Here I collect my thoughts on how I faff about whilst collecting miniatures for the GW skirmish wargame Inquisitor. For those unfamiliar with the game, it was released about 15 years ago now, and is long out of print and out of vogue [Ed: though only at 54mm. There is a resurgence in the material due to inq28mm gaming]. The original format of the game uses 54mm scale miniatures (Inq54) and there are only a relatively small number of about 40 or so official minis in the range.
This is my second foray at collecting inquisitor. I always had a soft spot for 40k, though more the rogue trader / Blanchitsu imagery. And i remember my first game of inquisitor. It had just been released and I played it with a friend. But we both agreed that it was not as elegant as Mordheim [Ed: something was clunky about how Inquisitor played], which was our group’s preferred wargame at the time. I was a Mordheim fanatic, had a sizeable collection of Mordheim warbands and I had built a decent sized Mordheim city. So inquisitor was put on hold…
Anyway, our gaming group slowly drifted away from Mordheim and back to RPGs [Ed: Probably Talislanta, or was it something from the World of Darkness?]. I sold off my entire Mordheim collection and was looking for something else to faff over. And in 2006 I started collecting Inquisitor miniatures for the first time.
It was a good time to collect. eBay prices had not yet reached dizzying heights and gamers disillusioned and disinterested with inquisitor were selling off warbands and whole collections. I picked up almost the entire range, including Scarn, the Imperial dock workers, and Kal Jericho [Ed: back then Kal was the holy grail miniature for collectors]. I even managed to accumulate a sizeable inquisitor bits box. I was studying a PhD at the time, and had moved in with my girlfriend, but still had some time to faff about with painting miniatures. And I also started to learn to convert miniatures and use greenstuff. I think the larger scale was less intimidating for a novice kitbasher like me. One of the first minis I built was Grunga from the inquisitor rulebook. Sure the greenstuff wasn’t smooth, but I was so proud of my accomplishment. But still i didn’t stray far from collecting only from the official GW range. I lovingly photographed all my minis and posted them on the conclave forum.
Then an upheaval happened. I split up from my girlfriend and moved out, and didn’t see the point in striving for a PhD. I needed a change, so decided to travel overseas aka a grand tour of europe. But I didn’t have much money and wanted to travel asap. So I sold off my entire miniatures collection – all the inquisitor figures, my rare gw books, and my collection of vintage oldhammer gw. And by vintage I mean classic golden age late 80s and early 90s Warhammer fantasy – chaos dwarves, townsfolk and traveling players, pygmies, wizards and clerics, chaos snakemen [Ed: these are my favourite sculpts of all time], hobgoblins, troglodytes, classic ogres, and even the spined dragon [Ed: it took forever to find that mini at an affordable price]. I listed hundreds of minis each week for a month, and though prices were not what they are now, I had significantly boosted my cash to backpack around Europe for a few months.
In 2014 I dived into collecting miniatures again. I had been reminiscing for a few years about my old inquisitor collection and had started searching eBay sporadically in the hope some of my old minis would be listed. I am yet to come across even one of my inquisitor minis from my old collection. So I had to start afresh, with the aim of faffing about on a new and better collection. I bought from a variety of sources, both painted and unpainted, though I steered towards painted. But eBay prices had changed [Ed: Even a butt ugly vintage metal figure like Nagash was not cheap now]. And the rarer inquisitor models were very expensive. And they did not show up often at auction. And inquisitor accessory bits were hard to find. But still my collection slowly grew.
I also had the confidence [Ed: Do you mean financial security?] to branch out to other 54mm lines that could readily be appropriated into the Inquisitor setting. Andrea, Pegaso, Beneito, Fantasy flight games, Hi-tech, Damnation, Badsmile, Northstar, Black modell, Artel, all had figures that could be 40k-ified [Ed: I still am a bit shell-shocked with the sticker price of 54mm miniatures though].
Sometime in a future blog, I’ll talk more about my experience buying beyond the official Inq54 range.