Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Vendel Miniatures Goblin King

This weekend I painted Vendel Miniatures goblin king. I actually based and primed this guy over a year ago. I was going through my shelves, found the mini, and felt sorry that I hadn't painted him after all this time. The king's crown was damaged when I bought him, but this doesn't bother me too much since we all know goblins don't take good care of their stuff.

The old Grenadier Fantasy Warriors range (now sold by Mirliton) and Vendel Miniatures (now sold by Sgt Major Miniatures under the name "Bloody Day") are my favorite manufactures for fantasy models. I just love their models' heft proportions. The SGMM website design is pretty horrible, but it's worth checking out their old Vendel models.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Classic RPG ads

In my wanderings of the internet I chanced upon this collection of vintage role playing game ads. They look to be from the 1970s and 80s. I'd say most are poor examples of advertising, but these three have a certain charm.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Black Ships Before Troy and The Wanderings of Odysseus, by Rosemary Sutcliff

I read a book to my kids before the go to sleep each night. My 8-yr-old enjoys The Hobbit, so I thought she'd also like all the adventures and monsters from The Odyssey. Although I'm a big ancient history guy I had never read Homer's work. It turns out Rosemary Sutcliff, author of Eagle of the Ninth, published abridged versions of both The Iliad and The Odyssey. Her books, Black Ships Before Troy (1993) and The Wanderings of Odysseus (1995) are the perfect introduction to Homer.

Both are illustrated by Alan Lee, renown for his work with The Lord of the Rings books and films. I compared his armor, costumes, weapons, etc to the Mycenaean Greeks depicted in Peter Connolly's Greece and Rome at War. It seems Lee did his research for this project. There's a bit of artistic license taken, but for the most part his art is historically accurate as well as beautiful.


The borders at the opening of each chapter are an especially nice touch. Each border is unique, relating to the subject of the chapter. (see below)


I read both books to my kids. My oldest daughter much preferred The Wanderings of Odysseus. Her complaint about Sutcliff's version of the Illiad was "They never go on any adventures. They just argue and ask for help fighting." I'll add that even these youth-oriented editions include parts that are a bit too gruesome for a kid any younger than mine. As I read to her I felt I had to re-word a few scenes in order to tone down the violence. I recommend Sutcliff's and Lee's stunning books to kids over 8-years-old. They will also appeal to adults who want to read Homer's famous stories without slogging through the nearly 700 pages of a full translation.