Saturday, November 26, 2016

Male full frontal nudity...


The number of fully nude male figures in the miniature world are few compared to the number of fully nude female figures, but if humanoid figures are included, it raises the number significantly.

The problem with most of these humanoid figures however, is that they are sculpted with Ken doll anatomy despite being ostensibly male.

I find this akin to not supplying WWII German aircraft models with swastikas for the vertical stabilizer. Some people may find the swastika offensive, but it was part of the aircraft's markings, just as the naughty bits are part of the male anatomy.

Even the Finnish hakaristi gets the swastika treatment.

Anyway, I'm not suggesting that sculptors need to make more naked men or anything (although I have been trying to find some proxies for herd men and oasts), but I do think that sculpts should be anatomically correct.

Anyway, outside of some trolls and balrogs by Tom Meier, here are some of the other naked male humanoid miniatures that exist.


The first figure is a Bad Hairy Nude Thing from Heritage (Der Kriegspielers Fantastiques 1158), while the second is a RAFM Gibbering Howler (Monster Mash 3405).

The Heritage figure is anatomically correct, whereas the RAFM figure does not really appear to be so, though it is relatively faithful to the image of the Gibberling from the Fiend Folio, which it is supposed to represent.


The final set of images are of Minot's Miniatures Armoury Sprites from the Thane Tostig Range.

In the first picture is King Debobmik Fen (TT8), the Court Jester (TT10), two Palace Guards (TT11), and a Standard-bearer (TT13).


Due to his size and pose, I'm guessing that King Debobmik is a petulant child ruler. The second guard has a halberd that seems to be slightly different than the first (though I'm not sure if it is merely miscast).

In the next picture are a Sprite with war horn (TT14), a Sprite drummer (TT15), and three Sprites with pole-axe (TT19).


The second figure with the pole-axe may have been modified by bending the axe-head, but the third figure seems to definitely be a variant, with tassels attached to the base of the axe-head.

Next are a Sprite with glaive (TT20), a Sprite archer (TT21), a Sprite with a rock (TT22), and The Vile Wood Witch, Hangbeffor (TT30).


Hangbeffor is neither male nor completely nude, but I added her to the picture to complete out the set of miniatures that I own.

Finally are a stretching rack operator (TT23), a Torturer with whip (TT27), a Torturer with ripper tongs, (TT28), and an Brazier Attendant (TT29).


The sprites are supposed to be dwarf-like creatures in the Thane Tostig setting, but they work well as human-sized creatures in 1/72 scale.

Some of the figures are done up in an old-school gloss finish, and I'm really conflicted about whether to leave them as is, or to strip them down and completely redo the paint.

Some great info on the range can be found at the old school blog, Dear Tony Blair.


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Orcs; Take 2


The new Orc Warriors from Caesar arrived in the mail today, so I've prepared a quick review.

My set contained 35 figures in 13 poses, two of which come with separate arms. The material is less pliable than the plastic used in the older Caesar fantasy sets, but takes CA glue very well.


The orcs come in a dark forest green plastic which was very hard to photograph. I had to adjust the image levels to make the details show up better, so the pictures do not reflect the actual color of the plastic very well.




I like the sculpts because the jaw size of these orcs is more subtle compared to the previous set, making them less cartoony despite still being influenced by the Warhammer/Warcraft look.

Unfortunately the subtlety did not carry over to their feet, and the orcs seem to be wearing huge clown shoes.

The swords and macuahuitl-like weapons used by some of the orcs are over-sized, and joined to the hand by a very narrow section of plastic. It seems like they may be prone to breakage due to the thinness of the plastic, but I may be wrong.

In any event, they match up pretty well with the previous set of Caesar orcs, though they seem to be slightly taller on average.

Orc Warriors Set 1 (in gray) v. Set 2 (in green)

Another recent acquisition that I want to present in this post is a set of the revised Heritage Goblins (Dungeon Dwellers 1240).



I don't know how many years it's been that I've been looking for these miniatures, but they seem to be particularly difficult to find.

People may be more familiar with the original Heritage Goblins, which (to me) have the look of goblins from the Rankin/Bass Hobbit and Return of the King TV movies.


The original and revised versions of the goblins match up fairly well in size, but the heads of the original goblins are even bigger than those of the revised versions.


Despite their over-sized heads, I will still incorporate these figures in my orcish hordes.

Where there's a whip, there's a way!


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Cimmerians

The Cimmerians were a tribe of steppe people who (according to Herodotus), were driven from their homeland north of the Black Sea by the Scythians.

Battle between Greeks and Cimmerians shown on a sarcophagus from Clazomenae.

They migrated southward, sowing chaos in their path for a century or so, before being broken by the Assyrians and Lydians, and passing into obscurity.

Battle between Assyrians and Cimmerians shown on a bas-relief from Nimrud.

The popular perception of the Cimmerian however, comes from the fiction of Robert E. Howard, who characterized them as the descendants of Atlanteans, and the progenitors of the Gaels.


It is more in the image of these later Cimmerians that the Dark Alliance Cimmerians were made.


The figures are essentially the male equivalent of the Dark Alliance Modern Amazons, with mostly bare-chested, mighty thewed, hair metal barbarians.


The set is advertised as having 40 figures in 10 poses, but there are actually 44 figures in 11 poses. The figure on the far right in the following picture is part of the set, but not shown on the back of the box.


The figure on the far right in the following picture is the lone unmounted figure from the Mounted Cimmerians set.



He is obviously modeled after the former Governator of my state from his breakout role in Conan the Barbarian.


The second set contains figures with more of a death metal/chaos warrior look, who might fit as a modern interpretation of Homer's description of Cimmerians as "dwellers in a land of fog and darkness, at the edge of the world and the entrance of Hades".


The figure on the far right in the following picture is a bit of an oddity in that he is dressed as a berserker, but appears to be wielding a magician's staff (perhaps Dark Alliance was taking the description of berserkers as shamanic warriors too literally).



One thing that I noticed with these sets, was that there was a high percentage of particular figures that were short-shot. Three of the four figures of the spearman pose from Set 1 did not have a properly formed spear tip (I thought the figure was wielding a magician's staff at first).

All of the figures of the single-bladed axe man pose from Set 2 were missing the left horn on their helmets. I reconstructed the horn from melted sprue for the figure in the picture above.

Otherwise, I like these sets. I can see swapping parts between these figures to create Thorgrim and Rexor from the Conan movie, and even the Kurgan from Highlander.