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!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Center Stage Miniatures Giants

Did someone say Jolly Green Giant? I didn't think so! Here's a pic of The Usual Suspects, CSM giant-style. From left, we have the Cloud Giant, Fog Giant, Mountain Giant, and Firbolgs. They belong to CSM's Advanced Fantasy Miniatures Giant range, and I thought I'd give you giant fans and collectors a bit of a review, especially if you are considering any of these bad boys as Add-Ons for the CSM Demons & Devils Kickstarter.

Here's the CSM Cloud Giant posed alongside his venerable yet popular Ral Partha 11-440 counterpart. He's a big hunk of metal, weighing in at 5.4 ounces (150 grams). This is a single-piece casting, so hooray, no assembly required! His massive spiked club looks a LOT meaner than the RP flail, and his fangs give him a decided "more evil than neutral" vibe. And his crown or circlet really gives it that First Edition look, along with his robes and accessories - an hourglass and belt pouch. The only thing that seems odd to me are the hands - his right hand grips the club no problem, but the left hand looks out of place on top of the butt end of the club. Also, I think I would have liked his head to be a bit more upright (when you look at it from a higher angle, it's tipped down to the right a bit). But maybe that's just me nitpicking, because it's still a wonderful sculpt overall.

For a 28mm comparison, here is the CG posed next to Reaper's Frost Giant Princess (without her massive spear).

Next up is the CSM Fog Giant, shown with a true classic from Ral Partha, the 01-057 Frost Giant. The Fog Giant is a three-piece casting: lower body from the belt down, upper torso, and sword/hands. It only took some minor scraping and filing to mate up the two body sections nice and secure. And I really like the peg that Nic sculpted on the left arm - just slide the hand on the peg and line up the right hand with the arm stump and you're done. The sword is almost two inches (5cm) long, which gives it a lethal look for sure. I'm not crazy about the hilt, but that's my only critique. Good action pose, and a fierce roaring face that matches up with the giant's demeanor.

The CSM Mountain Giant is a real looker in my opinion. Here we see him out on the town with his good buddy Snow Giant (number 035 from the second series of Grenadier's Fantasy Lords). The Mountain Giant is a two-piece casting, and I had zero problems pinning his right arm to his body - they meet very nicely at the shoulder. The heads dangling from his belt (next to his left hand) are a lovely touch, and don't be fooled by his beer belly - just look at those guns he's flexing! His balding head and tree-trunk club round out this giant package. I can also see him painted up as a Hill Giant or even a Stone Giant who joined the Hair Club for Giants.

I forgot to snap a pic of the Firbolgs, but of course you can see them on the right side of the first picture above. They may not be rocking the extra-wide beard and 'stache like RP 11-419, but they are a mean couple of mutha-truckers to behold. Both are two-piece castings, and the one holding a sword in his right hand has a small pin and pilot hole molded in, so pinning it was that much easier. And the other one (holding his sword in front of him) has a small hole in one of the stones on the base so you know exactly where to place the tip of the sword when gluing it into place. They both look very tribal in a Celtic sort of manner, but could always pass as handsome ogres or small but well-groomed hill giants.

And finally, here's a little bonus for everyone who made it to the end: two adventurers taking a breather next to a basin of cool, clear water...

SWEET CALAMITY JANE! It's a CSM Water Weird, and it's about to grab the hapless RP cleric. I have the basin set between the 28mm Reaper mini on the left and the 25mm RP mini on the right to give you some scale reference. The resin basin is about 1 and 3/4 inches across and a half-inch high without the Weird. It might be hard to see in the picture, but the Weird's face has a good draconic or reptilian look about it, and seems a lot closer to being 10' long as described in the First Edition Monster Manual. A great bit of dungeon terrain with the added bonus of being able to table the Weird when you are good and ready to scare the crap out of the adventuring party!

Next up is a gallery of demons and devils to look at and compare while we wait for the CSM Kickstarter to wrap up and then begin the wait until the CSM minis arrive next spring. Rock me Asmodeus!


Spooktalker said...

Thanks for taking the time to make such a detailed rundown! Excellent pictures and has really helped me out.

TopKat said...

@Spooktalker: Glad you found it helpful and thanks for stopping by. I can't wait to do my CSM Demons & Devils article once those are in hand!