Who else is tired of seeing this guy?
This is a bit awkward. Rather like Eisenhorn's conversion from staunch hardliner to heretical radical, I actively look for alternate models to use. I used to be a stickler for only using Games Workshop figures. However, a few factors have changed that opinion over the past couple years. The cost of models for one, my annoyance with similarity, GW's stance on tournaments, and the fact I can't really stand to be in GW stores because of the harassment from the staff - and if that's the only place I have to worry about non-GW models: It becomes a non-factor. Add in all the great after-market bits and alternate models out there.. it's a brave, new world for this heretic. One of the aspects I like most about this hobby is the creativity - and Chaos seems to really bring it out the best in people. I love seeing the crazy, shocking conversions and paint schemes that look - Just. So. Badass. But I have one tiny annoyance. I like a little variety in my army: shockingly ironic coming from a Tyranid player: we're rather stuck with a very limited range of models. While I do use both old and new Tyranid figures for some variety (Emperor knows we need some), I've definitely gone looking for alternate Tyranid models too, but the pickings are pretty slim on the Tyranid side, and here's a couple I've found. I also came across a few nifty Chaos and possible cultist models that I don't see often. Definitely inspired by OST's fantastic articles over on Dark Future Games; they really highlight the opportunities to blend GW models with the amazing bits available (he's done two great articles on alternate bits for Chaos marines here and here), and I'd been storing figure lists against the day I finally crack and start building my next army, so I thought I'd share.
Okay enough already: TL;DR! On to the models - interestingly I found most of these just surfing on one webstore, and I've never used the service so caveat emptor: however they do appear to have a very nice selection including OOP models and what look to be prices that equal or better prices I see on ebay for some of the models. So here they are:
First - the alternate Daemon Princes:
Heresy Miniatures' OOP Aazaroth
Willy Miniatures Pestilence Beast
Alternate lesser daemons:
Westwind Productions' Ravening:
Titan Forge's Plague Gits
Alternate Cultist models:
Westwind Productions' Brotherhood:
What's a grim dark future like without hot cultist chicks?
And finally, the alternate Tyranid models: the best truly usable alternate Tyranid model (for a zoanthrope obviously) is the Alien Brain from TrollForged Miniatures. Great customer service, pretty fast delivery (~1.5 weeks) and best of all: you can get six of these for ~$40, or $46 if you specify which heads you want - I prefer the 'blade face' shown below:
Slag Dragon bits from Ramshackle Games (webstore closed till Nov 1) - still debating where I'm going to use the head, possibly for a Doom of Malantai, or a Harpy. I also like the wormhole base quite a lot; if only Subterranean Assault didn't suck ;)