Miniatures Showcase compiled by the White Knight
Asterix is a small but fearless and cunning warrior, ever eager for any new adventure. He lives around 50 BC in a fictional village in northwest Armorica (a region of ancient Gaul mostly identical to modern Brittany). This village is celebrated as the only part of Gaul not yet conquered by Julius Caesar and his Roman legions. The inhabitants of the village gain superhuman strength by drinking a magic potion prepared by the druid Getafix (French: Panoramix). The village is surrounded by the ocean on one side, and four unlucky Roman garrisons on the other, intended to keep a watchful eye and ensure that the Gauls do not get up to mischief.
Asterix is a confirmed bachelor, and one of the smartest (and sanest) members of the village (sometimes referred to as a 'village of madmen') and because of this, he is usually chosen for any dangerous, important or exotic mission. Unlike most of the other villagers, he does not start or join brawls for the fun of it, although he does enjoy a good fight when there's cause. He rarely resorts to weapons, preferring to rely on his wits, and when necessary, his (magic potion enhanced) fists — he is only an average swordsman.
Asterix & Obelix were created in 1959 as the heroes of a series of French comic books by René Goscinny (stories) and Albert Uderzo (illustrations), printed by the Éditions Albert Réné. Uderzo has continued the series since the death of Goscinny in 1977. If you want to know more about the characters, visit the official site.
1. Metal Magic/Hobby Products
Sculpted by Michael Immig and Josef Ochmann, Metal Magic's range of 28mm Asterix figures is the holy grail for the wargamer with a soft spot for the characters of the famous French comic. The line includes the Gauls, the Romans, the Pirates, the Egyptians and the Britons. Fans of fantasy football games, should check out the Briton rugby team figures. Now for the bad news: the line was discontinued sometime in the early nineties and you'll have to search ebay for them. The figures are well worth the extra effort though.
Metal Magic wasn't the only company making 28mm lead Asterix figures. Pixi released the entire village in this scale, including all the main Gaul characters, several vignettes, Egyptians, Romans and the complete pirate ship and crew. These figures are 100% compatible with the Metal Magic ones. While they are prepainted, they are metal and the glossy paint comes off very easily to reveal finely detailed miniatures underneath. Don't be fooled by the crude paintjobs. Like the Metal Magic ones though, these are OOP and highly collectible, which means they can fetch very high prices on ebay.
The gauls :
The Egyptian throneroom:
3. Editions Atlas
Not so long ago, Atlas released a village set, very much in the vein of the Pixi one, but at a different scale. The Atlas miniatures are lead and about 15-18mm scale. Like Pixi, they come with glossy paintjobs, but once stripped, I was amazed by the level of detail on them. They really can rival the very best wargaming models in this scale. Like the others, you can't just go out and buy them, but they do turn up frequently on ebay, especially the main characters. If 15mm is your scale, then this makes a cheaper alternative to the 28mm figures and you can use historical minis for the romans.
4. Dupont d'Isigny/Motta/Malabar/Lever
For those who are willing to settle for the cheap alternative, you can get bags of monochrome plastic figures as well as individual figures on ebay that are roughly 35mm scale. There are 36 in all. These are a bit more cartoony than their metal counterparts and not as well detailed, but there is a good selection and they are cheap and easy to find. These were distributed over the years as free gifts by various companies like Dupont d'Isigny, Motta, Malabar, Lever, etc. The Gauls and Romans are the oldest figures and generally cruder than the later ones (Britons, Egyptians). Some of the latter will *almost* work with the Metal Magic and Pixi figures, if you're flexible about size differences. If you go the plastic route, also see "Bridelix" (below) for better versions of the main characters. You can see the (almost) full range here and here.
A small set of prepainted plastic figures were released in the nineties as free gifts with the French cheese Bridel (rebaptised Bridelix for the occasion). These are roughly 32-35mm, but much better likenesses than the Dupont d'Isigny monochrome figures. They were briefly re-released by Chocolat Jacquot in 2003 and 2005. There are 14 different figures.
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