Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Holmes' Little Metal People, Take II


Click for larger view



After I posted yesterday, Billy Galaxy sent me a much better copy of the photo from the L.A. Times article. It's uncropped and the resolution in the scan is fantastic: the individual minis are actually identifiable. The table may be the same one as in the photo in his 1981 FRPG book, with a blackboard surface for drawing dungeon maps in chalk. 

I'm far from an expert on minis but I do recognize three "Pumpkinhead Bugbears" (Archive, 1976, Dungeon Nasties set) near his left hand.


Detail of Holmes' Bugbears
Here's a close-up of someone else's painted one from an old Acaeum post:



These minis were based on the original Bugbear drawing (by Greg Bell) in the Greyhawk supplement (1975), which also served to later inspire the Jack O' Bear of Runequest.


The original D&D Bugbear illustration

Billy also identified some of the minis as Dragontooth Saurians, inc the large lizard in the middle, and some Minifig Gnolls to the far right. Let me know if you recognize any other minis from the picture.


See also these follow-up posts:
Holmes' Saurians
DCSIII Customized Saurians

13 comments:

  1. If I may...

    I see at least five of the Old Guard-for-TSR "Legions of the Petal Throne" figures in the photo; just below the clump of "Real-Life" model railroad lichen is a Yan Koryani musician, a 'Legion of Red Devastaion' two-handed swordsman, and to their front are two 'Sokatis Regional Infantry' halbardiers; off to the right, and up a little bit, are two Tsolyani infantry archers.

    There's also what looks like a pair of Ral Partha ES-series Sea Elves (the spearmen in back of the archers), as well as a pair of Ral Partha 'Southron' spearmen off to the far right.

    Gadzooks, sir! It takes me back to Ye Olden Dayes when this was about all we had for miniatures, and wepainted them up to look like anything - in sharp contrast to these modern days!!! :)

    yours, Chirine

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    1. Thanks for the identifications!

      Holmes was definitely a Tekumel fan. Chapter 7 of his book is called, "Empire of the Petal Throne, and Other Dynasties". The EPT portion of this chapter, which also covers other non-D&D fantasy RPGs, can be found here:
      Holmes on Empire of the Petal Throne

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  2. I must say, I like the Jack'O'Lantern-headed bugbears better than any other interpretation I've ever seen. It gives them an appealing spooky and mythic quality. Thanks for sharing these old Holmes miniatures.

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    1. On the right is the hex map from D1-3. There's a dungeon drawn out on the paper the minis are sitting one. Anyone recognize it? It's got a big round room.

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    2. Dangit, I meant on the left.

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    3. Good spot on the D1-3 hex map. I don't recognize the dungeon. Perhaps something from the D1-3 series?

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  4. That dragontooh saurian would make a great giant gila monster ... ;-)

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  5. I love the pumpkin head bugbear. This fall I am going to be on the lookout for some cheap (dollar store most likely) little pumpkin decorations so that I can cut the heads off a few bugbears minis and replace them (though if I could hollow out some of the small decorations and put them over the heads of the bugbears that would be mighty cool too).

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    1. Great idea, Jason! It would be wonderful if Otherworld produced some truly old school bugbears like this.

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  6. I had a chance to go downtown and talk to Billy about the stuff he had a few days ago. The most awesome thing he showed me was a hand-typed manuscript that was to become the Blue Book. It was interesting to note that the original map of the sample dungeon he drew was much smaller and compact than the one that ended up being published. He also showed me some photos of monster drawings by Chris Holmes. They were far superior to many of the pictures used by TSR at the time.

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    1. Wow, that's great! Thanks for sharing. Hopefully we'll all get to see that original map. It could explain why the rooms are so large in the map in the Blue Book. Perhaps Sutherland redrew it at a larger size to fill the page.

      Chris had some art published later in Dragon magazine, most notably for the story Trollshead.

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  7. Say, that's a Ral Partha werebear miniature hiding behind a rock on the far left of the picture. I have one of those figures. I wonder if it represents a "Lawful Werebear" or "Beorning" that Holmes mentioned several times.

    http://www.miniatures-workshop.com/lostminiswiki/index.php?title=Image:RP-01-040v1.jpg

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