Sunday, 24 June 2012

Yet More Old Grenadier Miniatures.

After a couple of weeks worth of carving balsa foam into dungeon architecture a change of air was needed so I took up the brushes again and dashed off a couple of older miniatures.

A recently purchased Grenadier Skeleton.

A Liche from the Raiders of the Undead boxed set.
I haven't had time to research the skeleton warrior yet, I'm sure a quick look on the old miniatures wiki will turn up his provenance, but regardless I do like him in all his bizarre finery.
The Liche I've had for some time now but couldn't find the inspiration to paint him. That was until last night when in a moment of drunken inspiration I decided to depict him materialising out of the ground.
Despite of or because of my state of inebriation he's turned out alright although the colour scheme wouldn't look amiss on a ghoulish christmas decoration.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Nearing the End of a Long Road.

After some quite long sessions at the workbench of doom I finally have something concrete achieved with regard to the retro dungeon terrain product. After what proved to be a very productive meeting with a prospective mould-maker & caster I've progressed nicely toward producing masters for the Torchlight compatible (yet different) line of dungeon scenery.

Your basic corridor requirements.

A little more ambitious, a Y shaped intersection & 60 degree bend.

A four by four room & two part set of stairs. The original Torchlight piece serves as a comparison. 

Stairs in more detail.
There are are doors and floor tiles to complete before I'm truly finished but another few evenings work should see that done and then its off to the mould maker. Initially I'll get a few of each cast up for personal use but after that I'll produce some for sale, I haven't decided how to package them yet but probably in fixed sets of a dozen pieces or so themed around rooms, corridors etc. That however is still in the future but in the meantime I'm quietly pleased with how things are turning out.
Oh yes scale is 25-28mm as ably demonstrated by a Grenadier skeleton.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Ral Partha Skeletons.

Had a little R & R from the dungeon project last night and painted a group of three recently sourced Ral Partha Skeletons. These are 1986 vintage and a little smaller than Grenadier's offerings, however their slender remains suggest an Elvish build so perhaps another deceased party to inhabit the retro dungeon.

On the subject of retro dungeons my discussions with potential mould maker & caster earlier this week proved very fruitful. A very small negative was that I will have to re-make my wall sections in balsa foam because blue styrene is apparently a little unstable under vacuum conditions, but as alluded to previously this was half expected. The big plus was that the set-up costs are likely to be very reasonable  making the project viable for my own use even if it is not a commercial success. The next stage is to think through how best to package and market the pieces to make them attractive to the old school RPG market.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Wizards of the Coast Ranger. Also more Dungeon Progress.

The fact that Wizards of the Coast produced miniatures for D&D is one that had until recently eluded me. That they were produced around the turn of the millennium is the reason and not surprising given that my roleplaying had been entirely supplanted by historical wargaming at that point in time.
It was happy coincidence that led me a couple of weeks back to purchase the miniature below and discover the excellent D&D Lead website the same day.

The D&DLead website has a fairly comprehensive set of photographs of WoTC miniatures and this does seem to be one of the better sculpts available, the others vary from a few of similar quality down to the downright mediocre. The only real problem with this one is the ridiculously large arrow head which will be modified asap. Despite the fact She's not genuinely old school She'll still find employ as either a ranger or thief for the retro dungeon party.

I've also continued to fiddle around with masters for the Torchlight resin dungeon clone, this time a short corridor section with apertures in the wall for darts, gas etc.

Sunday, 3 June 2012

First Retro Clone Corridor.

The appalling weather here in the Welsh Marches has given me time to make progress on the Torchlight Clone project.
First section off The Workbench of Doom, the ubiquitous 2x2" corridor.

I'm not going too mad this early in the project, I have yet to speak to my prospective mould maker and may have to modify my building materials yet. I have no idea how blue styrene behaves under vacuum conditions so I may yet have to break out the balsa foam instead.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Torchlight Fantasy Products. My Take.

As alluded to in my last post I was almost tempted down the dark path of re-casting some of the old Torchlight stuff I have in my possession, however not being one to do anything easy when a more complicated and difficult solution is available I have decided to start from scratch and make my own version of Torchlight dungeons based on the dimensions of the originals so they can be used together.
This is the first trial piece:

Lined up against a Torchlight corridor:

I decided to opt for a different style of masonry for my walls a) because its much easier & quicker to mark out proper courses of stonework and b) there needs to be some difference in style to contrast the two otherwise I might as well just re-cast after all.

The only gripe I have with slavishly following the original style is ending up with the attendant compromises on corridor width. A ten foot wide corridor is not ten feet wide because the thickness of the walls encroaches each side. Even more modern systems like Dwarven Forge have this feature so there may be a perfectly sound reason for it. Even so I'm going to add to an earlier set of prototypes I started to test this out.

Hopefully I'll have time this weekend to do some experimenting, then to go and see a chap I know with vacuum pots about the possibilities of making me some moulds which I'm hoping won't cause too much  pain in the wallet department.