So now I’m back in fantasy territory with this post. What I have finished here is probably the oldest miniature I own. It’s a Ral Partha giant from 1977 which is pretty much ancient history when it comes to miniatures. In fact I have also had this chap in my collection for quite some time and now was the time to get him stripped of old enamel paint and reworked. I really love this giant and I’m very satisfied with the result. The only thing left to do really is to revisit the tattoos and lighten the colour to a more pale tone. I must of course admit that no little inspiration was found in John Blanche’s take on the same miniature but it’s not a straight copy.
The sculpting on the piece is top-notch and delightfully low-key in a way I love about old miniatures. No grotesque weapons or drama poses –it’s simply a giant dragging his drunken feet along looking for whatever. Brilliant. There is a peculiar slenderness to the sculpting which is of course due to the casting process but it adds a slight weirdness to the giant which is an acquired taste I guess. I love it.
John Blanche’s impressive take on the giant. Note his tongue conversion.
To give you a sense of scale I added a Citadel half-orc I finished recently.
Here’s a little WIP pictures of what is currently on my workbench; six wonderful beaky space marines. I simply love these miniatures. I still need to finish the backpacks and the bases but the rest is more or less done. I call them the Angst Brothers and for the time being I plan to paint all my marines as belong to this little group of mercenary soldiers. The name and colours I nicked from this Rogue Trader commercial.
It’s very dark here in Copenhagen at the moment and the quality of the pictures suffers accordingly but hopefully you can get some sense of how the marines look.
Rogue Trader has not made an appearance of this blog previously but this is going to change as I’m planning to actually get some of my RT lead painted this spring. I’m also working on some miniatures for the Orc’s Drift campaign, but once those are done I’ll dedicate painting time to miniatures from the grim, far future.
In November I participated in the splendid Horison Convention in Odense where Claus and I had brought along a little Oldhammer-scenario entitled Koka Lustria. The name more or less sets the stage.
Here’s the blurp which gives you an idea of the set-up.
This game takes us to the lush jungles of Lustria. Scaly lizardmen have captured the amazon novice Maka who was soon to be initiated as a priestess of the most sacred goddess Rigg. The vile humanoids are planning to use young Maka in one of their hideous fertility rites. Such blasphemy must be prevented at any cost and the fanatic servants of Rigg thus launch a rescue mission to free their sister before she suffers defilement from the cold hands of the walking lizards. A small warband of koka-crazed amazons, led by the most illustrious priestess Tototic, is thus sent off into the jungle to bring back their sister with the support from their pygmy allies. Will they succeed?
So the setup for the scenario is fairly straight forward. An alliance of amazons and pygmies have to fight the lizardmen in order to free young Maka before a huge snake rapes her during the weird fertility rite of the lizardmen. Yep, pulpy stuff, I know. The rules we used were more or less Warhammer 3rd ed. by the way.
This is more or less what the scenario look like. We played the game twice with four gamers each time and two GMs and the pictures come from both games. Sorry for crappy quality of many of the pictures! Thanks to those wo participated. We had a blast.
I’ll upload the rosters and technicalities of the scenario for further inspiration during the weekend.
The game table with the ancient lizard temple in the middle
Lizardmen led by the by their snakeman leader
Pygmies rushing to the aid of the amazons
Things get into motion
Young Maka captured in her cage while the snake waits for the rites to begin
Troglodytes and dragon newt crawl slowly towards their attacking enemies
The dragon newt
Pygmies ready themselves to throw their grappling hooks and scale the temple walls.
The piece of cotton is poison gas released by the dragon newt
The pygmies have arrived
The pygmy warlord Mu-Mu his fierce gorilla steed
Amazons and troglodytes clash
Lizard warriors gang up on the pygmy shaman Tiki-Tu
A brave attempt to rescue Maka is finally foiled as the lizards Cath up with Mu-Mu and his gorilla
Now this was a fun miniature to work on. It’s an old piece by Asgard; a so-called Dragon Newt, sculpted somewhere in the early 80’s. A type of monster that I don’t have encountered before and I’m thus not sure about the idea behind the mini as such. I really like the slender, cat-like shape and pose of the newt. It looks highly dynamic and threatening, but also has something of that docile, alienating reptile-look that makes them so hard to relate to (at least for me).
There’s not much to say about the mini and the paint-job as such. I had to do quite a lot of filing before it was ready to be painted, but that’s almost the case with oldies like this one. Nevertheless I must say that this piece really won my heart. I liked it before I started painting and now I like it even more.
By the way, sorry for the drizzle on the newt’s head. I forgot to brush it away before taking the pictures.
Well, any thoughts?
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.