8.5" x 5.5" of printed goodness.
As the week ticked away before the auction ended, there was something about the author's name that stood out - where had I seen the name Robin Wood, and why did it mean anything to me? A Bing search reveals she is a fantasy artist, known for her Dragonriders of Pern work as well as some Dragon magazine covers. OK, getting warm. Further investigation reveals a pair of articles in Different Worlds:
Different Worlds #14 (September 1981) Painting Miniature Figures by Robin Wood
Different Worlds #17 (December 1981) Miniatures: Conversions in Lead by Robin Wood
Now we're getting a lot closer. But still not there yet. Hmm...and then I have my "a-ha!" moment and realize exactly where I have seen Robin's name before: Issue #1 of the OSFMapa!
At some point after she had the above two articles published in Different Worlds, she went ahead and compiled a booklet that covers miniatures from prep to finish, including sections on conversion and even scratchbuilding!
Something I would have liked to have known a long time ago.
The section on conversions is quite detailed, with over eight pages dedicated to modifying your minis. Besides the expected topics (adding or removing features, changing poses, etc.) Robin even shows you how to give your minis a sex-change operation if you desire something other than a chainmail bikini, and even how to make chainmail out of underwear!
More things I would have liked to have known.
Robin devotes four pages to scratchbuilding, including how to make ghosts, Runequest dragon-snails, gelatinous cubes, winged creatures, and snakes. A future project could see me attempting to create my own creatures using her advice and techniques. I'll put that one on the backburner for now and hope that I don't completely forget about it.
Circa 1983 or 1993
All told, From Lead to Life is a wonderful how-to booklet that is a fun and informative read, and I'm really happy to have stumbled across it and added it to my library of printed miniature reference material.