I finished this bunch of pygmies for the Horisont Con in Odense two weeks ago. A fun little project which gave me a chance to work with African skin tones – something I only rarely have attempted. The lighting when taking the photos more or less screwed up my blending on the skin, making it all more or less chocolate brown, but that’s not how they look when holding then in the hand. Believe me.
I know these pygmies are a slightly dodgy topic and surely totally politically uncorrected, but I take them in a pulpy vein like Vikings, medieval knights and such other stereotypes.
The miniatures you see are a mix of old Citadel pygmies from ’86 and pygmies from Kalistra (not sure when they were released). There is a marked difference in quality when comparing the Citadel ones to the ones from Kalistra, but they fit together nicely. This should come as no surprise, by the way, as many of Kalistra’s models quite obviously mimic vintage Citadel stuff. But, as said, they are much, much cruder in the sculpting. Nevertheless look fine once painted and they also come cheap, which the citadel stuff doesn’t.
The gorilla-riding pygmy is the warlord Tiki-tu on Mumu, the fierce and slightly evil ape. A conversion I had some fun working on. For Tiki-tu I used a damaged pygmy shaman from Citadel and his mount is from Foundry.
Hopefully I’ll be able to return next time with some better pictures. The lighting conditions aren’t great any longer, but maybe I’ll be able to catch a few moments of sunshine during the week.
Recently people wrote some blogposts about their old Citadel and Warhammer posters. Great stuff. By chance I came across this promotion poster for Citadel’s Dungeons & Dragons line of miniatures in my copy of White Dwarf no. 68 from 1985. Just take a look at it in all its John Blancheian goodness. It’s soaked in all that makes mining this Oldhammer stuff worthwhile.
I love details like the classic Blanche-flame tongues on the sleeves of the adventurers, the weird runes reminiscent of Tom Meier’s lizard men, on the armour of the monsters, the red eye of Sauron on the Orc/Goblin’s shield and the inscription “TSR” above the dungeon passage, as if saying – “if you want to go further, TSR is the gateway”. Brilliant!
If I had a geek room all of my own this poster would certainly find a place on the wall. I don’t though, so this glorious piece of 80’s fantasy artwork will have to remain snugly in the magazine.
Back in April I bought Tom Meier’s box of Troglodyte goodness. Sadly the miniatures were in a dire condition and needed some love before they were in a state to be painted. Luckily the good advice of Mr Phreedh worked nicely, although several things snapped off while in the acetone bath. I thus had to do some heavy restoring on the models –pinning and filling gaps with green stuff that is. The keen eye will thus undoubtedly spot some small adjustments on the miniatures making them slightly different from the originals. In order to make the restorations hold I had to change a few things, such as for instance the pole-arm blade on one. Nothing big, just small stuff. I guess that’s the price you pay when getting minis cheaply as a joblot on Ebay.
Disregarding the prep work I must say that I really enjoy these miniatures. They ooze cold, reptilian deviousness and pulp fantasy. What surprised me was how long it took to paint them. Having just painted Meier’s lizardmen I expected the Trogs to be as fast a paint –not so. Very likely because of their massive bulk; the scales took me forever to paint. But it was fun work and I’m pleased with the result. I’m quite infatuated with the impossible weapons, the runes odd shape of their gear.
Next up I’ll show you some pygmies I finished.
Things have been rather slow when it comes to blog posts these lasts weeks. A nasty combination of much work and quite a lot of preparations for this year’s Horisont Con in Odense more or less stole away any chance to write about what I was doing. However, things have settled down now and over the next days I’ll show you what I and my sometime co-blogger Claus Kliplev have been up to.
However before we go into the Oldhammer scenario we presented, I here show you the amazons I mentioned in the last post. A selection of the great, great models released sometime around ’85. Is a fair selections of models from the range and I finished two models more for the scenario. Those you’ll get to see at a later stage. The remainder of the group will have to rest peacefully in my lead mountain until something inspires me to finish the lot.
The Second Citadel Compendium, 1985
The amazon range
These amazons are a wonderful bunch with a ton of wild character. The colour scheme I partially nicked from the cover of the Second Citadel Journal, where the amazons appeared inside for the first time, and the absolutely splendid paintjob done by Thantsants. All in all I’m rather pleased with the result. They weren’t easy to paint though. They are marred by quite a lot of flash, very thick mold lines running through faces and other important places on the minis as wells as some crude sculpting here and there. All of this is what you have to accept when dealing with pre-slotta stuff like this and when it comes down to it I in fact enjoy these small flaws as part of the character of the miniatures. There is a certain beauty in these imperfections which really appeals to me and I find myself drawn more and more towards this early stuff, where creativity seems to have reigned somewhat more freely than later in the 80’s where the conception of the Warhammer world began to find its form.
Well, that’s it for now. Be prepared for more posts soon. Up next is Tom Meier’s fantastic Troglodytes.
I have been working on some very old stuff lately and the first batch is now to be considered done. It’s the magnificent box of Tom Meier’s Lizard Warriors released simultaneously, I believe, in 1984 by Citadel and Ral Partha. To my mind Tom Meier’s lizardmen are some of the best reptilians out there. The lizard warriors are petite, slender creatures covered in exotic armour and wielding equally exotic weapons. Strange runes are shown on their shields and some of the minute belt buckles are shaped like snake heads.
This is great fantasy stuff. You really get the feeling that these lizard warriors are part of a particular, alien culture. To emphasize the idea that the nine of them belong to the same tribe I painted them in the same colours and I’m quite happy with the result.
The keen eye will undoubtedly spot some small conversions on a few of the models. I bought the set rather cheaply on Ebay as a so-called job lot. This meant the some of the quite thin arms and weapons were broken off. Most of the loose bits were still in the box but some I had to replace. Thus the conversions were an act of restauration not a creative urge to tinker with the originals.
These cloaks are a rather intriguing. I find it at the same time odd and rather fascinating that the lizardmen should wear such large cloaks – I’m not sure why.
I’m so happy to finally have this set painted. Next time I’ll be back with a band of coke-crazed Amazons also straight out of the magical year of ’84.
See you around
I wrote about the enthroned lich king from Grenadier some weeks ago and now he is finished. The throne was missing some pieces, which had to be made, and during the process it dawned on me that there would be no room for the little, undead princess on the throne, next to the lich, despite the fact that this was where I had envisioned her. She thus ended up on a base of her own.
Both the throne and the princess are rather nice models although the sculpting is a bit dodgy in the details. In fact it in some places was hard to see what I was painting. But the over-all effect is quite good and the lich king certainly deserves a place as a centerpiece in some future confrontation.
Next up Tom Meir’s lizardmen.
OK, this is going to be my last post about ghouls for a looong time.
What we have here is the most recent ghouls sculpted by the illustrious Paul Muller. They are produced by Otherworld Miniatures and my favorites among all the ghouls I’ve shown over the last posts. Well, technically, its three ghouls and three ghasts – but in the dark all undeads are grey, right?
What I love about these minis is their strong personality, the fine, delicate craftsmanship and the eerie slenderness of particularly the ghoul bodies. The monk is a person darling of mine though. The ghasts remind me a lot of the Ral Partha ghouls produced around 1991-92 and they would fit nicely together if the scale had been the same. It’s not though.
And speaking of scales, it’s interesting to note that these Otherworld undeads are the only ghouls so far that stick to the 28mm scale. The Citadel ghouls blow the scale completely with their heroic dimensions and the Heresy ghouls also creep somewhat above the scale. Somehow this bugs me but this is probably just me being cranky about contemporary miniatures being too big in general.
Two of my Ral Partha ghouls. The third one from this set sadly broke his legs and now eagerly awaits a resurrecting treatment to joins his two friends
Thus a big hurra for Otherworld and their lovely, if pricey, ghouls and ghasts. And cheers to Paul Muller – what beautiful sculpting this is.
Bravo, Mr. Muller, bravo!
Next post it gets proper old scool again.