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?
Labels: Miniatures, Monstrology