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Zero to Hero: Warhammer’s Most Improved Minis

4 Minute Read
Mar 10


Today we look at the Games Workshop minis that went from humble starts to masterpieces of plastic. This is going to be fun.

These days GW is know for well deserved top-of-industry quality. One of the common comparisons you will see of new companies in the market is how their minis stand up to Games Workshop’s quality. But we should all remember that GW, like every other company had to learn the ropes the hard way, and their quality went up in fits and starts over the years. Today in 2021, we look back on some minis that we think saw the biggest improvement over the years.

#8 Be’lakor

The Daemon-prince of the hour. I think everyone totally forgot about The Dark Master, until GW shocked us right out of our seats. I can’t wait to see his newly em-biggened rules to go along with his em-biggened mini. Juan Diaz’ original was no slouch, but you just keep your eyes off the new one. Be’lakor starts the list as while the new mini is fantastic, the original wasn’t terri-bad.

#7 Morathi

Now the bifurcated souled and bodied Morathi is superb. Everything you ever wanted out of a high-fantasy Evil Queen.  But back in the Old World, she Malekith’s half-nekkid mom, with a mini that would have been quite at home in a Dark Elf Army, Blood Bowl Cheerleader squad, or hanging around on Asdruabel Vect’s Dias of Destruction. She’s come a long, long way.


#6 Ghaz

OK, so look who is enormous enough to pick up and throw a dreadnought, and has ALL the DAKKA DAKKA DAKKA! It’s new Ghaz. His multiple editions are a great embodiment of GW’s scramble up the path of quality.

#5 Archaon

Ahh yes, NOW Archaon is the “Exalted Grand Marshal of the Apocalypse.  But back in the 90s, he was just some punk Chaos Lord with aspirations of grandeur. Oh the glory days of multi-part metal horses…

#4 Tree Men

I’m not sure exactly what was up with the original Warhammer Fantasy Treemen, but I have NEVER seen a tree that looked anything like these two.  Luckily the newest Sylvaneth Treelord gets the job done.  Everyone just put down your axes and back away slowly…

#3 Keeper of Secrets

The original crab-clawed bull was as perverse as it was stout and a fashion disaster. Luckily the brand new one is tall, elegant, and been hitting the lingerie department in Slaanesh’s department store. I briefly considered going with the Lord of Change, but I do honestly think the Keeper of Secrets is a superior sculpt and big-picture design. Reinventing the entire Slaanesh Aesthetic is a tough balancing act – but GW pulled it off with aplomb.


image via Ninjabread

#2 Marneus Calgar

I’ll let you decide if that dude in the back of the original is a honor guard, or a chamberpot steward… The current Marneus is off his “throne” and into the fight. He gets high marks due to the shocking quality delta between the two.

#1 Nagash

Hands down the posterchild of GW’s 30 year meteoric rise in quality.  I have no words to describe the original, but the modern Nagash is truly a masterpiece of design, detail and style.

Bonus Round – Zoat

Now I do have to admit that the original Zoat has that anything-goes Rogue Trader charm to it, but then I look up and say: DAMN, we’ve come a long way in 30 years! But then I shed a tear knowing that they are out there roaming the dark corridors of a Blackstone Fortress, instead of being a unit in any of my 9th Edition armies.

~Did we miss any? Let us know that your nominees are in the comments.

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