Saturday, July 24, 2010

Ancient Miniatures

A blogging buddy of mine, Kevin Hearne (whom you should all be visiting regularly -- he has at least three urban fantasy novels coming out!), posted some shots of painted miniature Dwarves. When I commented that I once tried painting Dwarves, he asked me to post about it and put up some pics.

Wow. These poor figures have been banged around through around thirty moves, back and forth all over the world, and I haven't looked at them for nearly 30 years! They are lucky to have survived at all. They are dusty and dirty, their paint is faded and sometimes missing altogether. They are pretty sad! However, I used to love them so much.

Please note that I was very poor back then, and I had only a tiny set of cheap paints. I couldn't work the magic that some miniature painters do.

Kevin wanted Dwarves, so here are a couple shots of what has survived (at least somewhat).
Pretty sad, huh? Dingy and worn. I don't even own any paint and brushes now to redo them. They do remind of my Dungeons & Dragons days, which is what led me to writing eventually.

Since I found these, I might as well post a few other shots. Here is one of Thor.

He survived a tad better since I had him wrapped up in tissue!

Now a couple of shots of some Napoleonic Age miniatures I did. Sorry I can't get all the dust off of them.

My sons were awed when I pulled this ancient stuff out. They didn't care how bad they looked!


  1. Magnificent, Ted! I dig 'em! The helmet design on that one on the right is interesting, never seen one like it before. Bet your boys love 'em too!

    Thanks also for the shout-out! (Oh, and because I wouldn't want anyone to be disappointed, dwarfs are only mentioned in passing in book three; the series actually features the adventures of a 2,100-year old Druid.) Mostly I paint miniature dwarfs because the concept tickles me and I'm going to be pitting them against my friend's orcs in a tabletop game. Did you ever play your Napoleonic dudes in a RPG of some sort? When I saw them I was thinking they'd be sweet in some kind of a Temeraire game. (Because Napoleon + dragons = awesome) Naomi Novik should get right on that. :)

  2. I always wanted to get involved with a Napoleonic group that was playing at a local shop, but it meant getting an entire army and painting it. I never had the money to do it, and I don't know if I had the patience to paint an entire army either.

  3. Yeah I don't think I could paint that many either! That's why I'm doing this Mordheim game where you can start out with 6-7 dudes. But I'm finding the painting to be quite relaxing.

  4. Hey, Dwarves SHOULD look a bit dirty and dinged. They're tough, miner-types, right? Pretty cool and kudos to you for letting the kids play with them. Some folks would put them out of reach.

  5. Those are beautiful Ted! Wow, such details. I'd be pleased to put them on my shelves; I collect things like this. Whenever my kids are tired of buying me books, they resort to picking up weird/unusual figurines for my shelves. I don't know which excite me more.

    And to think, you crafted these awesome guys yourself.

    Way cool.


  6. Awe, the knicks and scrapes and 'used' feeling is half the charm!

  7. I'll tell you what, if I were one of your sons and you pulled these things down off the shelf, I'd already have them in my room playing. These are fantastic Ted. And why were they stuck away in a box? I'll bet they didn't go back did they?

  8. Anne, I ended up giving away most of them to the boys. I told them if they can prove to me that they can take care of them and learn how to paint, then I will give them more!

  9. Oh my goodness, these are awesome! The nicks and dust and all that ADD to their value in my opinion. Did pulling them out of their hidey hole and handling them gently one at a time make you long to fashion more??

    If the answer is 'yes', DO IT! It will amp your writing creativity and provide hours of joy.

    On Friday I was in Walmart (hey, I live in the boonies in NoGA!!) escaping the heat of the day. As I wandered, I came to the Singer sewing machine section and spent several minutes running my hand over them and marveling at the new gadgets. I transitioned to the patterns. Then the fabrics.

    As a little girl I loved 'helping' my mother cut patterns or just watching. In high school I made several things, including a bathing suit!

    But I was amazed at how excited I got and had no idea that SEWING would or could make me happy. Now I have the bug. I see a Singer in my future.

    So, if handling your dwarves and Thor ignited your bug, go for it! I will if you will. :)

    that rebel, Olivia

  10. Ah, you're brining back memries. I had all kinds of minatures as a kid. Wish I would have kept them. They're probably in my paents basement in Michigan collecting dust.

    Stephen Tremp

  11. I lost all my miniatures years ago. It's a sad story. Are these Ral-Partha? They look awesome. I'm heading over to follow your buddy's blog now.

  12. I agree with Victoria - dwarves should look a bit dirty and grungy, it's all part of that underground image!

  13. AH! I haven't thought about the figurines in AGES. My college boyfriend was nearly obsessive about them, mostly old Russian military, because he was a history buff and had some Russian heritage. I never got it. AT. ALL. But seen in light of 'this is the figure in my book'--now THAT I get, and find the idea very cool... interesting how the rationale changes things.

  14. Hart, the dwarf with the warhammer is the one I always used for my character Gorm, who is in my book.

    Matt, I think some may be Ral Partha, though I can't remember. I always just picked out the ones that interested me or fit a character I was using.