The very best looking board games are perhaps the Games Workshop Warhammer and Warhammer 40K with all those lovingly painted miniatures on a custom board. Here are a few images of just how good a game can look in full flight via the Games Workshop Flickr Group.
[Warhammer Fantasy and 40K game photos via the Flickr Group]
I havent done any mini construction or painting for quite some time, but if you check out these posts over on the-waaagh you can see my huge custom Ork Warboss...
One of the inspirational things is seeing how much detail good artists can bring to a little piece of crafted metal or plastic. Here are 3 superlative examples via the Cool Mini or Not site. First a Dwarf with so much detail on the painting that we get fabric texture, then Lady Ayana with her patterned clothes and cool waves and lastly a Frog King just because he is so cute.
[Mini pics via Cool Mini or Not]