At the age of twelve, 1978 was the year I ventured into the role-playing gaming world and began buying and painting lead gaming miniatures. My first miniatures purchase was the Grenadier Models Wizzards & Warriors boxed set Monsters. Soon after I purchased other Wizzards & Warriors boxed sets, a Gamma World set, then several from Grenadier’s AD&D line. Although I stopped buying and painting miniatures in the early 1980s, I continued gaming sporadically into the early 1990s. I even tried my hand at creating my own fantasy role-playing game system and world.
In the early 2000s, I had a fairly well paying job, good credit, and enough spare time and money to get into the hobby again. But what I was really interested in were the games and miniatures from my youth. I, of course, discovered eBay, and nostalgia really kicked in! I went a bit crazy and not only bought every game and miniature I once owned, but bought many of the games and miniatures I always wanted or was curious about. For miniatures, Grenadier Models was at the top of the list. I began painting miniatures again, learning different techniques and honing my painting skills. I had soon amassed quite a collection of lead miniature figures, with those produced by Grenadier Models being predominant. Aside from the hobby aspect of seeking out, buying, collecting, and painting, I was getting also quite the history lesson of Grenadier Models and its products.
Having stopped collecting miniatures in the early 1980s, I had no idea how long this company was in business, or how vast its catalogue of miniatures and other products were; nor did I realise the tremendous impact Grenadier Models had on/in the gaming miniatures industry. At the time there was only one available source of compiled information indexing Grenadier Models’ line of products, and that was the Internet site The Stuff of Legends. Although a useful resource, I began noticing how many gaps there were in the product listings, and that certain lines were not listed at all, nor mentioned. There was also very little information about the company itself, the founders, and other people involved. Grenadier Models – one of the most innovative, prominent, influential and pioneering gaming miniatures in history, that created more gaming miniatures and more distinct gaming miniature lines than any other gaming miniatures company in history, and there is very little known about this company and its vast line of products. I was fascinated by this company and its products and wanted to learn more; and I wanted share what I learned with others.
Nobody ever wrote a book about a gaming miniatures company before, so there was no template example for me to go by. I was not then, nor am I now, a professional writer, nor have I ever been trained in manuscript writing and photographic layout. Despite this, I decided to chance me arm, so to say, and just do it. And I did.
In 2004 I self-published a book called The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier. The book chronicled the product and company history of top gaming miniatures company, Grenadier Models, founded in Springfield, PA in 1975 by sculptors Andrew Chernak and Ray Rubin. The first of its kind, and to this day, the only book of its kind, The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier featured an insightful chronological narrative, glossy colour images of products, interviews with some of Grenadier’s sculptors and employees, and displayed the most comprehensive Grenadier Models product listings available. The book was also a good source of reference to many of the creations and trends in the gaming and gaming miniatures industry in the mid-1970s to the mid-1990s.
For a variety of reasons, the book was not intended to be a photo compendium, displaying Grenadier’s remarkably vast line of miniatures. But, at the same time, the book did fall short of displaying a significant number of miniatures to satisfy the reader’s curiosity and desire for visual reference. I was aware of this and put together and included with each book a supplemental CD with a PDF containing 40 plus pages of images from Grenadier’s miniature lines and products. This was an efficient way to keep the printing cost down, as well as to enable zooming in on the images to see greater detail of the miniatures featured. But such wasn’t as enjoyable as having all these images included in a physical book, which one could reference and access more easily.
After the first two short print runs ran out within months of publication, and not having the funds for a third print run, I decided to make the book available in eBook format. For those who had missed out on the print runs, the eBook was the only option. A general consensus revealed that those who purchased the eBook enjoyed the contents, but would much rather have had the book in physical, printed form. Some expressed a desire for both. But it wasn’t just a desire for the physical book with the accompanying CD Supplement; such was a desire for a fusion of the two in physical, printed form.
After numerous years of consideration and frequently putting the idea of a revised and expanded edition of the book on the back burner, I decided to go ahead and do it.
Still in the works, the new edition of The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier has been revised and re-edited, includes corrected information and expanded information, twice as many pages, the most comprehensive product listings to date available, and a treasure trove of hundreds of B&W and colour images of Grenadier miniatures, cover art, and other products. At present, the book is 120 pages with 60 pages featuring colour images. The book is softcover and features colour artwork on the front and back covers. I am also featuring the book in a downloadable PDF to the backers.
The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier is not only a book about a fantastic company that produced fantastic miniatures for fantastic worlds, but is also an insightful journey through many of the gaming and gaming miniatures trends and creations of the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. A tremendous source of reference, an informative read, and full of ‘eye-candy’, The Fantastic Worlds of Grenadier is a must-have for all fans of Grenadier Models, gamers and gaming miniature collectors alike.
Sample pages are shown in the Updates section.
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