Sunday, August 04, 2013

Companions of the Lance: Old School Love

I've been doing a bit of shopping on eBay lately and managed to round up some semi-old school miniatures that depict the iconic characters of the Dragonlance saga.  All of the companions are here:  Tanis, Caramon, Sturm, Flint, Tasslehoff, Riverwind, Goldmoon, Laurana, and Tika.  All of them that is, except for Raistlin. 

I bought the miniatures in various stages of completion.  Some of them were almost like new while others had layers of gunky paint that needed stripping.  A good soaking in Simple Green and an attack by an old toothbrush removed most of the gunk.  As you can see above, they are all cleaned and prepped and ready to be primed.  Unfortunately, due to the high humidity down here this time of year, I'll have to go to my backup option for priming.  Hand priming with Guesso will add some time to the project, though.

As you can tell from my well-worn copy of the first book in the trilogy, I was, and still am, a big fan of the original Dragonlance books.  I placed emphasis on the word original because the later books were a bit of a disappointment for me.  I read the Legends trilogy when it was released and thought them just OK.  At about that time though, I dropped D&D, miniatures, and fantasy reading in general in favor of cars, girls, and college.  When I came back to the hobby in 2002 I tried a few of the new books and could not get into them.  At first I though that I had changed and that type of reading no longer interested me but that would not be true.  I still very much enjoy rereading the original series and have done so several times over the last ten years.

Anyhow, I now have most of the members of the Companions of the Lance and I'm ready to start painting.  I plan on using my beat up books as a guide for the color selection.  I will try to paint each miniature in the colors that the characters appear on the covers of the books.  For additional inspiration I will utilize some of the old module covers as well as my ancient copy of Leaves from the Inn of the Last Home.

Image courtesy of DnD Lead website

As I mentioned above, I have all of the main characters except Raistlin Majere.  It seems that this miniature is rather rare and difficult to find.  I routinely monitor eBay for a copy.  The best I have been able to find is a painted copy for $49 and an unpainted version for $100.  Now I have been known to blow my money on overpriced toys before but I think these two minis are out of my league.  One hundred dollars is entirely too much to pay for a 28mm tall chunk of lead.  They are apparently out of every other painters range as well since both listings have been active for a very long time. 

To complete my collection and not break the bank, I will have to hope to stumble upon a reasonable copy ($30 or less) or use a proxy from another company.  Dark Sword Miniatures has a nice version that I just purchased a few weeks ago as does Reaper (which I painted last year I think).  Unfortunately, both miniatures are the wrong scale and would not match up well with the others.  So the search will continue.

Just out of curiosity, what is the most you have paid for a single regular sized miniature?  Am I wrong to think $50 - $100 is too much?

Thanks for reading....


  1. The most I have ever paid for a single human-sized figure would have to be less than $10 and no, you are not wrong about a $50-$100 miniature. My last purchase was a Reaper Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard for $6 or $7 and even that made me queasy! I'm firmly stuck in 1980-83 junior high school when 1 mini ran $0.75-$1.25. By the way, I checked my Dragonlance Heroes set and my Raistlin has his right hand up/out and his staff raised in his left hand. I thought I had a duplicate set but it was the Forgotten Realms Heroes. Sorry I couldn't help.

    1. Yes, I remember the days when miniatures did not break the bank. Of course, times change. While I have fond memories of my old-school minis and still love to collect them, the miniatures of yore simply cannot equal the design and detail of today. Unfortunately I have to pay the increased costs to get my greedy little hands on the new stuff.

      It's funny you should mention Anirion. He was the miniature I was talking about when I mentioned a Reaper stand-in for Raistlin. I painted him in 2011 I think but as luck would have it, I just received a new copy with my Bones Kickstarter shipment. Alas...he's still too large to fit in with the other Dragonlance minis but I may paint him up as Raistlin nevertheless.

      And speaking of inexpensive miniatures, you may want to check out the Bones line from Reaper. The detail is acceptable and the price should fall right in your range.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. The best stand-in for Raistlin that I know is from Nocturna Models. They also have a stand-in for Sturm.
    But probably the scale way too big (30 mm)

    1. Thanks for the info. I was not aware of these models at all. While they are definitely too large to fit in with my Companions of the Lance project, I will certainly be investing in a few of their miniatures. They are beautiful.

      Oh, thanks for reading!!