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The Amazing Worlds of Grenadier


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8thOVC Inactive Member writes:

Ron, would you happen to know what the flag looked like that tarletons legion, foot and mounted, would have carried and where it might be available?

ed


Revision Log
29 August 2005page first published

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I recently learned that The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier - a copy of which I have right here - has gone out-of-print and is no longer available. Terence Gunn, the author, self-published the first two printings but is hoping to find a publisher for the next edition.

Consequently, it seems like an opportune time to reprint the book review by jpattern, originally published in the TMP forums. (Interested publishers can contact Mr. Gunn at terencegunn@yahoo.com.)

This is a review of Terence Gunn's 2004 self-published book The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier, which describes the 20-year history of Grenadier Models, Inc. from 1975 to 1995. The book contains 60 pages, and includes a supplemental 43-page PDF file on CD.

The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier

The first page of the book introduces Andrew Chernak and Ray Rubin, Grenadier's founders, and lays out the early history of the company. The rest of the book is broken down by decade, beginning with Grenadier's first historical minis in 1975 (a 25mm American Revolution line) and wrapping up with the last Fantasy Warriors minis produced in early 1995. At GenCon in August 1996, "persons unknown" announced that Grenadier had folded and that Stratelibri had purchased their molds and masters.

Covering the decades at Grenadier

The book contains brief descriptions of just about every line of historical, fantasy, and science fiction miniatures produced by Grenadier, as well as all of their published games like Journey, Seawolf, Fantasy Warriors, Kill Zone, and Dragon Lords. Especially interesting are the discussions of how various lines of minis came about, how licenses were obtained and lost, and how many of the licensed minis were then repackaged as generic minis.

There are dozens of images, most in color, of artwork from blister packs, boxed sets, games, RPG modules, catalogs, and ads. There are only a few photos of actual miniatures in the book, but the supplemental CD contains additional color and black-and-white pictures of literally hundreds of Grenadier miniatures, games, catalogs, bulletins, and ads. As the author notes, he put these on the CD so the reader can zoom in on them to see additional detail that would be difficult to see in the book.

Sample images from the CD

As an example of the level of detail in the book, here's the description for the Traveller line:

The long-awaited 25mm scale lineup of miniatures for the award-winning science-fiction role-playing game by Game Designer's Workshop, Traveller, also appeared in 1983. Sculpted by Chernak and [John] Dennett, the lineup consisted of four boxed sets Imperial Marines, Adventurers, Alien Animals, and Alien Mercenaries (the latter released in 1984). Each boxed set came with a game aid starter scenario and accessories. A line of 15mm miniatures was also announced but never manufactured, due to lack of interest. Worth noting are the figures in the Adventurers set: some were designed to initially be used in the Pinnacle Products Star Trek and Star Side sets; some, perhaps, conversions of the aforementioned.
Traveller listing

This description is accompanied by a color photo of the cover of the Adventurers boxed set. The supplemental CD includes photos of the miniatures from all four boxed sets.

Some of the more obscure miniatures described and/or pictured include those for Gamma World, Dark Crystal, Secret Agent, Traveller, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe, Warbots, Champions, Lord of the Rings, DC Heroes, Twilight 2000, Paranoia, and Bladestorm. That's not an exhaustive list of the lines described in the book, just a representative sample to whet your appetite.

Do you remember the Warbots?

The decade-by-decade chapters are followed by a description, reprinted from a Grenadier Bulletin, of how a mini goes from idea, to design, to sculpt, to master, to finished mini. This is probably not news to anyone on TMP, but it is a good summary of the process.

Next is a series of interesting one-page interviews with Andrew Chernak, Doug Cowie, Sandra Garrity, William Watt, Bob Naismith, and Janine Bennett. They each talk about how they came to be associated with Grenadier, their favorite sculpts, what they've been doing since Grenadier folded that sort of thing. The author wanted to interview other key Grenadier personnel, such as Ray Rubin and Mark Copplestone, but was unsuccessful.

Remember these magazine ads?

The book wraps up with an appendix containing, in the author's words, "the most comprehensive Grenadier Models product listings and release dates available". I have to agree with that assessment; there are some gaps in the listings, but the author is aware of those gaps and explains why they're there.

As the author notes, the book is not intended as a price guide; it does not provide any information on current market prices for Grenadier minis. Then again, considering the volatility of the used mini market, such a price guide would become out-of-date very quickly.

Every serious collector of Grenadier minis should own this book, and even casual collectors will find a lot to enjoy.