If you fancy some sinister miniatures that will put the weirdest beasts of the Warhammer world to shame, look no further than the Folk Horrors 2 kickstarter by Meridian Miniatures. These bizarre sculpts by Ana Polanšćak are inspired by the “creatures and costumes of European folklore”, combining her gothic style with the weird devils and horrors of old world folk traditions.
The campaign aims to fund production for twelve new metal Folk Horror miniatures, available as a set for $56 / £45. There’s also an option to pick up more of Polanšćak monstrous sculpts, produced in an earlier Kickstarter. You have until 4am EST / 9am BST April 11 to back the project.
Polanšćak explains that her folk horrors aren’t exact representations of particular folk-myths or costumes: “I picked up motifs and elements and re-arranged them to make fantastic creatures reminiscent of the source material”.
There are folkloric connections for each of the minis. Polanšćak says “the Bellmen were inspired by particularly fierce-looking Carnival bell ringer costumes common in the south of Europe”, groups of men who “drive away winter with their terrifying appearance and deafening noise” around Shrovetide.
The bristly fellow with a beehive for a head is inspired by the “Croatian straw costume Pikač”, while the short, walking wooden huts riff on the myth of the witch Baba Yaga in her chicken-legged hut, and “real life wooden churches”.
The skulls on poles, which Polanšćak calls ‘The Herons’, are based on a common European folk motif. The Welsh folk tradition of the Mari Lwyd is one of these – a group of wassailers carry a horse skull on a pole, draped in a white sheet and wrapped with bells, and challenge householders to a singing contest that ends when the Mari Lwyd relents or the householders give them food.
The Folk Horrors 2 campaign is well over its funding target. Delivery is scheduled for Autumn 2023.
Polanšćak is a long-time member of the Inq28 scene, an internet movement of hobbyists who convert their own models inspired by baroque and gothic art, often exploring the darkest corners of the various Warhammer 40k factions and Age of Sigmar armies. She has produced custom conversions to illustrate the rulebook of upcoming indie wargame The Doomed, which we can best summarise as Warhammer 40k meets Monster Hunter.
Though we can’t quite picture them as DnD miniatures, the Folk Horrors look like cracking miniatures for Mörk Borg, an RPG with light rules, heavy metal atmosphere, and a well deserved place on our list of the best tabletop RPGs.