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.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Thank You, Uncle Duke

Back in early September, I picked up a lead version of one of my favorite WWII armored cars, the Humber Mk. II. I built several 1/72 Daimlers and Humbers back in the day, and still remember fighting various North African battles that pitted our plastic Afrika Korps versus Monty's Desert Rats.

The lead Humber I speak of is a 15mm model from Der Kriegspieler's Panzertroops line. It was sold to me by none other than Duke Seifried, the man known affectionately to wargamers and miniature enthusiasts as Uncle Duke. It's a hefty little chunk of lead, weighing in at 3.2 ounces (90 grams).

I'm usually not the fanboy type, but this time I just couldn't help myself. I asked Duke if he would sign the blister card, and he seemed happy to oblige. As if the hand-written product details on the card itself weren't a neat touch, it now reads "Tom, Great Gaming, Duke Seifried" on the front. He also included one of his business cards (shown below with his address and phone numbers concealed).

Sure, it's not as cool as if the Humber had been painted and used by Duke himself, but I think it's more along the lines of something a bit larger than a piece of lead. It was the personal interaction, a legend in the miniatures industry who was nice enough to honor a small request from someone who appreciates the man and his body of work (10,000 miniatures sculpted, according to various sources on Al Gore's Internet). That's a rather substantial body of work!!!

Here's a link to Duke on BoardGameGeek, an old picture of him on Lost Minis Wiki, and a more recent picture on the Historicon website.

I'll be sure to post pics of the Humber once I have it properly painted up.

UPDATE (11/29/11):

I'm not 100% positive, but it looks like the old Panzertroops line is still available through Old Glory Miniatures. This Humber looks a lot like mine, except that it appears to have been updated or possibly resculpted altogether. I might have to shoot them an email and see if they can shed any light on the fate of Panzertroops.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Lead Market Report - October 2011

I am behind in my time (or is it times?), as Bob Cratchit would say. So I have been working a lot harder to complete October's LMR, if only to give myself a bit a breathing room and a bigger headstart on November's. Enjoy!

CITADEL: I didn't see any giants this time around, but as always, there was plenty ADD action. If sealed blisters is your thing, observe the Kobolds for $28, Norkers for $20, and the Stirges for $18. And if you don't need packaging, how about this selection of loose ADD minis: 4 Bugbears for $25 (from Matt at Center Stage Miniatures), a female Fighter for $5 and a female Thief for $6. For similar prices, you could also have won multiple figures: 2 Bugbears for $5, 3 Magic Users for $5, or 3 elf Magic Users for $8.

DARK HORSE: Just one TMNT lot to speak of this month, but hey, anytime you can sell three blisters of Turtle goodness for $70 seems good to me.

DRAGONTOOTH: I'm still waiting for that elusive motherlode of DT minis to show up for auction (preferably mis-labeled to improve my chances of winning it, of course). Until then, DT items still tend to show up in here and there, like this D80 Small Dragon for $37 and this D76 Dragon for all of $20. I bid on (but did not win) this Ogre Apprentice from the Magic Shop set. Other items from the Magic Shop that sold include the Potion Cabinet for $17, some torches and misc. items for $12, and the strange little Goblin clutching a Broom for $19!

FASA: Here's a small lot of 4 FASA Star Trek ships that sold for $51. KHAAAANNNN!!!

GAMES WORKSHOP: The Inquisitor bits are always in demand, but someone scored a bargain by landing 4 Eldar Ranger blisters for only $5.

GRENADIER: By the power of Grayskull! October saw a lot of He-Man minis moving through the eBay pipeline, and for good money too. How good? How about $315 for the Battle Ram Attack Force. If you don't need the packaging and whatnot, it still ain't cheap. Try $237 for two sets that were minis and plastic hills only, unlike the totally complete Battle Ram set. The Wind Raider Ambush set sold for $153, and The Raid of He-Man sold for $103. If I'm not mistaken, it looks like both those sets were marked down to $4 each if I'm reading the price tags correctly. Man, I need to shop at wherever those came from!

Gamma World minis seem destined to slowly appreciate to beyond crazy prices. As of now, the command prices that are merely crazy - like $50 per blister crazy, in the case of this 9-blister lot that sold for $450. Same goes for a lot of 5 blisters and a mostly incomplete box set for $245. A complete box of Denizens sold for $114.

A couple of Special Edition Battle Giants changed hands, one boxed and one unboxed. The boxed version (which actually ended Nov. 1st) tallied $33 + free shipping, while the unboxed model sold for $50 + $20 shipping. Hmm, $33 vs $70, sometimes I just don't get the market.

In other giant-related activity, the Giants Club minis have been fairly active. A Fire Giant sold for $11 (no box, etc). A Fire Giant with hell hounds and obelisk (and box) was only $14. For $15, you could have had a Two-Headed Giant, complete with box, insert, and obelisk. A mint in shrink Frost Giant set was all of $21. Also mint in shrink was the Forest Giant for a low, low sum of $11. Even more puzzling was the lot of 8 Giants Club obelisks that sold for $19. Huh?

The Gold Line and other boxed sets panned out as follows: the bargain sets were the Invincible Dragon ($14) and the Imperial Dragon ($10). Going up from there were the Orc's Lair ($18), Woodland Adventurers ($25), Denizens of the Swamp ($31), the always-popular Dwellers Below ($52), a set of Explorers that has a few extra minis and may or may not be complete ($61), and a nice-looking set of Monsters for $75. For $68, Star Wars fans could have had a blister of Speeder Bikes and a bunch of other characters in a Stormtroopers box. For $50, there was an even larger lot available. I would have chose the latter, naturally. Bargains rule!

HEARTBREAKER: Warzone (the Mutant Chronicles miniatures game) seems to be one of those items that you can probably pick up super cheap at a store, yard sale, or flea market and then turn around for decent profit on eBay. It's a total niche game, but the collectors have been known to shell out big bucks, especially for the resin stuff. This decent lot (including some paints) sold for $56. And this resin Mercurian Maculator went for $15, although I think it could have easily sold for more on a different week.

HERITAGE: Nothing to report this month.

LEADING EDGE GAMES: When you can take home the Alien Queen for a paltry $13.19, you have landed yourself a bargain and then some. And why did I not bid on the Colonial Marines 1 and 2 that sold for a low, low $12??? Really, really inexpensive Aliens goodness there if you are on the buying end of things.

LORD OF THE RINGS: According to this page on the Tolkien Collector's Guide, these LOTR minis that sold for $83 were produced by the Toy Soldier Factory. They have that whimsical, story-book look to them.

RAL PARTHA: OK, look, I understand that BattleTech collectors love their old RP mechs. And then their are the MOC collectors who will do things like part with $4,050.56 for a lot of 77 carded (both blue and orange cards) mechs. Yowsers! Closing in on the $1,000 target was this huge $834 lot. $240 buys you a couple dozen Mechs and some extra weapons. $228 buys you 25 Mechs from the same seller. Even much smaller lots like this one still took in $128. This lot of 22 stompers sold for $103. For a more modest $88, you could have had this "Hello Kitty" lot of mechs (they all appear to be painted metallic pink LOL). $25 earns you a trusty Warhammer, and kitbashers and Mech mechanics could have had this lot of assorted parts and bases for $21.

Boxed sets - some dragons can still fetch three figures, usually the NIB shrinkwrapped variety, such as this Dracolich that sold for $140. If you were looking for something a bit more old-school, how about this Imperial Dragon for $124.45? For under $100, there was a Takhisis for $76, not a bad price at all IMO. Or there was this Red Dragon of Krynn that went for $60. A shrinked set of Dragon Strike minis took in a modest $41. The Elf Chariot is one of those sets that just keeps on chugging along, like this one for $31. And someone snapped up Lord Soth's Charge for $50 (it appears complete with some extras, although the shipping from Quebec is a killer for U.S. buyers). For $88, you could have picked up Huma's Silver Dragon and the Draconians sets - I hope they were complete! Someone snagged a bargain FR Heroes set for $12.50 probably because it mentions neither FR or RP in the listing headline ;) I like sets for less than $30 - I don't know exactly why, I guess paying less than that makes me feel like I did OK - so Dueling Dragons for $28 is something I might buy, along with the old school War Eagle for $26. But what I really like are bargains like this riderless Huma's Silver Dragon for $15.50!

Blisters - a NIB Remorhaz is still a beast of a purchase, like this one for $70. If you a really looking to put a dent in your budget, how about $147 for Sturm Brightblade (the 11-081 variant, that is to say)? I bet Tasselhoff Burrfoot could kick Randy Newman's ass. At $51 for a NIB example, Randy better give the short folk some respect. For some reason, this Tasselhoff commanded $113, more than double the previous example. Alustriel sold for $99, and Selune for $66, Storm Silverhand for $60.

This $285 lot of 16 11-series blisters works out to about $18 per blister, which isn't bad considering what you get for your money (remorhaz, selune, gelugon, driders, and chasme to name a few).

Molydeus - the big fella sold for $58 (assembled & painted) and for $59 (unassembled & unpainted). I would have picked the latter myself.

If buying large lots of loose minis is your kind of thing, then you probably bid on this lot of 330+ minis that sold for a mere $520. The reason I say mere in reference to the final price is because that is less than $2 per mini! Huge, huge bargain when you consider how many RP 11-series monsters are in that lot.

REAPER: Somebody pounced on this $99.99 lot, and I don't think it was for the Mage Knight and Whispering Vault minis. Rather, it was likely snapped up for the Reaper DOOM blisters of the Baron of Hell, Cacodemon, and Pain Elemental.

I love the Reaper dragons, especially at bargain-basement prices. Check out these bad boys: Marthrangul ($31), Gauth ($38), Kaladrax ($26), Diabolus ($31), Deathsleet ($21), and Cinder for $32.

STEVE JACKSON GAMES: These Ogre minis could be from a variety of sources, so I'll just list them under a generic SJG heading. I couldn't tell you if $114 for this lot is a good price for the buyer or not, but it seems good for the seller!

TSR: OK, so the Fruit Stripe Gum-looking box is rather garish, but what the hell, for $5 you could have had the TSR Paint Set.

MISC: This truly massive lot of over 1,100 minis sold for $750. If you are a reseller and you bought this, that was quite the score. And just because I like giants, here's a lot of 24 giants that sold for $153.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Body Shop - The Results

Back in September, I posted about several projects I finally decided to tackle. Well, tonight I can finally post the results of those efforts involving Greenstuff, pins, and patience.

First up is Seabiscuit the Pegasus from Superior. Instead of having to send him off to some sad end, I pinned his broken left rear leg. He just needs his wings reattached and he'll be ready to fly off into the sunset with Bellerophon.

Next up is Pinhead, a C28 giant who was missing his neck. I built up some Greenstuff around the pin, and tried to add a little bit of texture on the front using my other C28 as a guide. My texturing efforts will mostly be hidden when I glue his head on, but no worries, I was using this as a learning project - I really just wanted his head to have a place to sit properly.

And here he is with his newly-acquired head and massive bone club in hand:

The pair of Greater Gelugons with their missing right horns/antennae was a bit more challenging than the previous two jobs. Inserting pins, bending and trimming them to proper lengths and shapes, and then building them up with Greenstuff. Overall, I'm happy with the results. The one on the left looks a bit better than the other one, but the most important thing is that they have been repaired and will be sturdier than simply gluing a new horn on and dealing with the inevitable breakage at some point down the road.

Perhaps inspired by the results of my sculpting (heh), I decided to create a weapon for the other C28 giant on the workbench.

I love this guy's Darth Maul-like head, but I didn't have any weapons in the bits box to equip him with. What I did have was the head of Krusk's axe and a Reaper polearm from Weapon Pack I. I pinned the polearm to the back of the axe, and added the axe haft. Here are the results so far:

I need to bulk up the haft a little bit, and maybe add a grip of rich Corinthian leather (Vo-lar-e...) or something like that. I'm hoping the end result will be a lethal-looking battle axe with a nasty spike on the reverse side for punching through dragon scales or a paladin's +5 full plate.

If you want to see how Liquid Nails works in place of Greenstuff, check out this post by Mike over at Swords & Dorkery. Nice results from an unassuming product!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

New Painted Galleries on SoL!

Prompted by recent discussions on the Yahoo Citadel and Grenadier collecting groups regarding to paint or not to paint vintage miniatures, OrcLord has posted some new galleries of painted Citadel minis, including Judge Dredd, some oddities & rarities, and of course my personal favorite: GIANTS!!!

They are all great examples of nicely-painted vintage lead, although the giants are proving to be rather inspirational as I am actually making quite a bit of headway as I paint up a large batch of my own vintage giants for the gaming table. I hope to post pics of the completed minis later this month.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Repent! Repent! Interrogator-Chaplain Asmodai of the Dark Angels

Up until now, I have always painted my own miniatures. The thought of having someone else paint a miniature for me seemed fairly foreign. And it's not because I think I'm the Best Painter Evar or anything like that (far from it). I just enjoy seeing the fruits of my labor on the gaming table.

But blogging has changed that attitude. I've read a lot of excellent blogs out there, and have seen examples of some truly wonderful miniature works of art. So I contacted Ron Saikowski of From The Warp fame (FTW is a popular 40K blog), and asked him if he would be interested in painting up one of the characters from my long-suffering DA army. He kindly agreed, and the wheels of our deal were set in motion.

Ron was great to work with. He sent updates with WIP pics and took pains to ensure the project was heading in the right direction. The completed Asmodai can be seen here, and the WIP thread can be seen here.

I will once again thank Ron for his outstanding work. Asmodai is hands-down the best-looking miniature in my collection, and will no doubt serve as the centerpiece in my DA army for years to come. Now I just need to finish what I've started!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lead Market Report - September 2011

This is my penance for procrastinating. The August LMR was only live for a couple of days and there I was, deep into September's LMR. I REALLY need to stay current on the LMR or the beast grows another head, much like your garden-variety hydra.

ARCHIVE: A roper, umber hulk, snake, and lizard walk into a bar...and promptly get sold for $31! Gotta watch out for those Underdark lead slavers. Even more impressive was the sale of this huge Imperial Dragon for $232.50! Original box, instructions, 1978 catalog, and a complete and unassembled dragon - nice.

CITADEL: This trio of AD&D (or ADD in Citadelese) Sahuagin hit their BIN of $25. I don't know why this troll didn't top $9, but it didn't. Seems like the bigger ADD critters usually do better, like this beholder for $28 or this minotaur for $23. And $18 for this 3-mini set of female fighters seems about average for this line.

COMET MINIATURES: Battlestar Galactica! $32 for a pair of iconic ships (Colonial Viper & Cylon Raider) seems like a nice price to me, as I have never seen these before.

DARK HORSE: Turtleheads love their lead, as evidenced by this blister for a cool $60. In the small lot category, this lot of 12 minis commanded $83.

GAMESCIENCE: Why yes, I am covering a lot of first-time manufacturers this month. This lot of Star Trek ships went for $74. I had a chance to pick up a small handful of these for a buck each when American Eagles went under. Oh, hindsight, you are a cruel mistress!

GAMES WORKSHOP: The Inquisitor blisters of spare parts seem quite rare, such as this IG booster pack for $43.

GRENADIER: I'd have to go back and check, but it seems like the Grenadier AD&D Gold Line box sets have been trending upwards. Damn, and I have just recently decided to add those to my collection want list! Folks are even dropping modest amounts for incomplete sets, like this lot of 4 for $50 and this lot of 4 for $66. Considering how easy it is to Frankenstein a set, this isn't a bad way to go IMO, as long as you're getting a good deal on the lots. Of course, there are always bargains to be had as well. Giant Griffon? $14.47. Masterpiece Death Dragon? $12.50. Big-ass Shadow Dragon? $10.61. Imperial Dragon? $10.50. Special Edition Roc? $6.17 (and no, that is not a misprint!)

The Gamma World line from Grenadier continues to be HOT! How hot? How about 8 blisters to the tune of over $80 per blister? That's right, this lot of 8 brought in a tidy $656.

He-Man? He has the power! The Raid of He-Man was powerful enough to take in $33.

Even more powerful than He-Man is the power of the force. Long live Star Wars! A Snowspeeder rang up $61, and this pair of Speeder Bikes a much more modest $21.50.

Chasing the Giants Club line? $13.49 for the Sea Giant or the Titan are both excellent prices. This unboxed Fire Giant for $32 seems high (unless you are the seller), but I guess folks love 'em. I mean, this Fire Giant was a steal at 99 cents (how did I not bid on this?!?), so go figure.

Not lead, but paper! Here is a batch of vintage Grenadier Bulletins (the black & white newsletters, not the color ones) that recently sold. I love printed materials like this, as it truly represents miniature info in the pre-Internet days. Volume 1 #2 sold for $22.50, Volume 1 #3 sold for $29, Volume 1 #4 sold for $32, Volume 1 #6 sold for $35, Volume 1 #7 sold for $29, Volume 1 #8 sold for $7.50, Volume 1 #10 sold for $8.50, Volume 1 #11 sold for $8.50, Volume 1 #16 sold for $23.50, the 1982 Catalog & Bulletin combo sold for $29, and finally the 1982 Dragon! Dragon! Product Update sold for $17.

HERITAGE: A couple of big-ticket items for Heritage this month: a big honking lot of Der Kriegspielers Fantastiques (the unofficial LOTR line) that sold for $712! This lot was a mixed bag of DD, Grenadier, and a ODD white box. Any way you slice it, I feel it went way too low, even as a lot for $316. I mean, look at this next item - granted, it is still NIS, but $165 for the Adventuring Characters? Never underestimate the power of shrink, I guess.

HINCHLIFFE MODELS: Because I spend a bit of time looking for Ray Lamb sculpts (Superior Models), I inevitably come across his other work. And this beautiful samurai for Hinchliffe seems to be one of the better-known and in-demand models. This particular Taisho sold for just under $77. If you want to read some background on Frank Hinchliffe, check out this informative blog entry.

LEADING EDGE GAMES: $16.36 buys you a beat-up but complete blister of Sentry Guns. This lot of three sets was incomplete, but still went for $36.50.

OTHERWORLD: Otherworld minis are not vintage lead, but they do make some beautiful minis that look like the old-school monsters from BITD. Pig-faced orcs, anyone? This lot of 6 critters took in $52, which was a bargain compared to the full retail prices.

RACKHAM: I don't follow Confrontation minis, but this massive lot caught my eye, as well as $609 from the buyer's bank account.

RAL PARTHA: Now this first lot is not Ral Partha per se, but it was cast by RP and sold as the only official set of Finieous Fingers miniatures (Phineous Phigures in the ads, if I recall correctly). Not only is it complete with all 8 minis, but it comes with the original box and inserts! At just under $68, I call that a deal - a little more than $8 per figure + packaging works for me. If anyone out there has a spare Kask the Wizard, I need him to complete my own set (hint hint).

If I'm going to buy 11-series still in the blister, I don't mind prices like $12.28 for the Mimics. $78 for a Pit Fiend? I'm so glad I bought mine for retail back in the day. This Gelugon was only $23, but maybe that's because his spear has been modified. The bargain I passed up (but wished I had snapped up) was this lot for a mere $80. A great price considering the contents of the lot.

RP Box Sets - Takhisis is always in demand, and NISB can only add to the bottom line - $148.50. This nice & complete Menzo set went for $42. A mostly complete Bridge of Sorrows sold for $16. I've always liked the Elf Chariot, and $21 seems like a decent price. I don't see this Mastadon too often, so $32 is not what I would consider too high. This trio of The Red Dragon of Krynn, Bear Chariot of the Icelands, and the Black Prince's Chariot of Fear sold for $84. Finally, this Imperial Dragon commanded a tidy $124.

Battletech - $20.50, $25 and $25 for a NIP Rifleman is pretty much par for the course. If you are more like me, you'd probably rather spend $23 and get this pair of Warhammer and Shadow Hawk mechs. If you want a new Warhammer or a new Marauder, it's gonna set you back right around $40. For $172, you could have adopted this lot. Or for the same price, this much smaller lot. To each his own, no?

REAPER: I'm not sure why the seller settled on $47.29 as the BIN for this lot, but I know it sorely tempted me! 28 packs of Reaper's early recasts of Dungeon Dwellers is what you were buying. Even more tempting was this incredible bargain: 3 new brushes, 28 Pro Paints, 16 Master Paints, and 27 miniatures. The BIN? A paltry $65!!! I'm still kind of kicking myself for not snapping this one up. Rounding out Reaper this month is their dracolich, Kaladrax the Dire Drake for only $20.

TARGET/HEARTBREAKER: While the Mutant Chronicles games are niche games, the universe itself is quite rich and generates a loyal core of enthusiasts. And Warzone collectors are not afraid to spend, even though most of the OOP minis are quite often bargains. This massive Bio-Giant sold for a tidy $51. Or you could have picked up a Bio-Giant plus a small truckload of other minis and books, etc. for a hefty $330. Need more? This big old lot of Warzone goodness took in $405.

Thankfully, you can still obtain a good selection of Warzone minis through Prince August.

MISC: Got dice? Since there is a blister of Dungeon Dwellers dice, I could list this under the Heritage heading, but there are way too many other sets, so it falls under MISC this month. Somebody REALLY wanted these dice, to the tune of $255! Wowsers!! I hope they're good for a few well-timed critical hits...

I'm not sure what brand of minis is stamped PPC, but this large lot of Star Trek ships and characters sold for $140.49.

You can't tell from the pics if these two MPC AD&D plastic kits are complete or not, but to get both of them for $31 seems fair to me.

Probably the coolest and most unique item is this D&D table that Bill Owen and Bob Bledsaw of Judges Guild fame used to game on. If I was in or around Illinois, I would have bid on this for sure. Seems like a bargain at just under $78.

Finally, here's a grab bag lot of many different minis from various manufacturers. While I'm pretty sure I've seen larger lots (contrary to the seller's claim), it's still a neat assortment that sold for $274.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Lead Market Report - August 2011

August was a busy month! Lots of lead changing hands, with some big spenders throwing down the PayPal Benjamins, along with some steals and deals. Since I'm now officially late, let's get down to business.

CITADEL: I will continue to sing the praises of Citadel's AD&D line, and collectors seem to agree. This cuddly little Owlbear took in $45. Or you could have landed this Owlbear for $19.50. A knobby, gnarly Troll for $18, as well as this Shambling Mound. How about this trio of Mind Flayers for $28, $20, and $20? Or these for $21, $22, and $22? No one is ever going to confuse them for, say, Grenadier's version (Why is he doing The Robot??? Don't get me wrong, I love the lil guy, he's just stuck in the 80s for some reason...) These Stirges went for $27. And I really thought this Beholder would go higher than the $26 end price. What do I know? The broken eye stalks on this one for $19.50 pretty much explains the sub-$20 price IMO. On the bargain end, this Rust Monster blister went for only $12. And WTF, this Gorgon for a mere $4? I'd buy that for a dollar! Wait, that doesn't make sense...This trio of Kobolds brought in $9.50, $7.50, and $5.60, respectively. Decent prices for the little fellas.

Giants! C28 Giants! Different bodies, heads, and weapons. I love it. And someone loves this C28 Giant to the tune of $50. This one fancies himself as Hamlet, LOL!

DRAGONTOOTH: I know, I know, the listing says Ral Partha. But if this isn't Polyphemos Cyclops, I guess I don't know jack about minis. Quiet in the peanut gallery, please! $26 is a nice price, IMO.

FASA: These Star Trek II sets seem to be somewhat uncommon, but not exceptionally rare. So $21 for set 3001 (Enterprise) seems fair, as does $25 for set 3002 (Reliant). Now $50 for the USS Baker seems like the seller did well on this lot. I don't even know which movie/episode the Baker was on (if any)!

GHQ: Huh? What? GHQ - don't they make those teeny, tiny tanks and ships? Why yes, yes they do. And someone paid a whopping $2,172.99 for a veritable flotilla of 1/2400 WWII naval goodness. I suppose that's a pretty good deal, since the seller originally wanted $4,500/OBO. Congrats, buyer, you are the LMR's Big Spender of the Month!

GRENADIER: The Big Spender of the Month (Honorable Mention) award goes to the buyer of this massive lot of Gamma World minis for $1,484! That is some serious coin, my friends. On a side note, the collection came from a fellow Acaeum member, so I know it is the real deal.

Grenadier collectors seem to have pretty good luck with some of the more low-profile sets, such as this Encounter at The Ogre's Lair for the low, low price of $6.50 and this three-pack of Lost Lands sets that went for a paltry $23.50 - not bad at all for one NIB, one complete, and one mostly complete set. And this Fellowship of The Ring set sold for $27, a respectable amount for a complete set from this line. $8.88 for the big Wyvern? Check. Undead War Chariot for under $16? Done.

This Cloud Giant sold for $4, which is a price I would pay for sure. One buyer snapped up a NIB set of CoC Adventures (shouldn't that be Adventurers?) for $40, whilst another buyer picked up the same NIB set for $24. It doesn't look like you get the box with this Dragon's Lair for $14, but that's just fine if all your going to do is paint it up and use it or display it.

HERITAGE: Dammit, Jim, I'm a leadhead, not a doctor! This lot of 14 Star Trek blisters sold for $188, or something like $13.40 per blister when you do the math. Most logical, wouldn't you say?

Now for you fantasy types, this bad boy is pretty damn cool: The Great Dragon, still sealed in his lair, for $114. In better economic times, I have to imagine this one would have brought in a bit more.

What, you Dungeon Dwellers types not feeling the love? OK, how about these four boxed sets, still mint in shrink: Demons & Devils for $152! Level 6 & 7 Monsters for $126! Level 3 Monsters for $105! And Level 2 Monsters for $78! Why am I yelling?!? The contents of this $119 Caverns of Doom set look nice and minty, while the box looks a bit rough around the edges. Or you could have owned this NIB Storm Giant for $30.

LEADING EDGE GAMES: Get away from her, you bitch! This Power Loader boxed set (still minty and sealed) went for $55.

MARAUDER: I normally lump Marauder in with Citadel/GW, but they get their own entry this month, mostly on the strength of this $71 Giant listing. That's a LOT of metal to cram into a blister, no?

MINIFIGS: Sometimes, these demons go for a small mint. And sometimes you get them for pennies on the dollar, like this Type II for $2.50 and this Marilith for $3.25. I suppose the missing hand/weapon hurts a little, but three and a quarter? And perhaps the Type II looks too much like Kermit? (Image not used with author's permission.)

RAL PARTHA: I really like some of the older RP boxed sets, like The Bear Chariot of the Icelands. This example sold for $51, quite a bit higher than I usually see it go for. It doesn't represent any particular character or NPC, it's just a nicely sculpted set that would look great painted up and based on a snowscape. Same goes for this War Eagle boxed set, NIB for $31.

On the low end of pricing, this NIB Huma's Silver Dragon went for a mere $33.50. I have no idea why, considering they usually sell for around $50. If you needed Bugbears, they would have set you back $23 for a NIB set. Or you could have added the seated version of the Displacer Beast for $31 to your collection.

Another Molydeus came and went, this one for $89. Nice condition, unbuilt and unpainted. Takhisis usually commands $100+, so to see one go for $92 gives me hope I'll eventually get one. Eventually. Another dragon that hovers in the $100 range is the Imperial Dragon, like this one for $91. Nice to see the old school lead commanding strong prices. Speaking of old lead, how about this twofer: the Bronze Dragon of Pern AND the Black Prince's Chariot of Fear for a total of $77.

BattleTech remains strong, especially minis that are MIB/MOC. In particular, a selection of most-wanted Mechs such as the Marauder for $57, the Shadow Hawk for $51, the Warhammer for $31, and the Rifleman for $25.

Now this next auction isn't Ral Partha, but it is BattleTech, and it is a plastic model kit, so that's good enough for me: Rifleman & Warhammer plastic models for $24. As someone who enjoys metal miniatures AND plastic model kits, this is a really neat item IMO. Gonna have to keep my eyes peeled for these, see if I can get one for myself!

REAPER: $15.50 is one of the lower prices I've seen just about any of the DOOM minis move for, in particular the Baron of Hell. Really? Well, just check out the same Baron of Hell for almost $29. I'm just sayin'...because Mancubus sold for $26, while this Revenant cashed out at $102!!!

WEST END GAMES: I saw these two (Storm Skimmer and Speeder Bikes with BINs for $8 each, and I was very tempted to grab them for myself. I'm still debating if I should go after this line or not. Hmmm...

OK, that's a wrap for August. Thanks to my procrastinating ways, I need to turn right around and bang out the September LMR. Stay tuned for that one in the next week or two. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

King Arthur's Court in 90mm

King Arthur's Court in 90mm
There are no Connecticut Yankees in this king's court...

Here's the next installment in my Superior Models 90mm series (I kicked things off with Elfquest back in July). Pictured in the group shot above are 5 of the 6 personalities available - I am currently missing FA-32 Morgan le Fay. Please note that the names are spelled as per the Superior catalog designations, so bear with me in that regard.

King Arthur
FA-25 King ArthurFA-25 King Arthur (rear)FA-25 King Arthur (detail)

Everything about this Ray Lamb sculpt smacks of royalty, from the dragon on his helm down to the spurs on his feet. Arthur is clad in head-to-toe chainmail, has Excalibur strapped to his left side, and carries a large shield (not pictured). The shield has a beautiful relief of the Virgin Mary (I think), but the previous owner of mine seems to have filed or routed off 95% of the image. Bummer. The detail on his tunic is quite nice, including the three crowns on his chest and the border at the bottom of the tunic.

FA-30 MerlinFA-30 Merlin (rear)FA-30 Merlin (detail)

Merlin stands with his arms folded, owl perched on his shoulder, wearing robes and a pointy wizard's hat covered in mystic runes and symbols. He has a component pouch (?) on the right side of his belt, and a sheathed dagger to the left. I would call this sculpt the iconic Merlin, as opposed to Excalibur's Merlin.

FA-31 GuinevereFA-31 Guinevere (rear)FA-31 Guinevere (detail)

This lovely lady is wearing a simple dress, crown, and cross around her neck. There is a lot of fine detail on her sleeves and chest. I imagine it would look awesome to paint this as sheer fabric, so I might need to practice that technique if I ever have a go at painting her so. The delicate belt should be a challenge as well.

FA-35 LancelotFA-35 Lancelot (rear)FA-35 Lancelot (detail)

Lancelot has something of a faraway look in his eyes - the sort of look that comes from being torn between loyalty and love, I suppose. He embodies the look of a knight of the court, wearing a mix of chain and plate. The devil is in the details, of course, from the unicorn and fleur-de-lis on his tunic to the ultra-fine detail on his scabbard. I'll need to hone my NMM skills to do his armor justice.

FA-33 MordridFA-33 Mordrid (rear)FA-33 Mordrid (detail)

OK, yes, his helmet makes him look like the silly French knights from MP&THG. Other than that, I think Lamb captured the subtle sneer that one pictures etched on Mordrid/Mordred's face (including the man-child Mordred from Excalibur). I'm rather fond of the griffin/eagle on his chest, and like the fact he's armed with both a mace and a sword.

The four male miniatures all have flagstone bases, so it's not hard to imagine them in or around Camelot. All in all, they are five wonderfully sculpted miniatures, each one rich with detail yet the balance between simple and gaudy is spot on. Until next time, happy collecting!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Body Shop, Lead Dragon Style

Don't worry, Seabiscuit, we'll have you fixed in no time.

So I've been in a bit of a painting funk again. What I need to do is just sit down and paint! In the meantime, I've been cleaning and organizing the workbench, shelves, and cases in an attempt to put some order to my lead chaos. I took some pics of minis available for trade or perhaps listing on eBay. I'm working on updating my trade folder on Photobucket, so if you ever see anything there that catches your eye, please let me know.

Last night, it was time to start fixing things. I recently received the above pictured Bellerophon riding flying Pegasus by Superior Models as part of my recent Grenadier boxed set purchase. Sadly, the pegasus is suffering from a broken leg, right where the left rear leg attaches to the rock outcropping part of the base. This minis is way too nice to be left in such a sad state that I started to pin it last night. It's probably going to need a dab of Greenstuff to smooth the boo-boo, but that is pretty minor all things considered.

Next up, a Citadel C28 giant that appears to have lost his neck - he came sans head, but it looks like someone snipped off his neck:

That's Mr. Pinhead to you, bub.

I'll reconstruct his neck with some Greenstuff in short order. Speaking of pins and Greenstuff, my final project of the night has been sitting on my Shelf of Shame for a year or two now:

The only good bug is a DEAD bug!

I picked up a pair of Ral Partha 11-640 Greater Gelugons as part of a Planescape lot, but sadly, both Ice Devils were missing their right antennae. Back then, I figured I could make replacements out of Greenstuff, but they would more likely than not break off at some point down the road, as most of my fantasy minis are destined for use on the gaming table. How would I prevent that? Last night, the answer came to me. Drill a hole in their heads, insert a thin piece of rod, and use Greenstuff to build it up to proper thickness:

We come from the Island of Misfit Lead...

This pic shows the heads with pins glued into place and snipped off slightly longer than I need. Once I shape the pins to my liking, the excess pin will then be trimmed. It's like my dad always said: "Son, measure twice, cut once." The man is a veritable font of old-school wisdom.

I wish I remember exactly what blog I was reading when I saw a picture of someone using a pin and then building up Greenstuff around it to make a horn or appendage, because that's exactly where this inspiration came from. So thank you, fellow modeler!

Pics of the finished repairs should be up in the next week or so, and hopefully by then I'll have tossed aside my goldbricking ways and finished painting something as well.