Sunday, 26 April 2015

Ral Partha Personalities And Things That Go Bump In The Night 01-003 v2 Balrog

At the same time I was working on the Asgard Lizardman I bought a job lot of badly painted and broken figures from a certain auction site, and this was one of them. Originally the figure was in a shocking state – someone had painted it black with what looked like industrial strength tar, and the sword was missing - but once I’d cleaned it up I thought I’d see what could be done with it.
The missing sword was replaced with a plastic Ork blade from 40k, and then out with the brushes. It’s very early Ral Partha, and whilst some of their early figures can be a bit coarse, this one didn’t disappoint. As usual, keep it simple – base coat of red, then a dark red ink wash, then lots of and lots of dry brushing before picking out highlights with a yellow/white mix. The base is just sand with a brown ink wash, then dry brushed with red and orange to suggest hot coals. Simples!

I really like this figure – the pose reminiscent of the very early Minifigs goblins, which I always liked – and the ink wash brought out a surprising amount of detail, though I did have to use dark red paint for some shadowing where the shoulders and arms let the wings. Even the sword and the flame whip painted up reasonable well. Not bad for a figure that is nearly 40 years old!  The Asgard Dwarf King is again in the picture for scale, and also to illustrate the difference in quality between Ral Partha and Asgard right from the very beginning. Very pleased with this one – I can see it getting a decent amount of table top time as the guardian of forbidden treasures…

Asgard FM38 Giant Lizardman

Next out of the Lead Mountain… something from the realms of badly sculpted figures. It’s an Asgard, who produced some fine figures in their day, but some absolute stinkers, and this is one of them. It’s not as bad as the Asgard Troll, but it’s close. 

It’s a giant Lizardman, with an enormous chopper. I was not enthused. The pose is pretty awful, and it suffers from all of the major problems that the larger Asgard sculpts have – coarse sculpting, and no detail. Even the facial details were rough – badly defined lips, no tongue and just a few teeth. Sounds like some people I know. Still, we must do what we can. As with all of the early sculpts – keep it simple, yellow for the under belly and then green for the main body, followed by an ink wash… which really brought out just how coarse the sculpture is. Oh dear. Even several layers of dry brushing couldn’t salvage this one. The base was a bit easier – just sand, then wash, whilst the reeds are bits of old toothbrush painted green. 

I gave this a good shot but to be honest I’m not happy with it. I know a poor workman blames his tools and all that, but there wasn’t a lot to work with on this figure in the first place. And I mean, LOOK at it – it looks like it's about to swagger into a fantasy bar room and pose like John Travolta in the Saturday Night Fever era. No wonder the Asgard Dwarf King I’ve put in the picture for scale looks worried. And it’s not as if there is a great demand for giant Lizardmen in any of the D&D sessions I run. Can’t see this one getting much table top time!