Friday, May 14, 2010

Old School Miniatures, A History.

Saying hello from 1980, no Hot Tub Time Machine here, just fresh paint

Something new and different here I have been putting together for awhile now. While I primarly consider myself a wargamer, I am also a miniature collector. I collect a variety of things relating to different aspects of my life, and somehow I have managed to hold onto alot of stuff precious to me as kid. Which hasnt exactly been easy when you were a kid 30 years ago. While I wish I still had all my mid 70's Airfix plastic toy soldiers, Model Planes and Tanks (sold -garage sale, thanks mom) . I did manage to hang on to my Fantasy miniature collection. IF you have ever wondered or maybe just aren't aware how the fantasy/Sci-Fi side of this hobby developed over the years here is good start, from my personal perspective.

Back in 1978, when the greatest thing to us kids were Comic Books, Star Wars and the Lord of The Rings animated movie (that we must have seen 10 times each in the summers of 77' and 78', One day we accidentally discovered the Dungeon and Dragons Blue Box in the back of the Comic Shop and it was all over from there. I don't think I did much else in my free time between 1978 and 1981 other than sniff model glue (LOL!), Listen to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin and play D&D, Traveler, Dark Tower, Fedual and other assorted games with my brother and the kids in the neighborhood. Once we saw all the lead miniatures and box sets..we where was like plastic soldiers all over again but these we metal and you could paint them and use them in a narrative game..we bought tons of them..and tried to learn to paint them decently.

Eventually, High School, girls and guitars took over and gaming every weekend was a distant memory...occasionally I'd pick something up to read or a cool figure here or there..but never did anything much with it. Fortunately the box I had packed it all away in survived the sale of the house I grew up in and my parents eventual relocation while I was off at college. Once I got married and settled down/ I started trying to take stock of my miniatures and my itch to start gaming again. I didn't start collecting again until the 2000's but most of my original collection survives unscathed..I've been slowing trying to replace the few missing pieces that were traded away or lost in the void..This is my original collection of Fantasy Miniatures purchased during the 1st Edition of D&D..the nostalgia here is pretty epic if you were born in the 60's like me. Recently I've started basing and painting these for display..what I'll do with them I'll save for another post...but here's some great lead from the early early days of the fantasy miniatures hobby, without this stuff there be no Warhammer, no 40k, I am glad I still have it, a little bit of gaming history.

I'll start out with some of the most recognizable stuff, The Advanced Dungeon and Dragons, "gold" box sets from Grenadier. manufactured in 1980 thru 1982 this followed up the Heritage line of Fantasy Miniatures, ( that I also have lots of)..I currently own 11 of the 19 box sets Grenadier produced and only 6 are complete..the rest missing various pieces that slipped into the void along the way..

The Wizards Box was always one my favorites, I am missing 1 model from this box, Letter "G"
the Sage..if you have this and want to sell it me, I will be very paint you a Standard Bearer, grateful...I've been looking on ebay so far no luck.

I spent some time last weekend cleaning up, priming and basing these guys. I painted up two of them so you can what 30 year old miniatures can look like, My wife, was even like
"wow, those are cool"

I am definitely going to paint up the rest of these guys for display..I wont do it will all of them
but a few select boxes for nostaliga purposes is mandatory. The guy throwing "Bigby's Crushing Hand" is pretty awesome.

"Warning, don't eat the lead", that always cracked me up..not sure why.

I'm going to make this monthly series. Going thru the various boxes and painting some of these, and talk my lengths to locate some of the missing pieces, eventually the photos will all be galleried under a link on the left hand side bar. Next up I'll go thru the highly sought after "Tomb of Spells box, and some Heritage Dungeon Dwellers, that are even more "old school" than these!

I need to thank and point out, for some background material here. If you have some interest in this. dndlead is a well researched archive of all the old miniatures I'll be talking about here.


BigLee said...

Exellent post. Wow this takes me back. I aquired several models that had obviously parted ways from their boxes. they have all long since been lost, sold or given away (I beat myself up over this many times). Seeing some of these again has broaugh back a rush of Nostalgia.

jcroxford said...

Great post. I love seeing these old mini's I had some of the D&D box sets too, unfortunately I no longer have any of them. Keep posting more of your collection!

seebo said...

I have that sage figure you are missing. If you were serious about doing some painting, I'd be interested in sending the fig to you. I'm a fellow Empire player so I would love to have my Standard Bearer painted up with your awesome skills!

John@Plastic Legions said...

Seebo, that is awesome..I'd gladly do me at and we can talk details!

Paint Monkey Studios said...

My first mini set ever. Got that and the Grenadier Models paint set for my birthday in '81.

Scott said...

Totally cool post, John. Max showed some interest in D&D so I've branching out to non-40k stuff. It also brings me back to my early gaming days (which don't go as far back as yours). I'll have to go dig out some my old minis, too.


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