Old Mini Monday 03 – V&V pt. 3

Old Mini Monday 03 – V&V pt. 3


While visiting my brother, he rounded up all his old painted minis and let me borrow the box of them to share on the blog.

This is part three of the “V&V” (Villains & Vigilantes) miniatures that I found in the old box. For more background on these miniatures, please see: Old Mini Monday 01 – V&V pt. 1



“The Crushers” Supervillain group (from left to right) Shrew, Stormlord, Vulture, and Hornet



Also from “The Crushers”, this character is “Bull”. Found after I took the original group shots. Way to be late for the party, Bull!


As mentioned last time around, these miniatures were from “Lance & Laser” in the late 1980s.


These miniatures represent supervillains from a Villains & Vigilantes (V&V) introductory adventure module titled “Crisis at Crusader Citadel”.

The module came with the boxed set of the game, so anyone who played V&V was very familiar with the module. Much like the “Keep on the Borderlands” module for D&D. The minis were based off of artwork from the module which was drawn by Jeff Dee, co-creator of V&V and early TSR artist.

We played quite a bit of the V&V rpg game when we were kids, and it remained one of our favorite rpg systems for quite some time. It’s not surprising that we ended up owning the miniatures later on.

Just as another interesting tidbit, V&V was popular enough to have a Comic minis-series (https://www.comics.org/series/3234/) back in the day:

For even more history on the V&V game, you can check out the Monkey House Games forum or Wikipedia:

Monkey House Games website

Wikipedia – Villains & Vigilantes entry

Tangent – Painting Styles

Seeing minis of days gone by, stirred up the cobwebs in my brain. One of the thoughts that passed through my mind was how things have changed over the years.

My brother and I have had a fair amount of discussion in regards to painting miniatures over the years. Honestly, growing up he was a way better artist than I could ever hope to be. When your younger brother can outdraw you in half the amount of time, you quickly realize that you have no hope of making it in the art world. Luckily I went into IT.

Having said that, we have very different takes on how to paint miniatures. With the exception of the Mind Flayer I posted earlier, all of these minis have been painted by my brother. Our first discussion on miniature painting began around the time that he brought a D&D Troll home that he had painted during a workshop. ‘Yuck! Acrylics!’ said I. Though I have to admit, he was ahead of me on that one.

His philosophy for mini painting was more of ‘get it to the table’ and that the minis were too small to bother going into too much detail. Most of the detail is lost when you view them from a distance. What we tend to call “tabletop quality” nowadays. However, what’s “tabletop quality” these days looks closer to Golden Demon awards of years past.

Actually, we just had another round of discussion about this recently, and the main impetus for painting these models was his sudden realization he had a mountain of unpainted lead. A small box of minis might not seem like a lot to the average wargamer, but to a roleplayer who was collecting Ral Partha packs from a local store back in the early 90s…it was a fair chunk of change. So one day he set out to get them all painted, even if he had to dunk them in paint. Sounds like a personal mini challenge!

Whereas he went for a simpler look, I started down the path of more detailed and time consuming techniques. Beginning with base paints and moving on poor attempts at shadowing. To discovering glazes, and the never ending application of super thin paints, to where I am today (still learning!). With our difference in painting styles, our miniatures pretty much look like night and day.

However with his simpler style of painting, and perhaps being faster at painting overall, he managed to get a large number of minis painted. During that same time, I probably painted about a handful. Granted we were doing these at different times in our lives, and I don’t know that I had an intent to ‘paint large amounts of minis’. He had a large collection, whereas I only had a few. So that likely affected our mini painting paths.

While reflecting back, I also can’t recall a time when I thought “Oh man! That’s the most horrid mini I’ve ever seen!” while playing our games. It was more about playing the game, and we enjoyed having painted minis available. Much better than staring at dull metal or plastic ones.

I still prefer the look of my minis, and he prefers his. I believe it’s mainly a matter of preference, and there isn’t necessarily a “right way”.

I think even though I went for a more detailed and time consuming approach, I also strive to paint minis quicker and simpler. In some ways I’m envious of the number of minis and simpler, yet functional paint job on my brother’s minis. For my own painting, I don’t feel like I would ever be completely satisfied with a basic color approach. For me the goal is somewhere inbetween some people’s quick dip method approach and the super glazed/wet blended/100000 layered approach.

I think it’s important for us to paint to a level and speed we are comfortable with. Not to say that you shouldn’t keep pushing yourself to try different techniques, as that’s the only way to improve!

7 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 03 – V&V pt. 3

  1. I’m enjoying old mini Monday not least of all because everything so far simply passed me by. As far as painting techniques and styles go all I would say is it’s great to have people like what you do, it’s great to try to emulate what others do better than you but none of it counts unless you are enjoying what you are doing. It’s a hobby after all and should be fun. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks TIM, great advice! Since I live in a different part of the world than most of people who follow my blog, there’s a chance of showing some stuff that other people might not have seen. Though it looks like I’ll be getting into the bulk of either Ral Partha or Grenadier minis next. So those could be pretty familiar to a lot of people.

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  3. Great stuff, and Lance and Laser stuff is cool. I always am happy to see old stuff like these. I just recently got some L&L figures and they are definitely in the queue. As for Ral Partha, some are lost as the molds no longer exist, though many are still commercially available from Iron Winds Metal.

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    1. Yea, that’s a shame as Ral Partha produced some of the coolest minis I ever had. The GW stuff might be more detailed now, but it’s hard to replace the nostalgia I have for those old lead minis.

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  4. I’ve always felt when you paint a model you are pouring a bit of love into the model, hence why we tend to favor our own work over others. A labor of love! I once paid to have a Blood Bowl team painted by a friend. It was a great 2nd edition human team and the paint scheme was the classic Middenheim Marauders. I never bonded with the team as it never felt like my own. Great article.

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  5. Thanks James! I had never really thought of it that way. I guess it would depend on the situation for me. If a friend had given me a painted team, yea I might really like it because it’s a gift. Actually, my brother sculpted me a superhero statue once, and I cherished that thing forever. I was really upset when it ended up breaking.

    I’ve also got an old mini staring me in the face right now. One that my brother had found. I can tell you, that I sure don’t love that one very much, haha!


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