Grenadier Classics by Julie Guthrie [Review]

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Mega-Miniatures has over 180 inexpensive “old school” miniatures sculpted by Julie Guthrie, long-time artist and best known from her work in the late 1970s and 1980s with Grenadier Miniatures. These miniatures can be bought separately or in a “20 for $25” set. Mega-Miniatures is a company owned by Discount Hobby Inc. and sells a wide variety of miniatures for 28mm gaming in all sorts of genres: fantasy, sci-fi and modern. They also sell paper miniatures and other accessories.

I’m very impressed with the line. The price is right, the casting of these miniatures using the old molds is well done and the figures themselves are a fantastic representation of Julie Guthrie’s skills as a sculptor from a time when Dungeons & Dragons was taking off.

Miniatures for fantasy role playing games have gone through quite a number of changes over the years, from the first chunky figures of the 1970s to the oversized, hyper-heroic figures of today. Over the years, some of the more evocative sculptors, like Julie Guthrie, have seen their molds and models resurface. Mega-Minis has over 180 of Julie Guthrie’s old Grenadier models for sale. These figures take us back to a day when the heroes were small, but their details and poses showed them to be the death-defying dungeon explorers they were, and the monsters were evil, creepy and to be feared.

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The two figures shown in the pictures (The Henchman and the Dungeon Raider, respectively) are good examples of the detail available. The Dungeon Raider has quite a bit of detail on his chest armor and the dagger thrust into his belt. You can feel that this figure is intent on getting through the adventure as quickly and safely as possible. The Henchman has quite a bit of gear on his back, but is well armored in easy to paint chainmail and a helmet. The faces on both have good features to paint and draw out unique qualities (the Henchman with his eyes peering from under the helmet, and the Raider with his scruffy beard.)

The figures themselves are cast in pewter and are very robust. Mega-miniatures in general are good quality figures, and I’ve never had a problem with the many figures I’ve ordered over the years from them. On the Guthrie models in particular, the flash and lines are at a minimum and Guthrie’s mark was visible on the bottom. The figures have enough detail for someone who wants to take the time to display a well painted figure, but can easily be painted in a simpler manner for tabletop use. The only drawback to the figures might be the fact that they do come with small bases, perhaps requiring rebasing or careful use.

I highly recommend these miniatures, both for players and for Dungeon Masters wanting to fill out their monster ranks with unique figures. Guthrie’s models are evocative of an old-school D&D, but will add to any game. It should be noted that these figures are most definitely of the old school 25-28mm size and will look small next to more modern 30mm sculptures commonly found today.

The Julie Guthrie catalog (PDF) can be found at Mega-Miniatures.

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