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, January 31, 2014

Lead Market Report - Heritage Historicals Edition

A couple of sellers on eBay recently moved quite a stash of Heritage product, enough so I decided to give it the LMR Special Edition treatment. I normally don't track historical or tabletop army stuff (except for what I am personally interested in), but given the Heritage/Duke Seifried traditional wargame connection, I thought it worthy of my time. Not as sexy as some DragonTooth goodies or Citadel rarities, but it's Heritage, so that's good enough for me. Enjoy.

Chivalry: I really thought the first two would have gone for higher considering the names, but I guess the demand just isn't there.

King Arthur, Standard, Merlin, and Sir Hector for $8.25, Mordred, Banner, Palimides, and King Claudas for $8.25, Mounted Knights with Swords for $7.10, Men & Peasants with Polearms for $6.93, Men-at-Arms with Spears for $6.26, Knights Smashing with Ugly Evil Maces (hehe) for $6.26, Knights Heaving Deadly Battle Axes for $6.26, Mounted Knights with Lances for $6.26, Men-at-Arms with Sharp-Bladed Swords for $5.50, a mis-labeled 3855 Knights with Two-Handed Swords (reads 3864 Men-at-Arms with Bills) for $4.99, and Knights Bearing Potent Two-Handed Swords (love some of those old names!) for $4.99.

Medieval: These didn't do quite as well as the Napoloeniques (nothing went for more than $7.16), so hopefully these were a bargain for the buyers.

Saracen Armoured Cavalry for $7.16, Saracen Armoured Horse Archers $7.16, Saracen Horse Archers $7.16, Peasant with Sickle $7.15, Crusader with Lance for $6.26, Armoured Horse Archer for $6.26, English Knight with Battleaxe for $6.26, French Mounted Men-at-Arms for $6.26, Mounted Men-at-Arms with Lance Charging for $6.26, French Knight with Sword & Shield for $6.01, English Knight with Lance for $6.01, Hand Gunners for $5.76, 7 at $5.50 each: Armoured Infantry Standing with Halberd, SpearmenPeasant with Pitchfork (can you say angry mob?), Spearman in Pothelm Advancing, Men at Arms with Pole Mace, Front Rank Pike Men Full Armor In Salades (I didn't know what a salade was, so I had to look it up. Type of helmet.) and Crossbowman in Jaunty Felt Hat Advancing (OK so I threw in the 'jaunty'), 3 at $5.24 each: Armoured Infantry Advancing with Halberd, Armoured Infantry with Spear, and French Peasant with Bow (Help! Help! I'm being repressed! - Bloody peasants!) and 8 at $4.99: Dismounted Knight with Mace and Bassinet Attacking, Dismounted English Knight with Sword and Shield, Armoured Infantry Advancing with Sword, Billman Advancing (Post no bills! Post no bills!), Scottish Pikemen Coat of Plates In Salades and Buckler (longest blister name ever?), French Crossbowmen, French Peasant with Spear, and last but not least - the few, the proud, the Peasant Levy.

Napoleoniques: I wonder how many WH40K players know that their battles in the grim future were born on the gaming tables that recreated battles of the grim past? Just sayin.

French Young Guard Tirailleur for $23.01, French Artillery Line 1809 for $21.95, French Middle Guard Fusilier Chasseurs for $17.16, Officers (nationality not noted) for $13.51, Mounted Officers (nationality not noted) for $13.01, Russian Cavalry Chevalier Guard for $11.51, GRD Lancers for $11.00, Battle of Waterloo British Cavalry for $10.51, Russian Cavalry Chasseurs for $10.51, Old Guard Grenadiers Charging for $10.51, GRD Lancers for $9.00, French Cavalry Guard Dragoons for $8.54, French Leger Lancers for $8.54, French Guards Gren A Cheval for $8.54, Line Battalion 1812 Repelling for $8.00, Satellite Cavalry Brunswick Hussars for $7.16, French Lancers Regt. 7/8 for $7.00, French Middle Guard Fusilier Grenadiers for $7.00, French Line Carbiniers for $6.50, French Line Dragoons for $6.04 and $6.00, British Infantry Fusiliers for $5.75, British Command Groups for $5.60, Battle of Waterloo French Cavalry for $5.50, Russian Infantry Pavlov Grenadiers for $5.20, and British Life Guards for $4.25.

Panzertroops: A personal favorite of mine and something that I actively pursue. Heavy metal, 15mm style!

USA - A big, bad M41 Walker Bulldog went for $12.57. These M8 Greyhounds were $7.57, some 3/4 ton trucks for $6.27, an M7 Priest for $4.99, and an M8 Scott also for $4.99.

Germany -  For tanks, the PzKpfw IVH was tops at $12.26, followed by PzKpfw IVf2 at $8.59, and a PzKpfw IIIj for $4.99 (mine!). Then there was a pair of SdKfz 231 armored cars for $9.05 and $8.48. The seller had some blisters of US and German infantry, but I forgot to track those. Shouldn't be too hard to find them in the completed listings search.

Now if someone would just unearth a large stash of Air Power minis, that would really make my day!

Friday, January 24, 2014

So Hrugnir, Big Meg, and Cumulus walk in to a bar...

I could have also titled this post "Third Time's A Charm" as I missed out on adding Hrugnir the two previous occasions I have seen him up for auction. This time, fate & fortune have smiled upon me and I am now the proud owner of my very own Hrugnir! It always helps when the auction doesn't specifically mention relevant details like "DragonTooth" or "Hrugnir" anywhere in the listing, and the auction title is "Vintage Dungeons and Dragons Metal Figure, HUGE Giant" or something similarly generic and non-specific.

Last time Hrugnir surfaced, he was paired with Cumulus and they sold for $224.50. Just the kind of auction I look for, but it was too pricey for my budget. And before that, this Hrugnir sold for $119.50. Just the figure I was looking for, but once again, too rich for my blood. Don't get me wrong, $55.26 is still a LOT of money for a single miniature, but I'm quite pleased that my Hrugnir only cost me about half the going rate.

Well, time to send Hrugnir off to his much-needed bath in paint stripper. While he soaks, I will ponder things like basing options and potential paint schemes. He and Big Meg (still languishing on my bench) both deserve the royal treatment, much like my GI5 Horned Hill Giant project.

For those of you curious about Hrugnir's dimensions, I must say that he is truly a big-ass hunk of lead goodness. He tips the scales at a whopping 1 pound 11 ounces (760g)! He stands 3.25" tall, 2.75" wide, and 1.5" deep. His base is 2.25" wide by 1" deep.

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Future of Games Workshop, As Told Not By Me

If you head on over to, you can read Part 1 of a very long and detailed series of articles that go so far beyond the usual "GW suxxors!" and "GW is dead!" type of posts usually tied to titles like the one I use above.

The author clearly is passionate about all things GW, and has spent many hours writing and responding to each post. Normally, I'm not big on things that involve financial reports and words like sales, profits, and margins...but this was compelling enough to get me to sit down and read almost the entire series from start to finish in one long marathon orgy of post reading.

Highly recommended if you are at all interesting in the empire that is Games Workshop, and/or the miniature gaming business in general.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Lead Market Report - January 2014

Like a phoenix that has risen from the ashes of blogging hell, I am happy to present the January 2014 edition of the Lead Market Report. As always, it is a lot of grunt work cutting and pasting links and coming up with witty banter, but it is at long last finished. And now that my Watch List has been pared down to what must be an all-time low for me, please feel free to pass along suggestions of what you would like to see tracked in future reports. I try to cast my net in a wide pattern, but I know I miss some good stuff. Help me help you. Thanks and enjoy.

ARCHIVE: These Middle Earth Orc Archers (535) were sold as DT orcs, but it is pretty obvious (to me) that they are Archive. Just look at the bases, that was the most telling clue.

CITADEL: The AD&D three stage adventurers always move, and almost always around the $5 per mini price point. This trio of fighters sold for $12, a nice pickup at a reasonable price in my opinion. This blister of Goblins (ADD52) sold for $34, and a pair of used Carrion Crawlers went for $26 and $17.

DRAGONTOOTH: DT minis typically command higher prices than most, yet you can still find bargains if you are patient. Take these Goblins for example - three G5 archers for $5.24. More in line with average DT prices is this DE-11 Demon Rising from Hells Well for $25. Kind of high considering it is missing the well, but it is still a very cool sculpt. MOC examples, such as this Arabian Fighter for $33, seem to be the norm these days. And this AC1 Amphibian Colossus did not last long at $50.

FASA: A seller had two sets of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Regula 1 boxes - one in shrink and one opened. The opened one sold for $10, and the NIS one sold for $15 after a couple of relistings.

GRENADIER: This Hill Giants box set is my kind of fun; I just wish I had bought it for $13. The Vallejo series are sometimes listed for outrageous prices ($100+), and sometimes can be picked up for more reasonable sums ($20-30ish). Gracus the Centurion is a good-looking kit, so $47 isn't too surprising a price. And this Wizzards & Warriors blister of SS07 The Temple sold for $16, so that's a nice acquisition for some lucky Grenadier collector.

The Western Gunfighter box set is still on my Grenadier want list - not that I would ever have an actual use for it, but purely for collecting - and this example for $23.49 is in really nice shape, so I hope to eventually acquire a similar set for around that price. This might be the Grenadier bargain of this report - the Shadowrun Feathered Serpent Dragon (giant couatl, anyone?) new in shrink for only $10! The other candidate for bargain of the month is the Dwarf Giant for .99 cents. How did I forget to bid on that??? Same reason this yellow blister of AD&D Djinn & Efreet sold for a mere $4. Four bucks??? Nice.

I thought long and hard about bidding on this Grenadier poster that went for $28, as I think it represents those old ads in Dragon and other magazines quite well. Nice pickup to whoever snagged it.

Four gold-plated minis sold, from the David L. Arneson collection. They are all Call of Cthulhu miniatures, and I really expected them to go higher for some reason. We had a Deep One ($27), Kaspar Gutsman (Fat Man) for $21, Fu Manchu for $31, and Sherlock Holmes for $34 (now part of my collection).

HERITAGE: This LMR could have been subtitled "All Heritage, All The Time" based on the sheer amount of Heritage items that I tracked. There have been a rash of boxed sets recently, starting with this Roaming Monsters Level Two green box for $44 in shrink. The rest of the green boxes are a pair of Roaming Monsters Level 2 that sold for $39 and $29, and a pair of Monsters & Treasures Level 1-3 that took in $38 and $33. This blister of spiders sold for just a tad over $1 per spider, or $6.25 for the lot.

The white boxes did just as well, if not better in some cases. $78 for Demons & Devils in shrink; $59 for Level 2 Monsters in shrink; $59 for Level 3 Monsters in shrink; $39 for Level 6 & 7 Monsters in shrink; and $39 for Level 3 Monsters in shrink.

The two non-Dungeon Dweller boxes were Helm's Deep and Merlin. Helm's Deep was opened but unused and tallied $51. Merlin was still new in shrink and went for $66.

My personal opinion is that these prices (at least the green boxes and Helm's Deep) are lower than normal. Unless, perhaps, I'm only thinking of the prices usually tallied by the Crypt of the Sorcerer and Caverns of Doom. I'd have to go back and do some research on that.

LOTR blisters made a splash as well. I just wish I had the cash to participate in the bidding that took place - motivation to sell, I guess. The 75mm models went for $27 (Sam), $21 (Frodo), and $21 (Aragorn).The 25mm minis ranged from $8 to $80, or thereabouts. I thought the only Heritage balrog was the dinky little one from the Mines of Moria - I did not know there was a much larger one, which might explain why the ending bid was $82! The Riders of Rohan always come through, both on the battlefield and for sellers. Theoden and Guthlaf sold for $32, as did Hama and a banner bearer and the Rohan King's Guard. I love these orcs with their cruel axes and curly-horned helms ($22). There was a trio of vignettes too: Bilbo's Birthday Party ($26), the Confrontation of Gandalf and Saruman ($17), and Gollum Captured ($18). On the low end at $8.50 was the Orc Drum Wagon. Interestingly, the package is labeled as "Saruman's Urak-Hai Orcs of the White Hand Command" which is an unreleased blister, but the package contents are clearly the Orc Drum Wagon. Low price for what I think is a neat little kit.

And from the not a mini but a game category I present the Heritage Models Star Trek Adventure Game. It sold for $34, and was part of the Dennis Sustare collection. If you ever wanted a reason to use your Heritage Star Trek minis, this must be the game - send the away team (and gaggle of redshirts) down to a planet or drifting space hulk and let the adventures begin. Set phasers

The final Heritage item appears to fall into the category of Actually Truly Rare, not to mention having a neat background - if the listing is to be believed, this is a Duke Siefried mini, painted by Duke himself, and presented to David L. Arneson. $57 seems to be a relative bargain, considering the rarity and pedigree. I might have to pop on over to the Heritage boards, or see if I can track down Duke and find out more about this one. Could make for an interesting post if I manage to dig up anything.

RAL PARTHA: For some reason, there wasn't as many RP items on my Watch List as there normally are. These Minotaurs of the Imperial League (11-425) are badass, and sold for $20. When you can pick up two 11-series for the price of one (or less), you should do it. The Black Dragon (11-580) alone is worth the price, and you get Florin Falconhand (11-060) thrown in as well. I seriously doubt I'd ever have a gaming use for the War Eagle (13-100), but it is just one of those sculpts that just screams "paint me!" if only for the coolness factor of a warrior astride a giant eagle.

I always am on the lookout for catalogs, even though print is a dying breed in our digital age. This 1991 catalog is nice-looking and was only $10.50.

REAPER: While my son has painted up a couple of Bones minis, I have yet to. It's still on my to-do list, mostly out of curiosity. This huge lot of 300+ minis, mostly Bones, is my kind of bargain! We're talking right around $1 per mini.

WOTC: I'm intrigued by this new line of minis from WOTC, produced by Gale Force 9. It looks like there are two lines - the D&D Collector's Series and the D&D Collector's Series Classic. $27 for a Purple Worm and Quesnef (the ogre mage from White Plume Mountain) seems like a good price to me. Or for that same $27, you could have picked up the Illithid Raiding Party.

LOTS: I'm always curious when a seller has a crapload of minis up for auction. Did they come from a storage unit? Craigslist? Find them in a dumpster? Anyhow, this one particular seller had quite a few large lots, some fairly mundane and others borderline spectacular. Check them out: $261, $239, $229, $214, $175, $173, $138 (big minis), $108 (dragons!), $79. Interesting mix of old and new minis in each lot. And there were two big lots that fetched big price tags, this one for $999 and this one for $767. This lot that sold for $160 was a real steal in my opinion - a great mix of RP, Superior, Heritage, Archive, Grenadier, and others for well under $2 per mini. Lastly we have this six-pack of lots that sold for $81 (gold-plated RP wizard), $21 (fun little lot), $280 (great mix of old and new, and a giant dog next to Orcus), $204 (mostly vintage except for the Reaper blisters), $104 (Citadel AD&D Umber Hulk and other coolness), and $5 (frost giants from DT, Grenadier, and Superior) respectively. Been awhile since I bought myself a great big lot of lead. Might be time to pick one up.

NOT A LOT, BUT COST A LOT: This DMG is alleged to be the second copy out of the first box of DMGs when they rolled off the press back in the day. It has Gary's autograph and personal note, so it seems like the real deal. As always, items like this need to be carefully evaluated before plunking down thousands of dollars. Cool item, for sure.

Monday, January 6, 2014

You know my methods, Watson.

Greetings and Happy New Year 2014!

I have returned from a fantastic Christmas trip to Costa Rica and celebrated my birthday to wrap up 2013 on a high note. It was not the greatest year for me personally, and that took a toll on my collecting and painting efforts. My painting output last year dismal, and I didn't even finish one of the two dragons I wanted to paint for the Here Be Dragons! paint challenge over on the Reaper forums. I managed to piss away an entire YEAR for that project. Sigh.

Anyhow, looking ahead to the new year, it has already started off with a bang in the form of a D&D session with my friends that saw us teeter on the edge of a TPK, and then the boys rallied and pulled us back from the brink of destruction. Well played, boys. I need to do a writeup on that one, and soon.

To celebrate my first post of 2014, we are doing it in style. Make that gold-plated style. I was the high bidder on one of the small handful of Grenadier Call of Cthulhu gold-plated minis from the David L. Arneson collection that included Kaspar Gutman, Fu Manchu, Sherlock Holmes, and a Deep One.

I'm not a CoC collector by any stretch of the imagination, but I have always enjoyed the adventures of Sherlock Holmes, so it was an easy pick for me. That, and the fact that it presumably was part of Arneson's personal collection. So there you have it, my first Grenadier gold-plated mini.

I need to sit down, take stock of my unfinished painting projects, and see if I can get myself back into a painting groove. I would also like to get on a regular blogging schedule, and revive some dormant features like the Lead Market Report.

To those of you who have continued to stop by, thanks for sticking with me! I hope 2014 is a great year for everyone.