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, March 31, 2011

Treasures Unearthed

I was able to swing by American Eagles again today for what is probably my last run there before the doors close on April 9th. My goal was to pick up some items for fellow collectors over at and see if there was anything for me. I am SO glad I went! And the fact everything was 40-70% off didn't hurt either.

Now that I have recently completed my collection of AD&D Birthright adventures and accessories, I can now focus on the miniatures, novels, and PC game. Sitting on the top shelf of the paperback rack were the four BR novels - Greatheart, The Hag's Contract, The Iron Throne, and The Spider's Test. Sweet!

Had to grab a copy of Raid on Rajallapor. Why? Well, I don't play Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes, so I guess it's because the module was produced by Grenadier Models Inc. That little bit of shrinkwrapped goodness set me back $1.98!

I was trying to take my time, poke around, see what I could find. Sure enough, in a bin with some small stuff like Gamescience Federation Tugs were a couple of packages very familiar to me - little plastic baggies with red paper inserts bearing the Superior Models Inc. logo! I scored a four-pack of WL-130 Ninjas, and something I have never seen before: WL-151 Sorceress with Crystal Ball in 40mm scale. She comes with a small crystal ball that appears to sit on her bosom, and a small crystal star that I think sits on top of her crown. This one needs a picture, so I'll get going on that and post one ASAP.

Two small white boxes also caught my eye, and sure enough they also contained minis by Superior Models: two copies of WL-152 Dragon on Rock/4, a dragon perched on a rock with 4 gems that fit in the base. Sadly, both dragons are missing a wing, but I'll take what I can get.

Perhaps the most bittersweet purchase was my very last plastic model from Eagles. I was hoping to go big, say a 1/48 Mosquito or something along those lines. They were pretty well picked over at this point, so I went with a time-tested standard for me: the 1/76 scale Stug III Ausf. G by Fujimi. It will eventually take a place next to my Tiger.

I wish I had gone in much earlier since my last visit. I wonder if I would have had a shot at one of the three TSR bookcases they had sitting out? The ones with the SOLD tags on them. Oh well, coulda, woulda, shoulda. I still came away with some nice things. As an added sentimental bonus, the BR novels have American Eagles price stickers on the back, so I'll always know where they came from.

Thanks again, American Eagles.

The Lead Market Report - February 2011

Since March is all but over, it's time for me to crank out February's LMR.

Archive: Kicking it old school! A succubus for $36.55 and a bugbear for $45.00 shows that old lead can show sellers the money. Just don't ask me why a bear with a pumpkin head is called a bugbear, though.

Citadel: The AD&D series continues to do well, especially the monster minis. A trio of Mind Flayers went for $43.35 - no one is going to mistake these bad boys for Grenadier's sculpt (you know the one - he's doing The Robot, for crying out loud!) And just because I love Citadel C28 giants, here's Ninefingers for $20.72.

Dark Horse: Heroes in a half-shell - Turtle Power! Turtle Power is a 75mm Leonardo going for a cool $46.50 in this case. This four-pack of Groo minis topped the century mark at $106.07. TMNT and Groo usually do quite well.

Grenadier: $97.75 is what it took to secure the Battle Giant in shrink-wrapped goodness. I don't see this one too often, so this price isn't too shocking, really. Perhaps even more rare is the Goblin War Giant that sold for $99.99. No packaging, but apparently complete - many that show up are usually incomplete in one form or another.

One of the lesser known Grenadier lines is the Fantastic Females of an Ancient World. For some reason, Princess Achmiri has been showing up here and there recently. This example went for $9.50, which seems like a bargain to me. More examples to follow in the March LMR.

Leading Edge Games: Yeah, but it's a dry heat, Sarge. The Aliens sets always seem to command respectable numbers, like this $51.99 set. I would love to paint up a set of Colonial Marines for my friends, with this set going for $44.35.

Ral Partha: Someone picked up a complete Menzoberranzan set for a paltry $22. I say paltry because someone paid $32.53 just for the Drizzt mini from the same set! Huma's Silver Dragon went for $51.00 while his evil counterpart The Red Dragon of Krynn went for just under half of Huma's price at $24.50.

West End Games: I really thought these Imperial Speeder Bikes would have gone for more than $15.50 but hey, what do I know?

Stay tuned for the March report, where I continue to track Princess Achmiri and other notable bargains and wallet-busters.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fantastic, Indeed!

If you collect Grenadier miniatures, you are probably aware of a very cool book called The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier by Terrence Gunn. In addition to being a fabulous visual reference, it also tells the story behind the scenes at Grenadier, including interviews with several of the players.

Some of you are lucky enough to have a bound copy of the book. I'm still looking for one myself, but I do own the eBook version - PDFs on a CD. And I recently noticed that Terrence is selling another round of the FWOG eBooks on eBay at the moment. It's only $18, and at last count, 7 copies were still for sale.

Even if you don't exclusively collect Grenadier minis, it is still a great resource and a good read to boot. I rate it 5 out of 5 Dragons! Enjoy.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Giant Axe-Swinging, Snake-Growing-Out-Of-Neck Goodness!

Check out the photos at the bottom of page 3 on this thread over at!

That's right, it's none other than Molydeus! Center Stage Miniatures is bringing this huge baddie to a gaming table near you in the not-so-distant future. This is a Tim Prow sculpt, and I can only guess that it will be a whole lot less than the $150-$200 price usually commanded by the Ral Partha 11-series Molydeus.

The CSM blog is located here, and the their store can be found here.

Way to go CSM!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Hot Elf Chicks, Lead Dragon Style!

OK, so I'm a little late to the whole "Hot Elf Chick" thing, but better late than never, eh?

All images are property of Reaper Miniatures and/or Hobby-Q, Inc.

Reaper minis rock!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Flaming Mummies, Friendly Fire, and Fun with Spell Crits

The WA state portion of our gaming group rallied for a lively session on Saturday. In February, Ned flew south to visit Dino and Craig and run those two through a bit of fun. They managed to avoid death, although Craig's ranger (my wizard's adopted brother) is now Craig's FEMALE ranger. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy ;)

So the three of us (paladin, cleric, wizard) took off in the same direction as the ranger and rogue, hoping to follow in their footsteps and catch up with them at the town they were heading to.

We took out a bugbear warband, and then entered a smallish temple/dungeon that our pals had previously passed through. They didn't leave much for us to do except kill the mummy and scoop up his treasure - sorry you missed it! I suggest scorching ray against mummies - makes 'em burn REAL good.

Towards the end of our journey, we came across a one-sided battle around an active portal. A dozen ogres and a pair of ogre-magi were thrashing three local elves. The paladin charged into the fray, followed by his grumbling dwarf medic. My elf hung back at the treeline, waiting for the right time to strike. When my companions became predictably swarmed, I unleashed an ice storm on everyone, friends included. It was a calculated risk, as was the fireball I tossed in there next round. Those two spells (coupled with the cleric's holy smite) spelled the end of all the ogres, leaving the magi to deal with.

That proved much harder, of course. The paladin and cleric were reduced to 1HP each at least once, possibly twice, and my wizard was toppled by a cone of cold. Steve's dwarf healed me, and I was back in the fight. A do-or-die attack by Matt's paladin produced a much-needed crit, and that took out one of the magi. The other one fled, as I was flinging fireballs all over the clearing, hoping for a lucky shot. And then a fire giant came through the portal...

The paladin and cleric did their best to soak up the giant's attacks while hammering away at it. I rattled off four straight shocking grasp attacks (delivered via spectral hand) and landed my first-ever spell crit on my fourth attack! Good times. We beat feet for town and joined up with the dynamic duo. Next time we play, it will be all six of us around the table in California. Can't wait for May!

At one point, we started talking about our favorite and/or most memorable adventures or gaming sessions over the past three decades. In no particular order, here are some notables: The Halls of Beol-Dur (Dragon #41), Tegel Manor, White Plume Mountain, The Village of Hommlet, Dark Tower, Ravenloft, Hidden Shrine of Tamoachan, the G-D-Q sequence, and The Pit of The Oracle (Dragon #37). Oracle bears special mention. Somehow the party managed to locate the back door in this adventure and more or less stumble into the main treasure room with little to no opposition. I wasn't there, so don't ask me how...I was also told that Craig actually cried tears of joy, being the loot whore that he is. We love you, Craig.

Of course it goes without saying that there were many adventures and encounters created by Ned that do not have names, but live on in our collective gaming memories as good times. And speaking of Ned, it seems that Steve has been holding onto our "real-life characters sheets" all these years! At some point in the past, Ned created character sheets for each player, complete with nicknames, alignment, stats, and even a pencil sketch! Hopefully Steve scans then so we can all have them in electronic form. And I'm going to give Ned our ancient VHS tapes of one of our sessions so that he can transfer them to DVD. I'm sure they are long periods of boring geek footage, interspersed with brief moments of geek hilarity.

The icing on the cake was my wizard's HD roll for 9th level. After a truly woeful run of seven straight rolls of 1, I broke the streak with a 4! So huzzah for me, and hopefully I'll start rolling nothing but 4s for the next 11 levels.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Lead Market Report - Special February Games Workshop Edition

Last month, a collector in Israel sold off a ton of unreleased and super-rare Games Workshop minis, mainly Chaos Dwarfs. I don't know what this person paid to amass this particular collection, but the end prices were downright spectacular!

Let's cut to the chase, shall we? This Chaos Dwarf Juggernaut went for almost $1,045.00 USD!!! Look, I know collectors are insane (takes one to know one), but GW collectors are a breed apart.

I'll just list the rest, noting that I'm only listing those auctions that ended in the $100+ range. There were quite a few other lots in the $50+ range, but I didn't bother listing those. Here we go:

Chaos Dwarf Siege Cannon $490 (Ass Cannon? LOL!)
Chaos Dwarf on Pony $202
40K Squat Exo Armour $289
40K Squat Champion A $167
40K Squat Champion B $167
40K Squat Cyberslayer $167
40K Squat $130
Dark Elf Malekith on foot $128
Dark Elf Witch $104
Vampire Counts Lahmian Vampire $103

That adds up to a cool $2,992.00 USD, plus whatever else he earned on all the sub-$100 listings. Truly a sweet, sweet chunk of change. I hope the cash makes up for any seller's remorse he may be experiencing at this point in time.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Grateful (To Be Finished) Dead

It's been a long couple of months since I actually finished painting a mini. I'd start something, set it aside to work on something else, stop painting altogether for a couple of days or a week, and then resume the cycle. With a D&D session looming this weekend, I'll be damned if I'm going to show up empty-handed, so I resolved to finish my three Reaper Barrow Wardens. Anything else I finish beyond that will be gravy, so let's set the main course, shall we?
Reaper DHL 3221Reaper DHL 3220Reaper DHL 3220
Now these guys are a cool-looking trio of skellies! Compared to my other Reaper skeletons, the new ones look like they kick ass and take names, while the older pair looks like they should be hanging in my junior-high science classroom.

The Barrow Warden Keeper (left, with the black sword of doom) could easily double as a Death Knight. I like the gray armor and blue highlights, but at first wasn't sure about the tabard. I think the faded maroon works pretty good, in hindsight. And he just had to have a black sword! I think I could have done better making the runes pop, but didn't want to spend too much time fiddling with them.

The Barrow Wardens (Mario, with axe and Luigi, with sword) are an imposing pair. I like Mario's big ass axe. Luigi's lunging pose doesn't quite do it for me - I think something more on the order of an overhead strike would work better. But that's just nitpicking at this point. I knew from the start they would both sport black armor, but I just had to give them a splash of color somehow. I think the shields alone would not have been enough, so the shoulder pads were a natural choice to highlight.

All said, it was a fun project to work on from the base on up (I used spackle on the Keeper's base and tried to make my flagstones blend with those on the OEM base). It feels good to finish a project, ya know? Knowing my DM, they'll see action on the tabletop in short order.