This blog is about the world of gaming miniatures, as seen from my perspective. I've been collecting and painting for over 30 years now, and while my primary focus is miniatures for D&D, I also enjoy many other games that use minis, so we'll be covering those as well. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Body Shop, Lead Dragon Style

Don't worry, Seabiscuit, we'll have you fixed in no time.

So I've been in a bit of a painting funk again. What I need to do is just sit down and paint! In the meantime, I've been cleaning and organizing the workbench, shelves, and cases in an attempt to put some order to my lead chaos. I took some pics of minis available for trade or perhaps listing on eBay. I'm working on updating my trade folder on Photobucket, so if you ever see anything there that catches your eye, please let me know.

Last night, it was time to start fixing things. I recently received the above pictured Bellerophon riding flying Pegasus by Superior Models as part of my recent Grenadier boxed set purchase. Sadly, the pegasus is suffering from a broken leg, right where the left rear leg attaches to the rock outcropping part of the base. This minis is way too nice to be left in such a sad state that I started to pin it last night. It's probably going to need a dab of Greenstuff to smooth the boo-boo, but that is pretty minor all things considered.

Next up, a Citadel C28 giant that appears to have lost his neck - he came sans head, but it looks like someone snipped off his neck:

That's Mr. Pinhead to you, bub.

I'll reconstruct his neck with some Greenstuff in short order. Speaking of pins and Greenstuff, my final project of the night has been sitting on my Shelf of Shame for a year or two now:

The only good bug is a DEAD bug!

I picked up a pair of Ral Partha 11-640 Greater Gelugons as part of a Planescape lot, but sadly, both Ice Devils were missing their right antennae. Back then, I figured I could make replacements out of Greenstuff, but they would more likely than not break off at some point down the road, as most of my fantasy minis are destined for use on the gaming table. How would I prevent that? Last night, the answer came to me. Drill a hole in their heads, insert a thin piece of rod, and use Greenstuff to build it up to proper thickness:

We come from the Island of Misfit Lead...

This pic shows the heads with pins glued into place and snipped off slightly longer than I need. Once I shape the pins to my liking, the excess pin will then be trimmed. It's like my dad always said: "Son, measure twice, cut once." The man is a veritable font of old-school wisdom.

I wish I remember exactly what blog I was reading when I saw a picture of someone using a pin and then building up Greenstuff around it to make a horn or appendage, because that's exactly where this inspiration came from. So thank you, fellow modeler!

Pics of the finished repairs should be up in the next week or so, and hopefully by then I'll have tossed aside my goldbricking ways and finished painting something as well.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Orcs Found Hiding Magic Shop & Ye Blind Cyclops Inn

Half-Orc (?) Apprentice
We'll get to this little fella in a bit.

For lead collectors, you never quite know what you're gonna get when you buy from a seller who is not a leadhead. Regarding large lots of boxed sets, words like "They appear to be complete..." are also known as famous last words. But I like to gamble once in a while, especially when I think the odds favor me at least a little.

So I took a chance and ended up winning this lot of Grenadier boxed sets. At the very least, that's sixteen partial boxed sets for $3.25 each ($4.19 each when you add in shipping), which really appeals to the miser in me. There was plenty of last-minute bidding, but I'm still pretty surprised the final price wasn't significantly higher. I'll count myself as fortunate and move on.

Anyhow, they arrived in short order and I unboxed my haul. Basically, I bought this lot hoping that the five Lord of The Rings boxed sets would be complete or at least mostly complete. Everything else was an added bonus. Lo and behold, four of the five LOTR sets were complete with inserts! Only Sauron's Dark Ones was incomplete, missing three minis and the insert. But I was able to Frankenstein that set with minis already in my collection, so hooray for me, I finished my Grenadier Lord of The Rings boxed sets in one fell swoop!

Going through the rest of the boxes, only three out of the remaining eleven were complete with insert. Another six were mostly complete, missing only a figure or two. Encounter At Khomar-Lolth only had two minis plus the insert, and Orcs of the Severed Hand was box only, no insert. Oh, and there were also about 50 loose minis, mainly Citadel mounted adventurers, some pack animals, and some Dungeon Dwellers. Along with some other rather interesting finds...

Remember how I said Orcs of the Severed Hand was totally incomplete? It's true it was missing all the Grenadier miniatures. What it contained, instead, were DragonTooth miniatures! I guess I should have noticed the writing on the box cover in black ballpoint ink that said "MAGIC SHOP" - my bad.

That's right, what I had were most of the metal parts of City of Magic Kit 001, The Magic Shop by DragonTooth. Going by the pic on the Lost Minis Wiki, I am missing the three character miniatures in the top left corner, along with one table leg, and three of the four magic books/scrolls in the bottom right corner.

Food and Unlit Torch (x6)
How the hell do you even sculpt stuff this small? Very carefully...

But wait, there's more! Mixed in with the loose minis and in the Khomar-Lolth box are a bunch of small bits & bobs, and eight or ten character minis. These turn out to be most of the metal pieces of City of Magic Kit 003, Ye Blind Cyclops Inn! Missing items include the Blind Cyclops table leg, the sign, and two character minis going off the LMW photo.

Half-Orc (?) Exotic Dancer
After a few tankards, this chick is hot!

I snapped some pics and added them to my DragonTooth album on Photobucket. I'll try to fill in the missing blanks on the LMW when I get a chance. Needless to say, I'm a very happy camper with the outcome of this lead haul. Oh, and the seller also threw in a complete and unbuilt vintage Airfix model kit of British Crusader tank. Sweet!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

100th Post & Praise For My Blogging Brethren

For my 100th post, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about other people's blogs. I started The Lead Dragon because I wanted to write about topics that I am passionate about - miniatures, gaming, models, toys, movies - things of that nature. I find that reading what other like-minded folks are writing about is very inspiring, and if that helps me pick up my paintbrush or bang out a blog post or read a new book, all the much better. So thanks to you, my fellow bloggers!

My newest follower, luca tempesta, runs the Model Storming blog. Luca hails from Italy, so you'll need to click on the "click here to translate" menu bar in the top center unless you can read Italian. I think the thing that draws me to his blog is that his interests are quite broad, and his taste very similar to mine. I mean, what's not to like about a guy who writes about plastic WWII models, WH40K, fantasy miniatures, LOTR, and Star Blazers? Of course, Luca, unlike me, actually FINISHES his projects. Lots of great stuff for a wide variety of interests.

Speaking of variety, Mike over at Swords & Dorkery offers that and more! Musings on games and rules, session recaps, miniatures, historical items of interest, movies, books, and music.

The Angry Lurker is a prolific painter of WWII and sci-fi/modern/zombie minis, and a fan of The Walking Dead. There are some really cool pics of massive zombie battles among other things.

Lots of good miniature goodness over at the Realm of Zhu, especially some old school Citadel stuff. Oh, and beer! One of my favorite series on Zhu is the Female Armour series. We're not talking chainmail bikinis here (although I have NO problem with those!), rather women wearing practical armor, and wearing it well! Miranda Otto, indeed.

For my 40K fix, I can always count on the power trio of From The Warp, Santa Cruz Warhammer, and Dave Taylor Miniatures. I love the fact that they all contribute to various charity endeavors. Ron at FTW offers a lot of tutorials and how-to features that help modelers of all levels. Need to swap models and bitz? Check out the Barter Bucket on SCWH. Dave also goes into Flames of War if that's your sort of thing.

There's plenty of military gaming goodness at Big Lee's Miniature Adventures. Check out the handy scale guide on his page. Big Lee is a prolific photographer, and posts fabulous slideshows from his visits to many museums, castles, airshows, and what have you. Thanks for sharing all the great pics!

There are also some noteworthy blogs worth checking out in my blogroll, so take a peek next time you have a moment.

And finally, my news feeds: to keep up with the latest in blogs, you gotta love Eternal Keep. And for hobby news, Tabletop Gaming News.

Well, that's it for post 100. Thanks for reading, lurking, and/or following, and here's to the next 100!


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Secret Weapon(s) on Sale Now!

If you happen to be in the market for some bases, washes, or bits, head on over to Secret Weapon Miniatures now to take advantage of their second anniversary sale!

Most of their stuff is 20% off today only, so act now if you want to cash in on the savings. I picked up some more bases for my DA army.

Happy 2nd Anniversary, SWM! Keep up the great work.

Armed and Ready!

Like a lot of other gamers, I played my fair share of RTS games back in the day. Command & Conquer, Warcraft, and StarCraft were my favorites. Of course, that was back when I was actively working in the gaming industry, so a lot of those hours were logged in the name of research, naturally. Well, OK, most were logged in the name of fun, but there was some legitimate R&D going on too.

Anyhow, I seem to recall some sort of mail-in promotion that tied in with the release of StarCraft: Brood War (I think) that netted you this ugly fella:


If I remember correctly, in the game he had a lot of snappy dialogue. Of course, nothing like the commando in C&C: "I got a present for ya!" followed by a KABOOM! as the building he just planted explosives in blew up. I used that MP3 for my incoming mail notification from time to time.

A face only a mother could love...

If you have one sitting around in a box somewhere, it looks like you can move them for decent coin on eBay. Mine's not for sale, so hands off, OK?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

New Arrivals and some WIPs

Check out what I got in the mail the other day:
That's right, an OGRE! As in Mk. VI, and not as in Shrek. I believe it is an OGRE Mk. VI by Steve Jackson Games. When I first spotted it, I knew that it was an OGRE. What I didn't know was the type or manufacturer. A little detective work sorted that out.

The pic on the left is the Mk. VI (hull pieces sitting on treads, no guns or tower attached). The pic on the right shows scale: OGRE Mk. VI (approx. 3.5" long); Superior Models MAATAC Terran Federation Cyclops Medium Tank (1:285); GHQ T-72 (1:285).

I've been on the lookout for a Mk. V and/or Mk. III for a while now, so I had to snap up the Mk. VI when I saw it. I'm thinking it is going to require a high-visibility "look upon me and fear my armored wrath" sort of color scheme.

Next up are some minis to reassure my DM that our stable of D&D critters is indeed getting some love. Lots of unfinished love at the moment, but hopefully that will see a turnaround in the coming weeks and months.


Here's a gaggle of giants. That purple Reaper frost giantess will eventually look like the Ral Partha frost giant. The purple is the base color, gradually lightened up so that the purple is barely visible. At least that's the look I'm shooting for. And the green Superior cyclops in brown armor is going to be my first attempt at bronze NMM, so wish me luck on that!


That's Reaper's Boneflail and a Superior ogre that I'm thinking looks a bit more like an ogre-mage with the poleaxe and pantaloons.


Lastly we have a GW Mordheim vampire (sans sword) in some classic vampire colors. His face is totally washed out, so hopefully when it's done I'll take a better pic that shows off his pale, gaunt features.

That's it for now. Time to stop reading and start painting!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Mystery of Steel? More Like the Misery of Steel...

Saw Conan the Barbarian on Wednesday night. I tried to keep an open mind going into it, because how else can you give something a fair chance? I have been avoiding detailed reviews and message board chatter, but it was impossible to not notice how quickly it was vanishing from theaters in the greater Puget Sound area. So we managed to grab a bite to eat and some beers at the Southcenter BJ's and then take in the 8:10 3D showing of Conan.


I thought it started well enough. Kid Conan killing and beheading the scouts was great (if not a tad outlandish - then again, he is a Cimmerian). But it was all downhill from there. Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy, Hellboy, etc) was a decent choice for Conan's father, and hey, he even invoked Crom's name - pretty sure that was the only time Crom was mentioned in the entire flick. And he talked about "the mystery of steel" when he was making swords, but that was it.

So the village is attacked, the population slaughtered, the last piece of the mask is discovered by the bad guys, Conan watches his dad die before his very eyes, and he himself manages to avoid death. The voice-over that follows talks about Conan growing up, thieving, whoring, and otherwise adventuring. Fade in to adult Conan, a chiseled and brooding (but otherwise bland and unlikeable) Jason Momoa.

Conan, now a pirate/mercenary, attacks and frees a slave camp and continues his pursuit of the bad guys who wiped out his village. He allows himself to be captured (to gain some intel), and then saves a woman named Tamara, who just happens to be the last piece of the puzzle that will give the bad guys their sought-after ultimate power of doom. Conan suffers an epic fail, and loses Tamara to the bad guys.

He tracks them down and does battle with the bad guys, foiling their plans to rule the world. A climactic battle ensues, and Conan kills the leader of the bad guys and his evil daughter (Rose McGowan). The end. I mean COME ON! He kills the bad guy by causing him to fall into some second-rate Gorge of Eternal Peril. Sheesh. At least he could have run him through and fired off a great line before lopping his head off or splitting him in twain. Meh.

So what exactly did I think sucked here? Hmm, time for a list:

1) The story was not good at all. Look, I didn't want and didn't expect the new Conan to be a carbon-copy rehash of the original Conan. But the new story was uninspired, choppy, and not epic.

2) Conan was not larger than life. Momoa was not able to give his Conan the charisma, the mystique that Arnold was able to give his Conan. Maybe that's the writers fault, but nevertheless, I just could not like Momoa's Conan.

3) The bad guys sucked. Thulsa Doom was evil, charismatic, and had some snappy dialogue. Khalar Zym was just another dime-a-dozen wannabe tyrant, who was totally lacking in all bad guy aspects.

4) The supporting cast was hollow. Conan's pirate friends were OK, but we don't know anything about Artus. Same goes for Ela-Shan, the liberated thief who Conan later calls upon to help him enter the bad guy's impenetrable fortress of e-vil. And Tamara, while certainly attractive and smart, is suddenly able to fight like a pissed-off lioness. Riiiiight.

5) 3D is overrated, or at least not well utilized in this Conan. It mostly seemed to be layered scenery, which really didn't do anything for me. How about some good locations and great cinematography instead?


What could have been an awesome epic for a new generation of Conan fans was instead a shallow, disjointed mess. It wasn't even a good swords & sorcery romp. No one is going to go around spouting quotes from this Conan for decades to come. No one is going to pull off Arnold poses and facial expressions. Instead, it fades into obscurity as yet another remake that failed, and failed big time.

The Thing prequel, however, looks a LOT more promising. And there's also the Red Dawn remake (North Korean soldiers invade Spokane? WTF? At least this time the Wolverines will use the Cascades as their base).

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Otherworld Miniatures 5th Anniversary

For those of you who like your D&D lead to look like they just stepped out of the Monster Manual, you are probably already familiar with Otherworld Miniatures. And over on their forums, Richard has announced plans to celebrate their upcoming 5th anniversary.

Check out the WIP of the Demon Idol conversion pack - pretty damn neat! And most of the minis are on sale at discounts ranging from 10% to 50% off.

Congrats to Otherworld for 5 years of mini goodness.