The most fearsome creatures of any fantastical universe are often woefully represented by soft-edged, misshapen avatars on the table top. It has always bothered me that futuristic robots get all the love; imagined and re-imagined by top studios, while the mighty dragon is under explored. For every great dragon miniature there must be a dozen terrible ones.
However after diving into the topic I have discovered quite a few exquisite dragon sculpts. Some of which are produced by companies that were unknown to me before this search began. Here are my top ten dragon miniatures compiled into a neat list.
Feel free to comment below if you feel I have missed any great drakes, or have listed them in the wrong order.
Forge World's Warpfire Dragon
"Members of a rare, twisted and malformed branch of dragon-kind; Warpfire Dragons limbs end in twisted and barbed claws, while their mouth is filled with row after row of jagged teeth dripping with caustic saliva with which they can shred their prey."
The wonderfully creepy Warpfire Dragon from Forge World makes the list at number 10. This four-eyed-drake was sculpted by Steve Whitehead and released back in early 2012. This model can still be purchased today for £46.
Mierce Miniature's PARAWN, DRAIGLLAI OF IDRIS
There is no background written about this sculpt, however it belongs to the Darklands faction: Gwynedd who seem to be a nation of Saxon-like humans led by a "Famous Red Dragon" named Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon.
The leather texture on the wing membrane is particularly crisp. The pose seems to illustrate a snapshot of motion post lift-off. The overall size isn't as impressive as some of the dragons farther down on the list, but the incredible detail that can be found on any Mierce product earns this Parawn the number nine spot. Draigllai of Idris can still be purchased today for £75.99.
Forge World's Carmine Dragon
"Creatures saturated with the arcane power of Shyish, Carmine Dragons are vastly potent beasts, their raking claws able to shred the most armoured foe while their fangs ripple with the energy of the Amethyst winds of death. Unlike many of dragon-kind that are able to exhale gouts of flame or poisonous vapours, a Carmine Dragon can unleash deadly blasts of coruscating energy from its open maw that are capable of ripping the souls clean from any creatures they strike and blast Daemons and the Undead into nothingness."
This is a hunk of resin that I personally have some familiarity with. After initially purchasing it I have since repainted the thing two times, and it awaits yet another paint job in my drawer. Sculpted by Trish Carden and released in 2011 this highly detailed miniature stands the test of time; it looks as if it could have been released this year. You can buy the Carmine Dragon today for £64.
Forge World's Magma Dragon
These primordial and vicious beasts are among the strongest and most malignant of dragon-kind, their huge jaws burn with furnace-heat and their powerful claws can crush stone and steel with ease. Their most deadly weapon however is their Brimstone Dragonfire which burns so bright that nothing but cinders remains of whatever it touches.
What is there to really say about this mighty beaked dragon? The bare resin photos on the Forge World web store reveal some incredible texture details covering every inch of this beastie. Also the size is nothing to sneeze at. If I had the extra dough laying around she would definitely make an appearance in my collection. Sculpted by Keith Robertson and released in September of 2012, this behemoth can be purchased today for £95.
Warploque Miniature's Arcane Dragon
There isn't much written about the mysterious "Arcane Dragon", but it does originate from a fairly interesting boutique company based out of the UK.
"Having been a wargaming geek for more than half of my 24 years on this planet, I began sculpting full miniatures of my own design around 2009, at the age of 16. After doing the odd commission for friends and followers of my various blogs, I cast and sold my first Warploque Miniatures." - Alex Huntley
Sculpted by Alex Huntley and released in 2015, this beautiful and lithe Dragon can be purchased today for £80.
Creature Caster's Emperor Dragon
Emperor Dragon is one of the most ancient and venerable of dragons. His expression and scale texture are unique to a creature who has existed through many winters and many battles. Where lesser beings would have diminished over time, the struggles of such a long life have served only to strengthen this noble creature.
Shortly after beginning to write this article the world of Creature Caster was revealed to me via google image searches. How such a marvelous collection of resin miniatures has gone so unnoticed for so long is baffling. On the Creature Caster website the Emperor Dragon stands shoulder to shoulder with many other demons of equal merit, scale and beauty.
It seems that Creature Caster has had somewhat of a rocky history beginning with its Kick-Starter origins, so do your own research and proceed with caution. The Emperor Dragon can be purchased today for $93 USD.
Mierce Miniatures' ANGRISLAUG, DRAIGGOCH OF ERYRI
Much like the Parawn from earlier on this list there is no background written about this Draiggoch yet. Like the Parawn it belongs to the Darklands faction Gwynedd. The sheer violence of this Dragon seems to just radiate from the photograph, however the photo doesn't communicate the resin's scale and fluidity. This video does a great job of really showing off this guy's assets from all angles.
Angrislaug was sculpted by Roberto Chaudon and released in 2014. You can purchase him today for £113.99.
Forge World's Khornate Dragon
This is the only dragon on the list which has not yet been completed, and it still made the 3 spot. That says something! This Khorne devotee is still being sculpted by Trish Carden and is slated to be released by Forge World sometime in the future. This photograph was taken at a Forge World open day where the dragon's work-in-progress was on full display. The sheer scale and weight of this thing must rival any resin miniature ever produced; second maybe to the Warlord Titan.
Unfortunately you can not purchase the Khornate Dragon today, but hopefully some day soon!
Games Workshop's Smaug
"There once was a hobbit. There was also a totally kick-ass big fuckin' Dragon who was red n' shit." - J. R. R. Tolkien
This heavy weight (2.4KG) breaks all of the meters: the scale meter, the beauty meter, the awesomeness meter. It doesn't matter who is in the room, once Smaug gets plopped onto the table everyone succumbs to his magnificence. "Truly, tales and songs fall utterly short of your enormity, O Smaug the Stupendous..." This model really does him justice.
Unfortunately the name of the sculptor seems to be hidden, though he likely required a team of artists working full time. You can still purchase Smaug today for $585 CAD.
Cool Mini or Not's Cang the Implacable
It's kind of sad that most of my wargamer friends have never heard of Cang the Implacable (I survey them upon being introduced, naturally) because he is unbelievably rare. He was released as a 10 year anniversary model by Cool Mini or Not back in 2011. Cang has everything. The Size. The texture & detail. The aesthetics. Style. Movement and fluidity. Viciousness. He simply can not be beat! If you're doubting any of it just give this video a gander.
It allegedly took the sculptor Pedro Fernandez 3 months of continuous work to bring this over-sized iguana to life. Much to my chagrin Cang has not been available to purchase for some time now. I reached out to Sean from Cool Mini or Not and inquired about his future availability.
"I don't have him on any upcoming release schedule, but if that changes we'll make an announcement." - Sean from CMON
Dang. If I was ten-thousand-dollars in debt to a violent loan shark I would still make it a priority to purchase Cang if only it were possible. BRING BACK CANG!
Thanks for reading! Feel free to comment below if you feel I have missed any great drakes, or have listed them in the wrong order. I have included an info graphic version of the list; feel free to pin it around!