Friday, January 8, 2016

Entry #4 to the AHPC: 'Zarg the Terrible' for the 'Nostalgia' Theme Round

Zarg the Terrible
I ran into an old girlfriend this past summer. Her name is Lois-Anna. Actually Lois-Anna is not just an 'old girlfriend', she was my first girlfriend, my first girlfriend at the very tender age of 16. 

We made plans to meet for coffee, and a few weeks later we met at a cafe and had a great time, reminiscing about old friends, old haunts and good times gone by. Just as we were about to part she gave me an envelope that contained a few Polaroids from back when we were together.  Among those photos was one of me wearing a cheesy pair of Foster Grants, posing behind a mushroom-topped stump with a trio of little lead miniatures atop it. They were in fact the very first miniatures I had ever painted. I was speechless. I had completely forgotten that this photo had ever been taken and it made me laugh aloud.

'Zarg' in the red circle. I'll pass on the sunglasses but gosh, I wish I still had that hair... ;)
I'll give you a little context to this photo. I was raised in a very, very small town in northern Saskatchewan, where the nearest hobby store was around 120 miles away. My best friend Gary and I mail ordered our 1st edition Players Handbooks, DM's Guide, Monster Manual and several lead miniatures direct from TSR in Lake Geneva.  When they arrived it was like Christmas in summer. I was so excited to paint the figures that I used enamel car paint from my dad's shop and my mom's toothpicks and push-pins to apply it to the figures. Yup. Pretty primitive I know, but sometimes you just can't beat raw enthusiasm.  

Anyway, after I got the photo from Lois-Anna I spent an afternoon searching through my lead shed and managed to find my character figure - the very same as in the photo. Yes, 'Zarg the Terrible' emerged in all his glory. (It's funny, even back then I was a complete cynic as I came up with his name as a tongue-in-cheek reference to my ability as a player.)  Anyway, poor Zarg had not weathered the intervening 33 years very well, so I didn't even bother to photograph him as I found him.  Rather, I just brushed away the paint (yes, the 'benefits' of high lead content and absolutely no primer) and began afresh. So, here he is, 'Zarg the Terrible' in all his splendor, painted by a middle-aged version of that boy from 1982. 

Zarg and Curt 33 years later.