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!

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.