The last of the giants?

With these guys done, I can finally say I’ve painted all the giants minis I own. (OK, there is a pair of firbolgs, an ettin, and some Gamma World giant mutants, and a lot of trolls and ogres, but no more giants per se.) Those are mostly metal; these guys are all plastic.

First, a Dragonstrike! stone giant. A very simple sculpt, but immediately recognizable. And next to him a DFC giant. I really like these guys as frost giants.  I’d get half a dozen more if I could, and mix up the weapons a little.



Then two truly giant giants, from the Descent board-game. Mountain giants, I guess.

Descent-giantsI painted the first as a mountain giant. The pointy, elfin ears gave me the idea to paint his hair green, which sort of suggests grass or leaves; maybe he is related to the ents. The other guy might be a frost or stone giant.  I like the fairy-tale aspect to these guys.

Technically I guess I have one more giant to go because I am painting a Battlemasters ogre as a fire giant, but I was impatient to get these up on the blog.


Published in: on May 15, 2015 at 8:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Grenadier bugbears, Heritage kolbolds

Just finished the last of my bugbears and kobolds (I think!)

The more I look at the Grenadier bugbears, the more I think they are my favorite bugbears (although the Otherworld minis are a close second).  Although these guys were originally sold in blister packs with two axe-wielders and one sword-wielder, somehow I have three swords and one axe!  I think the issue is that the sword-wielder came in the “Action Art” boxed set too, so there are just more of them out there.  The axe guy has an extra-large head, but the fact that he has an axe also helps tie him in with the plastic ‘bugbears’ from the Dragonstrike game that I have.

Grenadier bugbears

Grenadier bugbears


I figured the best way to make the sword guys distinguishable would be their shields, but then thought it might be cool if they were all the same…and finally settled on making one an ‘elder’ by adding some grey to his fur.

I went ahead and touched up a few WotC plastic figures I use as bugbears too — the one with a hammer was sold as a bugbear, but the other two were supposed to be orcs.  3e/4e orcs have a lot of hair, so painting them brown pretty much did the trick.


So here’s all 15 bugbears in my collection:


I’m not sure if I like the Heritage kobolds more than other manufacturer’s kobolds, but the Heritage figures have a lot of character, despite being in the same pose.

My kobolds represent just two of the four poses Heritage cast.  I got them from a variety of sources second-hand so I’m not surprised; this may also be a case of the blister and boxes having different contents, so the clubs and axes are just more common than the sword and javelin variants I’ve seen online.


The Grenadier kobolds I have, which are from the mid-1980s I think, are similar but much slimmer and have no tails.  I also filled in the ranks of my kobolds with some Games Workshop skinks.  I can’t quite place why I started painting them all blue, but does help distinguish them from goblins.

koboldsI have Grenadier kobold mounted on a small dragon too, but forgot to include him in the group shot.

Published in: on February 2, 2013 at 10:04 pm  Comments (3)  
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Call him MISTER Daggins!

Jeff Rients mentioned a halfling NPC he made up, named Mr. Daggins, and who got really angry when asked what his first was.

I have a lot of halfling minis and have not been very avid about painting them, mainly because they mostly look like thieves or archers and if you have a mini with a short sword, a bow, and a sling you have covered ever halfling PC your likely to see in any D&D game, at least from AD&D onward.

But in my Basic D&D game, there have been two halfling PCs who are decked out in plate armor and kick butt in hand to hand as well as shooting.  Time to dig out the old Grenadier halfling set, which had one with mail, shield, and a sword.  Sure he looked like a Time Bandits midget more than a halfling, like all of Andy Chernak’s early halfling sculpts, but he’s ok.

In fact the Grenadier halfling has been sitting next to the gnome on my work desk, next to a Ral Partha gnome someone gave me last summer.  They have been waiting to be finished over a year!  Well, at least the gnome is done, and his full helm makes him suitable for a B/X halfling.  Behold, MR. DAGGINS –(actually, I guess he’ll most likely be Quinly in my game).

His sheild has a badger or fox face on it (I painted it as a fox, but could have done better if I took my time).

The base he’s on is 20mm wide, so this mini is about 16 mm tall — barely up to most minis’ waists.  But he looks like a badass, doesn’t he?

It took me almost a year to get him done, just because I have been painting so infrequently until the last couple weeks.

Here’s a few gargoyles (from the TSR Dragonstrike! game) I did the other night too.

Can’t wait to use them as scenery, over and over, until the players stop noticing them, then…BAM!

Published in: on July 11, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (6)  
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More ogres and trolls

A while back I posted some pics to illustrate how you might convert the crummy Dragonstrike! game trolls into slightly better models, which is worth doing if you pick pu the cheap remainders of the green and gray sprues from here. They paint up ok too.(Far left, a rare Minifigs troll)  They are clearly Poul Anderson style “true trolls.”

Here are some Ral Partha trolls:

Ral Partha trolls, until they got the D&D liscence, were always very Tolkien-style to me, and would also make good ogres.  I painted these guys all a long time ago.

And a “Ral Partha Import,” cast by Citadel, but I think he may also be a Tom Meier sculpt:

(Reminds me of those Otherworld Bugbears for some reason)

And some more recent Citadel trolls:

That’s a blurry picture, sorry.  Citadel used to make their trolls very comical; these guys are slightly less comical than usual.  You can just make out a bit of a jawbone on the base of the one on the left.  That is a real bone from an “owl pellet” I found in the yard.  I used other parts on the bases of other figures, like this Citadel troll that I painted non-green, hoping to get a more ogrish effect:

The stones are bits of dried sap, and the femur must be from a mouse or mole.  Seeing this figure in such good light (from the camera’s flash), I think I probably should have done some black lining to emphasize the borders of the hands vs. stone etc.  Oh well.  I entered this guy in a painting competition about sixteen years ago (‘monster’ category; I lost to some far superior paint jobs) and the judge mentioned she had no idea what it was supposed to be.  Seriously?  That doesn’t look like it might be an ogre or troll or something? Sheesh.

Here are a couple of Grenadier trolls in armor:

The shorter guy has a katar! How awesome is that?

And an old Castle Creations ogre that I think my brother bought in Baltimore:

And a Nick Lund-sculpted Grenadier ogre:

If ogres were a playable race, this guy could be a PC.  He looks just barely smart enough to wipe properly, for example.

And a Ral Partha hill giant:

He must be a Tom Meier sculpt too.  He looks about ready to go berserk.

Lastly, a Ral Partha ettin:

I never really liked the Ral Partha D&D line of figures, although this is one of the better ones.  I’d like to convert a few figures to have four, ten, or more heads some time.  I wish I had bought the 1979 Ral Partha “three headed troll” when it was available.

(Image from the Lost Minis Wiki, nyuk nyuk nyuk.)

Published in: on June 26, 2010 at 10:33 am  Comments (3)  
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Bugbears for breakfast

Or, why was Trampier only allowed to draw bugbears from the waist up?


Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 1:02 pm  Comments (4)  
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Caverns of Doom remix

I have three mythologically-inspired sets of miniatures ready, and will be giving them to three nephews in one family (maps and rules booklets still in process…).  I decided that the fourth set would be different, partly because I couldn’t decide which mythos would be best for her and partly because I also knew I’d given her a basic D&D set a year or two ago and she has more figures in that scale.  So, below are the alternative figures I’ll use for  a version of the CoD — they’ll use CoD stats but look a little different.

Instead of the rats, goblins:

DSC03014(These guys are from the Battle Masters set).

Instead of the hobgoblin, a beastman (Battle Masters again), and a different slime monster, spider, and demon:

DSC03017The slime monster is epoxy putty.  The demon is a Battle Masters chaos warrior, and spider is another plastic toy.

DSC03021A close-up of the slime monster.

The skeletons are replaced by orcs, and the dragon by a giant.  The vampire is replaced by a wraith.  The giant and wraith are Dragon Strike figures, the orcs are Battle Masters (the archer is actually a chaos thug).

DSC03022The character figures are a pirate, dwarf,  knight, monk, elf, and wizard:

DSC03078monk,elf,wizrd2The knight & pirate are from the Weapons & Warriors games; the dwarf is a Games Workshop plastic figure; the wizard is from Descent, the Elf is from GW’s Lord of the Rings line, and the monk is a Lionheart peasant with his pitchfork trimmed into a staff, and slightly tonsured (you can’t see it from this angle).

The map will be pretty much identical to the original CoD map.

Published in: on October 13, 2009 at 10:45 pm  Comments (1)  
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More trolls!

OK, as promised here is the repainted Minifigs troll.  The others I decided to strip first, so the Grenadier is soaking in Brake Fluid and the Ral Partha will soak in Pine Sol.  I’ve been meaning to determine which works best.  I hope it is the Pine Sol, brake fluid is nasty carcinogenic stuff.

DSC03060 Looks a little like Richard Nixon, doesn’t he?  This model was produced around 1978, so I guess it could be intentional.   Apparently he’s actually very rare.  Score!

I also dug up a couple of Dragon Strike trolls.  Dragon Strike was a D&D board game that came out in 1993 and had some really horrible plastic figures, but an awesomely bad “introduction to roleplaying games” video.  I found a few sprues cheap at the same Origins, and the trolls were hunched over and looking perpendicular to where they are attacking, due no doubt to  the very limit possibilities for a one-piece hard plastic casting. Original on left.  I decided to turn their heads by sawing off the face and recreating the head with epoxy putty.  I used the blue+white plumber’s stuff and that dries a little too fast to get a lot of detail added, but these guys are already pretty blobby.

DSC03045The finished trolls looked like this:

DSC03055The poses aren’t too dissimilar, huh?


I couldn’t find the original Dragon Strike video, but it is featured (and ripped on) here.

Published in: on October 8, 2009 at 1:37 am  Comments (1)  
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