Fishmen from Space


Its astro-amphibians today.  These two fish-folk are Laserburn miniatures made by Citadel in the 1980s.  The first “Rogue Trader” edition of the Warhammer 40,000 rules spun out of the Laserburn rules in some respects.  A number of familiar elements like bolt guns and jump troopers made the leap to 40k and some others, like these fishmen, did not.  Mores the pity.


I got these two little guys from Wargames Foundry.  As might be expected from miniature designs about thirty years old, the sculpts and style are a little retro, but a lot of fun all the same.  The castings were crisp and clean.


Despite his distaste for xenos in general, Pat the Astropath appreciates his fishmen guides ability to conceal him from the Veermyn patrols of Gangrenia IX.

I went with a Lrrr/Swamp Thing green and brown look on one of the fishmen and a tropical fish blue and yellow on the other.  The brighter figure worked out better in the end, with the green and brown guy turning out a little drab for a pulp sci-fi fishman.  During most of the painting process the yellow guy looked a bit too gaudy, but I like how he turned out in the end.

The figures were pleasant to paint.  The big angler fish mouths are entertaining looking and were good fun to paint in particular.


An icthyo sapien scout guides a Squat Engineer and his bodyguard through the toxic marshes of Glaukoma VII.

I like these guys.  I hope to use them as scouts in an Inquisitorial retinue at some stage.  I think that I could easily squeeze them into a variety of other pulpy sci-fi games.

Painting these models has put me in the mood to tackle the handful of Kroot that I have had knocking around for a few years.


L to R: Foundry Fishman, GW 40K 2nd Ed plastic Space Marine, Foundry Fishman

EDIT: photos of these fishmen were used for promotional purposes by Foundry.  As an amateur hobbyist, I get a bit of a kick out of that 🙂


8 Responses

  1. They are sweet little minis. I didn’t know anything about laserburn fishmen till now. I like the colours used in the scheme. I would love to get my flippers on a squad of those guys.

    One thing that strikes me is that you have opted to paint the eyes in a sort of milk white colour which you would probably not find on a “sighted” fish. The white eye suggests blind to me. I would imagine that giving them a pupil would enhance the fishiness of these fellows. Did you go for a gloss varnish on the models, it is hard to tell with photos?

    It’s cool to have some swampy terrain to go with those guys.


  2. They are fun figures alright. They are currently available as part of a promotion for a game of Rogue Trader due to be played in the Wargames Foundry HQ in Nottingham next Saturday. I dont know if/when they will be released properly.

    The Foundry news page has some info on the origins of the figures but you will have to scroll down a little bit. I cant link directly to that piece. They may originally have been retooled models of fantasy figures converted by Rick Priestly apparently.

    I went with the milky sightless eye look because it ties the figures with the perceived notion of angler fish, which in turn fits with the big, ol’ toothy gobs that the figures have. Imagine it to be a nictitating membrane that the fishmen use when on dry land if that helps with the suspension of disbelief 🙂

    I used a gloss varnish on the models eyes and mouths (and the main photo is a bit out of focus. I must take a better shot). I used the normal matt varnish on the rest. I considered using a gloss or eggshell/semi-gloss but stuck to my usual process in the end.

    I would like to have a few more swampy terrain pieces. Some day.

    Thanks for the feedback 🙂


  3. Thanks for the foundry link! I would totally love to go over to that event but being a poor at the moment there is no chance. It would be interesting to meet Bryan Ansell checking out a 1st edition 40k game. I imagine that if I were planning to go to somthing like that I would be well motivated to do some retro stuff. Perhaps next year if they do it again…



    • If the Tales from the Maelstrom/Foundry event could be driven to, then I would have already suggested that we attend. Maybe next year.

      You should come to Salute with me next April. You, of all the geeks that I know (and I know a few) would enjoy it the most.


  4. Ha! Love these guys – both sculpts and paintjobs! Makes me re-evaluate my decision to scrap my 28mm scifi/postapoc collection in favour of 15mm. I really want these!


    • Thanks Mattias!

      If I had my time again then I would likely consider 15mm simply because of how much more likely getting of the ever expanding list of miniatures projects finished would be.

      The only downside is that 28mm is the scale where you can get pretty much everything that you might want.

      These fishmen are a little shorter than modern 28mm humans but they would be a bit too big for 15mm I reckon. The weapons in particular would betray scale a bit.

      Thanks for the feedback!


  5. The olde Hammer community are running a big old school warhammer event at Foundry later this year. Current events are God of battles their new fantasy system which see Jake Thornton, games designer running a drop in and game event at foundry on the first Saturday of the Month.

    have to say have a couple of the fish men, and love your paint job real nice.


    • Hi mattadlard, thanks for the feedback. The fishmen were fun to paint.

      I have been to Foundry a couple of times (mainly to pick up 2000AD figures), but I live too far away (Ireland) for a casual visit. I do keep an eye on the Foundry events and on Jake Thorntons blog though, so I am hopeful that I will be able to make it to something there over the next couple of years.


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