Sunday, September 13, 2020

D&D Summer Quarantine 2020


Greetings fellow plague survivors! Hope you're all staying safe & well during these strange days. I've taken the longest break since starting this blog 2+ years ago...lets jump back into the mix, shall we?

I've been back to work all summer...staying isolated & keeping myself free of the virus...I have picked up a few D&D related items in my down time...

I replaced the reprint versions of the monochrome modules that I owned with the "real deal". The Giant series and White Plume Mountain...even went as far as to pick up a 1st print "Frost Giants" module...Tramp cover did it for me! Dig the original TSR Lizard man logo!

Picked up the "Blueholme" books & module to check out...I'm a sucker for "Old School" style D&D. I'll review the books & the "Necropolis of Nuromen" in the next blog entry!

Same with Dungeon Crawl Classics...picked it up to see what its all in the near future...

I bought some more old Dragon much for the original Dave Trampier art as anything...those old Dragon mags are far superior, in content as well as style, to anything that came afterwards.

I even purchased a print from Jeff Dee...who has been reproducing old works that he did for TSR back in the early 1980's...I got the Elric from Deities & Demigods

Brings back some great memories for me!

And I painted a slew of minis this summer...finished the LOTR minis...didn't find the time to finish my blogging about them, though! Drats! Here's the finished fellowship...along with a Gollum mini from the same period!

Other minis...

Here's the giants, from Otherworld Miniatures, that I painted this summer...all are based on Dave Trampier's drawings from the Monster Manual! 

Well that mostly brings us up to speed...hopefully I'll find more time & inspiration to blog with the weather turning colder & the days getting shorter. 


Thursday, April 30, 2020

Quarantine Mini Painting Project #3 Bill the Pony

Day #3 of my LOTRs painting project...Bill the Pony! 

Fun mini to paint! 1st time painting any kind of a pack animal...I looked at the 1978 Bakshi film...'ol Bill seemed to be a pretty plain brown pony. Went with brown with a black main...added some burnt red highlights & dry brushing...
On deck for tomorrow....Merry Brandybuck! Too bad I forgot to take any pics of the mini before I started painting him! So here's a generic "stock" photo of the mini...

Ah well....'till tomorrow....EXCELSIOR!

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Quarantine Mini Painting Project #2 Legolas

Greetings fellow virus survivors! Here's another quick blog entry!
Day #2 of painting my old Grenadier 1985 LOTR "Fellowship" minis...Legolas was next up...

Again, since these minis are based on the 1978 Ralph Bakshi LOTRs film, I stuck to some basic colors. White, Grey, Tan & brown. The 1978 Legolas wasn't quite as dashing as Orlando Bloom...regardless I'm happy with the way this mini turned out. Woodland base for the Woodland Elf!
On deck for tomorrow's (today!) painting: by popular demand....Bill the Pony!

Stay safe & wash yer dirty meat hooks!


Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Quarantine Mini Painting Project: 1985 Grenadier LOTR Fellowship miniatures

Greetings fellow shut-ins! Need to pass a few idle moments? Check out my latest mini painting adventure!
Having been furloughed from work...I've got some time on my hands.Thought I'd get down to painting these Grenadier 1985 LOTRs "Fellowship" minis!

Well preserved vintage treasure right here! I'll do quick post on each figure...however long it takes me to complete the set. Never know when the job is going to start back up...
Anywhoo...these minis were based upon the 1978 Ralph Bakshi film LOTR

....loosely I'd say, since many of the figures look nothing like the characters in the film!
Starting with Boromir ...

Nice detail...Sword in hand, blowing the Horn of Gondor...
I wanted to paint these minis as they appeared in the 1978 film...or some representation of the film. Thus Boromir isn't wearing pants...he had a loincloth covering in the film. Tried to stay close to the colors (Dark Brown, Brown, Burnt Red) he was sporting. And I went as far as to fashion horns for his Helm...just to try to stay a bit closer to the film representation of Boromir!
Finished mini...just need to clear-coat him & he'll be completed!

A rugged outdoor base to compliment Boromir was the final touch. Thought I'd start with the tragic Hero of Gondor...***As a side note...I always felt (and still do) that Sean Bean would have made a better Aragorn in the 2000s Peter Jackson LOTR films. He was the more mature/rugged version of Aragorn that Tolkien envisioned. The 1978 film went as far as to make Aragorn look Native American! Really a rugged looking character!***
And as a "sneak peek" to the next's Legolas!
Stay safe out there!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

The 1981 Vintage Giant Mini Restoration Project

Greetings fellow shut-ins! Hope you're all staying safe & well! Here's another blog entry to help you waste away a few minutes...
Planning for this extra time off...I've been staying busy painting some minis I had purchased recently. Mostly vintage Ral Partha & Grenadier giants.
I had planned on trying to find a replacement for this old giant mini a friend had gifted me years ago...searched Ebay and the no avail...couldn't find this guy anywhere.
So I thought to myself a couple of days ago..."Why not see if I can restore this old mini to some of his former glory?
His base identifies his having been made back in the halcyon days of 1981...
My old friend was a young teen at the time...pre-interwebs and such...and didn't put much effort into painting this say the least...that and old age hadn't been kind to the old fellow.

The paint was chipped and sloppy...he was missing a horn that was broken off his noggin...and his weapon had also broken off. So I determined that a restoration was in order...I thought "Let's see if I can do this old mini justice...bring back some old magic he once possessed!"
First a repainting...I wasn't going to make a special trip to any store to find a product to strip the existing paint...I just lightly painted over what was there...1 dark wash and then some highlighting...I was happy to see how much hidden detail reemerged!
Next task was replacing his horn. I have some Testors putty...stuff that hardens like concret...seemed like it was worth a shot.

Crude...but passable. Seemed a bit out of proportion to the other horn. I decided to go with it. Let it cure a while...then added some Gorilla Super Glue gel around the points of contact to the metal for some extra strength.
Then his missing weapon...looked to me (I couldn't find any pics on the web of this mini that hadn't suffered the same fate of losing his weapon) like a bone was his weapon of choice. I determined that might be beyond the scope of my molding skills...and the extra weight it might have would work against me.
So I sculpted  a blade for him...much easier & its crude shape seemed to fit his humble demeanor.

I let everything dry over night...painted his new horn & blade...set about giving him an outdoor looking base...and here's the final result...

When I finished him he brought back memories of when my friends & I started down the dungeon stairs into the world of D&D...some mystery and magic...I'm actually impressed at how well he turned out...and glad I invested the time in restoring him. The old guy still has some "razzle dazzle" in his game after all!
Hope you all continue staying out of harms way during these strange & trying times...use this time to paint some minis yourself!
As always...'till next time...EXCELSIOR!
Thanks to Tom, a kind & wise soul on a FB mini fan page, I now have an image of the mini and the name of the manufacturer. He's a "Hill Giant"...produced by the Superior company. Now I have to look for more of their minis to buy! Bonus! Thanks again Tom!

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Have Map---Will Travel: My growing collection of D&D inspired maps

Greetings my fellow D&D veterans! Hope the New Year is going well for you all! 
I've been picking up some old school maps as of late...Ebay & elsewhere. Care to take a look? Good...let's get started then....
Maps have always held a certain fascination for me. As a child I would stare at my Grandfather's Atlas and imagine the places he had traveled to...the incredible things that he had seen as a "Knight of the Open Road" during the Great Depression!

So Fantasy maps have also always held a great deal of mystery and awe...the Hyborian Age map of Conan, The Middle Earth maps of Tolkien, and the lands of Narnia by Lewis....all have let their mark upon my creative mind.
I'll start with the older maps that I picked up back in the 80's....not 1880's you wisenheimers! The Middle Earth maps that came with the ICS MERP games were, in my eye, the gold standard of fantasy maps! Here's both Northern & Southern Mirkwood!

Even though they don't fit together correctly (how did that slip by quality control?!?) its still a brilliant map! The close up shows the incredible amount of detail! I've always strove to create my own maps that were just as detailed!
Recently I picked up the "World of Greyhawk" maps...that were created by Darlene for TSR...

I never owned these while I as actively gaming in the past...they are truly beautiful maps. My group of friends were more interested in our own campaigns rather than the TSR modules that came afterwards. Pity...these are magnificent maps!
I also picked up the map to the game "Search for the Emperor's Treasure" that was included in issue #51 of the Dragon magazine!

This map to the Tom Wham game was also created by the extremely talented Darlene...and has the added bonus of having had David Trampier doing the lettering! Being a collector of all things TRAMP I had to have it! 
Speaking of TRAMP...I also picked up the rare board game Divine Right specifically because TRAMP created the map for the game! 

Great detail in the map...the swamps, the forest, wetlands & mountains...the symbols are very similar to the ones TRAMP used in the board game TITAN that he created with Jason McAllister! 
Another recent purchase was a map of Krynn...the World of Dragonlance!

Very cool map! I enjoyed the books...not so much the modules that TSR created ...seemed to "railroaded" for my taste!
Lastly I picked up the map #1 of Judges Guild's "City StateCampaign".

As with everything that I've picked up of Judges Guild this is very high quality! Very detailed and nicely drawn!
And here's a few examples of my own maps...for campaigns I plan to run in the future...and just create at my leisure.

Two Hand drawn & two created on my PC!