Whenever I start a painting project, I get really obsessed about the history of the minis, like why they look the way they do, who sculpted them and why the company put them out in the first place. When I started work on the Grenadier Wizard AD&D 2001 small box set from 1980, I knew nothing about the minis and could not find much about it online as well. When you google this set, loads of Ebay sales show up, but very few posts about them and hardly any decent paint jobs. The set is well known, but not the sculptor, Andrew Chernak, so I tracked him down and sent him a few questions. He responded promptly and I hope you all find this of interest. At least it will help create some background to these classic minis.
First a quick recap; here's the set:
About Grenadier's first miniatures and how fantasy sculpts became a big deal...
"Grenadiers first releases were pure historic wargaming: The first grenadier release that I sculpted was a Hessian Grenadier. He was the first of an entire line of American Revolution 25mm gaming miniatures. But the fantasy genre seemed like fun in that creativity could outweigh historic accuracy. It also struck me that it, along with the fantasy worlds, role playing had a great future."
"The box sets were my creation through an observation at a very early ORIGINS convention in New York 1977. The first four boxes were in the large box format and were designed for both a balanced collection and a storage/travel box after painting. The first small box, Wizzards was simply my desire to start at the top of the then fantasy food chain. I was really into the Merlin character in the classic King Arthur and his knights written and illustrated by Howard Pyle. Ray painted the box art from the miniatures or by examples of what I wanted and how it needed it to look to match the product. He filled in the rest with his own brand of creativity."