Monday, 18 September 2017

Finieous Fingers - 'The World's Greatest Thief', Miniatures & More.....

The world was introduced to Finieous back in October 1976, courtesy of TSR's Dragon Magazine Volume 1, No.3. The creator, J.D.Webster apparently based his characters on friends he gamed with.

After moving from Dragon Magazine, both Finieous and the then editor, Tim Kask, moved to Adventure Gaming Magazine. The set was released in 1982...this was (as noted below) an attempt to keep 'Adventure Gaming' magazine afloat....

I've had the miniatures for some years although I recently picked up the box, courtesy of the wonderful artist Lissanne Lake. Only the leaflet to find now!

An early advertisement....

Some better images here on the Lost Mini WIKI.

Finieous later moved to Steve Jackson's 'The Space Gamer' and 'The Fantasy Gamer' in April 1984 and finally to Shadis' magazine which was set up by Jolly R.Blackburn in 1990....eventually becoming Knights of the Dinner Table magazine which gave birth to another set of Tom Meier minis to be documented at a later date.....

Jolly Blackburn mentioned on a recent Facebook post; 'We did some Finieous Finger strips in SHADIS. J.D. approved the scripts (but was too busy to draw them) and we contracted a different cartoonist --- who I thought did a great job updating the character. It was going pretty good til JD and the cartoonist had a falling out/creative differences. I remember one strip where Finieous finds himself on a Space Hulk-type environment with aliens running amok.'

 Some years later Thunderbolt Mountain released a set, again sculpted by Tom Meier.....this has caused some controversy recently due to licensing issues. Not sure what happened in the end or if it was justified as I think there may have been confusion in thinking someone had re-released the original set. These are definitely new sculpts (although only 6 in this set).....

According to an article from Comicvine;

He continued to appear there intermittently until 1981's issue 54, and his adventures were collected in The Finieous Treasury that same year. After a brief hiatus, Finieous resurfaced in Manzakk Publishing's Adventure Gaming magazine, before moving to Steve Jackson Games' magazines Space Gamer and then Fantasy Gamer, and eventually Alderac Entertainment's Shadis magazine.

A few comments from a 2004 thread from The Miniatures Page;

......there were indeed fineous figures.
they sometimes turn up on ebay but the molds were destroyed long ago. (actually I think Tim Kask still has them but by agreement with JD, they were a limited run only.) The production molds were burned up in the process of casting as many figs as we were able in the time allowed us.
There were also 10 gold plated sets created at that time.
JD has one, I still have mine, The Gorb still has his I believe. Im sure T. Kask has his and I'm pretty sure T Meire still has his. I have no idea where the other 5 sets are.
I know that one set went for $100 at an Origins auction a few years back.
Thats about all I can remember of them, its was about 20 years ago.

Yeah, and Ravenscraft has the world's only unit of Grond.

The Fineous figures made their debut at the 1982 Origins in Baltimore.

IIRC, Ral Partha lured Tim Kask away from being editor of the Dragon to start Adventure Gaming in 1981. Tim brought JD & Fineous along.

During the big Partha management shakeup of '82, they decided to dump AG. A group of us tried to keep it going but we just didn't have enough capital.

I think after distributor discounts, we were selling a magazine with a $3.50 cover for $.90. The average distributor also had an average-days-to-pay of about 6 months even though terms were 2/10 net 30.

The Fineous figs were a last ditch effort to raise enough cash to cover production expenses. They worked to a point, I think we got out issues 11-13 on that money.

Regards, the Gorb

I believe the Shadis strips were "with permission". They did not look like JD's work, but they were welcome.

As to JD, a late '70's graduate of Auburn NROTC and the best D**n GM I've ever played with, the last I heard, he was married with a teenage daughter (Proof: There is a Dept. of Cosmic Justice.), flying for Northwest, and living in Michigan (?). As for the models for some of the crew, BoredFlak (Borflac/Everette Burge) was back in Selma, IDemandMore (Ozyamadas/Grant Castlebury) is doing the areospace thing for REAL money in TX and FF (me) is delivering mail in B'ham. I was going to get with JD at DragonCon '90, but that was when I started with the post office, and I missed him. Personally, I liked his mailing cover efforts for Space Gamer. Think Nuclear Hand Grenade.

Now he's gonna find me and claim I owe him $5 for that pizza back in '78...

For those with a real Fineous jones, I think Boredflak's "targeting ring" is still available from Atlantis miniatures.
comes with a nice ruby looking stone.
cant remember the price. If Atlantis isnt alive and kicking you can try contacting Thunderbolt Mountain Miniatures who did production for Atlantis.
Man, do I miss Fineous!

If anyone knows anything the 'targeting ring' mentioned above (or indeed the gold plated sets) please let me know. I can't find Atlantis Miniatures (barring a new UK organisation).

Heroes of Asfar Expansion.

This was an addition for the original game (details here).

Images edited but borrowed from Boardgame Geek, full post here.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Ral Partha CS1 Wood Elf with Bow.....Tom Meier Old School.

I haven't painted any of the Ral Partha Collector Series in a long time so decided to have a go on one that had turned up in a job lot. Having completed one I have the caught the bug for more but I have no idea where my box of them are so he will have to do for now. Excuse his left eye - I missed the mold line somehow when cleaning him up and eventually gave up trying to paint that eye......just need to finish the base and varnish him now.

When this range first came out I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the, in my opinion, had managed to capture the beauty of the Elven form like Tom Meier. Today it is different with the likes of Werner Klocke, Kev White etc but back in the day Tom ruled almost unchallenged. 

The full CS range is listed on Lost Minis here and also on Stuff of Legends here.

I've borrowed the listing off Stuff of Legends to point out that there are gaps in the numbers - does anyone out there have any idea of anything that should be filling them? There are no catalogue clues anywhere.

02-001  Wood Elf with Bow
02-002  Wood Elf with Bow and Sword
02-003  Wood Elf firing Bow
02-004  Wood Elf with pike
02-005  Wood Elf Cavalry with Spear
02-006  Sea Elf with Pike
02-007  Sea Elf Advancing with Pike
02-008  Sea Elf with Great Sword
02-009  High Elf Strikiing with Axe
02-010  High Elf with Sword
02-011  High Elf Advancing with Sword
02-012  High Elf with Spear
02-014  High Elf Firing Bow
02-015  High Elf Cavalry with Great Sword
02-016  Elf Horse Archer
02-019  Elf Command Group
02-020  Elf Chariot
02-021  Deep Elf Firing Bow
02-023  Deep Elf with Halbard
02-025  Deep Elf Cavalry with Lance

Iron Wind Metals have re-released a lot of them in their Chaos Wars line (here) and Tom has added a couple of sculpts to the line. Tom really is the master of the Elven form - check out his Thunderbolt Mountain sculpts here.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Asgard Miniatures Bugbear or Halloween Goblin? Conundrums indeed!

Back in the 1970s that glorious old supplier of lead, Asgard Miniatures, released FM24, Silent Shambler, Halloween Goblin. It was designed by either Tony Ackland or Bryan Ansell, not sure which of them.......

Painted version here by Mark Stevenson

It was listed in an October 1978 ad in Military Modelling;

Based on the 1975 TSR D&D illustration by Greg Bell from the Greyhawk supplement..although they never called it a Bugbear, possibly for copyright reasons....edit; apparently there may be a baggie with Bugbear on....more to come when proven! They were also known as 'Jack-o-Bears' in the Runequest gaming universe.... 

 The code was at at some point redesigned as a 'Silent Shambler'.........

A later code, FM71, was designated as a Bugbear (painted example below c/o Mark Stevenson of the 'Asgard Miniatures Collectors' Group on Facebook and line drawing from the 'The Armory Guide') when Bugbear had become a more generic term.......

Now, the conundrum is whether or not there was a version 1 of the FM71 code and if this was indeed the pumpkin-headed variant above, moved from the FM24 when it was redesigned......20 internet points to anyone who can help.....

Oh, and never forget the ongoing enigma on the FM18 Secrom. Never pictured anywhere that I know of, and later changed to Skeleton Warrior. 100 internet points for the solving of that one......and I might even throw a blog mini in as it's really annoying me!

Most of the Asgard lines are listed, mostly with accompanying images, on the Lost Minis WIKI, a boon for collectors of old (and not so old) lead.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Gary Gygax 'The Untold Story' - Interview from 1989.....

Just came across this when perusing old magazines. This was from GM Magazine, January 1989. Hopefully scanned at a decent enough resolution.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

In times of something else......

"You are brave. You are handsome. You are strong. In battle none dare approach you for fear of the strength of your swords....."

More artwork for the upcoming Noggin the Nog Kickstarter......

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Wargames Foundry release the BOYL minis...

Wonderful sets of old Citadel minis along with some by the old school maestro Tony Yates. These were on sale at the recent 'Bring Out Your Lead' event but are now on general release. Well worth a punt if I do say so myself......having already picked them up at the show of course 😀.

A missing warrior from the Blandford series.

Lord of Chaos by Tony

Hobbs, a missing Citadel medieval figure

Medieval artillery crew

Ninjas, lots of Ninjas!

Tony's wonderful Warmaster and Blade Wife.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Bring Out your Lead part deux................

I have to admit I was pressured into coming to BOYL by my good friend Tony Yates.....he knows of my occasional social anxiety issues however knew, as I do so well, that only by jumping in feet first can I overcome them. And overcome them I did. Thank God! What a fantastic weekend I spent with like minded fellows and personalities of the hobby.

My loot from Friday on the hotel bed.

Classic artwork on display...should really have taken a better pic.

Bryan (Ansell) brought along a load of his and Kev (Adams) head and shield sculpts. Fascinating.

Impressive game on display on Sunday...

With Maria Ansell's help I was able to find a bunch of John Pickford sculpts for myself and Clam (Clamshells and Seahorses blog)....

Further below you'll see the unreleased sculpts that Maria and Marcus have found. Check out Clam's John Pickford site here. It's a real treat to have someone as passionate as Clam in the hobby.

A poor pic of one of the cabinets' zombies. There's a fair few I don't recognise amongst the old classic pre-slotta Citadel and Ral Partha et.

Kev Adams spent Saturday (and Sunday) sculpting heads for people on figures they'd brought along. He made about £250 for charity and really enjoyed himself. When I left on sunday he was chin wagging away with Bryan and Tony Ackland. Top bloke.

Quick pic of myself and Tony Ackland. The stories Tony told me about the hobby (and his love of geology) were fantastic, occasionally grim, sometimes funny and often shocking. I spent most of Friday and Saturday chatting away to him and Bryan along with Marcus and Maria.

A pic with Bryan and Tony from Friday courtesy of Mark Stevenson. 

Random pics of the games. There was a real passion throughout the gathering.

Maria Ansell and my buddy tony Yates.

Tony was doing sketches throughout Saturday. He'd brought a bunch of his sculpts along as well. So many I still need to find!

Tony sketched me a Donald Trump to go along with my Bob Olley sculpt. This will take pride of place in my collection.

Various old Citadel Eternal Champion minis, lovingly painted....

An unreleased John Pickford giant demon. Clam is desperate for this piece and I can see why. Absolutely massive though.

The 3 alternative heads that Maria had found.

A lovely variant of one of the Orcling handmaidens. Bryan said there are a couple more somewhere.

Some of Bryan's shield and base designs.  

3 more of tony Yates' sculpts that will hopefully be molded up at some point.

3 unreleased Mark Sims (I think) dwarves...

A couple of unreleased Squig types

Who couldn't love Orclings with chainsaws....

Unreleased Kev Adams dragon.

Unreleased Orc variant

Unreleased John Pickford pony - released with baggage in the lovely Halfling Adventurers set.

Get the Halfling set here. Everyone should have these guys in their collection!

An unreleased John Pickford Orc King on war dragon. The missing wings were a mystery until Clam sent me a link explaining

A demon that never made it the release stage for some reason. Clam has it via an old list as DM005 Golztariusbous The Ever Turning. 

Now a highlight of my weekend was joining Marcus in the hidden dungeons of the Foundry network whilst he made up a mold of some of the unreleased minis they'd found.

These pincers belong to Steve Turton, Foundry's main caster and mold maker who just celebrated 24 years in the field. They were given to him by Marcus's grandfather, Cliff Ansell, when he first started. I have to say they oozed history.

One of the old casting machines that has seen years of faithful service and probably given to birth to millions of figures! I love the lead wallpaper at the rear......

Marcus showed me how to make a metal vent in the mold and I did the one going to the hopper type at the top of the mold here.....

And the first spin.....

Marcus prepping the mould with constant interruptions from me....

A little piece of unknown 40K history.....the original unfinished greens for the Space Marine Lizard mounts. 

And finally I had a request for one of my Maggie minis to be used as a head swap for a 40K miniature......the only relevant mini I had in the hotel room was the BOYL you can see it wasn't really compatible. Another failed sale.

Overall a fantastic weekend that I would recommend to one and all. Lots of places to stay around the area at reasonable rates and a very friendly bunch of enthusiasts running BOYL supported by the most wonderful Ansell family.

Comments below or email me as usual on;