Friday, March 18, 2022

Boggles and other Wizkids miniatures

This post will show some recent miniatures that I bought, and consists of various non-related things that I found interesting.

The first groups of figures are Boggles. D&D Boggles take their name from the folkloric bogle. They made their first appearance in AD&D Module A2 – Secret of the Slavers Stockade.


The two painted Boggles are from the Icons of the Realm line (Fangs & Talons #05, Wild Beyond the Witchlight #06), while the unpainted figures are from the Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures line.


The figures are based on the 5th edition depiction of the creatures, with enormous heads, and scale out almost exactly to their stated 3' height in 1/72.

The next figures are the Brigganock Miner (Wild Beyond the Witchlight #01), Ija, Human Summoner (Advanced Iconic Heroes 20F8), and a Sewer Ooze (Bestiary Unleashed #23).


The Brigganock comes from the Icons of the Realm line, and remind me of Kobolds from World of Warcraft (except for being lime green).


I was more interested in the Soul Light that is part of the figure, which I will use as a standalone hitodama miniature.


Ija is a Pathfinder miniature representing one of their so-called iconic characters from the Mwangi Expanse. She is the perfect size to use alongside 1/72 scale figures, but I don't know why her right arm was sculpted so short. In any event, I went and lengthened her arm with a metal staple, and Kneadatite.


I don't have too much to say about the Sewer Ooze other than the fact that I got it because it reminded me of the riding beasts from Ralph Bakshi's Wizards.


The next miniature is an Icons of the Realm Amber Monolith (Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft #28).


I'm not sure if an Amber Monolith is the same as the Amber Sarcophagus also mentioned in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft, but it is described as the vestige of some powerful dead entity that is trapped in a gigantic block of amber.

The final miniature is an Icons of the Realm Zombie Clot (Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft #27). Not much information is given about the creature, and it is merely described as being formed by "crushing an entire horde into a single, rotting titan".


When I first saw this figure, I thought of the Brian McNaughton story The Return of the Colossus from the anthology The Averoigne Legacy (which I read not too long ago).


However upon re-reading the original Clark Ashton Smith story The Colossus of Ylourgne, I realized that the McNaughton version of the Colossus was quite different from the one described by Smith.

In the McNaughton story, the Colossus is made up of fused cadavers, while in the Smith story, the flesh of the cadavers was rendered down, before being used to construct a giant zombie (something that somehow slipped my mind despite being shown on the cover of one of my favorite D&D modules).


In any event, the Zombie Clot (despite its massive size) is too small to represent the Colossus, and in hindsight is more like The Rotten from Dark Souls II.



Sunday, January 30, 2022

Froghemoth

The froghemoth’s 18‘ long, 10’ wide body is yellow-orange on the belly, shading to a medium green on its back and thick, bowed rear legs. From its shoulder area sprout four tentacles, two from each shoulder, which are green on top and yellowish underneath. The creature’s nostrils are stalk-like, and its three eyes are housed on a retractable protruding appendage which is withdrawn when danger threatens the optics. The froghemoth will often submerge its body several feet beneath the water, trail its tentacles ashore, and watch with its eye appendage at water level - this, along with the nostril stalks, appears to be a plant growth of some sort.

The frog-thing is also able to capture prey with its long, barbed tongue. This member can be flicked out to a distance of 10’. Unless the creature caught by the tongue is able to hold fast to something quickly - such as a tree, rope, etc. — it will be drawn that very round to the froghemoth’s gaping jaws and torn to shreds. It will swallow prey whole on a “to hit” roll of 19 or 20.


The froghemoth made it's first appearance in AD&D Module S3 – Expedition to the Barrier Peaks, and was fittingly illustrated by Erol Otus.


I don't know if anyone has ever commented on how the froghemoth resembles the monster on the cover of Planet Comics 42, but somehow I don't think it's a coincidence.

Planet Comics, May 1946

The tadhemoth is described in the AD&D Monster Manual II as the juvenile form of the froghemoth, and it is possible there are other growth stages of the monster if these models created by David S. Sutherland are any indication of things.

The creature has been updated in the latest edition of D&D, but there is only cursory information about the life cycle for this new version.

5th Edition Froghemoth

The first froghemoth miniature that I bought was the pre-painted Froghemoth from the DDM Icons of the Realms line (Dungeon of the Mad Mage #25).


The model was much larger than I expected, measuring almost 90mm tall to the top of the eyes. It does not have the nostril stalks from the original description, and looks a bit like the 5th edition version of the monster. As such, I would have liked it better if it was sculpted standing upright like in the artwork.

An unpainted version of this model is available from Nolzur's Marvelous Miniatures, but seems to cost twice as much as the painted version. Some larger models from Reaper and Pacesetter Games & Simulations are also available, but they're not particularly useful for 1/72 scale gaming.

The most faithful rendition of the froghemoth in my opinion, is the resin model from Gale Force 9.


I was originally hesitant about buying the model because of the price, but I changed my mind because the DDM model was so underwhelming.

The kit is cast in light gray resin, and consists of 12 parts.


The model goes together fairly easily, but there is definitely work to be done with respect to cleaning mold lines and filling seams. In addition, the two lower tentacles do not align well with the base, and will need to be adjusted using heat to get the ends to line up.


The GF9 model measures 70mm to the top of the eyes, and is fairly close to the dimensions of the froghemoth in 1/72 scale.


A comparison of the two froghemoths.



For some 360º views of the models, visit 72chan. If you like the content, I would be very grateful if you like the video and subscribe to the channel.


Monday, December 20, 2021

Speira Miniatures


I placed an order with Speira Miniatures back in April, and received the models from Sweden in July, after a lengthy stop in Illinois.

Speira has a nice range of in-house historical miniatures, but their range of fantasy miniatures all seem to be 3D files licensed from other companies. I will cover some of their historical figures in the future, but this post will primarily be about the fantasy miniatures.

The first two figures are a pair of skeletons designed by Runeforge Studios.


Like most 3D resin printed skeletons I've seen, these do not disappoint. I really think that resin 3D printing technology is ideal for making skeletons.

The next figure is a dwarf (Roteante) designed by MiniaturesOfMaddness. I requested that it be printed as an 18mm figure because I imagined it would be on the tall and bulky side in 1/72 after seeing examples posted by Sceavus.


Unfortunately, the 18mm print looks undersized to me. Rotenante looks scrawny and underfed next to the 15mm Scibor dwarf (left), and is much smaller than the Caesar dwarf (right).


Next are three female figures – Elena, Aline the Bold, and a Female Warrior, all designed by Artisan Guild. I have to admit that I'm not a big fan of the Artisan Guild models. Overall, their models seem to be influenced by a kind of WoW video game aesthetic that is too cartoony for my tastes.


With respect to these figures, the proportions seem off, and the first two poses are overly exaggerated. Still, I'm guessing they'll look okay after being painted up.

The final miniatures are lamassu terrain pieces, which I believe are in-house 3D designs by Speira.

The bull-type lamassu measures 54mm to the highest point.


The lion-type lamassu measures 60mm to the highest point.


I ordered the lamassu statues because they brought back faded memories from the 90s, of a fantasy diorama that I saw at the now closed Aero Hobbies in Santa Monica.


Notables from the D&D world associated with Aero Hobbies included the owner, Gary Switzer, and the renowned J. Eric Holmes who bought his first D&D rulebooks there. Of course, by the time I visited the store, the kid at the register didn't even know what Demogorgon was.

Now that I think about it, I probably should have ordered the 28mm prints, because I seem to recall that the pieces at Aero Hobbies were larger than these 1/72 prints (but it could just be my imagination). In any event, having something closer to the scale of the lamassu that are part of the Gate of All Nations would look quite impressive.