2014 Reunion Photo
One of my favorite photos from my collection. This photo was taken at the 2014 Heritage Reunion at Reaper Miniatures in Texas. The photo shows some of the ex-employees that worked at Heritage USA back in the day. In this photo (from left to right) are Duke Seifried (blue shirt), Howard Barasch (white shirt), David Helber (striped shirt), Max Carr (black shirt), Willard Dennis (brown shirt), and Steve Bissett (red shirt). The 2014 reunion was the first time, since Duke left Heritage, that many of them have talked to Duke. We all talked, played games (including Max Carr's Warlords that even had a statue of Duke himself in it), learned how to play the "Yard Stick of Doom" (a game played by employees during lunch), and enjoyed seeing all the history of Heritage USA that David Helber brought. It brings back so many enjoyable memories every time I see this photo!!
2008 Reunion Photos
For the longest time, the photo on the left was my Facebook profile picture. This photo along with the other photo of my oldest son was taken at the 2008 Heritage Reunion. This was the first year that the Heritage Reunion was opened to the public, and I had to be there! Of all the events, games, and discussions, I had the most fun learning how to cast miniatures from the master himself, Willard Dennis. To top it off, Willard still had a couple of old Dungeon Dweller molds, and I was able to cast some Dungeon Dweller miniatures that I was able to take home. It was such a pleasure to be able to meet many of the ex-employees, and fellow Heritage enthusiasts!
Crypt of the Sorcerer
Caverns of Doom & Crypt of the Sorcerer Dioramas
For the longest time, I had always wanted to take the paint'n'play maps from the Caverns of Doom & Crypt of the Sorcerer and transform them into playable diorama style maps. While on the coolminiornot website, I was looking at photos of painted miniatures, and some beautiful and elaborate dioramas showed up. I found out they were produced by Jeff Clapham. I contacted Jeff and asked him if he would be interested in doing a commission that would take old classic maps and turn them into playable dioramas. He agreed, and the maps were ready for their debut at GENCON back in 2008. Only one game was played on them, but they got a lot of attention. The following year, I brought the dioramas to the Heritage reunion. After the damage caused by the airlines, these beauties no longer travel.
Some information on the dioramas:
- Constructed from pink rigid foam insulation.
- Floors were created by scoring the foam.
- Walls are adhered with glue and toothpicks and skewers.
- The doors are hinged and made using model airplane hinges.
- The only metal cast pieces are the iron maiden and rack.
- The Crypt of the Sorcerer measures approximately 11" X 17".
- The Caverns of Doom measures approximately 34" X 22".
- Roman numerals were used for ease of scoring into the foam insulation. The numbers indicate the location a monster enters the room.
- The red cobblestone on the floor indicates a trap location.
Caverns of Doom
Artwork by David T. Wenzel - Dungeon Dwellers
While doing research on the Dungeon Dwellers line, I discovered that the artwork for the white box sets were produced by David Wenzel. I was able to track down David, and during our discussion he mentioned that he still had the artwork and wanted to know if I wanted to buy them. Without hesitation and consideration of cost I said "YES", and over a period of 2 years I acquired the originals. Of all the Heritage artwork that I own, these are my favorite pieces!!!!
Some history on the artwork ... Heritage produced 10 white box sets. I own the artwork for 7 out of the 10 produced. The artwork for box set 3511 could not be found, and Mr. Wenzel does not know what happened to it. For box set 3516, Mr. Wenzel did the out line of the figures, and due to a time crunch, sent the art to Heritage where David Helber did the colorizing. After Heritage closed, the artwork was lost. Lastly, the artwork for 3518 is in the hands of another private collector.
Artwork by David T. Wenzel - Denizens of the Dungeon
After I acquired David's artwork on the Dungeon Dwellers line, he mentions that he found another piece of artwork that he believes he did for Heritage. I asked him to send me a photograph, and when I opened the photo, I was just floored! After years of looking through various Heritage Catalogs, I knew where this photo was used. It was the artwork used for the Denizens of the Dungeon box set and as promo spots in their catalogs. Again, I could not pass up the opportunity to own this piece of Heritage history!!
The image on the right was taken from Heritage USA Catalog, Fall 1981
Artwork by Frank Cirocco
The acquisition of this artwork was strictly by chance. One day I was browsing Ebay, and I came across a listing for an Original Dungeon & Dragons painting by Frank Cirocco. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and looked through the photographs. Somehow the painting looked familiar, yet I could not place it. I went back to the Heritage Catalogs, and could not find it. I looked at the pictures again and realized the photo had pictures of female fighters. The brain turns on ... where they Amazons possibly? I quickly went through the photos I have acquired over the years and looked in the photos I had for the Denizens of the Dungeon series. Sure enough, the photograph I was looking at online matched the photographs of the Heritage USA Box Set 4504; Amazons, Bandits and Monsters. I was so excited I called my wife, and together we made the decision to purchase this piece of history!!
The Dunken molds
As part of the history of the Dungeon Dweller line, the molds pictured on the right were produced by the Dunken Company after Heritage went out of business and Reaper Miniatures owned the rights to the line (late 1990's to early 2000's). They were available for purchase for those who wanted to cast their own figures. There is some controversy over whether Dunken had permission to create theses molds, and as such makes a nice addition to my museum. The molds were a tri-gravity mold that meant instead of using a spincaster, you just poured the metal at the top and let gravity do it’s job. Each mold contained 1 to 3 figures depending on the size of the miniature. Although the majority of the figures are from the Dungeon Dweller line, there are some from other Heritage lines mixed in. Not all of the Dungeon Dweller figures were available from Dunken’s website, but you were able to purchase the following molds, which are no longer available on his site:
- F100 Monster Party; Minotaur, Kobold, Demon
- F101 Fantasy Females; Female Warrior, Damsel, Druidess
- F102 Furry Frights; Werewolf, Owlbeast, Wererat
- F103 Vampires; Vampire w/ Woman, Vampiress, Vampire
- F104 Baby Dragons; 2 Young Dragons, 1 Hatchling, Hatching Dragons
- F105 Mighty Adventurers; Casting Wizard, Cleric, Halfling
- F106 Crypt Creeps; Mummy, Zombie, Skeleton
- F107 Traveling Adventurers; Druid, Wizard, Bard
- F108 Cavern Raiders; Cleric, Thief, Warrior w/ Crossbow
- F109 Swamp Dwellers; 2 Lizardmen, Toadstool
- F110 Oriental Dragon
- F111 Giant
- F112 Alchemists; Wizard, Enchantress, Cauldron
- F113 Bandit Party; Thief, Bandit, Bandit W/ Torch
- F114 Elemental; Fire Maiden, Wind Maiden
- F115 Clerics; Male, Female, Dwarf
- F116 Troll With Knight; Troll, Knight
- F117 Forest Defenders; 2 Elven Rangers, Female w/ Familiar
- F118 Treasure; 12 Misc. Treasure Piles
- F119 Vermin; 4 Rats, Giant Spider, Slime
- F120 Forest Dwellers; Centaur, 3 Pixie Warriors
- F121 Portal Warriors; Mowhawked Ranger, Warrior w/ Axe, Female Ranger w/ Crossbow and Musket in Holster
- F122 Heroic Adventurers; Female Knight, Wizard w/ Owl, Warrior
- F123 Ogre; Ogre w/ Hammer
Yes, it is true ... Heritage made Jewelry that was based on certain Dungeon Dwellers miniatures. As pictured to the left are 2 examples of pendants that were briefly available. The examples shown were passed out at conventions. These pendants are examples that were produced before the gold plating process. According to Willard Dennis, Heritage was supposed to make a female and male version from each character class.
Heritage Molds from Michael Thomas
Heritage Master / Pattern figures from Willard Dennis
Heritage Master / Pattern figures from Ed Pugh
Artwork from other Heritage lines