"Kobolds!" - Not quite what I expected the Master Chef to say when he gave me a pack of painted miniatures. "Kobolds from Splintered Light. 'Foresty creature' look about them so I thought you'd like them for your Fire Dragon armies".
"Oh! I've included some excess Satyr's too!" Satyrs? I mean, let's be honest, they're the Austin Powers of the fantasy world. I'm not sure I can field these on a tabletop without quoting one-liners from the movie! Thanks Chef!
Whilst I'm firmly into 15mm now, my personal golden age of fantasy miniatures lies back with 25mm in the 1970's. This entry on greyhawkgrognard.blogspot.com gives an impression of the type of figure I still hold a deep fondness for over and above the 28mm grotesque of Games Workshop.
My favourites were Minifigs' Valley of the Four Winds, and Garrison's Sword & Sorcery ranges spiced up with Vikings, Sassanids, Ghazanids and Medievals plus the odd plastic 'giant' Eagle.
The spark for all this came from Airfix Guide no.9. At that time I used to hike up to The Harrow Model Shop in Station Road every saturday to spend my pocket money, it would still be a couple of years before GW would open in Dalling Road. I walked 3 plus miles each way to spend my £1 a week on 25mm figs at 9p each. "Luxury! Tell the young people of today....." LOL!
My introduction to 'fantasy' as such was the classic, Beowulf. I still remember listening to the story being played to us at primary school and can feel the deep intonation of the words and visualise the images conjured up in my mind from back then. This resonated with the world my mother painted for me with her stories of Finn McCool, Brian Boru and Finnbheara. It's this gritty world of Dark Age monsters and magic, Fearie Kings, Anglo-Saxon poems and Norse sagas I have always found more intriguing than what could be called 'High Fantasy'.
The Wulf Kings and the Crow Lords, simple warbands of heroes and men, forest creatures, sprites and the deamons of the land will battle for dominance over the Valley of the Fire Dragon. Whilst the Fire Dragon himself, HOT37: The Swallower of Hope from 15mm.co.uk will come from his mountain ramparts on occasion to assert himself as overlord.
It's just something the soul of a boy from the "loch of the red eye" is telling me I have to do.