And staying with Citadel... next out the Lead Mountain were these fine fellows. Now, my understanding is that these were sculpted by Tom Meier, and had a degree of notoriety due to their frank depiction of Troll genitalia. They don't leave much to the imagination, especially with the mild bondage elements of the Discipline Master! The series didn't sell well and was replaced fairly quickly by a second C20 series of trolls sculpted by Jes Goodwin, which were more in the traditional "cartoon" Citadel style... and also clothed! As a consequence the original Meier C20 trolls are comparatively rare to find (not surprisingly, one might say). They are actually lovely figures to paint - well detailed (a bit too much so maybe...!) and with little or no flash (fnar fnar). Base colours, ink wash, and dry brushing - job done. I think the Troll attacking with a Tree trunk is the better figure, and is more likely to see table top time as a generic "WTF is THAT" encounter - I think it still holds up really well against more recent figures, such as the latest addition to my Shadowforge Dark Temple/Amazon army - but the Discipline Master is probably a bit too specialised for use. It looks like an outtake from "300" to be honest. Potentially it could be used as a boss encounter, but in all likelihood it will be moved on to a certain auction site...
Saturday, 18 November 2017
Sunday, 5 November 2017
Due to a number of factors, it's been a while since I last posted - but I have been painting in that time, so I have a backlog of minis to share with you, starting with this one. Before they mutated into Games Workshop, Citadel did some cracking figures in the mid-80's, including this one. I acquired it as part of a job lot, and it had been broken to it 3 (count 'em!) pieces. So - out with the superglue and filler. Fortunately the later Citadel figures had really good solid bases, so this figure was unlikely to fall over and break like so many Asgard figures. After that - the paint job. Basically the idea was that source of the fire elemental would be the base, hence the lighter (hotter) colours being there, and moving up to darker colours until we ended up with a thick black cloud of smoke from its hands. This was more difficult than I imagined, and I think perhaps transition between colours was as successful as I hoped for. I also kept the initial gloss varnish on the figure as it makes it look more fluid on the table top, but it doesn't make it as attractive in photos. I may revisit this figure and apply matt varnish. I still think it's an imposing figure, especially next to the latest recruit for my Amazon army, and I can see it getting plenty of tabletop time. Not bad for a piece that was original destined for the bin!
Friday, 29 September 2017
And next out of the mountain was this chappie. Now, Asgard did some great sculpts, some absolutely dreadful ones, and a awful lot of so-so ones. This is one of the so-so ones. As with all of the bigger Asgard sculpts, you get a lot of metal - compare it against a Shadowforge Dark Temple warrior/latest recruit to my Amazon army - but not a lot of quality with the sculpt itself, as they tend to be really coarse. It also suffered from having a base that was too small for such a top heavy model, which meant it kept falling over. So, once fixed to a plastic base - out with the brushes. Originally I was going to paint it as a Frost Giant, but in the end was swung by the name - "Norse Giant", and decided to paint him in human-like colours. I know a bad workman blames his tools, but the ink washes really brought out the coarseness of the sculpt, and even some vigorous dry brushing couldn't save things. I'm not especially happy with the figure at all - it's a bit static, and I can't think of any giant-based scenes where a Norse giant could appear. Perhaps I should have painted him as a Frost Giant. Can't see him getting too much tabletop time, and probably appearing on an auction site soon. You win some, you lose some...
Friday, 25 August 2017
And staying with Grenadier... next out of the Lead Mountain was this fine fellow. Grenadier went through a phase in the mid-80s of trying to produce figures for every eventuality, resulting in things like giant skeletons with scythes. This figure hails from the same era, and is a bit of an oddity. For starters, look at the size of it - it is huge, at least giant sized in comparison to the latest recruit to my Amazon army. I know polar bears are big but this is faintly ridiculous - what on earth is something that size going to live on, especially in frozen and/or mountainous environments? Anyhow, out with the brushes... It was actually a pleasure to paint, a base coat of white, then a wash of light blue to suggest ice and frost, and then lots and lots of dry brushing white over several nights. The paws and face were picked out with flesh tone mixed with white and just a hint of blue, whilst the eyes were done with my trademark chaotic red. The base is simply fine Milliput painted white, inked light blue and then drybrushed. I was quite please with the way this turned out, and I actually like the sculpt, but I do wonder how much table time it will see - not much call for yetis in my campaign!
Monday, 10 July 2017
Early Grenadier sculpts tended to be very primitive - crude, and often naive - but later sculpts were a lot better, especially when they got John Dennett involved. Now, not everything he did was good, but I think this is one of his better pieces. It was an absolutely pleasure to paint - just base coats of white for the skin and brown for the fur, followed by a wash of GW nightshade to pick out the detail, and then dry brushing with light blues. I really liked the way the skin tone came out on this - I wanted to suggest something unnatural living in a cave and gnawing on sheep bones, and this worked pretty well! I think this looks like something that Ray Harryhausen could have dredged up for a film about Greek mythology. Just not sure about the name though - what's that all about? It's obviously a Cyclops, and I'm pretty sure the name isn't trademarked. Very please with the way this turned out, especially when placed next to the latest recruit in the Amazon army!
Wednesday, 28 June 2017
A combination of incredibly good weather and some unfortunate family issues have meant that I haven't posted for a while... but I have been painted. Next up from the Lead Mountain was this. I understand that this is actually a Ral Partha sculpt issued under the TSR banner, and as with all Ral Partha minis it is a thing of beauty - great scale and lots of detail, though you could possible quibble about the pose, which is a bit static. It was a real pleasure to paint up - a base coat of green, then an ink wash which really bought out the detail, followed by dry brushing and picking out details such as the red spots and eyes, whilst painting the teeth and nails stone gray. The base is just Milliput and flock. Usually I apply two coats of varnish - gloss first, then matt - but I thought this figure looked good with just a gloss varnish, as it gave an impression of damp and moistness. I'm quite pleased with this beastie - it looks like it will give the latest recruit to my Amazon army a definite shock - and I can see this getting lots of table top time.
Thursday, 1 June 2017
Now here is a real blast from the past. Grenadier were one of the earliest figure manufacturers and produced some of the earliest miniatures for AD&D. A lot of the early figures were a bit suspect, especially the ones from the original Wizzards and Warriors range, but then they supplemented those figures with (slightly) better sculpts... like this one. To be honest, I think it has held up really well for a sculpt that is nearly 40 years old (and how old does that make ME feel :)) - it's well detailed, and its not a bad pose, though the moulding on the axe head on my copy is definitely suspect. So much for quality control! The trick as always with old figures is to keep it simple - base colours, then ink washes, then dry brushing before picking out detail. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this came out, although I do feel that the figure lacks an air of menace... it's bit bovine to be honest. Maybe it is chewing its cud (or part of an adventurers anatomy) before swinging that axe. Still, for its age it holds up pretty well, and as a generic minotaur for either dungeon or outdoor encounters, it will do very well - and how often can you say that about a figure that is at least 35 years old?