Busy, busy, busy (2) — Swashbucklers

So my brother mentioned he might run a swashbuckler type campaign once the current Boot Hill of Cthulhu campaign is over. We have some time before that seems too likely and that gives me time to start working on the pile of unpainted pirates and swashbucklers that have been sitting unattended.

First up, the inevitable Three Musketeers. (D’Artangnon was already painted long ago.) These three are fairly late Ral Partha — the sculpting is not up to their old standards when Tom Meier, Julie Guthrie, etc. were there. I would have guess they were by Rafm. But they have nice clean designs and were fun to paint.

Next, a pair of conquistador types, also by Ral Partha. Shorty on the left is a Tom Meier sculpt. Honestly he’s a weird mix of elements — Landesknecht trousers, morion helmet, gladiator-style partial armor, and sawed-off poleaxe. On the right, another later Ral Partha sculpt, perhaps from the AD&D license years. Because of the morion helmets, I think of them as conquistadors, though in reality the conquistadors did not have morions.

See for example this contemporary illustration of consquitadors at work:

Image result for codex spaniards

Anyway the guy on the right reminds me of Klaus Kinski in Aguirre: wrath of God so I gave him bugging eyes for that crazed look.

Next up, some dwarf pirates. Left, a Mage Knight figure I touched up a little, with a mortar on his back. Center, the classic Grenadier dwarf thief. I have another of these I gave white beard and black cloak. Last, a Citadel dward sapper. My brother painted this one years ago, and he needed some touching up where the paint had worn off the edges. I mostly touched him up, adding some darker lines on borders between colors and giving him more distinct eyes, highlights, and so on.

Elven swashbucklers were surprisingly rare when I started collecting pirates and swashbucklers in the mid 1990s. These Rafm miniatures were for their Flintloque (fantasy Napoleonic) game. I’d painted a couple of other figures from this set who were in less formal attire.

And if there are dwarves and elves, there must be at least one half-orc pirate. This bruiser is by Reaper.

And here are two lady pirates. The first is very, very early Ral Partha miniature. True 25mm scale, perhaps small even for 25mm, she might pass for an elf or even a halfling now. On the right, another Mage Knight figure I touched up.

The last swashbuckler today was a civilian from a set by, I think either Wargames Foundry or The Foundry. He looks like a middle-aged gentlemen and I can’t help but associate him with Peter Laughton’s Captain Bly (the jowls I guess) or maybe Stede Bonnet.

For context, here are few of the above lined up to show the “scale creep.”

Really the Ral Partha lady is the odd one here. I consider the half-orc a little oversized too, but they are the extremes. I’m actually pleased with how well all the different manufacturers compare.

More to come…

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 8:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The last of the devils and demons

lastdevilswip

It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to paint any miniatures. But on New Year’s Day I had some free time and decided to finish up the devils and demons in my collection. As you can see in the picture, I have a Reaper Bones marilith, a Reaper Bones female devil, a Grenadier efreet, a Ral Partha “gremlin,” a demon or gargoyle of unknown vintage (recast in plastic by WizKids for Mage Knight), a Ral Partha efreet, and two Heritage avenging angels. Apart from an incomplete figure or two, and some Mega Minis figures that look more like random monsters than demons, those are the last of the demons & devils.

The marilith is still not done. But the rest are finished. I didn’t take quite as much time as I sometimes would, such was my enthusiasm to get a category of minis finished.

Apologies in advance for the image quality — new phone, too much gloss in the sealant, and still figureing out the flash.

First up, the efreeti. Actually these were both figures I painted decades ago but stripped to repaint a bit more aesthetically. The Grenadier efreet is the last version they made for the Tomb of Spells set (I vastly prefer the older sculpt based directly on Trampier’s illustration but this guy is ok). The Ral Partha efreet I purchased some time around 1983 when I was on a family vacation to Baltimore. The three things about that trip that stand out are visiting the aquarium, paddling around the harbor with my brother (where we found a number of dead seagulls floating on the waves), and the incredible hobby shop in the mall on the harbor that had glass cases filled with miniatures from every manufacturer I knew of and many I never heard of. Any money I had at the time was spent there. I’m not sure what other minis I might have bought but I recall my brother getting an ogre and troll made by Castle Creations. I used the efreet as a half-ogre for a while. (all photos, click to embiggen)

efreeti

Next up are a trio of devils. The crouching figure may or may not be an original sculpt for WizKids’Mage Knight line. The guy with the spear is a very old Ral Partha. I couldn’t figure out a way to straighten his spear without removing it entirely and replacing it so I left it alone. The female devil is by Reaper.

3devils

The avenging angels are pretty unusual. I couldn’t find any painted examples in my googling, and they may be fairly rare. They were made for the Knights & Magic line, and would have come in a blister pack with one each of an angel with a flaming sword (like these), a spear, and a bow. I picked these up second-hand from a toolbox full of old minis at hobby shop that has since gone out of business (or at least gone online-only — Spellbinder’s of Kent, Ohio). The odd thing was there were only two wings, and when began assembling them I realized they were both the right wing. So one angel has plastic wings clipped from a plastic toy bird (the neat rounded feathers on the right) while the other took some reconstruction. I bent one wing into shape and added some Liquid Nails to the top edges so they look more symmetrical. They almost look like they were meant to be this way. I love the raggedness of these wings too — it seems like something out of a Terry Gilliam movie. (Actually, the bird-wings could be out of Brazil and the original wings out of The Fisher King, maybe).

angels1

Unrelated, but not appearing here before, I had a couple more minis that I painted over the summer and never photographed. They are a Reaper fire elemental and a very old Grenadier cleric. The cleric (who I always think of as Cedric the Cleric) lost his mace long ago and I replaced it with a somewhat oversized morningstar from the plastic Zvedza Orks kit.

clericandelemental1

Published in: on January 5, 2017 at 9:53 pm  Comments (3)  
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Been on a monster tear lately

That makes 1819!

So there’s the scorpion men I already covered; a black pudding made from Sculpy:

Just Sculpy that had a couple of pens pressed against it, baked, glued to a washer, and painted.

A MegaMinis harpy (originally Metal Magic?)

And a flesh golem — a repainted MageKnight mini:

As much as I love some of the henchmen and men-at-arms I’ve started, I’ve been motivated to paint monster lately, under the assumption that I could conceivably finish them all this year.  Monsters are A LOT easier to paint than people & humanoids, IMO, since they have less stuff.  Also, I find that about 5% of the adventurer minis ever get used; everyone always likes the same bitchin’ elf or fighter.  I should post my favorite “benchwarmers” some time — the minis I love but who always sit out on game night. 🙂

But monsters pretty much always get a chance to shine, at least once.

Published in: on April 30, 2011 at 6:00 am  Comments (5)  
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Hirelings — some specialists

Click to embiggen! Not all of these guys were sold as hirelings & henchmen but that is how I think of them. On the far left, the Grenadier halfling lookouts, one of my all-time favorite models. Next to them is a Grenadier AD&D thief throwing oil, and a hireling, the door-spiker.  Last is an elf squire made by WizKids for the MageKnight game, rebased and repainted. (more…)

Published in: on August 29, 2010 at 10:00 am  Comments (2)  
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Lizard folk

I mentioned in the Snakes post that I keep my D&D figures organized by type, generally, and while I still think of kobolds as dog-like rather than dragon-like, I have my lizardmen and kobolds and kindred folk all in one tackle box. (Not pictured: a few WotC pre-painted minis and four Grenadier kobolds on my painting table). (more…)

Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 12:58 pm  Comments (2)  
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Why did it have to be snakes!?!

Organizing my figures has been life-long struggle.   OK, not a particularly important struggle, but still, it’s been a pain.  Take monsters.  Do you just put them in boxes willy nilly where they fit most compactly (to minimize the total boxes needed), or do you put them in some sort of order — by name, by hit dice/level/challenge rating, by type, by locale (swamp vs underground vs arctic…), by theme, etc.?  If you are a collector, do you organize them by manufacturer?  There are lots of possibilities.  I finally settled on putting most them in “themed” boxes.  So lizardmen, troglodytes,  and kobolds all went in one box; ogres, trolls, & giants in another; etc.  The drow and spiders I posted earlier actually share a box with my snake-themed monsters (“spiders & snakes”).  These are the serpent folk:

These “giant” snakes (on a 1″ grid battlemat) are a Ral Partha cobra, and two Grenadier  figures.

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Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 9:52 pm  Comments (2)  
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How now brown Drow?

I really hate drow elves.  They just suck.  Spider-demon worshiping freaks.

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Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 9:58 pm  Comments (11)  
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“I look’d toward Birnam, and anon, methought, The wood began to move.”

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Published in: on March 7, 2010 at 8:19 pm  Comments (5)  
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The army of the apes

I have slightly mixed feelings about MageKnight, the WizKids collectible miniatures game. On the one hand they had some terrible sculpts and spawned the “random figure” packs; but on the other they were the first really widely distributed, cheap, prepainted line of minis and they put a number of Ral Patha sculpts back in print. This army of apes is mostly based on a single Ral Partha gorillaman (which originally came in a set with a caged woman). Shortly before MageKnight completely crashed, you could get MageKnight figures for 25 cents or so at conventions and gaming stores, and I bought up tons of figures from a bin at Origins one year, including all these apes. The rest of the army is filled out with some metal figures, including some really old Minifigs flying apemen from their S&S line of the 1970s — scored at an auction at a BASHCon for $2, some fifteen years ago…

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Published in: on March 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm  Comments (1)  
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