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, December 22, 2011

Lead Market Report - November 2011

You now only have about two days left to buy me some cool new lead for my Christmas present! Time to check out the November LMR and see what you'll be able to afford this year. Enjoy.

ARCHIVE: I really dig the big old dragons from back in the day. Some of them are just loaded with character, as is the case with this copy of Sredni Vashtar from Archive's Runequest line that sold for $54. At first glance, I could not figure out why on earth there were four wings. So I stopped by the LMW to check out Sredni's pic and see that the wings are two-piece affairs.

CITADEL: LOTS of Citadel AD&D goodness this time around! Here we go: one Umber Hulk for $25 and another for $21. A couple of Minotaurs in the classic "get off my lawn, you damn kids!" pose for $28 and $35. Perhaps one of my favorite ADD sculpt is the Carrion Crawler, like this one that went for $22. This pair of Norkers (silly Brits!) sold for $10 and $11. The Sahaugin are always popular, like these for $34 (MOC), these for $32 (also MOC), and this loose Sea Devil for $11. The Hobgoblins went for $19 (MOC), and a loose Gorgon for $18. And finally, even a lone, loose Bugbear still commands respect to the tune of $13.

And because giants are cool, I offer you this C28 (solid base) fella for $18, and the Marauder giant for $45.

DARK HORSE: Turtles in the house, this month for $19 and $18, respectively. Also from Dark Horse this month is Robotech! Raider X fetched the tidy sum of $46, while the other 4 Robotech blisters sold for $13 to $19.

FASA: I...can't...believe...I only sold for $4.24! Kirk, Sulu, Joachim, and a Klingon for under $5. Truly a bargain for that lucky buyer!

GAMES WORKSHOP: Inquisitor bitz/bits are pretty much a sure thing. How about almost $200 worth of a sure thing? Check out these two lots of bits that sold for $91 and $81, respectively. This modest lot of bits and a nearly complete Artemis sold for $32. Mordheim is another GW game with a small but dedicated following. Some Mordheim collector paid $107 for this lot of 29 blisters. Lastly, a rocking trio of LOTR trolls sold for $71.

GRENADIER: "Best umber hulk ever cast"? This is how the seller tagged their hulk that sold for $13. One of my favorites, for sure, but best ever? Maybe if the pose was a bit more dynamic or menacing. This guy looks like he's waving with his left hand, saying "How you doin'" or something like that. The one I used to have always tipped over forward. Mandible-heavy, I suppose.

Got Action Art sets? These ranged from $27 to .99 cents! Fantasy Fiends sold for $27; Mythological Creatures for $21; Monsters also for $21; and Explorers for .99 cents - seriously? A buck?!? Good find for some lucky Grenadier collector out there.

Are you a member of the club? The Giants Club, that is. This set of Frost Giants sold for $28, while this minty-still-shrinkwrapped Fire Giant box was only $15. Now that's my kind of clubbin!

Always nice when you can pick up a cool model like the Battle Giant ($38) that also has the box in nice condition. Another find for some lucky bargain hunter was this Colossal Lords Femal Frost Giant for $7. From the Special Editions line, this Teronus sold for $28. For $37, you could have bought a shrinked Teronus. I purchased this Fantasy Lords (2nd Series) Titan for $2. Neat sculpt, with a cool lion-faced shield.

Star Wars (West End Games) - while I enjoy paying pennies on the dollar for some lots, I still feel good when I only have to pay about a buck per mini. I didn't buy this lot of assorted Star Wars minis, but would have been happy had I done so. 46 minis for $41 (including the Rancor beast) is my kind of shopping. This Landspeeder went for $16, although you could have had it the week before for $8 or $9 as it went unsold the first time around.

Not a mini, but I'm always drawn to ads, posters, and other miniature-related promotional items like this Grenadier poster that sold for $16.

HEARTBREAKER: More Warzone/Mutant Chronicles love this month. The Bauhaus Vulkan Battlesuits was the big winner this month at $78. The resin Bio-Giant for $28 and Pretorian Behemoth for $27 did OK as well.

LEADING EDGE GAMES: I'm always tempted to bid on lots like this one: some Colonial Marines, a few Aliens, and Ripley in a Power Loader for $12. That's a great bargain for those who don't need the original plastic cases and documentation.

MARTIAN METALS: I don't usually get a chance to post Martian Metals minis, so this one is a real treat: Vermithrax, The Great Dragon that sold for $90! I can't tell for sure if it is some kind of dragon/wyvern/dracolich hybrid or what (skeletal wings and only two legs), but it looks pretty damn cool.

RAL PARTHA: I don't see too many copies of Draco Dracorum moving around on eBay, so I was rather suprised to see this one go for only $35. Granted, the box has seen better days, but it looks like all pieces are included and it still has the certificate. My kind of deal, for sure. And as a collector of giants, it was hard to let Avalyne slip away for only $16, but I can't buy them all...or can I? Bargains still abound, like this Griffin Chariot for only $10.

If you live Down Under, this Takhisis went for $81. The $31 shipping to the USA kind of put it out of reach for the average US bidder, I imagine. A shrinkwrapped Lord Soth's Charge sold for a cool $96. The blister with Soth mounted & dismounted still moves well, like this one for $63. People just love a mounted Death Knight and his minions!

The 11-series blisters were all over the place, reflecting the state of today's economy more or less. There were bargains like Mourngrym for $1.25 and Szass Tam for $5.50 to a $43 Mountain Giant and $63 for the Remorhaz. The 11-series Birthright minis continue to elude me (or at least my wallet), like these Chimaeras for $25 and $23.

Continuing on, there was the Female Drider for $19, the Owlbear (biped sculpt) for $34, plastic Selune for $26, a Snow Troll for $26, the Displacer Beast (seated) for $26, the Shambling Mound for $13, an Otyugh for $16, a Skeletal Giant for $21, a Fomorean Giant for $18 (in the description the seller notes that it resembles Sloth from The Goonies, LOL), Midnight for $15, the Sahaugin for $20, and lastly the bargain of the day, a 4-blister lot including the mimics, griffon, hippogriff, and dwarf fighters for $32.

On the big stompy 'Mech scene, the activity is still hot and heavy. $468 might seem like a lot, but when you consider it was for 48 miniatures, that's actually a decent deal! This truly old-school Marauder was snapped up quick at a $75 BIN.

In September's LMR, I noted the sale of a Finieous Phigures set (complete with original box and insert!) for $68. This month, I picked up a complete set of my own (sans packaging & paperwork) for $28. When the seller first listed this lot, I think they had it up for $199 OBO. I sent them an offer for $40, which was turned down. Their counter offer was $139, so I declined that. It surfaced again with a .99 cent start and no reserve. I think one thing in my favor was that it ended on Thanksgiving day, at a time when I could keep tabs on the auction proceedings. It also had 23 other minis, including a Broadsword Cyclops (M-01) that I'm keeping as well. So I FINALLY have my own complete Finieous set, and a second set that is complete save for Kask.

REAPER: Just one lonely DOOM demon this month that sold for $30.

WOTC: This lot of Chainmail minis sold for $46 and included an otyugh and eight drow among others. For $45, there was this lot of 26 minis, mostly from the 3.0 line. I think this lot was the better buy of the two, considering there was a beholder, umber hulk, troll, orge, and displacer beast.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Wil Wheaton: Not A Dick

I forgot how enjoyable Wil Wheaton's writing can be, so I've added him to my blogroll. I don't know why I haven't read his stuff in so long; chalk it up to short attention span syndrome. And I really need to read one of his books - I'm thinking Just A Geek to start with.

It looks like I have reached 10,000 pageviews and 30 followers according to Blogger. I have to imagine at least half of those pageviews must be mine, but to all the followers and lurkers, thanks for stopping by. I try not to get too hung up on those stats, because I like to write about things that interest me, and not necessarily what everyone else wants to read about. Still, it's nice to know I'm not just pissing into the wind.

Session Alert! Ye olde D&D gang is gathering this weekend for the next installment of our 3.5 FR campaign, so I've got lead to finish and a recap to pen after all is said and done. Can't wait to see the fellas and roll some dice :)

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Dark Crystal & What The Hell Is A Podling?

Not too long ago, I picked up a minis lot on eBay that was mostly 54mm historical stuff (Imrie/Risley, New Hope Design, etc) but also had some fantasy items, which was why I bought it to begin with. I'll resell the 54mm stuff to recoup my investment. Mixed in with everything were a couple of items that stood out:

Who invited Miles Finch? He never brings anything to share.

At first, I thought they were some sort of Scandinavian gnomes or trolls. There were no hallmarks on the miniatures or table, so I guess I chalked them up to odd little gnome dudes of unknown origin and set them aside. Fast-forward to yesterday when I was scanning eBay and saw a group of familiar-looking faces. Mystery solved! They are Grenadier miniatures from The Dark Crystal (part of the Pinnacle Products lineup). So I'm looking at four Podlings and their table, got it. But what about this ugly fella:

Hey sailor, wanna show a lady a good time?

Which isn't a fella after all, but rather Aughra, a wise woman of sorts with the official title of Watcher of the Heavens. I had her pinned as an ogre-mage or something along those lines. My apologies to all ogre-magi and their kin for this rash assumption. She is UG-LEE!

And finally, a random staff grasped by a hand:

Paging Mr. Skeksis; please report to Lost & Found to claim your staff.

The staff belongs to Skeksis, a Garthim Master and all-around bad guy. So what I have here is an almost-complete Dark Crystal set #9002, minus of course Skeksis (and the box, paperwork, paints, and tray). Always cool to solve a mystery and properly identify some the many minis languishing in my unknowns collection. Now I guess the only thing left to do is see if my library has The Dark Crystal in their system and watch it. For the life of me, I cannot recall if I ever saw it or not!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Shipmates Forever

USS Arizona (Photo:

As the nation marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, I read a story that talks about interring the ashes of Pearl Harbor veterans so they can be with their shipmates. Veterans from the Utah and Arizona (the only two ships still in the harbor) can have their ashes carried down to the ships by a team of divers, so that they can be reunited with their shipmates who never made it off back in 1941.

I have been to the USS Arizona Memorial before. To say that it is powerful and moving would be a gross understatement.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Everything is Illuminated, Mr. Frodo

Late last night, I was just about to turn off the idiot box when I saw a familiar face staring back at me. At first glance I thought it was Tobey Maguire, but then I stopped and looked closer and there he was, Elijah Wood. I enjoyed him in Green Street Hooligans (also starring Charlie Hunnam of FX's Sons of Anarchy), and of course as "the most famousest of hobbits" in some obscure trilogy...and now I have another reason to admire Mr. Wood's acting chops: Everything Is Illuminated.


Right off the bat, Jonathan (Wood) is not a warm, fuzzy, likeable character. He wears a suit and tie the entire movie, and has huge Coke bottle-bottom glasses. How would I describe him? Aloof, cold, and introverted all come to mind. After watching his mannerisms (human interaction, his collecting compulsion, etc.) I actually think he acts a LOT like someone on the Autism spectrum, more along the lines of Asperger Syndrome than full-blown Autism. Of course, two of my three kids are on the spectrum with Asperger's, so that might have something to do with my opinion.

Jonathan is on a personal quest to find Augustine, the Ukranian woman who saved his late grandfather during WWII. He books a trip to the Ukraine, employing a translator-driver team that happen to be grandson-grandfather. Alex (translator) is a total character, a Ukranian break dancer/homeboy who speaks good enough English to be dangerous and comedic. Igor (driver) is gruff and a tad eccentric - he thinks and acts like he is blind, although he knows he isn't.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I overlooked Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. who is Igor's somewhat deranged "Officious Seeing-Eye Bitch." You can thank Alex's command of English for that title, written in Sharpie on Sammy's t-shirt.

So Jonfen (Alex's pronunciation of Jonathan), Alex, Igor, and Sammy take off across the Ukraine in an old car in search of the mysterious Augustine and a town no one seems to know about. The Ukranian (and Czech Republic) scenery is both beautiful and stark at times.

Jonathan is a vegetarian, which baffles the natives to no end. "Do you eat steak? The chicken? Sausage?" Funny to me, because my wife is a vegetarian and has dealt with this sort of mindset for years and years.


I won't give away the end, because it's just one of those things you have to see for yourself. Suffice to say, I was hooked from the start and didn't mind at all staying up until 2:30 AM to see if through. If you need explosions, hot chicks, or guys holding guns sideways, Everything Is Illuminated is not for you. I totally recommend this one for folks who like all types of movies, especially character-driven treats like this one.