Sunday 31 July 2011

Cataloguing Extraterrestrial Life in 15mm

Following on from the previous post, the Dropship Horizon exobiologists have been busy cataloguing extraterrestrial life in the known universe. And have identified four broad classes of 15mm aliens.

1) Bipedal near-humans

These are aliens who appear to closely resemble us humans. But perhaps for their skin colour, a few bulges, minor alterations to physical features and more or fewer toes and fingers, etc. these guys are like us. These include: Critical Mass Games’ Mercs, Kaamados and Praesentia; Ground Zero Games’ Kra’Vak and Alien Mercs and Greys; Rebel Miniatures' Kurgens, and Grey Aliens amongst others;’s Grey Aliens, Shia Khan, Octopods, Ghoulani, Froogs and Zidhe, etc; Blue Moon aliens including the Arlocks, Shivan Sisterhood, Aquans, etc; Eureka Miniatures' Ventaurians; Khurasan Miniatures’ Chewk and Vacation Aliens and; Zombie Smith’s Quar.

2) Anthropomorphic aliens 

These are Earth animals that appear to have been “uplifted” and now run around blasting up the galaxy like a bunch of naked apes with advanced tech. These include: Khurasan Miniatures’ Felid, Garn, Ursid, Karkarine, Myzontid and Orca;'s Draccians; Critical Mass Games' Protolene Khanates and Astagar (snakemen); Ground Zero Games’ Crusties; Stan Johansen's Blarad; ArtCrime Production's Hadai; Irregular Miniature's Reptilians and Space Goatmen; and Traveller War Hounds of Sirius, Car Leonis and Dracos produced by RAFM.

3) Bug life

Similar to anthropomorphic aliens (perhaps a subclasification?), there is alien life out there that has a passing resemblance to Earth’s insect life. These include: Ground Zero Games’ Ixx; QRF Alien Bipeds; Khurasan Miniatures’ Vespulid and Space Demons (possibly) amongst others; Battlestation's Zoallans; Spriggan Miniatures’ Spugs, Brigade Models' Cimexians; Highlander Studios' Space Bugs; and Micro Panzer’s Raivaui Swarm.

4) Intergalactic weirdness

At the weirder (more alien!?!) end of the spectrum there is: Khurasan Miniatures’ Vornids (triffids / ambulatory plants), Cnidarian, and the wonderfully alien Molch extensions and emissaries; Moonfleet (ex Peter Pig) Phugs; Battlestation's Canosians, Xeloxians, Silicoids, amongst others, and;’s Creegan Doom Spores and various aliens in the SHM Range.

You may disagree with our classifications and we may have missed a few 15mm aliens, but the Dropship Crew are interested to know if you have a favourite 'type' of alien and more generally what kind of aliens you would like to see in the future from 15mm sci fi manufacturers!


  1. Thats one very useful post right there, lots of links to aliens I never seen before, thank you for this alien guide.

    I'm looking to buy some aliens myself for my first battles against GZG UNSC and I'm really pending towards Khurasan Chewks, they are very starwarish but with a nice original twist and are so tiny scale wise that makes a perfect swarm of alien things.
    There are gaps of alien life forms ranges we need more alien fauna dangerous things and I will for sure sculpt some of my own for my adventures.

  2. We have enough humanoid aliens. Its time for more bizarre and non humanoid stuff !
    Snakemen from CMG are good example

    Also we have not enough of reptilians and insects !

  3. I would like to see a few more Predator miniatures produced from the same sculptor, just three so they can be used as a hunting party. It would be great to see some more really bizzare looking creatures, maybe some of the multi limbed stunted critters from the original 'War of the World' film that just so happn to look very much like the D&D Xorn.

  4. Quite complete list. [thumbs up] Even my loved Canosians are mentioned.

    I am not sure, if cyborgized or robotic entities shouldn't be mentioned as fifth class.

    I would love to see more complete lines of FOURTH category. Sadly, I am in minority... Khurasan Miniatures owner mentioned that Cnidarians sell worst. I wonder how it goes with Vornids?

  5. Black Hat's 18mm Cephalods look like a good source of non-human aliens, admittedly with an Wells/Burroughs Martian flavour. But whats not to like about floating brains with tentacles? And guns...

  6. @ Umpapa: I'm more a fan of the Xeloxians myself and I've ordered some for some 15mm skirmish gaming...

  7. I know it's probably not the most popular, but the Molch extensions and emissaries are the perfect example of what I would like to see in "alien" life forms. Kinda discouraging because any attempt to emulate those will come off as blatant rip-offs.

  8. I'll maybe do a list of cyborgs, robots and drones and their manufacturers in a future post.

  9. Xeloxians are also sweet. I wish someone bought IP (and matrixes) of Canosians and Xeloxians, expand them into complete line (with heavy weapons) and sell them for wargaming price.

  10. Ohhh yah i just got to pick up some of those 18mm Cephalods from Black Hat miniatures, now i just ned to deside if they would have phyonics and force field spheres or even natural weaponary to protect their soft bodies or should i go with the material armed variants?

  11. Honestly, I love having a variety of aliens... with a universe so big (in particular, I tend to set my games in an Andromeda Galaxy, larger than ours, that has been well 'scouted out' by predecessors for the most part), there is no reason there can't be aliens of all shapes and sizes, and that includes ones that oddly resemble us.

    Mostly, it seems to me that we have humans/humanoids and 'uplifted animals,' including bugs. ALIEN aliens are fairly rare, and I'd love to see more (I'm thinking of sculpting some simple ones myself, but I doubt they'd be of much use to anyone else).

    The other thing I'd personally like to see a bit more of are 'humans' (or humanoids, it probably wouldn't matter) that seem to come from a different culture than the 'main' humans that a given manufacturor makes. The humans are getting a bit repetitive... Halo-esque combat suits and near future rifles. A good example of what I'm talking about is the Sahadeen from Rebel Minis. They are clearly human (or humanoid), but are obviously from a different group than the Earth Force humans.

  12. What I like about the Mass Effect universe is that the humans are a tiny faction struggling to assert themselves in the vast divserity of known space.

    AE Bounty attracted me for that reason too - the emphasis being more on having a diverse crew of aliens rather than the more hackneyed human crew with an alien sidekick/specialist.

    I think one of the major problems manufacturers face is that what is an acceptable, even lovable 'out-there' alien race to you or to me, may not be to anybody else.

    In a movie, console game or even RPG - the subtleies of an alien species can be brought out - eg the Elcor in Mass Effect use pheromones and subtle body movements to convey meaning and intent - not something you can get over in a 15mm model.

    Khurasan's Cnidarians - overlords? Really? Didnt work for me - anything can be anything in our imagined universe - but I like my models to look the part too. So add another pair of tentacles, a power staff, and the Cndarians would work for me.

    I think it will remain difficult for manufacturers to hit upon a non humanoid shape that has mass market appeal without being a tie in to a commercial franchise as its such a personal thing.


  13. Sir, agast at the failure to list robotic or cyborg life-forms. My Khurasan non-Daleks have gone into a sulk about their unwarranted exclusion from sapient recognision! They will prevail!

  14. @Mark - The movie Titan AE reminds me of that. While its story is human-centric, there could be hundreds and hundreds of stories from that universe where humans are nothing more than occasionally-seen laborers or scavengers.

  15. Holy cats, brilliant list. Thanks to all for the hard work.

  16. Personally I have a somewhat different taxonomy
    (1) I can't believe it's not human
    1.1 Bad head job
    (2) Plausible evolved tool user
    2.1 If you started wit a terran critter.
    (3) Pretty hard to explain.

    I am inclined to give way more points to a Quar (unless it's an uplifted aardvark) then to many other "cooler" things -- they don't seem very himan to me.

    There are two many symmetric upright quadrupeds with joint structures and sensor clusters just like ours. I wish more designers would break the Star Trek mold and give me interesting critters that still look like they could hold a weapon somewhere.

  17. Good list, but I don't see any mention of GZG's Phalons - only one pack in 15mm, so there's not much variety, but they're a decent stab at bipedal-but-not-quite-humanoid.

  18. I also missed out QRF Skull Hunters (Predators):