Sunday, 22 January 2012

Two takes on the Humble Gnoll.

I always liked Gnolls in D&D, more often than not they were my go to humanoid monster of choice when one was required. It wasn't as if I had anything against goblins and orcs but my teenage mind had them pigeonholed firmly in Middle Earth where they more formidable foes than their puny one hit dice TSR incarnation.
Frankly this did not fire my young imagination.
Bipedal hyaena headed dogmen on the other hand just leapt off the page; just imagine those reeking, brindle furred monstrosities pursuing low level characters through the tunnels of some murky undercroft. Fantastic!
It was fortunate then for me that the powers that be at Citadel miniatures were kind enough to produce a pack of these two legged hounds as part of their AD&D Miniatures range. Back then I did a rather horrible job of painting them so I recently stripped them back to bare metal and started again. I discarded the old, rather horrible plastic shields and replaced them with items sourced from the spares box; the fancy number in green comes from a GW wood elf hero and the round,rusty one is actually part of a plastic AFV kit that came to hand.
Overall these miniatures have stood the test of time well, the poses are a little static and the weapons are of the usual ridiculous proportions that seem de rigeur for fantasy miniatures even now, but other than that I like them.
As a comparison here are a pair of Ral Partha AD&D Gnoll Raiders that I picked up online recently:

These are more or less contemporary with the Citadel offerings- perhaps a couple of years later but demonstrate just how good that particular range of Ral Partha miniatures actually was, little wonder they can go for such high prices on Ebay.
Heres a comparison shot of the two versions:
This shows the differences in sculpting styles quite well, though they do match up quite well certainly well enough to mix the two together on the tabletop.

Post script. Just won another blister of the Ral Partha Gnolls on Ebay, £9.50 plus P&P for three which compares favourably with the Otherworld Miniatures Gnolls at £11.00 for three that I was contemplating buying last night.


  1. Starkly difference styles for sure but am a fan of both. Great paintjobs. I've got the Ral Partha ones on deck in preparation for attempting the Keep on the Borderlands. The box set are great latter-day Ral Partha figs (90s I think, and not my favorite RP era generally). Here's a test fig of the scheme I'm thinking: He's from the blister back but I've got a mix of blister and box set.

  2. hi!

    good job on the minis :)

    going for a long shot, how tall are the ral partha gnolls? Building a warband for Frostgrave and Dragon Rampant. I'm pretty sure that the gnolls match in scale with the new ones done by Northstar.



    1. Thanks Philippe, The Gal Partha gnolls are 38mm from soles of feet to top of head. Sounds like an interesting project, I will keep an eye on it. Regards HGA.