Friday, February 21, 2014

Painted: Hobgoblins

Painted: Hobgoblins

A new encounter group for you that has long been in the works, and a new presentation style. I like to think I have great success showing off the miniatures isolated against a backdrop as I've been doing, but over the past year or so I've been drawn to the idea of setting up posed diorama shots.

Here's a major source of my inspiration, John Morey . Note that for the most part he's using prepainted figures, which we know have average tabletop quality paintjobs in the best of times, but the artistry of the photography morphs them into something much more, and a few pics in we're immersed in the illusory diorama landscapes. Can't recommend this guy's work enough, and have gone as far as to create a gallery in flickr of some of my favorites. Along the same lines, though a little farther out from our fantasy miniatures niche, is the work of guys like Matt K.

Hobgoblins block the party's advance in the lost caverns of Brule

My own effort here is pretty basic as far as the composition goes, and I did have to resort to a tiny bit of Photoshop, though only a very small amount all considering. The only bits that are shopped are I extended the left and right cavern elements in front of the background, from their actual height of about 3 inches to the top of the picture. In lightroom I added vignetting. Really, that's it. It may be awhile before I get to it but I want to eventually try incorporating split height, greater scene depth, source lighting and others of the more sophisticated techniques used in those pics I pointed you at.

Manufacturer: Minifigs
Line: Dungeons & Dragons
Set: Hobgoblins
Base markings: Marked on top of base HB01-HB14
Release date: 1977
Date painted: 2012-2014
Notes: Many of these needed significant restoration. The eye sockets were drilled and eyes and angry brows were added. Some crescent moon emblems were replaced, most weapons were replaced, and most shields were press-molded from molds made from original shields. Weapons are largely a combination of Thunderbolt Mountain and Wargames Factory castings.

Making of

Figures by Minifigs, circa 1977. This first batch of 10 completed 2013. I have many more WIP and waiting in the wings.

These were a significant restoration project, and wound up re-sculpting all of the eyes and brows and replacing most of the weapons, in addition to casting the shields from a press-mold from several variant original castings and re-sculpting some other details here and there. They were also a major chore to rebase, and here they are mounted on 14 x 19mm ellipse bases so that they can fight 3 abreast in a 10' (2") corridor, and magnitized so they can be stored upright as the weapons (a variety of Thunderbolt Mountain and Wargames Factory) are a bit delicate. In retrospect the bases were such a pain though I almost wish I hadn't bothered.

I picked up a four or five of these around 2007 in a large box of old lead, and these (along with an Archive owlbear and a Grenadier elf and wizard) are really what set me adrift on the old lead odyssey that has me now far out in distant waters.

These are also among a select few miniatures I own that are older than I am.

As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.