You could describe the development process of our miniature range as random but a more polite term would be idiosyncratic. We’ve never seen the point of creating any standard monsters miniatures. After all, if you want orcs, there are already hundreds available from a variety of manufactures. We prefer to create distinctive miniatures that are as individual as our customers and our latest prototype is no exception.
This is Groltur, an NPC from a long running campaign (17 years), that our designer Rob Grimley plays in. Rescued as a young giant from a gang of orcs, he now lives with a band of gnolls who occasionally work for Rob’s character.
Recently Rob’s lands were threatened by a huge migration of bow wielding barbarians and everybody became involved in the defence. Kiris made Groltur some arrow proof leather armour, a full helm and a huge magical great sword. A mighty battle followed and Groltur proved an invaluable ally.
A Giant’s Giant
Hopefully this picture shows just how large Groltur is! He is standing next to Celebhith, a perfectly scaled 28mm miniature of a 6′ half-elf. A figure on Groltur’s scale posses real design and manufacturing issues.
Groltur is a 4 part construction with a 2-part body and separate arms. The challenge was to devise a way to concealing the joins that still allowed the figure to be cast. This is trickier than it sounds as casting uses centrifugal forces to force the liquid metal into the mould. The design of the figure has to take this into account and ensure there are no bottlenecks or restrictions on the flow of metal.
The size is also a major challenge. The body is only 2mm thinner than the mould itself and any slippage or drift during the manufacture of the master mould would ruin everything. Fortunately, our caster “Slim” is a real master of his craft and could push the master mould to the limits.
However, not everything went to plan.
The waist joint (covered by the belt) distorted slightly in the master mould. Even worse, the leather shoulder guards covering the arm joints were, by Rob’s own admission, too long and thin. They collapsed completely in the master moulding process.
The problems were not so severe that someone of Rob’s skill could not create a finished model but it is not suitable for general production. As this figure was an experiment, we have decided not to do any more work on this at the moment. This is a real shame because Rob’s detailing is amazing. Maybe in a few month’s time we can put Groltur and the Dark Trolls into production.