Friday, 16 December 2011

Grenadier Action Art Series 8003 Mythological Creatures 8003g Unicorn

Grenadier released four large boxed sets complete with acrylic paints, paintbrush and painting guides, probably with the intention of attracting youngsters into the hobby. The paints and paint brushes were not great, but the miniatures were of a good standard. This figure is from the 8003 Mythological Creatures set:
I think it's an attractive figure, with good proportion and movement - it really looks as if it is starting into a canter - although the head does look a bit strange, to be honest! The figure is in a totally different style from the other Grenadier unicorn I've posted here (see my second post in the blog). The figure was comparatively easy to paint; a base coat of dark grey, then several layers of dry brushing. The eyes were enchanted blue mixed with white, and the horn is just dry brushed silver. The base is simply flock on PVC glue. Simple but effective!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Grenadier Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 5002 Monsters Yeti

I'm fairly sure this figure also dates from the early 1980's, same as the Djinni - the style is very "AD&D 2nd edition":
Initially I wasn't enthused about the figure - it looked clumsy, and there were a number of issues with it. What is it doing with that boulder? It doesn't look like it's going to throw it. Also, it's a big hairy ape man that lives in the snow - so why does it need a loincloth? Either it has got localised alopecia, or it is shy about exposing its naughty bits. And bearing in mind that the last thing it would want to do is draw attention to itself on the white slopes, choosing to wear an item of clothing that might stand up against the snow seems a very odd thing to do, unless the loin cloth were white as well... but then that would make for a very dull figure. Hmm.

In the end I painted the loincloth a dull brown - assuming that it has been taken from some slaughtered adventurer - and then highlighted it with various lighter shades. I was pleased with the outcome; the cloth looks as if it has a layer of ice on it. The figure itself painted up quite nicely - basically lots of drybrushing - whilst the base and the boulder had a faint blue ink wash to suggest ice. The stones on the base are Milliput, again with a thin ink wash. On the whole I am pleased with this figure, considering I had such low expectations of it!


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Grenadier Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 5004 Tomb Of Spells Djinni

I think this figure dates from the early 1980's, when Grenadier had the franchise for TSR's AD&D game - I think they held this between 1980 and 1983. The figure itself is similar in style to the  illustrations used in the AD&D 2nd edition "Monster Manual":

I had my doubts when I started this figure - the styling is quite naive (but then most of the Grenadier figures from that date were), and the main "body" of the figure is actually lopsided. I'm guessing this was to try and give the impression of the figure still forming from mist. I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out - with the use of inks and a bit of drybrushing, I think it came out quite well. I'm especially pleased with the terracotta jar it is escaping from! The tiles on the base are Milliput, and conceal the original Grenadier base.

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Asgard Fantasy Monsters FM50 Large Wolfman

Asgard Miniatures was founded by Bryan Ansell in the 1970's, before he went on to found Citadel. They did an excellent range of fantasy figures, including this rather strange Wolfman:
The thing about Asgard miniatures was the sheer size and scale of them in comparison to their competitors. Even allowing for the fact that this mini is described as a Large Wolfman, just compare it in size to an Asgard Barbarian and a Citadel Amazon of the same era:
The other thing about the figure is just how strange it actually is. On the one hand, it's a Wolfman, and is covered with fur. So why the trousers and cloak, unless the cloak is to allow a certain degree of concealment when in the company of humans? And surely someone would notice something that big, especially with the hairy hands and feet. And it has no weapon - one assumes it relies on teeth and claws for that - yet it's carrying a whopping great shield. It's a very odd, almost schizophrenic figure, which I suppose mirrors the dual nature of the beast and the man in one form. You could definitely use it as some type of Werewolf leader or king.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Grenadier Wizzards & Warriors W32C Fire & Earth Elementals

Two figures from 1983 according to the Grenadier catalogues. Again, the sculpting is quite coarse compared to a lot of recent sculptures; I think the general idea of the fire elemental is that of a walking bonfire with a face (!):
These were both quite a fast figures to paint - for the fire elemental, a base coat of yellow, then orange and red inks, followed by deeper shades of orange and red paint as I worked up to the top. I also painted some of the larger stones on the base red to try and give an impression of heat.The earth elemental was a base coat of dark grey with various lighter shades of grey dry brushed on after.

The fire elemental still holds up I think; somehow, the earth elemental doesn't. It looks like it has just burst out of the ground, but there is no suggestion it could do anything, other than perhaps fall on you.  It would work as a guardian for a doorway or a dungeon entrance, so maybe that's what it was designed for.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Essex Fantasy Monsters FAN2 Ogre

Next up is a very early pre-slotta figure from the 1980's by Essex - I think they're still making figures, but not in the fantasy range:

The figure is quite coarse compared to today's figures - sculpting has come a long way in 30 years! - and the proportions aren't quite right, especially the legs which are far too short and spindly for the rest of the figure. I think there is a very naive quality about it though - it wouldn't look out of place as an illustration from the original Dungeons And Dragons books (1st or 2nd edition :)).

The skulls on the base are taken from plastic Games Workshop skeletons, and were added to try and give a sense of scale. 

The thing with this figure is that it doesn't actually look that monsterous or threatening... it looks like a slightly bemused caveman, or the illegitimate love child of Harry H Corbett and Noel Gallagher. Actually, now that IS a scary thought...

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Grenadier Fantasy Lords series 1: 160 Unicorn And Maid

First up, a Grenadier figure from the early 1980's. I was painting a Wood Elf army for Hordes of the Things (HOTT), and needed a centre piece... then I remembered I had this hidden away:

The figure painted up really well I think; the base is simply cardboard with flock, based for HOTT. It's a lovely sculpture; in particular the unicorn looks like a very powerful beast, whereas a lot of fantasy sculptures have them far too whimsical. This is one of my favourite figures!


The main purpose of this blog is to record my progress in painting up the mountain of lead figures from the 1980's that I've managed to accumulate! The main inspiration is the fabulous work done by Caius here:

The only rules I have are that the figures have to be out of production, they have to be pre-slotta, and ideally they should be of critters rather than characters - there are plenty of sites showing great examples of the figures used to represent the players in role playing games, but oddly enough not half as many for their opponents.

This blog hopes to rectify that :)