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.
Ral Partha, 1987? Troll 11-408. Sculptor: Tom Meier.
This is a Ral Partha Troll from the Advanced Dungeons & Dragons line of miniatures. It’s one of my favorites as it very close to the old illustrations from the first AD&D Monster Manual.
Illustration from AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual
1st Edition Monster Manual cover
Zoom in, Enhance, Enhance!
To me that is the epitome of the Troll monster in D&D. A bit larger than human-sized, but gaunt, nearly Undead looking. Actually, I hadn’t noticed, but if you colored it something other than bright green, it could be a Ghoul too. Well, minus the big pointy nose. Anyways, it’s what always comes to mind when someone says “D&D” and “Troll”. We knew to fear them, as they could regenerate any part of their body, and could never be killed, save for fire. Other kids told horror stories of a Troll hand coming after them, long after they had thought they had killed the Troll. You better make sure you got every last bit of them!
Tangent – Inspiration
As I mentioned long ago, this single mini (The Troll) had a major impact on my painting: https://doubledowndice.wordpress.com/2018/04/10/tool-tips-09-paints/
It’s also what started this series of Old Mini Monday articles, as I had asked my brother if he happened to have that old Troll mini. I wanted to post it in the above blog post. Instead he gave me a box of minis, but couldn’t find the troll. A couple weeks later, he did find the Troll and a couple of other minis, much to my delight.
As I mentioned in the Tool Tips Paints blog post, my brother had brought home this mini after attending a local (small potatoes) RPG/Games convention. They had a painting workshop and they showed them how to use acrylic paints. At that point in time, I was using Testor enamel paints and brushes quite poorly. I didn’t know what a shade, highlight, etc. was. It was all about dumping as much glossy single color on a mini as possible.
So yea, it might not look like much to some folks, and has had a fair amount of wear over the years, but that mini rocked my world back then. The seemingly random patches of shading and highlighting, was much different than what I used to. It was like looking at an abstract painting after I had been working on color by numbers. Also, just the matte finish of the acrylic paints was new to me, and kind of ugly. I’ve had similar experiences where I listen to a song the first time and don’t like it, but then it becomes my favorite song after another listen. I guess my brain just doesn’t accept something too new and different at first.
The techniques he had picked up at the convention and the paint medium, made me quit enamels and head down the path of acrylic painting. Eventually I would learn other techniques and how to make it all work for me, but that’s probably the subject of another Tangent sometime soon.
Was there a key point in your miniature painting that you saw something that totally changed your point of view or the way you paint?