Short History of Tékumel Miniatures 4: A Small-scale Detour

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Maybe the fourth installment of a “short” history is an oxymoron? Anyway, the upcoming chapter on the reign of PHD Games will be a good one, but I first want to make some significant revisions to the last post on the Time of No Kings in light of some new information I have found. Before I do that, let me catch my breath with a shorter post on shorter miniatures.

The Old Guard, Ral Partha, Tékumel Journal, Tékumel Games, and PHD all made 25mm miniatures. Hobbyists quibble over details, but at this scale the height of an average man should be, well, 25mm and other things sized proportionately.   Later, Eureka and the Tékumel Project bumped up the scale slightly to 28mm, which gives room for slightly more detail and takes mercy on Boomers’ fading eyesight.

However, two lines of smaller scale miniatures exist and are among the rarest Tékumel collectibles. I only know of two people who have them.

TS-01_LegionOfRedDevastation-2

The Spring, 1994 issue of The Eye of All-Seeing Wonder mentions 15mm Tékumel miniatures produced by Robert Smith and John Medway of “Imperial Legion Miniatures” in Austin, Texas. A 1996 reference in the Blue Room still calls the company’s line “new.” The company was slated to participate in the 1996 Tékumel-Con (later postponed to 1997 and then canceled). Scattered references continued until early 1998, but I do not know exactly when Imperial Legions Miniatures stopped production or what ultimately happened to the company. Though I do not have a definitive stock list, the company’s line included at least:

NH-02_LightPeiChoiClose-up

NH-1    Light Pe Choi w/Crossbow
NH-2    Heavy Pe Choi w/Javelins
NH-3    Ahoggyá

YK-1    Yan Kor Generic Heavy Spear
YK-2    Yan Kor Generic Medium Spear
YK-3    Yan Kor Medium Crossbow
YK-4    Yan Kor Light Archer from Mákhis
YK-5    Yan Kor Light Javelin (female)

TS-1    Tsolyánu Legion of Red Devastation
TS-2    Tsolyánu Legion of Deep Purple Dark
TS-3    Tsolyánu Legion of Clan of Joyful Vrayáni (slingers)
TS-4    Tsolyánu Light Archer

I have not found any evidence the company produced any other miniatures. Smith on March 12, 1994 posted to the usenet that he and Medway were working a new set of Tekumel miniatures with the working title “Chakaikh” “based on some of the concepts presented in WRG’s De Bellis Multitudinis.” In the March 12, 1994 message Smith said a draft of the rules would be sent to Barker within a week and Smith did indeed circulate copies in 1994 to a few play-testers. A Chakaikh manuscript is one of the rarest of all Tékumel collectible items.  (Perhaps one of you Tsolyáni scholars could help me understand the name.  “Cha” means “to die” and “-ikh” is the ignoble noun suffice.  But what is the suffix “-ka” mean?  Edit: See comment below, “Chakaikh” means “War Cry” in Tsolyáni.)

As stated above, PHD Miniatures (to be discussed in a future post) mainly produced 25mm miniatures. However, the company also produced on commission a line of 20mm miniatures. I have almost no information on these other than that they exist in small numbers.

(Thanks especially to Chirine Bakal for his help.)

 

8 thoughts on “Short History of Tékumel Miniatures 4: A Small-scale Detour

    • Thanks John. I always love to hear the story of how people acquired things back in the day ….

      I’d also be interested in trading for a few samples. Or, it’d be nice to have some good photos of the minis out of the pack …

      Thanks again.

  1. The Tsolyani Language book lists (a little hard to find because of the Tsolyani letter organization): “chakaish: [vi] to give a war-cry.” Maybe that’s what was meant? Or maybe the verb was converted to a noun–in which case it should probably be “chakaish-ikh/-koi”. (I imagine war-related things would be typically noble, so -koi.)

  2. “War Cry” would be an unfortunate choice as it is the name of the Salvation Army magazine, or then again perhaps it could be deliberate pun

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