It's always fun when you complete a collection, isn't it? Back on Thanksgiving day, I won a small lot of older lead. The reason I was bidding on it was to FINALLY complete my set of Finieous Fingers miniatures. I had seven of the eight figures from the set, but that evil wizard Kask was proving to be a major pain in the butt to find. So now I'm the happy owner of one complete set, plus the almost-complete second set with a couple of duplicates for trade bait.
Fin, Fred, and Charly
Back in the day, I saw an ad for the FF minis in The Dragon. While flipping through the November 1982 issue, I found the ad in question. The ad reads as follows (my kingdom for a scanner!):
Rephuge Required phor Phamous Phighting Phellowship
Special Collector's Item: "Finieous & Friends" Phigures Set
Top Quality Lead Miniatures (shown actual size) - Available
until Dec. 31, 1982 - $10.00 plus $1.25 p&h/set
Bored-Flak, Ranger Rupert, and Mergatroid
So for a mere $11.25, I could have bought my own set and saved myself a lot of searching through countless eBay listings! Heh. I wonder how long they were available for? I guess I'd have to scan through my Dragon Magazine Archives CDs to see if I can figure that out.
Kask and Grond
And there are also a small number of gold-plated sets out there too. I'm pretty sure these were mentioned in a similar ad, so I have some research to do. And as long as I'm being bookish, I would like to determine who actually designed, sculpted, and produced these bad boys. Wikipedia says they are a Thunderbolt Mountain product, and that there were 10 gold-plated sets produced. I want to say I've also read that they were cast by Ral Partha. So were they designed and sculpted by Tom Meier and produced by Thunderbolt Mountain, or designed and sculpted by Tom Meier and produced by Ral Partha? Or some other scenario? According to Mr. Meier's bio, he left Ral Partha and started Thunderbolt Mountain in 1988, which makes me lean towards the "designed & sculpted by Tom Meir and produced by Ral Partha" theory. Hopefully my research turns up a definitive answer.
UPDATE: Thanks to Grodog, I have my answers! If you read Tim Kask's reply on this thread at Dragonsfoot, he pretty much spells it out in detail. Here's the Reader's Digest condensed version:
The character sketches were done by J.D. Webster, and the sculpting done by Tom Meier (who at the time was at Ral Partha). Tim Kask personally poured the lead for each and every miniature, using the Ral Partha equipment. The production costs were paid for by Manzakk Publishing (of Adventure Gaming magazine fame).
The minis were sent out in a small box that looks like this:
(Photo credit: eBay seller jfavretto)
The hallmark on the bottom of the bases should show two names: Finieous and Manzakk. It appears as though someone associated with Thunderbolt made a few unauthorized sets, so just keep that in mind if you come across any in Thunderbolt packaging.
The Apple Dumpling Gang these guys are not!
Hope you enjoy the pics of the set! You can also see some pics of a set painted up by Ed "Egg of Coot" Jendek of PrimEvil Studios on the Tome of Treasures forums, as well as a second set here on Dragonsfoot (also by Egg).