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 4, 2019

Clear Acrylic Base Saves The Day (And The Mini)

My fantasy miniatures have always been game pieces, to be handled and used from one campaign to the next. Some of my favorite minis are 30 to 40 years old, and have seen extensive use. And while it's true I've always been protective of my lead, and have given my friends truckloads of grief over the years whenever they dropped or knocked one over, I don't blame them for most of the damage. I blame the manufacturers! A lot of old school lead have ridiculously tiny bases. Citadel is one of the worst offenders, and a lot of their pre-slotta minis suffered from this issue. One of my favorite old elves is FA14v1 Elven Hero with Sword. But his base is so tiny, he might as well have been sculpted in the prone position. Another favorite, FA1v1 Fighter in Plate Mail with Sword, was constantly toppling over. In fact, he fell over so often that he was the first figure I ever attempted to re-base. All I did was glue a small washer to the bottom of his base, but it sure kept him from tipping over every time the table was bumped.

But what I didn't like about the washer solution is that in my eyes, it just didn't look right. Not aesthetically pleasing. In the mid to late 70s and early 80s, I wasn't educated at all about miniatures beyond the basics (paint with enamel paints, boom, done). Sure, later in life I finally learned intermediate and advanced painting techniques, how to customize a mini, and how to make cool bases.

So my problem was what to do with my vintage lead that had been lovingly painted or re-painted in some cases. I want to use them in games, but I don't want to see my work slowly erased, one chip at a time. And that's where Green Stuff World's clear acrylic bases enter the picture. They currently come in round, hex, and oval shapes, with sizes ranging from 25mm to 55mm in clear, blue, and red. I would like to see them in squares too, but for now these will do.

I glued a Grenadier wight and a couple of old Reaper skeletons to some round 25mm bases as a test. And let me tell you, they all passed the test! Just don't glue too close to the outside edges of the mini's base, at least if you are using glue that doesn't dry clear. I'm really looking forward to adding these clear bases to a bunch of minis that really need the support, especially my hordes of Heritage Dungeon Dwellers. I'll post more pics down the road as I make progress with this project.

What do you think? I'm happy. My goal was to get more minis on the table, without causing unnecessary damage to them. And I also wanted to save time, because I really didn't want to spend the time gluing them into recessed bases, building up the voids with filler, and finishing them with sand, grass, rocks, etc. and painting the bases. These clear acrylic bases look great, and I only need to glue each mini to the base. A great solution, and in my opinion, great results.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Grenadier Storm Giant (Lightning Master)

A couple of days ago, I finally began to compile the master inventory list for my miniatures collection. It's a somewhat daunting task, considering we're looking at 40 years of minis both old and new. As always, I only have myself and my procrastinating ways to blame.

Today I was going through my Shelf of Shame, consisting mostly of projects ranging from partially painted, primed, or prepped and awaiting primer. In particular, it was the shelf that holds my favorite subject---giants!

I picked up this Grenadier storm giant and began to look him up on the Lost Minis Wiki. No luck. The Stuff of Legends? No dice. How hard can this be? I know my way around minis, know how to narrow down searches, who the various experts are on the various lines, etc. But WTF, here's a giant that I KNOW is Grenadier because it says "Grenadier @ 1992" and "SM13" on the base. Google shows a few pics of this fella, but still no conclusive ID. I FINALLY found his proper designation after about a half-hour of poking around.

Turns out he's not a storm giant after all. He's a LIGHTNING MASTER. He belongs to Grenadier's Fantasy Legends line, product number 3104. Hopefully if any other collectors stumble across him and want to know his particulars, they will find this blog post and not spend a bunch of time searching in vain like I did.

I should note he can also be found in Terence Gunn's excellent book The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier. The mini is pictured on page 96 and is listed in the Product Appendix on page 118.

Picture credit: The Lost Minis Wiki