I love re-purposing toy figures for gaming in miniatures battles. It can be challenging, but it can also stretch my gaming money, allowing me to purchase even more figures to game with! I thought I would do some comparison pages, beginning with Giants. Dragons will be next, I hope...
Let's get to it, shall we? We'll start off with AD&D Hill Giants. I have some old, Grenadier Hill Giants, circa 1980. I mixed them in with a set of plastic, 54mm Cave Men, available on Amazon.com, here. For size comparisons, I selected a vinyl, D&D miniature, from the pre-painted, random packs they used to sell. The D&D pre-paint figure, is a 28mm Human Barbarian.
|On the far left, is a lead, Grenadier Hill Giant, female, kneeling. To her right,|
are five figures from the Cave Man set, painted to match the lead female figure.
|Here is the same figure, sans shield.|
Safari Ltd Powhatan Indians TOOB converted as Hill Giants:
I picked up some toy figures, around 54mm tall, depicting stone age, Native Americans, for use as additional Hill Giants; they can be seen here.. They came pre-painted, so all I did was to mount them on clear bases, and apply The Dip (Royal Walnut color) to them, which will be followed by a matte clear coat, to dull them down. While they are not a perfect match to my other Hill Giant figures (they look a bit too advanced for Hill Giants), they are close enough.
|The original figures, as they came from the manufacturer, painted. Mine had brown, |
stone-like bases, though, not green, as shown in this photo -- a minor detail, but worth noting.
|Armed with a war club -- crude, but highly effective at scrambling heads to make a brain omellette.|
|While Hill Giants are not known to carry a Bow, I can't see why they wouldn't. |
These figures show the full effects of The Dip (Royal Walnut).
|I believe this figure is supposed to represent the Chief of the tribe. |
He will be perfect for a Chieftain of the Hill Giant clan.
|In Gary Gygax's module, "Steading of the Hill Giants", he had females, and young Hill Giants. |
I won't be using them in my games, but I thought I would add them for completeness.
|Youthful Hill Giants, carrying food stuffs.|
|The Chieftain's wife? If I need her, this figure will work.|
|Tanning hides. A perfect piece for the Chieftain's Great Hall.|
|A campfire is a perfect addition to the Chieftain's Great Hall. Matter of fact, Gygax's |
module had a giant-sized campfire in the center of the Chieftain's Great Hall -- perfect!
Moving onward to Stone Giants, I have some examples from the now OOP Mega-Minies brand, as well as a Reaper model. Both are gaming miniatures, but they show how widely the scale, and sculpting, can vary. I will likely use the Reaper's taller figure, as a Chieftain, as they tend to be of larger, stronger sizes than their underlings.
|Mega-Minies brand (OOP) Stone Giant. Beefy, eh?|
|Reaper's Stone Giant figure: beefy, and tall! Superb in detail, design, and very usable in scale, as well.|
|Side by side, you can really see the size differences, as well as the styles. Both are excellent figures.|
Next up, the Giants from the frozen Northlands! I pressed into service, some 60mm Viking figures, from Cherilea (search e-Bay for these lovely figure sets, and other, similar brands of 60mm Vikings). They are injection-molded plastic, just like the 54mm Cave Men figures, only these have far greater detail. They painted up easily, and quickly, and they will serve their Drow masters, well. Very well, indeed...
|Remember, this Giant is kneeling! He also is looking down, which is perfect for combat with a puny Human Barbarian.|
|Here is a Frost Giant standing, considering how best to prepare this tasty morsel for his cold gullet! He is standing at full height, and we can see just how tall these figures really are, compared to a 28mm Human figure.|
|Standing in a row, you can see just how big these 60mm|
"Frost Giants" really are, compared to a puny, 28mm Human.
For Fire Giants, I have some from Mega-Minies (OOP), and some official, WotC D&D Fire Giants. All are miniatures designed for gaming, but still, it is an interesting comparison.
|Mega-Minies OOP Fire Giant figure. Simple, easy to paint, and very imposing. Yikes!|
|Here is a regular, Fire Giant, from WotC's D&D line. Very similar in size to the Mega-Minies figure.|
|Two peas in a pod? Well, almost!|
I only have one example of this Giant type. It is an older Ral Partha figure, but he is quite a bit larger than the rest, so it works quite well.
|Let's hope the Storm Giant is in a talking mood!|
These are toy figures, 54mm, from Amazon.com, again, here. They are super-fast to paint up, with modest detail, and very serviceable. Check these bad boys out...
|Simple, but effective. And oh-so-useful for your necromantically minded spell casters who want henchmen they won't have to pay for services rendered! No questions, no complaints -- how much better could they be?|
|This is their best side. They never looked better, even when they were clothed with flesh!|
|There are six different poses, three different from these -- check the Amazon.com link for all six poses.|
|"Ummm, I think I hear my mother calling me home for dinner! Gotta go -- see ya, Bye!!!"|
Side-by-Side: How do they compare?
Let's take a look at these same figures, beside one another, to really get an idea of how they stack up. Remember that in AD&D, the Giants vary in size, height, and weight, by quite a bit! This point really is quite obvious, as seen in these photo's...
|Hill, Frost, and Fire Giants.|
|Hill, Stone, and Fire Giants.|
|Hill, Frost, and Storm Giants.|
|Hill, Skeleton, and Storm Giants. Note that the Skeleton is much taller than 54mm, |
which is how big the Hill Giant figure is supposed to be. Hmmm...
I hope these images will help you decide if some of these figures, and toys, are suitable, and useful to you, in your games. Perhaps you have an entirely different idea of how you can use them in your games. Happy gaming! Cheers!