Saturday, 26 April 2014

Grenadier Fantasy Lords 500 series 528 Mounted Grim Reaper

The sun is shining, which means that I get to spray the varnish on the latest nugget extracted from the Lead Mountain - a rather odd but rather well sculpted piece from Grenadier. The figure comes in two parts – the rider and horse are one piece, whilst the hands and scythe are another, more flimsy piece, secured in place with superglue. Once primed, it was actually a very simple piece to paint; a base coat of matt black, dark gray dry brushing for the cloak and the horse, then white to pick out the bones for the Reaper, with deep red leather for the barding. Simples!

I like the sculpt – it’s a dramatic pose, and it painted up nicely – but I’m not sure it will get much table top time, or even who it was aimed at. It’s not a standout figure IMHO, so I don’t think it would serve as the centre piece of an Undead army – and opportunities for the appearance of the Grim Reaper on horseback in D&D sessions are frankly limited. In addition, it sits somewhat uneasily with a lot of other Grenadier figures - as it is mid-period Grenadier, it is more finely detailed than the early ones, and smaller than the later  ones. These are probably the reasons why it didn’t sell that well, and why it appears to be a fairly rare piece – I’ve never seen another one, other than the versions still in blister packs on Lost Minis.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Asgard Fantasy Monsters FM71 Bugbear

Had a bit of time on my hands, so I’ve been able to finish off another nugget extracted from the Lead Mountain. Next up was this overlooked morsel from Asgard; as any followers of the blog will know, I am partial to Asgard sculpts ;)

No two ways about it; this is an odd looking sculpt. Bugbears are generally viewed as larger, more intelligent goblins – hence the green skinned paint job – and the actual sculpt of the head, arms and torso is fine, lots of detail there, whilst the club is suitably menacing. But what is it wearing??! It looks like a boiler suit! And as for those boots… very dapper, and totally incongruous! The clothes are just totally out of keeping with the rest of the figure. However, I understand that in later editions of D&D, bugbears could be player characters, and I’m guessing that the figure was designed for that purpose – otherwise, if you put this figure amongst a horde of goblins (even Asgard goblins) it’s just going to look right out of place.

A pleasure to paint though – standard goblin green for the skin, blood red for the hair (just for contrast) and then a light khaki colour for the boiler suit, with leather for the boots. Apply washes, then dry brush. Simples!

I’m fairly pleased with the end product, although I can’t see it getting much table top time. From what I can make out, it’s a fairly rare piece (although I understand that Viking Forge still produce it, along with a lot of the old Asgard range) – I suspect it didn’t sell well because it is such an odd looking critter.  

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Reaper Dungeon Dwellers 1246 Troll

Next out of the lead mountain was this sculpt from Reaper. I was NOT enthused; the figure seemed very clumsy, with little or no detail, and the pose seems very static. It looked and felt more like a toy figure rather than a fantasy miniature. Still, we must do what we can.

The first job was trimming away an inordinate amount of flash lines from the mould; this included drilling out a brand new eye socket where the original casting hadn’t been successful! After that, a coat of primer, followed by more trimming… it was a long job to be honest.

The paint job was comparatively simple; GW putrid flesh for the skin, then standard browns and leather for the fur loin cloth and belt/bag. Picking out the skull dangling from the figure’s hip showed just how coarse the sculpting was! After that, just a matter of picking out any spots/boils/veins in red, followed by a wash of Army painters Dark Tone, and then highlighting. The base is simply flock plus some stones and bark from the garden.

To be honest I’m not happy with either the figure or the paint job – as a sculpt it is just too clumsy and toy-like to see much table top time, and whilst I’d picked what I thought were suitable colours for a troll, I suspect the figure might have turned out better if I’d used brighter colours. This one may get moved on fairly quickly via a certain auction site…