A while back, I got briefly really obsessed with Bloodstone Gnomes miniatures from Reaper, which I gather are ostensibly for Warlord, a game I both don’t play and don’t know anything about. Indeed, I’m not even terribly positive about the name, or that said gnomes are actually for it.
I picked them up as generic goblin/gnome-size critters for games of D&D or whatever. At least, that was the justification I gave myself. Really, I just picked them up because I thought they looked great. One of them is even riding a beetle! Only later did I realize why I liked the look of them so much: it turns out they were designed by Wayne Reynolds.
Anyone who has ever picked up a Pathfinder book or, indeed, looked at an RPG-adjacent tome in the past twenty years or so is familiar with Reynolds’ artwork. Around the same time I learned this fact about the Bloodstone Gnomes, I was also posting a string of RPG-related artworks to my year-long daily aesthetic thread over on Twitter, including a couple of pieces by Reynolds.
In the process, I learned that a lot of folks really don’t like his stuff – though the ubiquity of it would suggest that those folks are probably in the minority. I like his work for a number of reasons, with perhaps the most significant being his knack for absolutely layering his characters in bits and bobs while still making the art feel clean and sharp. His adventurers look like what I think adventurers ought to look like. He’s got an immediately recognizable style, and draws great gribbly monsters – witness the popularity of his Pathfinder goblins – which also endears him to me more than a little.
All those traits combine in the Bloodstone Gnomes, which probably helps to explain why I like them so much, even if the models lose some of that crisp definition. They also make good stand-ins for goblins. And I do love goblins.