The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier Supplement

Terence Gunn is at it again, Kickstarting a supplement to his book on Grenadier Models. You can follow the link below. It looks like it will be an archive of photographs that did not make into the first book, plus some special articles, an interview with publicist Kim Eastland, and a reprint of the entire run of Grenadier Bulletins published in the 80s and 90s.

If you missed the The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier book, you can also get a copy of that by pledging a bit more. Well worth it if you like old lead.

There’s only a week to go!

 

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Published in: on May 3, 2018 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Mounted adventurers

Here are a few mounted characters I painted recently, all plastic. It’s been slow going but I hope to get all the figures I have which are suitable for mounted PCs done next. Of course there are way too many knights, they’ll mostly wait.

Left to right, a cleric, “prince,” and barbarian.

The cleric is just a knight from the BattleMasters game, his lance swapped out for a flail. The shield is (obviously) my crude free-hand of a lion rampant. I need to look into transfers.

The “prince” is from a set of castle-building blocks I got for my birthday one year. He seemed way too big for use with minis when I got it, long before scale creep.  Back in the 80s he would have been a hill giant or something, but now he’s pretty average. The details were pretty crude and I wasn’t sure if primer would adhere to the soft, glossy plastic, but a coat of gesso seems to have done the trick. He could be a bard, magic-user, or fancy thief. I have a handful of mounted  demihumans, but first I’ll focus on the remaining humans that don’t look like fighters. more to come.

The barbarian is cobbled together from the body and legs of a Lionheart “mercenary,” arms and head from the spare parts that came with a box of GW chaos marauders, and a horse of unknown origins that I got in a bag of spare parts at a convention. The horse is extremely barrel-chested and I had to break the mercenary’s already very bowlegged pose to fit. I tried to give him some Appaloosa type markings (dark spots on the hindquarters that only really show when the horse’s fur is wet). I’m surprised I didn’t have any mounted barbarians in my collection, though I have a dozen Rohirrim that usually serve. The problem with them is that they’re all quite similar, since they were for the LOTR wargame.

Anyway back to the castle blocks. The set was called “Exin Castillos” and had instructions in a number of languages. The box was a hexagonal cylinder. It seemed very exotic at the time and I wish I’d managed to keep together some of the parts that came in it. A few bits survive in my terrain: the portcullis found its way onto a castle, and some low wall sections I glued together for wargames, and that’s pretty much it. The princess (who, if I thought of it at the time, would have made a good giantess) was dismembered to make a prow for a Man’o’War ship. I believe there was also a ghost in the set, and I remember seeing a guard with a halberd on the box art but there wasn’t one inside the box.  A little googling turned up this excellent collector’s site (in Spanish).

 

Published in: on February 25, 2018 at 10:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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Free hugs!

I had a meeting in Cleveland so I took advantage of the chance to check out a hobby shop I’d heard about — Warzone-Matrix (no link, the website has been neglected for nearly 10 years and the Facebook page looks like it’s been hijacked by 9/11 conspiracy buffs; Google it and see the reviews and photos there). In fact I first heard about it when an acquaintance from overseas mentioned he wanted to check it out when he was passing through the States. I confused it with another shop, or else a version of it from long enough ago it bears no resemblance to what I found last month. What I thought it was, was a basic wargaming type shop with current games. What it actually is, is treasure trove of stuff old and new. It was strongest on RPGs and board games, but had a fair amount of miniatures stuff, and I found a couple of TSR blister packs. One was, sadly, showing lead rot; I got this one instead:

They’re both mounted on fender washers for stability. They follow the TSR tradition of packaging seemingly unrelated monsters together, but as both kill by grabbing you, there is a weak theme.

The roper needed a little more animation, and I bent his tentacles as much as I dared (they were all splayed straight out). He really looks like he wants to give someone a hug.

Being monsters, they painted up really fast and looked pretty good for an otherwise middling line.

Published in: on February 5, 2018 at 1:14 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Makin’ bacon : Pig-faced orcs

Pig-faced orcs (“Porcs,” as they prefer not to be called) have been having a minor renaissance lately.

OSR bloggers were talking about them for while; the most compelling look at the origins of the pig-faced orc for my money is here, but I’ve also read that there was some sort of miscommunication between writer Gary Gygax and illustrator David Sutherland which led the best know example in the Monster Manual.  Not sure where I first heard that either. Another theory holds that the Tolkien calendar for 1977 by the brothers Hildebrandt introduced pig-faced orcs, but honestly the orcs in that calendar don’t look very pig-like to me for the most part. I think Zhu is on the right track with the Disney goons (See also Telecanter’s Receding Rules;  Sword & Shield; Realm of Zhu 1 and 2 ; TOTFF; Greyhawk Grognard; Grognardia).

For a long time the only ones available would be the old Minifigs AD&D line.

But several manufacturers put them back into production — Otherworld starting the trend in 2010, which inspired several of the blog posts already linked above  (Casting Room; Otherworld; Splintered Light; and yes Minifigs has them mostly back in production too!).

I was not really a fan of pig-faced orcs back in the day, since I came to D&D after being exposed to Tolkien. But more recently they’ve grown on me, and while I couldn’t justify buying any more orc figures (I have scores unpainted and literally an army of them painted) I thought about doing some conversions on my own. But then I saw the incredible workmanship over at Belched from the Depths and got cold feet. No way am I sculpting anything near that standard. More recently I saw a simple conversion on a Facebook page (and who can ever find something again in that Book of Sand?) and I could at least copy that. So I took some plastic orcs that were unlikely to be painted any time soon and tried making snoots from epoxy putty. They are just tiny balls pressed onto the nose, with the tip flattened and nostrils made by poking the end with bit of florist wire. The only thing I forgot to do was make one an obvious leader. I have a plastic GW “black orc” that should fit the bill though. For reference here’s the basic plastic orc as I painted one some time ago:

A small, somewhat ape-like nose typical of GW.

And here are the pig-faced versions (I also did some weapon swaps from other kits for variety, and gave some shield bosses).

The yellow and purple shields will likely get decals from the BattleMasters game on their shields.

Finally some Grenadier UK plastic orcs:

For reference, here are some I painted in the usual manner, and with their shields.

Both the pig-faced spearmen had their weapons modified; a third is below:

This guy could be the shaman of the tribe, and will be the leader for now.

Lastly a couple of metal orcs (Ghost Miniatures, the fantasy arm of Old Glory Miniatures) that I painted along similar lines, though I left their noses as they were. They might be half-orcs from the tribe.

Published in: on January 24, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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Flagellants I

So I started painted some of those plastic flagellants. As I mentioned before, Warhammer took the very real phenomenon of flagellants (religious fanatics who scourge themselves and passersby in a religious frenzy) and made them a troop type for the Empire. Apart from the usual exaggeratedly massive weapons, these are not bad figures at all.

The first three are pretty much as intended by the kit — wielding massive flails or scourges (I wish there more of these provided). The bell-ringer also had a massive flail head attached but I removed it as silly. A big bell like that on a rope would be an effective, if loud and clumsy, weapon anyway. I liked blind-folded heads, which is an great idea for someone with an already hazardous weapon like a multiple-headed flail. I do wish at least one body had more tattered clothes so it would look like he’d been scourging himself, but the center guy I just added a lot of blood stains.

I would have preferred to have a few more poses that aren’t running, but the style of Warhammer plastics seems to be action poses.

The great thing about the kit though was the extras — way more heads, arms, and accouterments than you need to assemble the ten bodies provided. So I made nearly as many variants with bodies borrowed from another kit (Zvedza soldiers) and from Lionheart peasants, mixing in a few pieces from the Frostgrave cultist kit and so on.

The guy on the far left is one of my favorites. He’s basically a foot soldier from the Zvedza kit with a flagellant head and banner. I had Lancelot, as he appeared late in Excalibur, wild and fanatical, in mind. The next guy has flagellant arms and head on a man-at-arms body, and the other two are Lionheart peasants with head transplants and modified weapons.

So this is seven of the 18 or so total I’m working on. I find myself stopping a lot though, because they have so many layers of clothing and small details they are kind of a pain to work on. When I get inspired to work on them again I’ll get to them.

Published in: on January 16, 2018 at 10:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Manticores and minotaur

A few things from my painting desk.

These two manticores are from the first edition Descent game. For variety, I painted one in a tiger pattern and the other as a lion. They were very quick to paint — I primed them one night and did everything else the next while half-watching SNL on TV.

Wizard for scale, though in hindsight he’s a bit nearer the camera.

The theory I’ve read is that manticores were based on accounts of tigers, so the tiger striped version might be more authentic.

Next up a minotaur of unknown (to me) provenance. Comment if you recognize her. The hands and spear are wire, putty, and assorted spare bits because I got this model without the intended hands.

The minotaur is female. I would have gone with udders rather than human breasts, and given it a tail, given the cow hoofs etc. The furry butt cracks me up. But it’s the last of my unpainted minotaurs! (No counting a few pre-painted MageKnight figures I might redo someday.)

Published in: on January 15, 2018 at 8:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Cultists

The latest batch are mostly plastics, and all meant to stand in for cultists.

Left to right, a MageKnight figure, a modified Frostgrave cultist, Grenadier’s Grima Wormtongue, and two Descent figures, a PC and a modified warlock.

The Grima figure is very small — he might be 4 foot tall, in scale, if he wasn’t hunched over. The Guy in red is from the Descent game, and is some sort of character type, maybe a monk or necromancer. Skull-face has a head from a GW skeletons kit (which will eventually be showing up) but otherwise unmodified.

The lady in black needed a little repainting and though it’s not visible here, she has a white streak in her hair, Elvira style. The cultist next to her has a head from the Zvedza soldier kit but is otherwise all Frostgrave.

Leftmost, a Frostgrave cultist. His right arm is the archer pose, but with the dagger hand swapped in. He’s holding a book from the GW Flagellants kit. Next to him is a Zvedza soldier body with a Frostgrave cultist head, flagellant scroll, and sword made from a pin and a toothpick. Third up is a Descent warlock, unmodified. The last is the same guy with a head swap.

The last four here are all Frostgrave cultist parts except for the mace-man’s arms and weapon, the scroll, and the torch — all flagellants parts.

Here’s a full container of cultists. The remaining guys are older GW chaos sorcerers, a Grenadier evil high priest, and a couple of WOTC figures. I still have some more plastic and metal to paint — including two more Grenadier priests — but this should do it for now.

Published in: on December 13, 2017 at 6:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Advent Die Geburt Krampuskind

Just noticed my #shamelesscommerce in the last few posts is being frustrated by the fact that the publisher’s site is down (though you can still cop a pdf at DTRP). Anyway here’s another seasonal repost. <Update — new site to buy it in hard copy>

nat-der-kra-2

In just eighteen days we’ll be celebrating the nativity of the Krampuskind!

Left to right we see a manger animal (Reaper Miniatures), an angel (Ral Partha), Krampusjoseph (Heritage Models), the Krampuskind (Dollar Tree),  Krampusmary and two magi (all Metal Magic), and a third magi (Grenadier).

Krampus gloriam in excelsis!

Amen!

Click the image below to embiggen…

nativity der krampuskind

Published in: on December 7, 2017 at 2:56 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Saurians

When I bought a bag of broken minis and assorted spare parts at a convention, among the bits were parts for five Games Workshop lizardmen (I think at one point they were called “Saurians” or “Saurus”?), and a bunch of the smaller lizardmen (“Skinks”). The skinks were mostly used as kobolds. It took me a while to get around to doing anything with most of the Saurians, though, because they were lacking arms and one had no head. When I picked up a couple of plastic GW kits, I figured out a plan. Using parts from the Chaos Marauders box (arms, standards, a shoulder pad, and a shield) and the flagellants box (another arm), as well as a spare arm from a Lionheart figure, I came up with these.

I’m not 100% happy with the feathers yet but I went ahead and sealed them knowing I am unlikely to do much more painting between now and Yule.

I think of the one with the standard as a shaman. I was quite pleased with the look of the other fellow with what is obviously part of the standard as his head/mask/helmet.

And here’s the whole set of lizard folk in my collection now.

Top row: kobolds (skinks, and Grenadier and Heritage, and a handful of plastic WOTC figures).

Second row: old Grenadier lizard men. Painted blue to be troglodytes.

Third row: later Grenadier lizardmen and the GW Saurians.

Bottom row: three WizKids recasts of a Ral Partha lizardman, a couple of WOTC plastic troglodytes, a Grenadier “Salamanewt,” and a Grenadier Champions supervillain/cobraman.

 

Published in: on November 30, 2017 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Rats!

I was inspired to paint most of my were-rats. Actually a couple were repainted — I decided that I’d like them all to look similar, and the paint jobs on two of them were pretty bad. I also have a few other were-rats, ratmen, or Skaven that were painted adequately, or at least didn’t need to be redone. They were completed in two sessions over Thanksgiving weekend, along with a few other figures that will appear later.

First up, the two oldest sculpts, which are also the least equipped. On the left, a Heritage Dungeon Dweller. I’m not sure if his sword is broken or miscast; I have never seen an example with a longer sword but based on the hilt it look like it must have been longer; possibly the sculpt was intended to represent a broken sword? On the right, a Grenadier were-rat dating from the Wizzards and Warriors line. I didn’t risk straightening out his sword, because those old Grenadiers break a lot. He came in the “Dungeon Monsters” box which was also sold as part of the AD&D line.

Next up, some slightly later Grenadier were-rats, from the AD&D line. There are two poses in the original blister I don’t have, and the leftmost is the were-rat leader is from the boxed “Action Art” set that came with paints and various monsters designed by TSR staff.

I especially like the one with a falchion. The kitchen knife in his belt and small keg, and especially the tassel on his cap, all give him a lot of character. Both the leftmost figures have giant rats at their feet, and the leader has another on his shoulder, which is a great touch. He originally had a separate scimitar to glue on, which seems excessive given that he already has a warhammer in his belt, but since he was sculpted with a flattened area to attach the sword to, I gave him a replacement gladius. The spearman’s spear was also broken, so he’s got a bill now. All three of the figures from the blister pack were sent in by blog readers. Some time back a couple of guys sent me a bunch of old minis they were not going to use, and a few others also traded some figures to me for books I was done with. The Heritage were-rat was one I got in trade, I think.

Finally, a Skaven assassin of some kind. He’s a Games Workshop plastic and was in a bag of spare parts and broken figures I picked up as Origins one year.

Like many GW Skaven, he has a mace head on his tail, which is kind of silly since rats don’t have a lot of control of their tails. Maybe Skaven tails are more prehensile.

And here’s the lot, ready to go back on the shelf. There are ten plastic Skaven from the old GW “Regiments” box that had ten each of wood elves, orcs, goblins, Skaven, dark elves, and dwarves. There are also two more metal Skaven (top row), and a Ral Partha rat man (middle row far left), and a later Grenadier were-rat (far left bottom row). 20 were-rats ready for battle!

Published in: on November 29, 2017 at 5:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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