis are just downright gorgeous.

  • mgdavey

    Was Goryo nominated for “mini of the year” or “promotional artwork of the year”?

  • AEZ

    That first model is not looking good at all can’t see why it’s in this short list. I personally think the starwars ships all lack the detail for such a nomination too but I guess I could see people preferring such models. The last one seems nice but I don’t see the actual model here. The gw models look good and they are some of the best gw made this year so not out of place (I assume hordes got better models than that first one up there or its been a really pathetic years for its players).

    • Apocryphus

      The Witchwood is not even close to the best plastic model Grymkin got, it’s probably just up there because of the hot nymph. I would say PP shines in their resin casts and the King of Nothing is one of my favorite models, full of detail and personality.

      • marxlives

        King of Nothing with/ the Metallica song King Nothing

        • ZeeLobby

          Too true!!

    • piglette

      There should have been something from the historical side of things too.

      • AEZ

        Personally I find wii stuff never that great but at least it’s not usually as bad as that first one.

  • Kritarion

    The tree would work better if the “scary-ness” of the tree was more subtle. Honestly, who is gonna fall for that?

    • marxlives

      I guess it all matters how bad the drought is on the dating scene. For the some of the personalities that I come across in nerdom, 99% of the time.

  • Sonic tooth

    I really liked the tzaangors on discs. Not a great year from gw for me. Maybe next year will be better

    • marxlives

      If you are a big fan of Dante’s Inferno, awfully good.

      • Sonic tooth

        I suppose, different strokes for different folks

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah, it’s def an aesthetic you have to be into. Which is why my gaming group will never play Malifaux in general…

  • Laurence J Sinclair

    Belisarius Cawl! The first mini to properly look like a Blanche painting made three-dimensional.

    • VanosOfManos

      That really is a beautiful miniature. Heck, Girlyman or any of the Ynnari Triumvirate could have made the list, especially that Yncarne. The engineering alone on that figure is amazing.

  • Jeremy Larson

    Okay, Goryo shouldn’t count at all since A.) the voting picture is just box art, and B.) even the box only shows a CAD drawing of the mini. Finished product or disqualified please.

  • marxlives

    From what I see, Ironclad and Phantom II are basically a tie. The Witchwood is a great model but the one that was on the PP painting stream was way better than what is pictured and Morty is just way too busy, my eyes can’t really focus on it. The Malifaux one might be the best, every model I have put together has been super great detail without being overly busy but I can’t tell from just looking at box art and a 3D render.

    I play a lot of different wargames but I am pretty sure anyone who has put together/seen a well painted Malifaux model will know that it is the best one in practice. That is just the breaks, their sculpts are consistently the best out there (beating PP and GW collectively) and the only one that I think can come close is Dark Age.

    I am NOT a Malifaux fanboy and I know from all the different games I have played and seen Wyrd miniatures is hands down number #1. I just can’t say that with what is being presented.

    • ZeeLobby

      Accurate. I put Goryo above Morty imo, simply because the animation of those models is so much better.

    • Talys1767 .

      It’s a matter of taste. Personally, I like both models with clean lines and highly ornate ones; small miniatures and humongous ones.

      The most interesting miniatures make good use of negative space and make me wonder how they did it. As a matter of personal preference, I usually go prefer cool looking futuristic machinery over organic shapes, though I buy and paint them all sorts.

      The models I personally enjoy most are the ones that are very complex and can be built/customized many ways.

      • marxlives

        True, been painting O.G.R.E stuff and it is simple but the simplicity itself is elegant in its own right.

  • Rafał Pytlak

    Why no Sassy nurgling?

  • autonoise

    GW wise the Kharadrons were a great release and the Ironclad is probably the pick of a great range. Belisarius Cawl, Yvraine, and Mortarion are all great Models, the Primaris and Death Guard in Dark Imperium, the new Elven Union, the models for Shadespire and the gangers in Necromunda were all top quality sculpts. Typhus was my biggest disappointment and the easy build death guard terminators didn’t float my boat but otherwise a great year.

  • ZeeLobby

    Ironclad/Goryo are tied for me. Ironclad is just straight awesome. Wyrd simply creates the best movement in models period. Then Mortarion, Wychwood and ship thing.

  • BaronSnakPak
    • VanosOfManos

      Cypher’s pretty great. It’s hard to imagine a good update for that awesome old figure of his, but they did a pretty good job. My only complaint would be that I’d like a little less flowy cloak, and a little more awesome looking armor.

  • VanosOfManos

    While I get that you want to appeal to as many people as possible here, plopping the plastic brick among the likes of the Ironclad and Mortarion’s kind of a weird choice. I mean, the proper answer is Jim Henson’s Nurgle Snail Tender (because he’s beyond awesome), but if I had to pick from this list I’d go with the Ironclad. It’s such an amazing kit and looks fantastic.

    You missed some other great options, though most of the GW ones had been nailed below. The Yncarne (and most of the Ynnead box) are all really great, Mantic had some pretty great stuff for the Forgefathers, Wizkids managed to produce some actual great miniatures in their Unpainted lines, and didn’t Reaper get out an awesome dragon for Bones? Overall, a really good year for plastics.

  • eMtoN

    uh.. does the X-Wing stuff really count as a “plastic model”?

    I mean, sure, it’s plastic and yeah it’s a tiny representation of a space ship. However, it’s not even in the same class as the other things listed.

    I wouldn’t call slapping it on a stem as “assembly” and you certainly don’t paint them. It’s a solid and solitary piece of plastic – and that’s it.

    Magnus and Mortarian were awesome.

    • John Maddening

      It’s not “Best Plastic Model”, it’s “Best Plastic Miniature”. I don’t see any rules in the text about the potential winners having to be assembled and pained by the end user.

      • eMtoN

        You are correct – I misread the title.