Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Ral Partha Necromancer

MY first post in December also showcases the first 'evil' miniature I have thus far painted for this project. Without really meaning to I have managed to end up with a fair amount of undead on my painting desk and so decided it would make sense to tackle them together, eventually giving my adventurers a thematically cohesive opponent to tackle. Of course it made perfect sense to start with the head honcho - the necromancer! This is Ral Partha's 'H Necromancer w. Skull', who was sold in the 1982 '98-001 Wizards and Clerics' blister-set alongside September's Cleric. As soon as I came across this splendid model online back in the Spring I knew he was just the chap I was after, although tracking him down at a sane price proved rather more of a challenge (or quest, if you will). Once again the ever-dependable Mike from Broadswords and Beasts blog sprung to my aid and dug the miniature out from what I can only imagine is his considerable lead mountain (I picture a garden shed that unleashes an avalanche of minis every time the door is opened)! Once again - thanx Mike! 

I love the Middle Eastern look many of the older Ral Partha magic users evince and our subject is no exception; with his feathered turban it almost seems as if he has stepped straight off the stage of the Aladdin pantomime the am-dram society in the next village are putting on for Christmas! Of course the skull rather upsets this cosy image, instead conjuring up that most classic of cranial scenes from Shakespeare's grisliest play - 'Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at it.', but hey, he is a necromancer! I'm also putting him forward for Stephen's 'Deadcember '17' competition, which you may read all about here. Do participate if you are able. Fairly certain my offering will be put to shame by all the other excellent entries, but, as they say, it's the taking part that counts!

Addendum: An incredibly talented painter called Terry Basset recently posted up some pictures on the 'Old School Miniatures' FB group of a commission he has just fulfilled. It is the 1983 Dungeon Adventurers Starter Set and he's done a terrific job. Head over to his Instagram account and have a gander!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Asgard Miniatures Dwarf Adventurer

NEXT up is another Asgard Miniatures sculpt from the ever-thickening mists of distant prehistory, or rather 1984 - this time 'DW1 Dwarf Adventurer' from, as with last week's Ninja, the talented hands of Jes Goodwin. I must confess that the '84 Asgard dwarf range, all by Mr. Goodwin, is one of my favourites (stunty-wise) from this or any other manufacturer, including as it does the iconic 'Black Dwarf' and 'Dwarf Lord'. These of course are all still in production and available from the redoutable folk at The Viking Forge. Today's subject is easily as iconic as those just mentioned: a doughty dwarven adventurer heavily laden with bedroll, satchel, helm and shield; we find him between battles as he cautiously wanders the dank, darkling corridors of some forgotten subterranean complex in search of glory and, much more importantly from a dwarven perspective, gold.

Originally I had intended a classic mid-blue/white colour scheme à la the late, lamented Wayne England's Imperial Dwarves, but upon finding that my venerable tub of Citadel Ultramarines Blue had completely curdled had to opt for the next best available option - an equally aged tub of Citadel Hawk Turquoise, which although becoming claggy was rendered serviceable by thinning. Although a compromise I'm actually rather pleased with how it turned out. As usual your views and comments are much appreciated - thanx for looking!

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Asgard Miniatures Ninja

NEARLY two months appear to have elapsed since my last post, although I would like to make it clear that I have not been "hobby inactive" in this period; it's rather that I've been somewhat lazy about sharing my progress. As the title suggests, the focus of today's post is an Asgard Miniatures Ninja from their beloved Dungeon Adventurers range, catalogue # DA37. Of course Asgard will be familiar to most as being founded by HRH Bryan Ansell, along with the rather less infamous Steven Fitzwater and Paul Sulley, back in 1976 (the year in which Iceland famously broke off diplomatic relations with the UK over the escalating Cod War and, perhaps more importantly, the UK won the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time with Brotherhood of Man's 'Save Your Kisses for Me'). 

Sculptors included Ansell himself, who had previously produced models for Conquest Miniatures, along with Nick Bibby, Tony Ackland and later Jes Goodwin. They produced fantasy in both 25 and 15mm, historicals and a small but characterful sci-fi range, although it is interesting to note that many of their "25mm" miniatures were already suffering from a decided scale-creep and tower over, for instance, Ral Partha models from the same period! Ansell left in '78 to form Citadel Miniatures and Asgard gamely laboured on until dissolution in the mid-eighties. Currently The Viking Forge produce most of the fantasy range across the pond (flat-rate overseas postage of $23 - yikes!), whilst back in Blighty Alternative Armies own the entire range, but currently have only part of it in production (email 'em to ask why).  

Not sure whom sculpted our murderous martial artist, although I'm sure some of my astute readers will be able to remedy my ignorance. Of course the 'ninja' is a classic icon of eighties pop culture in general and so makes  not only a colourful addition to any band of 'murder-hobos', but one that also feels right in terms of period. Certainly in my rpg games he will make a most excellent thief and/or assassin (the latter of course being a thief sub-class in OD&D!) and this is probably where DA37 will find his niche in life! 

Catalogue scan, pinched from Lost Minis Wiki.

On another note I should like to take this opportunity to raise a toast to Mike, proprietor of 'Broadswords and Beasts' blog. One of the vintage models I have sought since going down the pre-slotta route is the saucy C01 Fighter depicted below, which I feel positively reeks of Moorcock and Howard. He has teasingly appeared on Ebay a number of time attached to an extortionate BiN and I had begun to give up hope of ever owning him when yesterday a slender parcel plopped through my letter-box, which upon opening I found to contain this elusive eldritch warrior. Mike is currently looking for Minifigs Valley of the Four Winds skeleton archers and crossbowmen and Hinchcliffe's FA16 Large Tree Man. If you can help with either, then please contact him at the aforementioned blog. Cheers, Mike - a scholar and a gentleman!