From the Grenadier “Encounter at Blood Valley” box set. This set was gifted to me by old friends, and they had painted the other minis. I figured I’d better finish it off.
My daughter chose colors for this. It is a necromancer from the Kings of War game.
A craft store was going out of business near me, and I picked up several SceneORama kits for $1 each. One of the kits was this plaster rock making kit. I molded the rocks, then glued them to balsa wood squares and rectangles. I used the included paints to put several earth tone washes on them, then used watered down PVA glue to coat the bases with fine talus. When the water soaked into the wood, it caused them to warp. They flattened out, mostly, but I definitely should not have used balsa. Last, I added coarser talus (included in kit), more washing (and more wood curling), and vegetation.
I have often considered using something in my D&D games to show areas where characters cannot go due to rough terrain and other obstacles. So that’s what I’ll use these for…someday.
Another from the Monsters box set, this wererat leader has two little rat friends to keep him company. This guy is almost all rat, but with conspicuously human arms. And he wears armor. This is also a case of a creature carrying two weapons and seeming to prefer using the worse one. The sword is not the one that came with the mini. That was lost long ago. My friend Mike (from Swords and Dorkery) came to the rescue and provided me a leftover sword from one of his massive boxes of pieces/parts.
This mini was a father’s day present, picked out by my wife and daughter.
One of the local game stores was dumping all of their minis for this game, so I picked up a few cheap. The necromancer came with 2 heads and 2 left arms. I chose the undead head and arm. The others are “living” versions. I like this guy’s tattered robes. They were either tailored this way, or he’s been though a blender.
When I painted the elf king’s shield, I thought it would tilt the other way when it was attached to his arm. So unfortunately the shading has the reflections and shadow opposite where they should be, which looks a little odd. But, of course, I wasn’t about to redo it, so… His armor is pretty fancy, and I like that there isn’t actually any eye-slit in the helm. He must be a Jedi.
In D&D, dark elves (also called Drow) are evil, live miles beneath the surface of the earth, and worship Lolth, the demon queen of spiders. Those who displease Lolth she transforms into half-Drow/half-spiders. Thus the Drider. This unfortunate Drow was apparently merged with a tarantula for his offenses. Ill spring him and his buddies on my group if I ever get to run them through the DQ portions of the GDQ series; Descent Into the Depths of the Earth, Vault of the Drow, and Queen of the Demonweb Pits.
He was missing his original right hand and crossbow, so my friend Mike (Mikemonaco.com) helped me find a replacement.
This cleric has some unusual styling. The helm and shield in particular, along with the bedsheet-like robe he is wearing over his mail armor. The wands and staffs of many of these early minis often didn’t have any particular design or motif, just weird lumps and twists, such as this one.
Here are three more from the Grenadier Action Art – Monsters set. For being a “monsters” set, I’d be disappointed in the quantity of non-monsters included.
The first is the “Thief Assassin.” The sculpting of her face makes her look old. In my mind that clashes with the clothes she’s wearing, which don’t strike me as the clothes of an old woman. Maybe I’m being sexist. Anyway, I painted her as though she were young, and hopefully on the tabletop no one will notice her hollowed out cheeks.
Next is the “Bug Bear.” It should be “bugbear,” but the editor of the “how to paint” booklet must not have known that. The suggested colors for this guy said to make the shield brown with blue design. The design is a cow or bull head. So I think this guy is a member of the Blue Cow clan, mortal enemy of the Red Bull clan.
The title of “Super Orc Fighter” can be interpreted so many ways. Does he have super powers? Is he great at fighting orcs? Is he super because he found a suit of antique armor and now he’s acknowledged by his tribe as the coolest member even though he hasn’t figured out how to properly hold an ax? Why is he still choosing to swing an ax instead of the sweet sword he found with the armor? Does he have any idea how to activate the awesome powers of that shield? So many open questions…
Last Christmas, my great friend Jim ran a day long D&D game of the classic Ravenloft adventure. In it, I played a halfling paladin, Maurice Chevalier, who rode a magical St Bernard wardog named Hambone. After that game, I was so fond of the character, I had to paint him. I used Reaper minis 14208: Garr Wardog, 77165: Hellakin Goregutter, Halfling Rogue, and 02532: Dobbin, Halfling. Dobbin is the standing sword and board version. Hellakin is the riding version with the lance (the lance graciously supplied by my friend Mike, find his stuff here: Swords and Dorkery.) I switched out Hellakin’s knife for a lance, painted his leather armor like metal, and trimmed his base and cloak so that he would straddle the dog. He is removable so that the standing version can fight alongside his dog.
Part of the haul of minis that my friend Amanda gave me a couple years ago was a complete set of Action Art figures. The Painting Guide was even included. I’ve started working through that set lately, and this Thief Assassin and Drow Captains are the first ones to completion.
I’ve painted the thief as recommended in the Guide, and I really like the result. I was expecting garish color combinations, but this one turned out well I think. He is quite small, even compared to other Grenadier human minis of the time. The base he is standing on is 1” across. So he is only a little more than an inch tall.
The Drow captain I’m not as crazy about. Again, I stuck to the recommended colors, as I will with most of the minis from this set. But the drow’s armor is not well sculpted, and it merges with the dangling cords of his belt. As with many of these old minis, there’s no telling what the helm ornament is supposed to be. The guide said to make it white, which I couldn’t really wrap my head around so I just kept it metal. It looks to me like some elephant-like head. I’d like to have a collection of Drow minis all painted up in case I ever get the chance to run the Drow and Queen parts of the AD&D “G-D-Q” adventures (the G is for Giants.)
More from this set to follow over the next few weeks.