Review: Elmore Mountain Giant by Dark Sword Miniatures

by: Dark Sword Miniatures
by: Dark Sword Miniatures
Miniature: Elmore Mountain Giant
Manufacturer: Dark Sword Miniatures
Price: $59.99
Material: Metal

Even if you don’t recognize his name there’s a very good chance that you’ve seen one of Larry Elmore’s paintings. His work is both prolific and iconic, appearing in many gaming publications, especially during the height of TSR’s reign. His work was a normal sight on the cover of Dragon Magazine as well as D&D sourcebooks.

    Parts List:

  1. Head
  2. Right Arm
  3. Left Arm w/ Club
  4. Torso Front
  5. Torso Rear
  6. Left Leg
  7. Right Leg
  8. Base

The characters he’s created on canvas have had a close relationship with miniatures since the glory days of Ral Partha. Special figure lines and box sets were made to bring his work to the table. Many of his humanoid figures can be purchased today from Iron Wind Metals, who have the reproduction rights. To many they will seem quite small as they are true 25-28mm scale.

After Ral Partha’s demise Dark Sword Miniatures picked up the rights to create their own line of miniatures based on Elmore’s work. It was in 2002 that the Elmore Masterworks line was released, bringing the iconic characters to life in the modern 28mm heroic scale that was popularized by Reaper Miniatures.

by: Larry Elmore

One of Elmore’s more famous paintings is “Avalyne the Lifegiver,” which portrays a woman kneeling before a fallen warrior while a mountain giant glances back at the scene from over his shoulder. In 1993 Ral Partha released a special boxed set of this scene, sculpted by Dave Summers, as a part of their Sterling Collection.

Somewhere in 2005-2006 Dark Sword acquired the rights to the “Avalyne the Lifegiver” set. While they avoided purchasing reproduction rights for any of the 25-28mm humanoids, because they were in a scale they did not want to produce, they felt that the mountain giant was of a large enough scale that it would fit in well with their 28mm heroic scale offerings. Another contributor to their decision to acquire the model was the simple fact that it’s a beautiful sculpt.

Dark Sword cast their new masters from the original Ral Partha master molds which came from the mid 90’s, ensuring that the version they offer today is still Dave Summer’s sculpt. The legacy of this piece is part of the reason I’m proud to own a copy. The other part is that this is a great miniature.

All Dave Summers had to work with was the painting (presumably. I’m making assumptions here to express my adoration for this miniature). The left side is all that can be seen and a lot of work was done to fully realize this character from all directions. The inclusion of the prison barrel gives a lot of imagination to this design. Not only is the pose very dynamic, even by the standards of more modern pieces available today, but the fullness of the design is great. Every part is fully realized and fully fleshed out, meaning that this giant looks good from every viewing angle.


The mountain giant is a massive hunk of white metal. The legs, arms, and head are all single pieces, while the torso is separated into front and back sections. This weight seems to be taken into account due to the way the parts fit together, but to err on the side of caution I strongly recommend adding extra pins to ensure solid construction that will last. Also, keep some green stuff handy.

The general construction is divided into 2 main sections- the legs (and base), and everything else. The legs have a nice, large registration point , but I added a pin to each side for extra stability. The legs create a platform that the upper section rests on.


I found that it was easy to get the head in a rough position so it looked right, but it just barely sits in place at the collar of the giant’s tunic. Looking at it from the outside, I just had a small gap along the right side of the neck that needed to be filled, but looking at the assembly from the back told a different story. The head was just barely being held in place.

There were no good angles available for pinning. My solution was a large plug of greenstuff pushed in from the back, and then sculpting it around the stump of the neck to provide support. After it all dries I’m then planning on drilling straight through it all into the head and putting in a paperclip that I will bend down so that it acts like a clip against the inside of the torso. It’s not ideal, and probably won’t survive a fall from any great height, but should be enough to keep it together.

The arms can slot in well, but they are best positioned when both halves of the torso are put together. However, this would mean completing the torso assembly and then just letting it slide over the leg plug, which didn’t seem sturdy enough to me.

My solution was to figure out the best position for the arms, and then pin them in place to the front section of the torso. Then I set pins on the front and back of the leg plug with matching holes on the front and back torso sections. Putting everything together was very tricky and required a lot of care, but the miniature feels much sturdier. Once the assembly dried all that was left was filling the torso seams and sculpting the greenstuff to match the tunic textures.

The Elmore Mountain Giant is a kit that has withstood the test of time. It is still an excellently designed figure that was made well when it was first created and stands up against great modern miniatures being currently produced. I highly recommend this kit.


Author: CreganTur

I'm an aspiring writer who has been toiling at his craft for many years in hopes of becoming a published author. I'm also an avid painter of miniature figures and am in the process of creating my own miniatures company.

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