Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Painted: Grenadier Giant (Verbeeg)

Here's another of the monsters I started off the blog with given its own little showcase. I'm quite fond of this giant sculpted by Grenadier boss man Andrew Chernak in 1984. Chernak had been sculpting for a number of years at this point and though his figs had always had a lot of character, I feel in his post-AD&D-contract Fantasy Lords series, for which this giant was sculpted, shows new-found technical skill. Faces are a real sticking point with me and Chernak not only gets the emotion right but the facial anatomy is bang on in a way few others can claim. The only critical comment I have for this figure is with regard to the underdeveloped upper body, but that's a very common trait amongst figures from this age. Not sure why no barrel-chested giants as it's not like material cost was a factor back in the day.

I have a number of these Chernak giants and was going to use them as hill giants, which is what Grenadier calls them. But I've since gone with the Otherworld hill giant for full-blood Hill Giants (how can one say no to such a figure as that OW hill giant, who looks to have just strode of the page of the Monster Manual), and the Chernak ones are now Verbeegs (see Monster Manual II). This is a brilliant solution in my opinion. The name verbeeg is a crappy one, imo, and I really hope they aren't called verbeeg as in "very big," but once you see the verbeeg is simply a smarter, more human-proportioned giant somewhere between hill giant and ogre in stature, you'll probably agree it fits a great purpose, even if only to the miniatures collector divvying out which miniature to which particular species. But they also have some utility game-wise as I can use them with ogres or hill giants to modulate those encounters as well as by themselves. PCs can also face off against verbeegs earlier in the campaign than hill giants, which is a bigger advantage than it may seem given how many sessions are spent attaining each level. And this way I can have giants running around and then still scare the pants of the party by dropping the full blooded hill giant.

Oh, and I asked last post whether it would be better to use the catalog title or the monster type I plan to use figures for as the post title when the two differ. It seems to me that as I work through the Monster Manual in attempts to paint them all it's more helpful in the long run for me and you if I use the role I'm using the figs for in the game as the title.

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Manufacturer: Grenadier
Line: Fantasy Lords, first series
Catalog title: Hill Giant
Catalog #: 119
Base marking: M49 1984
Release date: 1984
Sculptor: Andrew Chernak
Date painted: 2009

Just a very brief word on painting the figure. Normally I prime black or prime black and mist gray or tan. Every now and then I try white again and generally regret it as it's almost always a lot more work. This figure was a rare case where I primed white and everything went right. I did it white to help get a richness to the fleshtones, and I'm very happy with the result. A pretty old school technique was used here starting with a light base (GW Elf Flesh), shading to brown, and glazing (not washing) with GW Flesh Wash. Then ruddy cheeks, nose and knees to really sell it.

Btw, if you want to see another painter's take on this fig check out this version shown on the Old School Miniatures Bulletin blog.