Sick day painting

I left work a bit early Friday because I need to get over a cold ASAP because I have bunch of things starting Sunday for work. I rested up, woke up in the middle of the night, and decided to paint to kill time. So in a few hours I finished some figures I’d primed a while ago, and also repaired a couple of broken skeletons. I sealed them all this morning and will probably finish their bases with some texture and flocking tonight, but I photographed them with my phone with unfinished bases.

The main group are some Grenadier halberdiers. I had one from BITD, though he broke long ago. I found three more for sale for a buck a piece at a games store in a box with a lot of really old and badly bent or broken figures (the balrog from a few posts back is from the same batch). I hadn’t realized Grenadier made two variants of the halberdier. The Lost Minis Wiki shows the bearded variant as part of the set but my version had the mailed one. (I don’t think the mailed variant is rare, but both DnD Lead and Lost Minis only show the bearded one).

As all were broken, only one has an original halberd head (I just realized the two variants had some differences in the halberd head too; technically mine is on the wrong guy). The rest have plastic halberd or spear heads from a Zvedza “Ring of Rule” set which had lots of extra bits. They spear heads are huge, but might pass as ox-tongue partisans. The plastic halberd is also pretty outrageously large, but this is fantasy. Their leader is a later Grenadier fighter with a poleaxe (really a pole hammer).

It’s kind of interesting to note that the mailed variant has roundels on the polearm haft, like a poleaxe might have (though honestly I’ve never seen two roundels like that, and question how helpful the rearmost one would be).

I went pretty fast through these, just painting to the old “wargame” standard, with very little highlighting and shadows mostly accomplished with one dark wash.

At the same time I worked on a couple of spear men — one Grenadier, one Heritage. The Grenadier guy is another from the fighting men set, and I replaced his repeatedly bent and broken spear with a plastic javelin from another Zvedza set. I think his original spear head ended up on the Heritage model, as he too had broken long ago.

Finally a couple of skeletons. The halberdier is Ral Partha. I bought a small boxed set of skeletons long ago and to my surprise it had two each of the halberdier and the double-armed swordsman, but no axe-man. My experience with Grenadier led me to think all miniatures companies were pretty slipshod about the contents of the boxes and I never bothered to try to correct the omission. I painted both of these many years ago, when my technique was just to paint everything as neatly as possible in solid colors and apply a black wash. I touched up a few spots on these guys but mostly left them alone.

The swordsman is Grenadier. He originally had his arm raised and sword pointing straight up, and was presumably one of several variants made by adding armor and a shield to the basic skeleton model they made. Those upraised arms always bent or broke, and in this case I replaced it with yet another bit from a Zvedza set (in this case the Cursed Legion, a set of skeleton Roman legionaries).

None are my best work at painting but I’m satisfied they’ll finally see some use.


Published in: on September 9, 2017 at 6:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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A couple more minis

Left: A Grenadier AD&D Fighting Man.  He originally held a guisarme (or a bill hook, or a bill-guisarme , or glaive-guisarme-guisarme-fauchard-guisarme…) but the blade broke off long ago and I’ve replaced it with a spare halberd head from a Zvedza kit. (Oddly, the Zvedza minis are pretty close to 25mm but their polearms were large even by modern, post-GW scale creep standards).  On the right: A RAFM cleric.  Nice morningstar.

The fighting man came in a boxed set that my brother & I got back in 1981 or so; the RAFM guy was just given to me by Scottsz a couple of months ago when he found a shop with a bunch of old lead.

The pics are blurry because I did not use a tripod.  They make a huge difference when you’re photographing small things like minis.

Published in: on August 16, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (2)  
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Scale creep!

Miniatures enthusiasts sometimes talk about “scale creep” — the tendency over time for bigger and bigger figures to be produced in the same notional scale. D&D figures (and fantasy figures in general for other RPGs and fantasy war gaming lines) have usually been marketed as “25mm” scale, but scale creep was evident from at least the 1980s. Beginning in the later 1990s or early 2000s some companies began to admit this was going on and stopped calling their figures “25mm” and started describing them as “heroic scale,” “28mm,” “30mm,” and even “32mm.”

Believe it or not, there was a time when 25mm was considered “close enough” to use with HO (that’s actually ‘half o’) scale models, which are about 1/76 scale.   Simple math will tell you that if 25mm = the height of a man, and humans are presumed to be 6′ in fantasy land, this is 1/72 scale. 1/72 and 1/76 are fairly close, but 1/72 is still somewhat puny next to 25mm.  Smallish 25mm like early Tom Meier Ral Parthas are very close to 1/72.  The metal figures, being sculpted at actual size, still have somewhat less realistic proportions, but most people don’t really notice this unless it is pointed out to them. (Metal minis are molded directly from the master sculpts, which are placed in unvulcanized rubber or silicone. Plastics are more typically sculpted in a larger scale and then molds made with a “pantograph” machine that traces and reduces them as it cuts the steel mold. This is why 1/72 plastics — especially the soft wargamer/modeller plastics — tend to be very delicately proportioned. The cartoonishness of metals is partly due to aesthetics but partly practical.)

Some fighting men.  The first is Ral Partha from about 1980 or maybe the late 1970s.  Next a Grenadier figure, about 1980 too.  Grenadier was already larger than RP, even back in the day.  Next is a Citadel barbarian from the late 1980s, and finally a Reaper figure from the 2000s.

Because the Grenadier figure was somewhat large even for the line, they mostly look OK together, but the Ral Partha fighter went from being a fairly badass knight to being a dwarf!

Speaking of dwarves.  Ral Partha (1976 or so), Grenadier (1980), Ral Partha (1986 or so), Grenadier (1989), Citadel (late 1980s).

The discrepancy is most apparent between the Citadel dwarf and the RP dwarf.  The former’s fist is literally as big as the latter’s head.

Here are some mounted figures.  For much of the 70s and 80s, cavalry figures had undersized mounts just because the amount of metal needed for a full sized horse would have pushed up prices, or so it is said.  Games Workshop was very proud when they began releasing plastic warhorses that were suitable massive for the scale.  Anyway we see here a Ral Partha fighter (1976 or so); a Citadel plastic LOTR Rohan rider (this line is uncharacteristically well-proportioned and actually pretty close to 25mm rather than 28-30 which we see in their Warhammer line); amd a knight from the company called “Enigma” which I think was Canadian, and specialized in what I always thought looked like Warhammer knock-offs.  The Enigma knights are huge.

If you were picking a figure for your PC, would you even consider the RP knight?  He now passes for a dwarf on a pony in my games.

Oh, how the mighty have fallen!

Published in: on April 26, 2010 at 12:49 pm  Comments (8)  
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Fighting men

A Grenadier archer, a really early Grenadier barbarian, and a Ral Partha paladin. (more…)

Published in: on April 9, 2010 at 2:39 am  Comments (3)  
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