From The Grenadier Wizards box set. This guy has an imp on his shoulder. In Advanced D&D, which was current when these minis came out, a Wizard could have one of 4 special familiar types: imp, quasit, pseudo-dragon, and brownie.
I sand blasted this and other wizards from the set in 1996 to repaint them. Never got around to repainting it until now. But because of the sandblasting, much of the detail here is painted rather than molded.
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.
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…