Friday, 29 September 2017

Asgard Fantasy Monsters FM42 Norse Giant

And next out of the mountain was this chappie. Now, Asgard did some great sculpts, some absolutely dreadful ones, and a awful lot of so-so ones. This is one of the so-so ones. As with all of the bigger Asgard sculpts, you get a lot of metal - compare it against a Shadowforge Dark Temple warrior/latest recruit to my Amazon army - but not a lot of quality with the sculpt itself, as they tend to be really coarse. It also suffered from having a base that was too small for such a top heavy model, which meant it kept falling over. So, once fixed to a plastic base - out with the brushes. Originally I was going to paint it as a Frost Giant, but in the end was swung by the name - "Norse Giant", and decided to paint him in human-like colours. I know a bad workman blames his tools, but the ink washes really brought out the coarseness of the sculpt, and even some vigorous dry brushing couldn't save things. I'm not especially happy with the figure at all - it's a bit static, and I can't think of any giant-based scenes where a Norse giant could appear. Perhaps I should have painted him as a Frost Giant. Can't see him getting too much tabletop time, and probably appearing on an auction site soon. You win some, you lose some...

Friday, 25 August 2017

Grenadier Fantasy Lords 2nd series 052 Yeti

And staying with Grenadier... next out of the Lead Mountain was this fine fellow. Grenadier went through a phase in the mid-80s of trying to produce figures for every eventuality, resulting in things like giant skeletons with scythes. This figure hails from the same era, and is a bit of an oddity. For starters, look at the size of it - it is huge, at least giant sized in comparison to the latest recruit to my Amazon army. I know polar bears are big but this is faintly ridiculous - what on earth is something that size going to live on, especially in frozen and/or mountainous environments? Anyhow, out with the brushes... It was actually a pleasure to paint, a base coat of white, then a wash of light blue to suggest ice and frost, and then lots and lots of dry brushing white over several nights. The paws and face were picked out with flesh tone mixed with white and just a hint of blue, whilst the eyes were done with my trademark chaotic red. The base is simply fine Milliput painted white, inked light blue and then drybrushed. I was quite please with the way this turned out, and I actually like the sculpt, but I do wonder how much table time it will see - not much call for yetis in my campaign!

Monday, 10 July 2017

Grenadier 1505 Monster Manuscript Vol. V MM41 Klynops

Early Grenadier sculpts tended to be very primitive - crude, and often naive - but later sculpts were a lot better, especially when they got John Dennett involved. Now, not everything he did was good, but I think this is one of his better pieces. It was an absolutely pleasure to paint - just base coats of white for the skin and brown for the fur, followed by a wash of GW nightshade to pick out the detail, and then dry brushing with light blues. I really liked the way the skin tone came out on this - I wanted to suggest something unnatural living in a cave and gnawing on sheep bones, and this worked pretty well! I think this looks like something that Ray Harryhausen could have dredged up for a film about Greek mythology. Just not sure about the name though - what's that all about? It's obviously a Cyclops, and I'm pretty sure the name isn't trademarked. Very please with the way this turned out, especially when placed next to the latest recruit in the Amazon army!

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

TSR 5305 AD&D Monster Tribes Troll 2

A combination of incredibly good weather and some unfortunate family issues have meant that I haven't posted for a while... but I have been painted. Next up from the Lead Mountain was this. I understand that this is actually a Ral Partha sculpt issued under the TSR banner, and as with all Ral Partha minis it is a thing of beauty - great scale and lots of detail, though you could possible quibble about the pose, which is a bit static. It was a real pleasure to paint up - a base coat of green, then an ink wash which really bought out the detail, followed by dry brushing and picking out details such as the red spots and eyes, whilst painting the teeth and nails stone gray. The base is just Milliput and flock. Usually I apply two coats of varnish - gloss first, then matt - but I thought this figure looked good with just a gloss varnish, as it gave an impression of damp and moistness. I'm quite pleased with this beastie - it looks like it will give the latest recruit to my Amazon army a definite shock - and I can see this getting lots of table top time.

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Grenadier Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 5004 Tomb of Spells Minotaur

Now here is a real blast from the past. Grenadier were one of the earliest figure manufacturers and produced some of the earliest miniatures for AD&D. A lot of the early figures were a bit suspect, especially the ones from the original Wizzards and Warriors range, but then they supplemented those figures with (slightly) better sculpts... like this one. To be honest, I think it has held up really well for a sculpt that is nearly 40 years old (and how old does that make ME feel :)) - it's well detailed, and its not a bad pose, though the moulding on the axe head on my copy is definitely suspect. So much for quality control! The trick as always with old figures is to keep it simple - base colours, then ink washes, then dry brushing before picking out detail. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this came out, although I do feel that the figure lacks an air of menace... it's bit bovine to be honest. Maybe it is chewing its cud (or part of an adventurers anatomy) before swinging that axe. Still, for its age it holds up pretty well, and as a generic minotaur for either dungeon or outdoor encounters, it will do very well - and how often can you say that about a figure that is at least 35 years old? 

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Alternative Armies Very Nasty Things VNT09 War Troll

All this good weather has meant that I have been spending most of my time watering plants and hardly any time painting. I did get round to this chappie though. Now, I like Alternative Army sculpts - I see them as the spiritual heirs to Citadel, as I think they get the mix of oddball humour and unpleasantness just right. This sculpt is a great example - I mean, it is genuinely unpleasant, but it brings a smirk to my face at the thought of unleashing it on unsuspected adventurers. As with all AA sculpts, it was a pleasure to paint - a dark gray base coat, then a blue wash, then dry brushing and picking out the detail. The red really worked well, I thought. Simples! I can see this one getting a LOT of table top time.

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Unknown carnivorous giant frog

When you look at a normal frog, one that's only a few inches long, it's easy to forget that the docile green amphibian resting lazily at the edge of the stream is an ambush predator who is secretly a cross between a ninja with a grappling hook and a black hole. When the rare example grows to the size of a horse, however, they remind unwary adventurers that anything can be dangerous. 

This is definitely a late 70s-early 80's sculpt, but it has no base (it rests on its legs and feet) and has no markings to indicate the manufacturer - any ideas? I've scoured Lost Minis and Google and I can't find any reference to it anywhere. As with all early sculpts, the trick is to keep it simple - a base green paint job, with a dark red for the tongue, and then washes and dry brushing to bring out a surprising amount of detail, following by flock and stone for the base. I like everything about this sculpt - it's very dynamic, with the lashing tongue and the raised claw giving it a real air of menace - and just look at the size of it next to a worried looking Shadowforge Dark Temple warrior! To be honest I've always though of this entry in the Monster Manual as a bit of a joke, but this sculpt has changed my mind considerably, and I can see it getting a lot of table top time in the next set of marsh/swamp encounters. Now, if someone can just identify who made it, I'll be a happy man...