Top row Planetary Legion; bottom row Death Raiders
When I first started to revive the old and mostly forgotten Fictioneers line, there was little information available on them. I was (and still am) a contributor on the Lost Minis Wiki site so I obviously scoured what I could find there. The product listing that was there was very helpful though it was (and still is) somewhat incomplete for this line. Many of the items listed were not pictured there and it turned out that some of the photos listed were incorrectly assigned to the wrong products. Using the online Wayback Machine yielded no help since these minis went out of production before the birth of the internet. I also could not find any fan sites/blogs or any associated game/rules for the Fictioneers. I contacted the original sculptor and was able to get a good deal of information and some additional photos.
The biggest issue causing confusion with folks was that the Planetary Legion and the Death Raiders in space/landing suits look so similar. I kept going around and around with them trying to see what visual element(s) set them apart. So many elements changed from pose to pose and did not remain constant per faction. Helmet crest ridge or no-ridge… no, that varies between foot and mounted for both factions. Visor straight across or ‘goggle’ shape… no, the ax is unique weapon that only the Death Raiders have and that mini has the straight across visor like the Legionnaires. Belts, buckles, gloves… no, either totally consistent or widely varied. Then finally, I realized that I was looking too high. Maybe now that I have them sorted for you and lined up in two rows in one photo it is obvious to you. It is their boots. All the Planetary Legion have boots the end below the knee and all the Death Raiders have them (way) over the knee with the tops folded down. Maybe that is what they are waring over… the correct way to wear your boots.
Of course, while gaming, you don’t want to stop and check out the minis’ shoes to see which faction it belongs to. Painting the two factions in very different color schemes helps for quick IDing on the tabletop. Here, the Planetary Legion is blue with bronze helmets and all the Death Raiders yellow with white helmets. Additionally, within each faction, adding specific color stripes to the helmets and/or arm bands will help ID individual squads in larger battles. For example, in a multi-player per side game… each player on one side would have a squad (8-10 minis) of the same faction. Something needs to be done to ensure their minis do not get mixed up. Squad color codes do this easily. Black, blue, red, green are the recommended stripe colors for ether a bronze or white helmet. Four squads should be sufficient unless you plan to have really huge battles with more than four players per side.
Two great resources for researching old school items:
Check out the Lost Minis Wiki here and the Wayback Machine here