Ral Partha Dark Sun Mini Names: For the Record…

Back in the 90’s, and I’m sure even now, miniatures where often based on preexisting art, and in some cases there needed to be some liberty in defining what the mini was supposed to be based on the art. However, being what I would deem a “Dark Sun art historian” there are some legacy Dark Sun minis that were identified as one thing and the art showed the subject to clearly be something different. It has always struck me rather odd that the mini descriptions would miss the mark by such a large margin. So let’s look at the 4 minis that were named/packaged incorrectly in a post 18 years too late.

11-703: Listed simply as “Elves” this is admittedly the least egregious of the Dark Sun minis. The art that these are based on
(DS Boxed Set Wanderer’s Journal pg 47) aren’t clearly elves nor are the pages they are on inferring that they are elves. The art and minis really don’t exemplify the elves seen in other art work from this period and so these may have been better packaged as “Adventurers”. This would fit well with the other Adventurers found in 11-707. Though it should be said that the referenced image doesn’t say that the *aren’t* elves.

11-703
Elves

11-716/10-540m: Listed in 11-716 as “Elves II”, one figure in particular doesn’t fit: That being the “Elf Shaman”. When Dark Sun first came out in 1993 one of my favorite images was that of a defiler (DS Boxed Set Rules pg 27, DS Boxed Set Wanderer’s Journal pg 18), and it seems that the “Elf Shaman” was based on this image. To me, the “Elf Shaman” just doesn’t fit as a shaman or as part of “Elves II” (since the defiler in the image always struck me as human).

10-540m.jpg
Elf Shaman

11-717/10-540i: Listed in 11-717 as “Mul and 2 Dwarves”, the “Mul Savage” figure is certainly a mistaken name when looking at the reference image. The art that this piece was based on is the well know cover of the 2e Dark Sun Boxed Set and is featured on the Rules Book as well as the poster that came with the boxed set. The monster featured in the image is that of a tarek (mentioned in Troy Denning’s 1991 “The Verdant Passage” and later described in the 1995 Dark Sun MM II) or even a magera (from the Shattered Lands video game), not a Mul. I gather that Brom made up this creature on the fly and TSR later used it as a basis of a monster in later sourcebooks and games. So this naming might be forgiven since the monster was not classified at the time of the mini and was left up to the imagination of the viewer to come up with what it actually was.

Mul Savage
Mul Savage

11-713/10-540c: Listed in 11-713 as “Gith Shaman and Gith Warriors”, the Gith Shaman is clearly based on (and the mini was crafted quite well using) the classic Brom image of a belgoi (DS Boxed Set Wanderer’s Journal pg 83, DS Boxed Set A Little Knowledge Adventure titled “Enchanter”). This naming by Ral Partha is the most baffling since the art that the mini is based was clearly that of a belgoi (since the subject is holding a bell), but it might be the minis were commissioned early in Dark Sun development and so few of the monsters were identified visually or fully defined.

10-540c.jpg
Gith Shaman
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