Tree trolls

The late Bob Blanc (owner/operator of the company Castings, miniaturemolds.com) sold a number of silicone rubber molds for homecasters that reproduced classic old school fantasy miniatures. According to my sources, he did this under license. Gravity-casting or drop-casting simply does not create castings as highly detailed as the spin-casting used in commercial production. But I enjoy the hobby and picked up some of the molds before the company was shuttered by his passing. One of my favorites is definitely the Broadsword “tree troll” — a sort of sawed-off ent. Interestingly, the catalog image I’ve seen of this particular figure has four digits on each hand, but it is a drawing, not a photo…)

Anyway here are some I made for my collection. I already have bunch of metal and plastic treants shown in this much old post.

The one in the middle was slightly mis-cast (I didn’t pour enough metal to fill in his base, but fortunately his “feet” were cast ok, so he’s just a few millimeters shorter than the others).

For variety, I gave some tops. These are from cheap trees from a crafting store. I added “apples” to two and replaced the foliage with autumn-colored flock on the one.)

I missed one of the unmodified ones — he got autumn colors too.

Painting these was a breeze. White primer, Citadel contrast paints (two of the brown shades) and detailed in regular paint.

Published in: on December 10, 2019 at 7:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Speaking of home-casting

If you want to cast your own 25mm fantasy miniatures, the best bet (and the only one I can vouch for) would be those offered by the Dunken Company — an American distributor of Prince August molds (in Europe, you can buy directly from Prince August).

One other option I’m often tempted to try are the molds offered by Castings.  Their fantasy molds appear to include some old Grenadier designs.  I assume they are properly licensed.  The link goes directly to their fantasy line, and the very small image looks like it includes:

  • a skeleton from the Tomb of Spells set (SR 188)
  • an umber hulk (SR 190)
  • a djinn (SR192)
  • a cleric (SR 185)

as well as at least one Heritage casting (a lizard man, also in SR 188)

I am sure I’ve seen the treant (SR 194) before too.  The rest I am less certain about, as the image is pretty poor quality.  If any of you out there can ID the others, I’d be interested in hearing what they are.

The previous owner of the Dunken Company offered some unlicensed molds made of Heritage models but the new owner has (correctly) taken them off the market.

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Comments (6)  
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Chess

A while back (I think it would have been in 2001 or 2002) I made six chess sets as Christmas presents (for my father, brother, father-in-law, step-father-in-law, and two brothers-in-law).

Not all of them are chess players (and really I’m a terrible chess player, probably the worst of the lot), but all appreciated getting something hand-crafted.  Each set was a little different, in how the board itself and the pieces were painted, but all the pieces were made from a set of molds by Prince August and the boards were made from 18″ wide shelf lumber.  After my father-in-law passed away and his effects were divided among  his kids, I took his chess board (we’d played several memorable games on that set; he was a lot better than me but my unpredictable play made it a bit of a challenge for him because he could never tell if I was really making that dumb a move).  I plan to find a permanent home for it, as it is actually in better shape than the other sets I made (everyone else has kids/grandkids, cats, or both, and from what I’ve seen their pieces are pretty battered, but my father-in-law kept his set stored safely in a box.  I should add that I don’t mind seeing the other sets a little battered, as it shows they have had use!)

Here is board (which is just stained and painted, then sealed with polyurethane; a few upholstery tacks serve as the shield bosses):

And here is the underside of the board, with a short historical note on Saladin and Richard the Lionheart (depicted as the kings).  I also put four furniture ‘gliders’ on it to keep it the board stable (I was afraid they’d warp over time) and protect the table-top.

Click to embiggen, if you want to read it.

And now some details of the pieces.  All were cast in a lead/tin alloy I bought from the Dunken Company, the American distributor of Prince August and other molds.  I think I went with the “Chess metal,” which was a little cheaper thna the “Model metal” but still very good.

The Richard (white) side and Saladin's side (black)

Pawns.

 

The Richard (white?) side

Saladin's side (black?)

Bishops

I might cast some more of some of these pieces:

Rooks. They're neat little towers to use in some other game...

The knights -- about 28 or 30 mm scale!

Published in: on October 5, 2011 at 4:00 pm  Comments (11)  
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