Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum

Giants are found in allegory, fairytales, and mythology. Their size can range from being in the upper ranges of human height, to being over 100 feet tall. In most portrayals from these sources, giants are big dumb brutes that are easily defeated by their smaller, more clever opponents.

In fantasy RPGs, giants came into prominence with the G series of modules for AD&D. They were fearsome in combat, and not to be trifled with. This series probably ranks high in most "top 10 lists of best modules ever".

I think the most terrifying depiction of giants I've come across is from the manga Shingeki no Kyojin (進撃の巨人). This manga was recently released in the US by Kodansha as Attack on Titan. Despite the awkward English title, I was completely engrossed by the series. In a nutshell, it's similar to a zombie apocalypse story, except the "zombies" are 3 meters tall to over 50 meters tall. More themes (and spoilers) can be found at tvtropes.

I read about six volumes in a single night, staying up into the wee hours, and it really made me want to run a grittier version of the G series modules.

To do so of course would require a lot of giants. Luckily, almost every manufacturer has probably made at least one giant. Below are some of the ones in my collection.

The largest giants I have come from the Heroscape game. They are Shurrak (Warriors of Eberron expansion), and a Jotun (Raknar's Vision expansion). Shurrak is also available from the D&D CMG as a Fire Giant Raider (except ususally at four or five times the cost of the Heroscape figure).

I really like the pose of the Fire Giant, because it is obvious that he is attacking a smaller opponent. The Jotun is also particularly nice for a CMG miniature. Unfortunately both of the figures have bent swords which will need to be straightened out.

The D&D CMG has a large number of giants, but I only have two figures. The first one is a Mountain Troll (War of the Dragon Queen #50). It's not really a giant, but I'd argue it's not really a troll either. The second figures is a Stone Giant (Lords of Madness #47). It's a decent figure, but I'm not entirely sold on the stone-like appearance of its skin.

The Dreamblade CMG gives us the Ogrol Ragelord (Baxar's War #57), which I think would make a good proxy for a Fomorian Giant. The axe is bent on this figure, and will need to be straightened out.

My metal giants are smaller than the CMG giants for the most part, as they are all older figures. I'm sure that there are many modern metal figures that rival the CMG giants in size, but I do not own any of them. I've arranged the giants so that they are grouped roughly by size and proportions.

My largest metal giants are both by Grenadier. On the left is a Storm Giant (Fantasy Lords 114), while on the right is the Chaos Giant (Dragon Lords 3506)

Next is a Frost Giant from the Heroes and Horrors line (Ral Partha 01-042). It is bent at the waist to menace a smaller victim, but unfortunately it makes the figure very prone to topple over.

Somewhat smaller, is a WoTC Fire Giant (WOC40022). Its crouching position makes it seem rather small, but the miniature is actually pretty hefty. On the right is Splintered Light Miniatures Mountain Giant (GIAN06). This giant was formerly a Hill Giant produced by Metal Magic.

On the left is a Frost Giant from the Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night line (Ral Partha 01-057). On the right is a Cloud Giant (Ral Partha 31-028). I think that this particular miniature was actually released by Citadel, but I'm not sure what line or code it was released under.

A pair of Grenadier Frost Giants (Dragon Lords 3503), and a Fire Giant (Grenadier 713) sculpted by Julie Guthrie. It looks like it was inspired by Trampier's illustration from the AD&D Monster Manual.

Three Grenadier figures. A Frost Giant (Fantasy Lords 103), Cloud Giant (Fantasy Lords 063), and a Battle Troll (Fantasy Lords 062). The Cloud Giant is cradling a pet lion in the crook of his arm, which I find rather amusing.

A pair of Grenadier figures. An Armored Ogre Giant (Fantasy Lords 174), and an Armored Norse Giant (Fantasy Lords 175). The Norse Giant is supposed to be holding an axe in his left hand, but it broke off.

A Heritage Hill Giant (Dungeon Dwellers 1299), and two Ral Partha giants — a Firbolg (AD&D Monsters 11-419) and a Fire Giant (AD&D Monsters 11-407).

A Giant Half-Troll Champion (Ral Partha 31-012) which actually may be a Citadel release, and a Citadel Stone Giant (C28) which was also released by Ral Partha as a Troll Giant.

Three figures from the Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night line. Two Hill Giants (Ral Partha 01-052 and 01-121), and a Storm Giant (Ral Partha 01-090).

Not giants, but I will be using them as such. These are a pair of Reaper Ogres. On the left is Garnuk (Dark Heaven Legends 02288), while on the right is Orankar (Dark Heaven Legends 02537).

A pair of Ral Partha figures — a Stone Giant (AD&D Monsters 11-403) and a Half Giant Warrior (AD&D Dark Sun 11-714). The Stone Giant should be carrying a stone axe in his hand, but it got lost. The Half Giant should be holding a club in his right hand, but it broke off. On the far right is a Grenadier Troll (Fantasy Lords 069). The receding hairline and visor always makes me think it looks like Hulk Hogan.

The smallest giants I have are a Grenadier Hill Giant (Fantasy Lords 119), the Fire Giant from the Personalities and Things that go Bump in the Night line (Ral Partha 01-059), a Heritage Frost Giant (Fantasy 1306B), and a Citadel Hill Giant (Fiend Factory FF15-1). The Heritage giant is particularly small, and is not much larger than a modern 28mm figure.

To round out this post, I've included some Ettins. The word "ettin" is derived from "jötunn", which is translated from Norse (or Icelandic) as "giant", making their inclusion quite appropriate. The popular depiction of Ettins as two-headed giants comes from The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis by way of the AD&D Monster Manual.

The first two figures are Two-Headed Ogres; one from the All Things Dark and Dangerous line (Ral Partha 02-907), the other from the Children of the Night line (Ral Partha 13-031). The last figure is an actual Ettin (AD&D Monsters 11-410), also made by Ral Partha.


John said...


Your site in general has been instrumental in giving me ideas to add fantasy figures to my Lord of the Rings project. Thank you for that. In addition, have another Leibster!


kiltedyaksman said...

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