Recently I have started sharing my collection of unpainted miniatures online. I should clarify, when I am referring to miniatures, I am referring to the miniature figures used in Dungeons & Dragons. Being a lifelong gamer, I have accumulated a few of these over the years. When I was very young, I even tried to paint a few of them.
At the time I took it very seriously. I would sit in the bookstore where they had one book on miniature painting and I would take notes on what to do. The end result? It was something lower than amateur. I believe one of my friends might have said something like, “did your dog paint that?” Naturally I publicly laughed that off, but inside it hurt. All that time, study and investment in equipment was for nothing. No matter how hard I tried, I could never get my hand to stay steady enough. Nor could I keep my brushes and paints in good enough shape for the fine work often required.
My miniatures were put into boxes and never used after that initial wave of enthusiasm. This mean my gaming style tended to be more “imagination-based”. Rough estimates and enthusiasm making up for true tactics and precise and orderly play. It is not for everyone, but it is all I know.
Recently I started to pull my older RPG stuff out of boxes. Do you know what I found first? My miniatures. Not the painted ones, which I am sure are in some envelope or box covered with the word “SHAME” and frowny faces in red crayon, but the raw unpainted miniatures. My first thoughts were back to those initial feelings of inadequacy at my ability to paint them. But after setting them up and staring at them on my shelf for a few days, I got to say, I am happy I never painted them.
No matter how skilled I was at painting when I was 8 years old. These still would have been wrecked by the hand of an eight year old. No, my figures are pristine and untouched. Just as when they came out of the magical forge that wrought them. They will remain this way for as long as I own them. Maybe I will even take them off the shelf and try to use them in a game or two. Oh and when I find that shame box I will liberate those poorly painted figures and return them to their original unpainted glory using some elbow grease and Simple Green.
Using Simple Green to remove paint from miniatures
Back in High School there came a point when the small collection of role-players that I was part of decided to take a little break from our usual fare of Marvel Super Heroes, Torg, and Star Frontiers. Which is how we were introduced to a little game called Shadowrun by FASA.
Our group embraced the mash up of cyberpunk and corporate intrigue and in my case it allowed me to not be the Game Master for a change. I took on the role of The Judge, an enigmatic Shadowrunner, a hermetic mage that as you might have guessed from his title was once a champion of the law. I found an illustration online that will let you know how The Judge appeared in our games…minus the glowing yellow eyes seen in this illustration and instead of the bandages he wore a red scarf to cover the bottom of his face.
We had a really good group at that time…and 15 years later we would end up getting the chance to join back up and finish the ‘campaign’ we had started in High School.
I can assure you though that we never had the chance to see this 1991 Shadowrun promo entitled ‘A Night’s Work’. Flenceburg Exile who uploaded this video states: “Since FASA is – sadly – no more, and since this was rarely seen outside GenCon 1990 and the game’s press kit, I thought I’d do my part in archiving a bit of gaming history before the tapes die of bitrot.”
It might be just a little on the goofy side of things but overall they did a good job of touching on the ‘feel’ of the Shadowrun universe in my opinion. Job well done, chummers, job well done.
Our celebration of the art of this wonderful book continues. Last week we looked at the American Mythos and the Arthurian Heroes, today I would like to show you the art from the section of Babylonian Mythos.
I always fixated on this section mostly because of the swell image of Marduk battling Tiamat. That dragon has all sorts of charisma.
We did not do much roleplaying in a Babylon-themed world sadly, but I could definitely see enjoying playing a Cavalier who worshiped Marduk.
For most people who have played Dungeons & Dragons, Baba Yaga’s Hut was a powerful object of fascination. Now you might not be able to get your hands on the real version of the Hut. My Halfling thief claimed it in the late 1980s. However you can order yourself a Limited Edition Baba Yaga Hut Miniature from Easternfront Studios.
For those not familiar with the hut, it has been around in various forms since the earliest days of Dungeons & Dragons. I had my first encounter with the hut in an adventure based on The Dancing Hut. This was written by the legendary Roger Moore and published in Dragon Magazine issue #83. Here is the simpler hut I encountered.
Baba Yaga Hut from Dragon Magazine issue #83
Baba Yaga Hut stands 9 inches and is made of Resin and Lead free metal. It is a limited edition run. So they will only be making 250 of them. Each Baba Yaga Hut Miniature comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity signed by the sculptor. To really make it a show piece, a brass plaque indicating the number will be attached coordinated to the number on the certificate. Once all 250 huts have been made, the molds will be destroyed.
It ain’t cheap at $200, but this might be your only opportunity to pick up and wow all your gaming friends. So act quickly before they break those molds.