Monday, 31 December 2012

A LATE (OR VERY EARLY) CHRISTMAS PRESENT

A couple of weeks ago I bought , via ebay, a batch of figures I used to have back in the very early 1980's, Grenadiers Tomb of Spells boxed set. These were the first official Dungeons and Dragons figures I had heard of then (not realising Minifigs and Heritage had both produced Dungeon ranges) and I was very excited to read in White Dwarf that they were about to be released. On my twelfth or thirteenth birthday I duly recieved the set from my folks, and it has to be said I was profoundly disappointed with the figures. To my young eyes they were static poses, fuzzy detail and really bizarre armour on the skeletons. I suppose I kept them for a while, but then had a great clear out of fantasy figures (to my everlasting regret) in the late 1980's in which they must have gone to some Bring and Buy stall at a convention.

Looking at the early Grenadier figures now, with rheumy bespectacled eyes, I think they are absolutely  charming. They were certainly behind their time when compared to some of the figures Citadel were producing at the time and more so Ral Partha's finely detailed sculpts from Tom Meier but they simply ooze character, and I am planning on collecting all the early boxed sets.

The figures duly arrived this morning from The States courtesy of Silverhawk Miniatures, who provided excellent friendly service. Apparently there were 3 versions of this set released with a few variations, and it seems I had the rarest as a youth (not that I knew it then) which contained a rather nice Minotaur. Greg at Silverhawk kindly provided all the basic figures contained in all the sets, and also some of the variants, including the particular Efreet I had originally with folded arms. I had already purchased the Djinn elsewhere (which has yet to arrive) and am still seeking the Minotaur, but I am really looking forward to painting these up, although I will be pushed to match the standard displayed on Belched from The Depths blogspot.
http://belchedfromthedepths.blogspot.co.uk/


From top left, Nighthag, Lamia, Mind Flayer, Necromancer, Larvae, Efreet, Skrieker, Skeletons 1-5, Skeleton archer and casualty, Skeleton transfixed by spear, Wight, Lich, Giant Spider, Dragon, Cockatrice, Ettin and Wraith.

Happy New Year!!

7 comments:

  1. I've been re-collecting a lot of those old lost Grenadier D&D figures lately, too. I have to laugh at myself a little for doing it. Compared to most anything made today, they are sort of lumpen, unlovely and primitive looking things. It's the nostalgia that gets me, I think. I have so many memories of kid wonder and fun locked up in them that I still love them. My wife got me this set for Christmas a couple of years ago, but some of the figures in my set are different...I have the Umber Hulk instead of the Cockatrice, etc.
    The Grenadier AD&D line by Andrew Chernak was very nice. I only had a few of them but they were the first metal fantasy minis I ever owned and I still love them. I've been trying to collect the whole range a few at a time.

    I'm toying with the idea of trying to come up with some kind of Dungeon Crawl AD&D mini game to give me something to do with all these minis...

    Silverhawk is a good little outfit. I've ordered from them several times.

    The Belcher from the Depths is amazing, isn't he? I've tried to get some of the old grenadier adventurers to look even respectable beside what he accomplishes with them and I can't get anywhere near him. They have to keep going back into the solvent tank. Try, try again.

    Happy collecting!

    PS: Thanks for introducing me to the The Pentateuch of the Cosmogony song. It's a great piece to put on while painting!

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    1. Hey Mouse, glad you like Greenslade, I always fancied doing a model of the green wizard with 4 arms they use on other albums. Main thing is to get the figures painted, not panic if they don't look exactly how you imagined...someone else will love the paintjob.

      Yes my original set had the umberhulk with the 2 separate nippers? I had forgotten about him
      cheers
      Mike

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  2. Give you joy of your rather splendid figures sir!
    best wishes
    Alan

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    1. How does one get the reply thingie on your blog?All I ge tis the delete thingie...
      cheers
      Alan

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    2. Hi Alan, hmmm, last time I looked the reply option wasn't there, now it is! Must come and go like Wells' Magic Toyshop.

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  3. Rather before my time, but I like 'em. I find the recent revival of interest in very old lead very educational (and I guess 'Belched...' is leading the charge,as it were). Can't wait to see some of these venerable pieces with paint on 'em!

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    1. Yes, I am looking forward to getting stuck in. I became a bit disheartened painting a Fiend Factory Minotaur, but eventually decided it was the figure not me, so have just got stuck in to 2 Grenadier barbarians (to use as DandD beserkers).

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