Thursday, 18 February 2016

Blast From The Past - A Strahd for all seasons

I haven't gone back through my collection looking for older miniatures for a while but two things happened last week that made a trip to the past essential.
First up a friend of mine was looking for some painted undead for a game he is playing with his daughter and I knew I had some stuff in cases I hadn't used in a while.
Second, I started my prep work to run a new Ravenloft game so I wanted to look back at some of the stuff I had painted last time I ran a Ravenloft game.

When the much maligned 4th edition of Dungeons & Dragons was released (which to be honest I really liked) I ran a casual group through some vaguely connected one-off adventures.  Me being me meant that there was a lot of undead and I knew that at some point The Count himself would make an appearance.  I decided on the unofficial-official Strahd Von Zarovich model from Reaper Miniatures.  I've got to say I've been a huge Ravenloft fan since the original I6 module and to this day this model stands up as one of the best interpretations of the character I've seen in a model.

I can't say enough about how good this model is.  For anyone looking for a readily available model to represent Strahd when they run Curse Of Strahd (coming out in March 2016!) I highly recommend it.  The figure doesn't lack for detail or texture but it isn't overdone.

Back to my 4th edition game.
As I was getting ready for my player's confrontation with the horrors beneath the castle Wizards Of The Coast released the Castle Ravenloft board game. I was elated!  It had floor tiles and most if not all of the miniatures I would need to run the players through my planned encounters.  The great thing about the Castle Ravenloft board game is that I came with a lot of staples of low level fantasy/horror; rats, skeletons, ghosts, gargoyles, etc  and although the models were vinyl rather than hard plastic most of them were very crisp and nice looking....most of them....

I decided to paint the "official" Strahd model that came with the game and was super-disappointed.  The figure itself is flat and uninteresting, and to boot he's actually a bit smaller than all of the various low-level minions the box came with.  The truly funny part is that when I put the Reaper model on the table NOBODY asked me who or what he was, they all knew.  But when I put Strahd from the actual game on the table everyone just wondered what he was.
Oh well.  Honestly the rest of the box contents still made this a great purchase even if the main character was a let down.

So those are the Strahds of yesteryear.  I'm working on a new Strahd model now that I really like but sadly he was gifted to me in a plain zip-lock bag so I have no idea who makes him or where he came from.  Maybe when I get him posted someone will recognise him and let me know who makes him.


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