Old Mini Monday 12 – Fantasy 02

Old Mini Monday 12 – Fantasy 02


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.



Umber Hulk (11-404)




Ral Partha Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) line.



Being a pretty big one, this mini got used for your generic large monsters and aliens. The purple matched one of our homebrew dungeon crawler monsters, so it got a lot of use there as well.

The mini itself is pretty hefty metal. I think the head and arms had a hard time staying on and we didn’t know anything about “pinning” back then, so likely parts were getting re-glued regularly.

I always found “Umber Hulks” to be an interesting monster, and prefer the chunky humanoid look of this one to later artist renditions.

Umber Hulk, AD&D 1st Edition Monster Manual

The sculptor actually did a pretty good job “updating” the look of the creature. Making it a bit more armor plated, which is probably what one would expect from a giant burrowing monster. Perhaps they were going for a “beetle” vibe.


Tangent – Sharing the Hobby

Well, it’s been hot and motivation to paint lately has been sapped as well. Another round of house guests simply added to the ‘what a bother it is to try and even paint right now’.

Oh woe is me, and my painting problems! 😛

But sometimes things don’t go as planned. It turns out our friend’s daughter is an artist and loves to draw and watercolor. She carries a little sketchpad with her wherever she goes, and she would spend time sketching as we stopped at different places during our trip to the coast this last weekend. When we got home that evening, she drew and painted a picture of our daughter with her stuffed toy. Utterly cute, and a great birthday present.

I grew up with a brother who was quite artistic, and I dabbled myself. I’ve always had a fondness for the arts. So I was pretty interested to see the girl’s art and the fact that she was pretty dedicated.

Then a thought struck me “Why not share what I’ve been up to?”. I brought out the Goliath gang I had recently painted, and a few of the Blood Bowl Dwarves, and the old Mind Flayer I did a long time ago. She was simply amazed at the level of detail on the minis. Questions about technique and materials quickly sprang up. I was a bit surprised that the same girl who very quite and reserved during her whole stay, was now quite talkative and full of many in-depth questions.

At that point I started to think how interesting it was, that two people of vastly different ages could have something so in common. Even though our art is quite a bit different (drawing/painting vs miniature painting). I realize that it could have been a number of other subjects, but art seemed to bridge the gap really quickly.

As they started to pack up the car, and almost got out of the driveway. I said “Wait!”. Rushed back up to the office room, dug through a box and found a D&D pre-primed minis. Rushed back downstairs and handed it off to the girl. She was really thankful. I can’t wait to see what it ends up looking like.

Not surprisingly, that little experience gave my painting engine a small spark and though I still won’t have any progress to show for this week, I am at least back on the bandwagon.

I imagine this might be a pretty unique experience, but wondering if others have been able to share their hobby? Or maybe there are times you don’t want to share your hobby. I know I’m not keen on sharing with my fellow employees. Perhaps someone shared the hobby with you and got you started?



26 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 12 – Fantasy 02

  1. I’m enjoying these post. Although not a gamer it’s interesting to see how these relatively basic sculpts (still better than anything I could do) have been improved when compared to what is available today.

    Liked your guest story. A couple of things to say. Firstly I think it falls under the banner of better to give than to receive. Not everything has to be tangible you can be giving of yourself. Secondly, to some extent we are all giving and sharing with each other through these blog posts. Our ages vary considerably within the group, along I suspect with our backgrounds too, but the common denominator is the hobby and the interest that we share.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks TIM! Yea, it was a fun post to share. My daughter got a nice painting and I gave away a mini. So yea, there was some give and take there. But I’ll also receive a lot of happiness if their daughter happens to show up with that mini painted someday. Well, unless it’s better than mine, and then I’ll throw it on the ground and stomp on it….I mean, say..uh, “Great job!”. 😉

    She also paid me a really nice compliment saying that the painted Orc I picked up in an eBay lot (mentioned in a post long ago), wasn’t as good as my painted Goliaths. I’m still not sure that is true, but it was really nice to hear. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Well, it was an Orc that someone else had painted. I’m not used to comparing my own painted minis to others, and I’ve really idolized how clean that Orc was painted. I’m sure I’m overlooking quite a few flaws, since it’s someone else’s. But still nice and all.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice share Faust. I bet that you just opened a brand new world for her. Fantastic!

    Regarding your question, I do try to share my completed work with friends especially the non-gamers as I hope to convert them over time. Interestingly, one guy I shared with was into the hobby and I never knew it. So, be open, if they look at you strangely, they are not cool anyways.

    As for sharing, I LOVE Umber Hulks. I am now sharing with you dear Faust my post from a few years ago: https://markamorin.com/2015/04/20/ral-partha-umber-hulk-11-404/

    I have a few more that I will eventually paint, but I do like my old Ral Partha Umber Hulk!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Mark, I just checked out your Umber Hulk and commented. 🙂

      It’s always fun to find out someone else shares the same exact hobby as you do. One of my old employees, paints war-game stuff, and I just discovered that a few years ago. Like you said, you never know until you open up about it!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Sometimes I think it’s easy to forget, or to disparage what we do, but we’re all artists and craftspeople in this hobby. It’s quite a primal activity too, we’ve been painting things for at least as long as we’ve existed as a species. Art speaks across cultures, languages and generations. You might not think that your Goliaths are great art because they’re just gaming pieces, albeit ones that you’ve poured a lot of energy and effort into, but then whoever carved the Lewis Chessmen probably didn’t think they were anything special either, or that people would be being inspired by them almost a thousand years later.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Hobbies/Fandoms can make connections across a lot of demographic boundaries. Between 40K and BtVS, I’ve made friends from a third of my age to twice my age, and in places I never would have imagined.

    The differences in media are interesting, too. I have a friend who was an art major in college, makes a living as a graphic designer and painter, and some years ago started painting minis for D&D. I can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, she blows me out of the water with anything on a flat surface, but my mini painting is better than hers by about the same margin. It’s kind of odd to see just how stark the different processes can be.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ha….my brother and I *differ* in our mini painting techniques. It’s not really my place to say whose is better, but I will say that he could definitely outdraw me. He was also much better at other materials, like clay. I seemed to be better at photoshop line art though. Which is another oddity. Maybe that’s because I had picked up tricks online that he didn’t know about.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I wouldn’t usually say that I’m flat out better at something like this, but the difference is so striking here that I can’t deny it. Especially given that the difference in any other form of painting/drawing/whatever is so large in the other direction.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s cool man. Can you post a photo of the picture she did? My mates daughters came round a few weeks back and were blown away by collection of painted minis. They then got annoyed at their dad for not being into the hobby haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think I’d want to ask her first.

      Haha, that’s funny that they got annoyed at their dad. Yea, I don’t get people who don’t have any interest in art (not that I know for sure about the kids Dad). But to go through life with no hobbies or appreciation for art, and just live to make money… I think I’d rather be lobotomized. Again, I don’t know the kid’s Dad, but just thinking about some of the people I do know.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. He’s a muso and in the band with me so still an artist. He used to be in to warhammer a bit but he’s more into things like camping these days. I am too but you can’t go camping in the your house. Well you can if you wanted to I guess.

        Liked by 2 people

      1. I got one of those random Abbey Wanga comments too. It was “great job, you are amazing” with no context about my actual post (but the link to her blog through her pic), so I flagged it as Spam. Just sayin’…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I really love these blasts from the past and I hope you can keep up this series for a long time!

    The side story about your friend’s daughter was really nice. It’s great that you were able to open a door for her onto a different kind of artistry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Argentbadger! It seems like I still have quite a few minis left to show, so we’ll be here for awhile. Yea, getting a chance to really share the hobby seems pretty rare these days, so it’s even more amazing when it happens.


  8. Very cool story and I do like your old-school Ambull, there.
    Sadly, I’ve tended to turn interested teenagers of my acquaintance away from miniatures, especially those of GW, due to the price of the hobby (especially here in AU). Those who persisted I pointed towards alternative companies that had models that still took their interest.
    I have enjoyed a couple of painting days, though they’ve been very few and far between – and you bastards all live too far away to drive over here for an afternoon. If Marouda manages to maintain an interest, there might be the option for some more, if we can get her confidence up to the point of not agonising over every colour choice for every layer – at the moment we’re still in the “which dark brown should I use?” point, when the answer is “any dark brown – there’s ten over there, just choose one…”

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    1. I could see that, the hobby can be expensive. I guess as a kid, I started with a few paints, cheap-as-fuuu brushes, and some D&D minis. Not horribly expensive, but at least it wasn’t throwing wads of cash for GW armies and paints. I think my idea back then was to paint a few key pieces that could get broken out during a game. If I had a few goblins, and maybe some orcs, then I could sub those in for almost any of the other humanoid races (Gnolls, Hobgoblins, Kobolds, etc.).

      I’m with Marouda on agonizing over colors. I was fed up trying to figure out the color for the Van Saar’s gun and totally stalled on such a stupid thing. Looking back, it was pretty dumb. She might enjoy it more, if there is a paint guide to follow for her mini. While I find coming up with my own paint scheme for the Van Saar, will ultimately making them “mine”. Painting the Goliaths up in a standard GW paint tutorial way was a lot less stress.


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