Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Black Tree Design Doctor Who figures

L->R: Fourth Doctor, Robot of Death, Fifth Doctor, Cyberman, Dalek.

So I just received these fantastic minis from Black Tree Design. I was kind of amazed that a fairly minor company would have such a prominent license, and in fact surprised that these were even still being made. But "Doctor Who" is the longest-running sci-fi franchise in TV history, beloved by many.

First of all, I was expecting these to be OLD sculpts, from the 80's or so. Fairly small, a bit odd-looking. But they're definitely not. At 30mm, these should mesh nicely with most modern ranges (see below). Really nice detail and proportions, not to mention pretty decent likenesses of Doctors #4 & 5.

The other thing is... the line is HUGE. The first EIGHT Doctors and all their major foes and Companions, all in miniature form. Wow.

The downside is... you have to be patient. It took a few weeks just for my order to ship, and a few more for it to get here. Kind of anomalous these days, but I'm guessing Black Tree is really just a few people. Still, it could be a frustrating if you need gaming miniatures in a hurry.

EDIT: A search of The Miniatures Page forums will reveal a number of threads of this nature, which is very unfortunate. I might order from them again simply because DOCTOR WHO, but I'd email ahead to confirm they have the stock in hand before making any payment (with credit card not Paypal).


  1. black tree are well knnow for very poor service some people I know have waited almost a year for stuff. This is a shame because as you say they do some very good figures
    Peace James

  2. Yeah, I don't think I would have waited a year! Two weeks from ordering to shipping is just unnecessary. As I said I can only assume ridiculous under-staffing, but I've got much faster service from every one-man eBay store I ever used.

    I remember "New Wave" (the first site I ever ordered from, I think) and how they would charge your CC immediately, then ship your stuff when they felt like it... if they felt like it. I wouldn't tolerate that again.

  3. mnnn... maybe I'm terribly wrong but AFAIK black tree had nothing to do about those Dr. Who minis.

    The whole thing looks awfuly like those are indeed harlequin's (does anyone still remember that company?) Dr.Who range of minis that where later on purchased by black tree, so maybe they doesn't have the masters or made copies upon demand instead of having stock beforehand enough people order them, who knows.

    I think I still have harlequin's catalogue arround, and it featured a color section for Dr.W range I might check that out.

    Besides I'm really looking forward seeing those painted since your style will do them a lot of justice.

  4. The "Tardis File" wiki does indeed confirm your post, Javi. Thanks for that.

    I'm hoping to paint the Fifth Doctor and the Cyberman or Dalek as gifts to a friend, but her birthday is this week, so it's going to be a very late gift :P

  5. ziplock bags? don't trust 'em anymore. just ebay the minis now you know what they are.

    It won't be cheap but it will be safer, and faster. And they won't be actually cheating you!

    Besides, my mini was entirely made of polymeric clay (green colored on purpose) instead of epoxidic putty. I just love to deceive people like that, lol.

    LAZY-MINIS, more than meets the eeeeeye!

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