I have loved this John Dennett figure for many years. I know that I got it when I was back at West Point. The main problem was that its axe was prone to breaking off, and mine of course did. I tried different repairs over the years but to no avail. When I used the figure, I always had to say “imagine the axe being there”! Below is how the figure should have appeared as I purchased it. Note that it was guarding a treasure.
At some point, Grenadier recognized the problem and updated the figure with a hammer and got rid of the horns when they released this in the “Fantasy Lords – Second Series”.
When my Frost Giant lost his axe, I tried all kinds of glue, but nothing worked. In fact, some of the glue actually went over the figures hair, which obscured some detail. At some point over the last 30 years, I came across a tomahawk charm that looked like it might work. At the time I did not have a pin vise and the project waited, with the figure looking like this below, for at least 25 years.
Note that I had him on a balsa wood base that was painted green. The figure itself was chipped, as I never used varnish back in the day like I do now. I clearly painted some parts of him too thickly, but I really did not want to strip the whole figure. To a degree, I like to keep what I did back in the day as it was done. However, with a repair, I decided to go a little bit further.
I used an Exacto knife to shave off the end of the tomahawk and my pin vise to drill a small hole in the shaft of the axe in the Frost Giant’s hands. This fit well, though less appropriately than the previously missing axe.
I then removed the figure (and his treasure) and mounted them both with wood glue on a 2.5″ hex cut from 1/8″ plywood. I prefer this as it made the figure less “boxy”. I had used Krylon white spray primer to prep the new base and the new axe. I used E6000 epoxy to affix the new axe.
I then began to play with some paints and inks to improve the figure. The shaft of the new axe and the leather straps were base painted with Citadel “XV-88”. I then mixed the “XV-88” with Armory “Leather Brown” and Americana “Raw Umber”. I tried to see if a dry brush technique with Citadel “Prayeti White” would help the his loincloth pelt and his hair. It did not, so those waited for other interventions.
I used Tamiya “Gun Metal” on the axe itself, as well as on parts of his belt, armor, and helmet.
For his skin, I applied a very light coat of Americana “Sky Blue Satin” to cover some of the chips. I then mixed that with Americana “Snow” to add further highlights.
I changed the stone colors on his bracelet. I replaced the pinkish color on the bracelet’s stones with two altered colors. I used Polly-S “Demon Dark Red”, while I used Americana “Dioxazine Purple” on the other stones. I darkened the axe and its straps with Secret Weapons Washes “Heavy Body Black” wash. The horns I dry brushed with Craftsmart “Ivory”.
For the treasure, I used Citadel “Auric Armor Gold” on the coins. For the skull in the treasure pile, I used Craftsmart “Ivory” to cover the white color it had. I darkened the quiver with P3 “Brown Ink”, and used Polly-S “Demon Dark Red” on the fletchings. All the treasure pile then got a light wash with the Secret Weapons Washes “Heavy Body Black”.
I then decided that the white pelt and boots and snow-white beard had to go. For this, I used a combination of three inks – P3 “Brown Ink”, and “Sewer Water” and “Heavy Body Black” from Secret Weapons Washes. This made the boots and pelt more like something from a brown bear. For the beard, I just used diluted Secret Weapons Washes “Stone” to create a sooty appearance. These worked well. I then went back to the skin – luckily I had not painted that too thickly back in the 1980’s! I highlighted the muscles and the skin depressions on the arms and the legs, and then used Secret Weapons Washes “Blue” ink to wash the skin. I then did a second skin highlight, and used Secret Weapons Washes “Heavy Body Black” on the armor and the helmet. I applied a light highlight on the edge of the axe with Tamiya “Titanium Silver”.
On the plywood base, I worked in air-dry modeling clay and tried to make it like real snow. I even made footprints behind the figure. I let that dry for a day, and applied Americana “Snow” on the entire base. I used Citadels flocking snow with white glue to give a more snowy appearance to newer drifts. I sealed the figure with a spray coat of Krylon “Clear Glossy” varnish followed several hours later by a finishing coat of Krylon “Clear Matte”. I then used white glue to add some Army Painter “Wasteland Tuft” to represent dead plants popping through the snow.
All I can say is “He’s BAAACK!”. The figure is better than before and will last a long time on the tabletop – and he will bring along his own snowy environment!
7 thoughts on “Rehabilitating a 1983 Grenadier Frost Giant (Fantasy Lords – First Series 103)”
Is it really from 1983? Does it say it on the Base? I have been researching to figure out the previous sculpture’s release date, 102 Demon. This may help.
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I know I bought it in 1983
And I’m positive that it was 1983 on the base
Nice work! I bought the same figure and the axe was already broken in the package. I forgot all about the treasure pile he came with, and must have lost it years ago.
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Thanks, yes the ax was cast in a very soft material, and back in the day I had no idea about pinning or green stuff. I also painted him very thickly in the 80’s, so rather than strip him and start over, I opted for the rehab. Thanks for looking!
I own two of them and the year under the base is 1984. One of them had a missing axe and I made a mold in blue stuff with the one which had still its axe. The result is not perfect, but for a non specialist’s eye, I think it’s fine.
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Yeah, the original axes were made of that soft lead and were easily broken.