Tékumel Miniatures: Summary and Guide to Identification

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Nine previous posts described in detail Tékumel miniatures from their beginning in late 1976 through the demise of PHD in mid-2002 to the current Tékumel Project, with stops along the way to discuss a few other topics. Here’s a summary:

The 25mm Miniatures

Timeline
December 1976 – April 1978                       The Old Guard
April 1978 – c. September 1980                   Ral Partha
c. September 1980 – October 1982             No Production
October 1982 – Mid-1983                            Tékumel Journal
Mid-1983 – late 1987 or early 1988              Tékumel Games
Late 1987 or early 1988 – March 1993         No Production
March 1993 – Mid-2002                               PHD Games

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Six companies have manufactured 25mm Tékumel miniatures.  In December 1976,  sculptor Bill Murray’s The Old Guard announced a line of 27 figures (ten Tsolyáni, ten Yan Koryáni, one priest, and six non-humans), which are discussed in this post.

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In April 1978, Ral Partha announced it had acquired the line.  Ral Partha produced all the previous figures made by The Old Guard and added 21 new figures sculpted by Murray, Tom Meier, and Brian Apple (the additional figures were two Tsolyáni, two Yan Koryáni, nine Mu’ugalavyáni, two priestesses, and six non-humans) as discussed in this post.

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Sometime in the Fall of 1980, Ral Partha stopped production and Jeff Berry doing business as the Tékumel Journal took over the line in October 1982.  The Tékumel Journal produced all the old Ral Partha figures and added 29 figures sculpted by Berry, David Sutherland, Kathy Marshall, and Wargames Publications.  In 1983, Tékumel Games took over the line.  Tékumel Games dropped 11 of the Sutherland figures.  The figures made by Tékumel Journal and Tékumel Games are discussed in this post.

PHDKharihaya

PHD took over the line in March 1993.  PHD produced all the figures that had been previously produced by Tékumel Journal and Tékumel Games and added five figures sculpted by Wes Posthlewaite and Ken Fletcher.  PHD is discussed in this post.

 

From 1998-2000, Robert Richardson sold 15 Salarvyáni miniatures unrelated to the other lines, which are discussed in this post.

So, suppose you buy a 25mm Tékumel miniature.  How can you tell which model it is and what company made it?  Often miniatures are sold with bits of the original package but, failing that, the table at the end of the post and the photos in the above posts, especially the one on PHD, should be helpful in identifying the figure.  As the notes to the table indicate, sometimes companies made small changes to the figures that can also help in identification (e.g. a “standing” Hlaka was not made by Old Guard).

Finally, the alloy, color, and sharpness of the figure can help identify it.  The Old Guard figures are a very soft dark grey lead alloy.  At the time, the molds were brand new so the figures have crisp detail and no flash.  Ral Partha figures are a lighter grey and a bit harder but still soft lead alloy.  Detail is still crisp but occasionally a bit of flash occurs. The Tékumel Journal figures are the same color as Ral Partha but use a lead-tin alloy that is a bit harder.  The detail of the molds has degraded a bit and there is flash.  The Tékumel Games figures are very similar to the Tékumel Journal ones but usually with more flash.  PHD switched to a shiny silver pewter alloy which makes the figures quite hard and brittle.  As the molds aged , the PHD figures lost quite a bit of detail.

Note that the bottoms of the figures often have stamps, but these are an unreliable guide to the true manufacturer as later companies often did not alter the stamps of previous companies.

This table makes clear which 25mm miniatures were made from the same molds by different companies.

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The 28mm Figures

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After a long period when no Tékumel miniatures were produced, in January 2007 Eureka Miniatures in Melbourne, Australia released the first of four waves of new 28mm Tékumel miniatures commissioned by Howard Fielding, a true hero of the age.  The beautifully sculpted figures include General Kettukal and the Tsolyáni First Legion of Ever Present Glory, the Tsolyani Legion of Sérqu, Sword of the Empire, Baron Ald and the Yan Koryáni Gurék of Tléku Miriyá,  the Yan Koryáni Gurék of the valiant of Ke’er and the Gurék of the Turqoise Eye. These miniatures are discussed in this post.

In December 2009, Eureka announced that it was amicably surrendering production back to Fielding, who in January 2010 announced the formation of the Tékumel Club.  The Tékumel Club, which is still going strong, has produced many beautiful figures and has many more in the works as discussed in this post.

Other Figures

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Barker’s hand carved miniatures are discussed in this post.

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From 1994-1998, Robert Smith and John Medway of “Imperial Legion Miniatures” produced twelve 15mm figures as discussed in this post.

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Tékumel fans have over the years identified many “proxy” figures, i.e. figures that are not official Tékumel figures but resemble drawings in the source material.  These ideas, some better than others, are discussed in this post.

I’d be happy to try to answer any questions about identification.

 

 

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