Thursday, March 09, 2006

War Drums on the Doorstep

Well, my three cases of Wardrums arrived the other day. I was pretty excited when the first case yielded nearly an entire complete set...only 11 figs short. By the time the last booster was opened I had a complete set except for an Aspect of Hextor.


Anyway, the first box of suprlus minis from this set along with the final stragglers from my other sets is now up for auction on eBay, so get 'em while they're hot.

I'd been reading such negative reviews of War Drums on the WOTC message boards that I have to say my expectations had slipped very low...but I should have known better. People who think these minis aren't as good as past sets are just whiners who let their drooling expectations from looking at the WOTC master versions in the previews carry them away from any sense of reality.

I think this is a really nice set, easily equal to Underdark and in many ways full of far more useful figs. Even the Flameskull is kind of cool. I wish I'd gotten a few more of them so that I could repaint them in a variety of colors.

I think Obould Many-Arrows should have been an Epic, but only if he is wearing his enchanted armor. Why stick Obould in there if he can't go toe to toe with Drizzt like he did in the new book? Why make him as easy to kill as he was in Neverwinter Nights? But a minor complaint, since I don't actually use the cards or the stats from Version 3.5....I'm an AD&D 2nd Ed. Holdout and proud of it!

I really haven't got many complaints at all about this set, except of course that I didn't get an Aspect of Hextor yet. I love having an Aspect of Moradin. The Sand Giant seems a little dorky, but it is good to have a good giant. I love the Shieldwall Soldiers. I'm not into Ebberron, so I'm not crazy about all the new Warforged figs, but I've got a story line that will make them make sense in my world...I've got a cleric of Gond in my party.

Duergar in my world don't get large, like a spriggan, so I'm going to make up a Duergar god and make the Large Duergar that mini. The Frost Dwarf is an interesting idea...not sure it is a useful idea, but interesting.

I really like the little descriptive passage at the bottom of each card, something like this is the biggest thing that has been missing from making the cards at all useful to me in converting these guys to my world mechanics...but I've finally started picking up the 3rd edition monster manuals so that I can more easily do those conversions. I'm only buying them from ebay though, and only if I can get them for under $12, because I'm not paying full retail for books in a game system I'm not using.

Since I'm planning to run Against The Giants soon, I've been stocking up on giant minis...and the Hill Giant Barbarian and Chieftain in this set are really cool. I can easily paint the loincloth of the barbarian different colors to run more than one of them in a session.

I forget the name of the giant aligator monster...something Egyptian sounding. I'll be using him as the god of the Lizardmen and troglodytes.

That's all I can think of off the top of my head, except that the whiners on WOTC message boards should get over it already and if they don't like the paint jobs the chinese wage slaves are putting on their minis, they should either only buy American made minis (like from REAPER), or maybe buy themselves a brush and some paints of their very own and redo them how they think they should be done.

My friend Matt sent me up a bunch of new minis from REAPER, mostly their Egyptian themed sets. I have to say it again, REAPER is the best mini company out there, and everyone should be buying REAPER figs. The WOTC minis are nice filler and a good way to get officially liscensed monsters, but for real quality metal, make mine Reaper.

Oh, and they also sell good paints and brushes.

So there.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Nabassu, Pazuzu and Nalfeshnee, just another Demonic Sunday!

Ok, as promised, here is the Nabassu demon that I cobbled together from some Reaper parts and green stuff.

I'm pretty pleased with it. The main body is a Reaper mini called an Attercop, which is their version of the Ettercap. It really fit the look of the old TSR artwork for the Nabassu, except that the ettercap is fat with a big butt instead of bony with protruding hips...still, the three fingered talons and legs were just about perfect for what I was trying to re-create.

For the head I used one of the Reven heads. This image calls them orcs, I'm not sure if Reven are orcs or what, as I've not yet had the time to really explore Reaper's Warlord materials. They're pretty cool, though. Anyway, the head had the right kind of evil eyes and tusks for a Nabassu and after adding a thick mane of green stuff it was very easy to attach the head. The green stuff also helped to attach the large feathery wings, which again came from a Warlord mini, but I don't remember which one. An angelic paladin of some sort.

I thought about using black primer, but went with white instead so that the white hair of the beastie would be more brilliant. I think it turned out pretty well.

As you know, I've been on an obsessive quest to try to get figures to replicate the artwork from the old TSR manuals, especially the demons and devils.

One of the demonic lords is Pazuzu, and while the Reaper miniature for "Pazzuzu" isn't exactly like it, it is close enough for jazz. The TSR description has Pazuzu with four feathered wings, but I like the way this one looks, so I've changed the description in my own Monstrous Manual. There was no scratch building on this one, but I do like the paint job. I'm a long way from being anywhere near as good as the expert painters around, but I'm making some progress and all I really want are painted minis to play with, not to compete with.

Lastly, the Nalfeshnee. I've had this mini for over ten years, and I bought it painted from a much older guy I worked with in Iowa City, who had a lot of minis in his basement he was willing to sell. I got it dead cheap, but I have never seen another one and have no idea who made it.

Other than the Reaper "Boar Demon", this is the only nalfeshnee miniature I've ever seen. The Reaper mini is much more detailed and demony, but this figure is a nearly spot on perfect rendering in lead of the artwork from the TSR Monster Manual (except for the bat wings instead of feathered wings), and thus, one of the brightest jewels in my collection.

Anybody know who made this? Leave me a comment.

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Beat the War Drums--WOTC figs left to buy from old sets...

With the new line of WOTC D&D Miniatures coming this month (my three cases will arrive on my doorstep Tuesday, if UPS can be believed) I'm expecting another price hike for the discontinued minis from the old lines.

These are what I have left to obtain at least one figure of from the old ones:

(I have them all!)

2 Dwarven Defender LG 55 R
39 Urthok the Vicious LE 34 U
56 Ogre Ravager CE 38 R

5 Large Silver Dragon LG 122 R
7 Paladin of Torm LG 51 R
25 Clay Golem CG/CE 56 R
28 Aspect of Bane LE 106 R
34 Gauth LE 39 R
46 Aspect of Lolth CE 75 R
58 Vrock CE 79 R
59 Young Minotaur CE 13 U

36 Lord Soth LE 98 R
41 Blue Slaad CE 50 R
44 Drider Sorcerer CE 30 R
50 Gnoll Sergeant CE 33 U

(I have them all, but could use 6 more Ice Trolls!)

18 Goliath Barbarian 31 CG R
19 Greenfang Druid 50 CG R
20 Griffon 28 CG R

06 Mounted Paladin 96 LG
08 Stone Giant 81 LG
09 Sword Archon 82 LG
14 Archmage 98 CG

01 Battle Plate Marshal 43 LG 12
25 Iron Golem 61 LG/LE 10
26 Justicator 48 LG/LE 10
43 Death Slaad 53 CE 10
46 Drow Arachnomancer 52 CE 9

Not too shabby.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Something New for finding Something Old

I've been very busy with my instruction at the Wizard's School for Girls, and haven't been able to make any posts for a long time. Haven't been able to monitor much progress by the Severed Head Company either.

But I wanted to let people know that I've found a wonderful eBay store for vintage figures: Vintage Miniatures Ok, it might not be the most inventive name, but it is accurate and the guy is very friendly. Do visit, but DON'T bid against me on the Dragon Turtle. I mean it, unless you want me to polymorph you into one.

Yesterday was the release date for War Drums. I don't know about you, but I look to miniatures previews to see miniatures, and was a little ticked that two of the previews showed maps and the covers of new rules. Those aren't previews. Dang it. Anyway, eagerly awaiting my three cases. As soon as I have all the figures I need for my world sorted out from them, I'll start putting them up on eBay as Big Fig Packs, which I think are a lot better than buying all those individually.

I've got my last Big Fig pack up for auction right now featuring what was left of my figs from previous sets. There are 19 watchers and bidding is up above $40 right now with only a few days to go.

And, my friend Matt Clark over at REAPER, called me last night and was telling me I was getting another nice box of figs. Maybe if I get a little more time I'll start doing some individual fig reviews here, but having more time is about as likely as having more money and we all know how likely that is. I checked out what was new at the REAPER site and Matt was right, there are some amazing new figs coming out. Don't just check the Asylum, check the Greens link and look at the mermaid. Awesome.

Ok, this weekend I will post pictures and a description of my scratch built Nabassu demon. I'm very pleased with it.