Friday, December 30, 2016

New Hero & Tribute to Gary Gygax & David A. Trampier

Got a couple of new installments for today, I'll start with the more mundane one and move to the more exciting tribute piece at the end of this post.

You can never have too many fighter-type figures.  So I made another one.
Standard milk bottle construction with a flat tapered wooden plug on the top (larger side towards the bottom of the milk bottle), and a bead cut in half and glued on the top of the smaller end of the plug to make a more "nasal" looking helmet.  I've been wanting to do one for a while, and I think I may have hit on the construction method for it that I like.  You just have a couple of half holes on the sides (because it's a bead) but I just filled them in with glue.  You can still see them, but it's good enough.  Shield is a small thin wooden circle with a leather craft brad (with the prongs cut off) glued onto the middle of the shield.  The sword is a tile spacer cut to shape.  And that's it.
I did try a slightly different shield arm position for this figure.  As you can see he is holding the shield away from his body.  This is a bit more "realistic" I think, and by tapering the top of the shoulder of the left arm (the tile spacer that makes it up), cutting it at a 45 degree angle, you still get a lot of surface area of the tile spacer touching the body, so it should be strong enough.
I also wanted him to be a bit more "mixed armor" in appearance, so he has the chain mail shirt, but over it he's got a more banded mail type of chest protection.  The variety makes him more visually interesting I think, in addition to his helmet.

And now, onto the tribute piece ...

For those of you who remember the name of Trampier you could probably already figure out what the piece will be.  There are few things in the D&D world (at least the old school D&D world) than the cover of the 1st edition AD&D Players Handbook.  Below is an image of the cover without any of the text, in other words, it's closest to the original painting done by David A. Trampier.
The demon idol with the gem eyes and the two thieves trying to pry them out of the statue is such an iconic old-school D&D image, I just had to try and do a Craftee version of it.  Here is what I did.
Here is the statue by itself.
Here is the view an adventurer would have of it, standing at its feet.

And here is a more posed shot with other adventurers.
At first I was just going to do the statue, but I just love the two thieves, so I had to include them as well, even though I'll never use the figures except for this post.  It was worth it, although they were a pain to make!  The idol construction is very straightforward, although I will say it has a lot of large pieces in it and it is not the most inexpensive figure I've ever done.  There is probably about $10.00 worth of material in this thing, which for a Craftee is a lot.  His main body is a very large egg (not sure of the size but you can tell from the other figures in terms of scale).  His upper arms are large split egg, with his forearms one size smaller split eggs.  His "hands" are the split lady bugs (although you can't really see that in any of the pictures).  His lower legs/shins are the same size of split eggs as his upper arms.  He has smaller split eggs behind these (although you can't see them) serving as the upper legs.  His feet are split wren eggs (the smallest of the eggs), as are the end pieces of his horns.  I used axle caps glued at the bottom of these split eggs to create the horns, and then glued them to the head.  The head is a large round ball with a flat bottom (this is important!).  The flat bottom of the large ball and the flat end of the very large egg being used for the body allowed me to have a good and sturdy place to attach the head to the body.  The base is an oval precut piece of thin plywood I got at Michael's.  Interestingly, these pieces are also what I make my doors out of as well, I just cut them down to make doors.  They eyes are fake gems I also picked up at Michael's in a pack of several colors.  The fire "plate" is the same half circle piece I used to make the large braziers I put in a previous post.  Everything about it is identical, down to the hot glue fire effect.

As far as the paint job goes, I knew I would need to be more extreme in my colors, both because there is no sculpting on this very large figure (so you have to use the paint job to create any sense of depth), and also because I wanted it to be consistent with my painting style on the smaller figures.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this piece, which makes me even more happy since my primary motivation in doing it was as a tribute to Gary Gygax for his great game, and David Trampier for his iconic artwork.  Unfortunately, neither one of them is still with us.  Thank you very much, gentlemen, for some great memories and fun times!


  1. Oh wow! That is a great tribute piece! This is definitely going on to DM Scotty's page.

  2. Thanks Dale! I don't usually say this, but in the case of this figure/statue, my photo does not do it justice. Unlike most of my Craftees, this thing is much better looking in person than it looks in the photos I took. Thanks for posting it over on DM Scotty's page, please let me know their reactions to it.




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