Sunday, November 11, 2007

Nasteez Dragon Turtle

I've got a couple of the Reaper Tortoise Dragons, and even an old Heritage turtle dragon...I think it is heritage...but one of the minis I'm desperate to own is the Dragon Turtle put out by Nasteez.

This, to my mind, is the perfect dragon turtle. I have seen one, my friend Matt Clark had it and it was one of the minis he refused to sell me when I bought most of his old collection...but unfortunately it is also one of the miniatures that he melted down when he started working at Reaper.

If you know of someone who has one of these and would like to part with it, please let me know. I saw this one on eBay a couple of years ago, but couldn't afford the final bid.


DoD Fire Archon

It is no secret that I really was unimpressed with the Desert of Desolation set of miniatures that WOTC recently released. I remember being heartbroken, and that isn't too strong a word, when I found out that WOTC broke its contract with Ral Partha to produce official AD&D miniatures and saw that WOTC was going in the direction of making minis that looked a lot like Warhammer minis--28mm scale, and less realism. This became the industry standard, really, and I did come to embrace the WOTC minis in the DDM plastics line...until this set which represents the new artwork for 4th Edition and DDM 2.0.

There are a few minis in the set that are worth showcasing, though. In 2E there are only 5 types of archons, but 3E and it seems 4E are expanding the archons dramatically. This mini, the Fire Archon, is a little goofy looking. I like what WOTC is doing with their clear plastics, but the Fire Archon looks more comical than menacing.

I finally realized that what made him look so stupid was the size of his weapons. Why a guy made of fire wants to use steel weapons and wear armor, I leave that to the game designers to explain. He has them, its a mini in my collection, and he has to have a place on the shelf...
I cut off the puny little scimitar blades and glued on the blades from some hefty weapons from the Reaper Warlords weapons packs and it instantly went from "meh" to nifty.

All of a sudden instead of having one figure on the shelf because I collect the set, to one i'd like to have a half dozen of or so as guards to some Elemental Wizard's dungeon or something. It was a very easy conversion and i was happy that the glue held the metal to the plastic so well. With the wide variety of weapons in the Reaper packs, I could easily have a dozen of these without repeating the weapon combination.

All that said, however, the Flame Harrower from Dreamblade is a much more dynamic pose for essentially the same monster. The armor is cooler and it makes much more sense that a fire creature would have a flamesword rather than humping around some steel blades...although, I wonder how much extra damage those red-hot steel blades do?

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

WOTC Two-Headed Troll (scratchbuilt)

I call this photo, "Proffit On The March".

For years and years I have been wanting someone, anyone, to make a decent two headed troll. There just aren't any out there. The companies that have tried...Reaper for example, made them look too much like warty ettins and gave them weapons or armor, which didn't look like a troll to me.

WOTC's new set, Desert of Desolation, has a new troll based on the 4th edtion artwork. Pretty much this new artwork and the minis from this set have broken my heart, because this is the first WOTC mini set that I honestly don't give a darn if I collect the entire set or not. I think they suck and may not buy any more DDM minis...not out of protest, but just because I'm not interested anymore in their product line. I know they are toys...but do they have to look like them?

I'll review the set later, if I can muster up that much interest, but probably the best thing about it, in my opinion, is that this new troll really worked as a basis for my own scratch-built two-headed troll. The body was big enough, with broad enough shoulders, and the head sunk low enough on the chest...and its own seperate piece...that I could pop them off and reattach with green stuff very easily.

I'm pretty much thrilled with this mini...though I have a hard time thinking that it justifies the expense of the three cases I bought in order to make it.

Here are some process pics:

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Sunday, November 04, 2007

Personalities: Banak

This is a Reaper miniature, not sure of the name or product number. I thought he was pretty close to the representation of Banak from The Bloodstone Lands. He's a bit beefed up, so perhaps he's a few levels higher than he was when Larry Elmore painted that cover.

I don't think I like very much how the beard turned out, I should maybe have gone with white rather than black so he'd look a little more goat-like.

Here is the original cover painting for reference:

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