Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Grenadier Fantasy Lords 1st Series 163 Black Drake

Has it REALLY been 3 months since I last posted?!?! Good grief... I can only put it down to a combination of factors - work, holidays, kids needing ferrying to universities and colleges, unexpected sunshine and a garden that seemed to need constant attention. Excuses, excuses...

This figure was actually started at the tail end of June, and I have only just got round to finishing it.

It's well sculpted I think - plenty of detail - and painted up quite well. Black is a notoriously difficult colour to paint up, and this was done with a black undercoat and then drybrushing with several layers of very dark blue paint to bring up the detail. The red scales had to be picked out with white, and then painted red, followed by orange drybrushing. It's a long figure - hence the need for a custom base - and I added bits from a plastic Games Workshop skeleton horse to pad out a little at the ends. The texture on the base is some grit/gravel from a railway model, inked over to give it a suitably dark look.

As with many of the Grenadier 1st series creatures, it is a bit of an oddity. It looks like a standard dragon... but that beak is just strange. You just can't imagine it breathing fire! And that tail with the vicious looking club looks like something from a dinosaur.

A quick check through my old D&D manuals gave a few pointers:

When possible, black dragons prefer to feed on sentient beings, considering fey creatures particular delicacies. The bulk of their diet consists of swamp creatures such as snakes, alligators, small mammals, and birds. Like alligators, black dragons might let their prey rot in the mud at the bottoms of swamps because they prefer the texture and flavor of putrefied flesh. 

- which would explain the beak, as it would be more suitable for tearing rotting flesh, similar to a carrion crow.  I'm guessing that the preferred mode of attack would be to swoop down on an unsuspecting adventurer, club them senseless with the tail, and then drag the bodies to a suitable swamp to rot down before consumption. Yeuuccck. 

Quite pleased with this one! And I hope to post more regularly for the rest of the year...


  1. What a great old figure. I've never seen one painted up to accentuate the beak - well done!

  2. Why, thank you - much appreciated! I think some of the old Grenadier figures - especially the ones by John Dennett (and this is by him) - hold up really well, even after 30 years.

  3. very nice indeed, good idea to you dark navy blue to highlight black, will have to steal that one for my own figures :D