Old Mini Monday 01 – V&V pt. 1

Old Mini Monday 01 – V&V pt. 1

Background

On a visit to my brother, he rounded up all his old minis and let me borrow the box of them to share on the blog. I didn’t tell him I’m going to Ebay them all and pocket the change. Shhhh!

Just kidding!

As some of you may have noticed, there was no “Old Mini Monday” last week. There’s a good chance that there won’t be one every Monday, but I’ll try. Last week I was trying to finish something up for Azazel’s April Assembly Challenge. This last weekend I was going to take a small breather from painting, but it ended up being the whole weekend. I did prime a few miniatures though, so it wasn’t a total waste.

More importantly to this post, I setup my new lighting rig and carved out a space for it on my desk. With the number of old minis my brother had, and the challenge to get a set of them photo’d every week, I really needed a lighting studio that I didn’t have to make space for every time and store away afterwards.

Enough chit chat, let’s see those old minis!

 

Old Miniatures

 

Manufacturer

On the bottom of the minis is stamped “Dee Herman”, “L&L”, and various dates. It looks like the dates are 1987, 1988, and 1989. I know that “Dee Herman” represents the creators of the game that these minis were made for. So, that’s “Jeff Dee” and “Jack Herman”. I recall “L&L” being the company “Lance & Laser” which made minis for this game. Looks like they are still around on the web: Armorcast (Lance & Laser) website

Jeff Dee and Jack Herman can be reached through this website which features the new Mighty Protectors game (Villains & Vigilantes 3.0): Monkey House Games website

At some point the miniature line moved to another company, and they are readily available at the following site. I’m not sure if any updates or changes have been made since they were first made. Scroll down to the “Living Legends” section: Team Frog Studios website

[EDIT: The Team Frog Studios website says the minis are 28mm. It also looks like they might all be out of stock, but after emailing them directly they were able to send me an invoice for a couple items. Paul replied back super quick, which was great.]

Characters

These six miniatures represent superheroes from an introductory adventure module from the second Superhero RPG to be published “Villains & Vigilantes (V&V)”. The module was called “Crisis at Crusader Citadel”. It came with the boxed set of the game, so anyone who played V&V was very familiar with the module. Much like the “Keep on the Borderlands” module for D&D. The minis were based off of artwork from the module which was drawn by Jeff Dee (co-creator of V&V).

We played quite a bit of the V&V rpg game when we were kids, and it remained one of our favorite rpg systems for quite some time. It’s not surprising that we would want to buy the miniatures at some point. The character names (from left to right) are: Dreamweaver, Laserfire, Manta Man, Enforcer, Evergreen, and Blizzard. They all belong to the super team, called “The Crusaders”.

For even more history on the V&V game, you can check out the Monkey House Games forum or Wikipedia:

Monkey House Games website

Wikipedia – Villains & Vigilantes entry

 

Tangent – Scale

Size comparison – Plastic WizKids D&D mini, V&V mini, and GW 2017 Blood Bowl Dwarf

Revisiting these old minis has brought up a lot of stuff in my head. The first topic I’ll address is “Size”. The scale of these minis is pretty small, compared to the 2017 Blood Bowl minis I’ve been working on recently. I realize that scale of minis has tended to creep up over time. Some speculate it was Games Workshop’s (and possibly other manufacturer’s) way of forcing hobbyists to spend more money. I’m not a wargamer, but I can see how changing the scale or otherwise making someone’s massive army now undeployable….would rightfully cause some serious hatred. It’s not like a faction getting nerfed in a computer game, where you just have to learn how to play something else. No, it’s saying goodbye to a million hours of very hard work of getting the mini prepped, painted, and made table ready. Multiplied by all the minis in your army. Plus all the money the person spent.

Another thought is that miniature scale has crept up because of the ability to add more details to the mini. That seems like a positive thing, and I’ll likely blog about that one later.

Another benefit of small miniature sizes is storage. This is what really struck me. “How many of these minis could I fit into a small box?!”. Awesome size for taking back and forth. I’ve toted the Cthulhu Wars game to our boardgame night before….if the minis in that game were this size, I could probably fit all of them in my pocket!

So the smaller size of minis back in the day, was nice for storage and how many figures you could get on a map. Not so much for sculptors adding details. Thoughts? Anyone prefer smaller or larger scale minis?

12 thoughts on “Old Mini Monday 01 – V&V pt. 1

    1. Thanks TIM! I’m a stickler for scale, in Blood Bowl tabletop. Other games it doesn’t bother me quite as much. In our D&D games (those minis will be shown at some point), we had a few that were different scales and I just kind of lived with it, as choices were pretty slim back then. As long as one miniature didn’t look like a Giant next to one that should be the same size, I could stomach it.

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  1. I personally do tend to like the larger models, as they can fit more details and also more space for freehand and our own painted effects. I don’t think there’s some grand conspiracy to outdate people’s armies, especially as new waves of figures appear(ed) with a good chunk of time between them, and base size was always the most important thing in WHFB. It’s just scale creep and not wanting/needing to be constrained by models released 2-5-10-20 years ago.

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    1. Thanks Azazel. I have heard that theory of scale creep a few times before, but I don’t know enough about GW/Warhammer. I get the feeling it’s just some people wanting to hate on GW. Yea, if bases sizes are more important than mini scale, then that theory really doesn’t sound accurate.

      I’m still a little torn on smaller versus larger models. I’ve just touched on the storage space factor here, but I’ll be bringing up other factors in the future.

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    1. Thanks! It’s funny, because I remember the first time I saw them and actually was pretty disappointed in them. They were smaller than most of our D&D minis at the time, and the details were not that great, especially compared to the more detailed illustrations they were based off of. Also it seemed some of the sculpts were a bit off, and some were decent. Possibly different sculptors? But….there were not a lot of options for superhero minis at that time. Even today (discounting Heroclix crap), you’re hard pressed to find many superhero minis.

      These days I can overlook the flaws of the original line, but probably wouldn’t hesitate to buy a new set if they made some in a larger scale with better detail.

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  2. Nice Faust – glad to see another interested in older stuff. I know of others who have recently ordered from Team Frog, and I await confirmation of them receiving miniatures. I and a friend had issues before and while we got our money back it was a hassle. Please share if you get them?

    As far as scale, with sci-fi, I don’t worry too much. My Team Frog Critter Commandos are 28mm, maybe a tad bigger, and dwarf my Archive 25mm Star Ducks. If anyopne had a problem with that, I’d ask why the concept of Frogs with assault rifles and Ducks with blasters was not a bigger concern. As stated above, as long as its not egregious. I see some GW stuff that takes up half a table – that’s too much!

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    1. Thanks for the heads up on Team Frog. He did mention in an email, that “I’ve also been busy with other more pressing nongaming issues.”, so maybe there are other factors going on. I sent him an order through email, but awaiting an invoice right now.

      Your scale comment made me laugh. I’ve been a superhero fan since I was a kid, and I feel the same way about them. People will complain about the dumbest things ‘underwear outside their costume, Hawkeye being a lame hero with just arrows, etc.’. But then Batman is just fine running around in a big cape doing martial arts, or it’s perfectly believable that a guy like Wolverine could have claws popping out of his arms, etc.

      I think scale bothers me the most when it’s inconsistency from the same manufacturer. Some of the Ral Partha minis my brother has are all over the place, and look kind of weird. GW Blood Bowl minis really bugged me in the past, as you had you would line your teams up on the pitch and might have Humans who look like dwarfs compared to the rest.

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  3. Personally scale creep doesn’t really bother me, certainly over recent years GW’s range seems to have levelled out and now mostly keeps to the same scale. Obviously this does leave older models looking a bit on the small side but I can accept that in exchange for the greater quality and detail of modern sculpts. Where it does bother me is when scale varies within a range. Look at the space marines – it’s a real pig’s breakfast. There’s a picture in the 40k rulebook of Thousand Sons fighting Space Wolves and the Thousand Sons tower over the Wolves, who’re about the same height as a guardsman. Then the Death Guard are bigger still and the Primaris, which are about right for normal space marines according the background, are the tallest of all. It leaves me feeling that my current chaos marines collection all look too short, but ultimately that’s my aesthetic preference, and now I have the pleasure of recreating it as I’d like it to look so ultimately I can’t complain.

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    1. Yea, that’s usually where I have issues. In Blood Bowl, I had minis that were smaller, but were supposed to be stronger than others. Even though I might know better, it’s even worse for new players. I’m glad the new range has been pretty consistent, model wise.

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