The Grenadier Beholder Project

So I remember studying the many images of that beloved original D&D monster, the beholder, from the first edition Monster Manual, various modules, and especially this one from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Coloring Album (lovingly described by Blizack on Dungeonskull Mountain a few years back):

I also remember never being able to quite figure out what color the damn things were.  I somehow got it in my head that they were covered in olive green (the description uses the word “chitinous,” I think) plates with bright purple flesh between.

Then I got my obligatory box of Grenadier Solid Gold Line minis–the Dwellers Below–and there was the goofiest damn beholder anyone’s ever seen.

It’s Letter H.

So my mission, now that I have 30 years of painting under my belt, is to make this damn thing look like I always thought it should.  No cutting or filing, just with paint.  Here are some pics of the work in progress.

Some Reaper Master Series Olive Green and Pale Violet Red. That’s what I’m talking about.

Eyestalks blocked in, along with some shadow on those chitinous plates.

More updates as events warrant.  I’m totally excited about this one…

Heritage Treasure Trove, Part 1


Heritage Air Elemental. Obviously, those are mammatocumulus clouds.


Heritage Earth Elemental.


Heritage Fire Elemental.


I’m going to try to make these gargoyles look good. My effort at pinning the wings led to a big hole right where his stoney heart should be, but it’s all fixable…


Heritage Water Elemental.


Wings pinned.

Breaking Out the Brushes Again…and a Heritage Goldmine on eBay

Howdy y’all. I’m back from a restful summer to begin my fifth year teaching in Singapore. Hard to believe my kids have been expats for most of their lives…

Anyway, I’ve not updated this here blog as much as I’ve meant to, so one of my goals this year is to keep it fresh.

So this summer saw some key eBay wins for me. First, I cannot recommend highly enough Lazlo Jakusovsky’s How To Paint A Better Miniature DVDs. I’ve not even finished the first disc and I’m learning a bunch of tricks that have gotten me excited about painting again. Second, I got a big box of Reaper’s Masters Series Paints, after watching my suitcase full of Vallejo paints turn into gloppy chunks of solidified pigment over the last two years. It was worth the money.

And last, I got a killer eBay auction of 40+ serious antique minis, mostly from Heritage’s Dungeon Dwellers line. I got all four elementals, a beholder, an otyugh, lizard men, bugbears, hobgoblins, ogres, and best of all, four hellborn warriors that I’ve never seen before. I remember reading about them in the rules to Swordbearer when I was a kid, and could only imagine what the minis would look like. Turns out they’re the typical “primitive” style of Heritage’s 80s sculpts, but I’m jazzed, because I’ve been thinking for years about applying some skilled paint jobs to these ancient minis.

I’ll be posting lots of pics in the upcoming days.