*This post contains a flashback. Insert flashback effects here.*
I grew up during the 80’s, and when the fair came to town there was usually an arcade set up alongside the wurlitzer and hook-a-duck stalls. Now it may be one of those weird constructed memories, but I swear that this was where I got my first glimpse of the Dragon’s Lair cabinet. More on this later.
Potentially apocryphal memories aside, the second season of Stranger Things rolled around with it’s nostalgia inducer racked up to eleven and I was fully primed for some retro gaming.
I started playing D&D with the second edition of the game, but over the years I’ve dabbled with earlier editions, mostly the Rules Cyclopedia as some of the earlier supplements I had were written for that ruleset. Having picked up a hardback reprint of that book from RPGNow, I went searching for some minis to play with.
During my search I wound up at the Hasslefree miniatures site. I’d bought some figures from there before, in particular the ones reminiscent of certain characters from the first two films in Edgar Wright’s ‘Cornetto Trilogy’. Nothing really caught my eye (at least from a retro gaming perspective – there were plenty of others to enhance my project list!), until I came across their ‘Rescuing Knight’ and ‘Damsel in Distress’. Immediately my nostalgia reawakened and I knew they must be mine. I actually waited a whole year before purchasing the knight figure as I was hoping that it would be released in metal, but after waiting that long I bit the bullet and ordered the resin cast. What made me wait so long? Simple, it was the cost – £15 plus VAT plus postage. This was before I started purchasing Games Workshop figures again, so that much for a single figure seemed expensive (I recognise that smaller producers have higher overheads, I’m just a cheapskate…).
When the figure arrived it was a thing of beauty and I put off painting it for a while because of fear of messing it up. It really captured the essence of the Dirk character but also had a realistic quality that sent me scurrying off on a tangent looking at HarnMaster books. Eventually I returned to the painting table and decided to put my metaphorical token in the metaphorical slot and begin. I decided that I wanted the base to look like a cast on base and so used one of my very last Gorkamorka bases.
Oh, but the miniature was not quite ready. You see in the game Dirk has a small backpack and this was missing from the sculpt. This was quickly rectified with the addition of a space marine scout pouch and some greenstuff straps (to maintain the realism of the sculpt, although my efforts turned out rather poorer than I had hoped). I painted this using Army Painter and Citadel Paints with a duller palette than the arcade game, realism again with a nod to the muted colours of enamels on old lead.
Since painting he’s represented my PC fighter Eryk in the 5e Hoard of the Dragon Queen adventure, but I’d love to use him in a Rules Cyclopedia or even Basic set game.