Short History of Tékumel Miniatures 3: The Time of No Kings

TekumelGamesCatalogFall1985Cover

(I don’t have a lot of pictures of miniatures of this period.  I’d welcome any help from readers.  Please send your images and permission to post.  Thanks.)

Ral Partha stopped producing the Legions of the Petal Throne line sometime in the second half of 1980, shortly after Barker parted ways with TSR.  For about two years, no miniatures were produced, though retailers still sold existing stocks. Then a letter to readers dated October 22, 1982 in the Imperial Military Journal Volume II, #4 stated that the Tékumel Journal (then headed by Jeff Berry) had acquired the “molds, masters, and back stocks” for a $500.00 down payment and $2000.00 in installment payments.  Tékumel Journal originally contracted casting services from “TA-HR,” but in early 1983 took delivery of its own casting machine.  According to The Imperial Military Journal Volume II, #7, Mike Mornard then supervised production.

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These individual packs are quite rare; the figures were usually sold in bulk.

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This was a chaotic period and what was sold and when is not well documented.  Production can be basically broken down as follows, but some details are unclear:

  • All the old Old Guard/Ral Partha figures (made from the same molds).
  • Several new figures sculpted by David Sutherland (leading artist for TSR, one of the illustrators of the original Empire of the Petal Throne, and author of the Legions of the Petal Throne miniatures rules).
  • A set of six Urunén figures (three command figures, a sorcerer, a halberdier, and a crossbowman) originally released by Wargames Publications in Scotland as the “Sons of Set” in the “Warriors of the Lost Continent” line (see these images on the Lost Minis Wiki and a hat tip to David Woods for pointing me to them).  According to one account, Barker received an unsolicited shipment of the figures with a note written in Tsolyáni encouraging him to use them in Tékumel. This led Barker to introduce the Urunén as a new Tékumel non-human race.
  • A few more figures sculpted by Jeff Berry and Kathy Marshall, at the time members of Barker’s Thursday Night Group.  Some of these figures existed only in single “master” molds.  It seems that some of these “master mold” figures, which were difficult to cast, were never sold commercially until PHD later acquired the molds.

What further complicates this story is that some of the stock lists and advertisements for Tékumel Journal were only aspirational and included items that were never produced commercially or at all.  Sometimes, these figures were only ideas and sometimes they only existed as one-off conversions of other figures with no molds.  Moreover, some articles in The Imperial Military Journal refer to figure numbers that do not appear on any stock list that I have been able to find.

For OCR

A 1983 advertisement. Not all figures listed were actually sold.

So, my best guess is as follows (in the list below figures in red were advertised but never produced commercially; bold indicates new figures):

Tékumel Journal

Tsolyáni Figures
PT-1 Command set, (Officer, Standard, Trumpeter & OAL Officer) (First three sculpted by Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1; OAL Officer sculpted by Jeff Berry)
PT-2 Sérqu, Sword of the Emperor; Pike (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T2)
PT-3 Sérqu with composite Bow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T3)
PT-4 Red Devastation; 2 handed Sword (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T4)
PT-6 Medium with Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T6)
PT-7 Aridáni with Javelin (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T7)
PT-8 Joyful Vrayáni (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T8)
PT-9 Lord Khariháya (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T9)
PT-10 Road/City Guard; Spear (Tom Meier = Ral Partha T10)
PT-11 Mighty Prince; Pike (Jeff Berry — master mold only)
PT-12 Hnálla, Master of Light; Halberd (Jeff Berry — master mold only)
PT-13 Omnipotent Azure Legion; Spear (Jeff Berry — master mold only)
PT-14 Seal of the Worm; Spear (Jeff Berry — master mold only)
PT-15 Deep Purple Dark; Pike (never produced)
PT-16 Chegárra, Hero-King; Sword (David Sutherland)
Legion of the Doomed Prince (David Sutherland — stock number unknown)
Legion of the Broken Bough (David Sutherland — stock number unknown)
Legion of Hnalla (David Sutherland — stock number unknown)
Legion of Ever Present Glory (David Sutherland — stock number unknown)
Omnipotent Azure Legion Trooper (David Sutherland — stock number unknown)

Yan Koryáni Figures
PYK-1 Command Pack; Officer, Standard Musician, Signal Gong 4 figures (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1)
PYK-2 Pike/Spear (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y2)
PYK-3 Archer with bow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y3)
PYK-4 Dháru and Vánu; Sword (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y4)
PYK-5 Same with Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y5)
PYK-6 Mad ones of Hlíkku; Spear (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y8)
PYK-7 Axeman (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y6)
PYK-8 Mákhis Light Longbows (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y7)
PYK-9 Tléku Miriyá 1 & 2 (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y9)
PYK-11 Vrídu, Fishers of the Flame (never produced)
PYK-12 Hekekka Nna; 2-handed Sword (David Sutherland)
PYK-13 Deadly of Lorún; Pike (never produced)
PYK-14 Na-Chu’ul; Hvy Pike (never produced)
PYK-15 Daiche Hetrudakte; Hvy Pike (never produced)
PYK-16 Na-Chu’ul; Medium Flails (never produced)
PYK-17 Daiche Hetrudakte; Med Sword (never produced)
Gurek of the Mighty of Yan Kor (David Sutherland — stock number unknown)
Gurek of Ngaku (David Sutherland –stock number unknown)

Mu’ugalavyáni
PM-1 Victorious In Vimúhla; Pike (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M1)
PM-2 Exalted Flame; Spear (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M2)
PM-3 Sanguine Victory (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M3)
PM-4 Destroy in Glory; 2 handed Axe (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M4)
PM-5 Long-Arrow (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M5)
PM-6 Peasant Levy Slinger (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M6)
PM-7 Command Pack — 4 figures Officer Standard, Musician, Drum (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7)
PM-8 Lightning Shaft (Jeff Berry — master mold only)
PM-9 Hand of Might; Axe (never produced)
PM-10 Death-blow; 2 handed Axe (never produced)
PM-11 Triumphant of Terror; Spear (never produced)
PM-12 Slay All; Halberds (never produced)
PM-13 Imperishable; 2 handed Swords (never produced)
PM-14 Invisible Rain (never produced)
PM-15 Blood Dart (never produced)
PM-16 Tower-breaker (never produced)

Salarvyáni Figures (all never produced)
PS-1 Command set/4 figures; Officer Standard Musician, Loving Hand, Executioner 
PS-2 Black Standard; Spears
PS-3 Grey Standard, Swords
PS-4 Silver Standard; Pikes
PS-5 Mace of Steel; Halberds
Ps-6 Unsheathed Blade; Halberds
PS-7 Secret Goddess; Tridents
PS-8 Higher Persons; 2-handed Axes
PS-9 Power Upon the Land; Pikes
PS-10 Nachesh of the North; Glaives 
PS-11 Power Upon the Land
PS-12 White Standard 
PS-13 Unsheathed Blade 
PS-14 Silver Standard; Composite Bows 
PS-15 Mace of Steel

Livyáni Figures (all never produced)
PL-1 Command set 4 figures; Officer-priest, standard, musician
PL-2 Hunched ones; Pikes
PL-3 Horned God of Secrets; Halberds
PL-4 Dead Hand of Quyo; Pikes
PL-5 Nirusama; 2-handed Axes
PL-6 Might of Goudai; Swords
PL-7 Ritual of Divine Praise; Spear
PL-8 Tiudaz Murushu; Various
PL-9 High Tlashte; Various
PL-10 Planet Muo; Composite Bows
PL-11 Dark Striking
PL-12 Goddess Kirrineb: with I Officer, 4 slave Artillerymen
PL-13 Diodaz of Tsamra
PL-14 Diodaz of Dlash
PL-15 Diodaz of Laigas

Small States
Nlyss
PYK-10 Warrior with 2 handed sword (Tom Meier = Ral Partha Y10)

Pechano (never produced)
PPC-1 Protectors of life; Various Weapons
PPC-2 Nyesset; Various Weapons

Tsolei Islands (never produced)
PTI-1 Holy Obelisks; Medium Axe
PTI-2 Year-King; Medium Sword

Ghaton (never produced)
PGH-1 Generic; Medium/Spear
PGH-2 Generic; Light/Composite Bow
PNH-17 Sérudla

Tane
PTN-1 Bazhaq & rider (never produced)
PTN-2 Generic Infantry; Various (never produced)
PTN-3 Generic Archer; Longbow (never produced)
PNH-6B Sro with Howdah (Bill Murray — modification of Ral Partha NH-5 with no wings and a houdah)

Saá Allaqi (never produced)
PSA-1 Priest of the one of light
PSA-2 Glorious Kru; Axes
PSA-3 Siu Kaing Heavy Axes
PSA-4 Siu Kaing Medium Spears

Clerical Figures
PT-5 Vimúhla Priest (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T5)
PP-1 Hru’u Priest (Bill Murray = Ral Partha P1)
PP-2 Avánthe Priestess (Brian Apple = Ral Partha P2)
PP-3 Dlamélish Priestess (Brian Apple = Ral Partha P3)
PP-4 Karakan Priest (David Sutherland)
PP-5 Sarku (never produced)
PP-6 Ksarul (never produced)
PP-7 Hnalla/Thumis (never produced)
PP-8 Belkhanu (never produced)
PP-9 Qon (never produced)
PP-10 Durritlamish (never produced)
PP-11 Hrsh Priestess (never produced)
PP-12 Shiringgayi Priestess (never produced)

Friendly Non-Humans
PNH-1 Medium Shen; Spear (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH1)
PNH-3a Hláka on ground (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH3)
PNH-3b Hláka in flight (Bill Murray = The Old Guard NH3)
PNH-4 Ahoggyá, Medium Tall (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH4)
PNH-5 Heavy Shen, type 1 (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH6)
PNH-8 Páchi Lei, Medium (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH8)
PNH-11 Pe Choi, Light (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH11)
PNH-12 Pe Choi, Medium (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH12)
PNH-13 Ahoggyá, Medium, Short (David Sutherland?)
PNH-15 Swamp Folk, Light (never produced)
PNH-16 Ahoggyá, armoured (mod of NH-13)
PNH-18 Urunane Command Set; officer, Drummer, Standard Bearer & Sorcerer (unknown sculptor)
PNH-21 Urunane Halberdier (unknown sculptor)
PNH-22 Urunane Crossbowman (unknown sculptor)
PNH-23 Heavy Shen, type 2 (never produced)
PNH-25 Pachi Lei, Light (never produced)
PNH-26 Tinalaya, Light (Kathy Marshall — master mold only)
PNH-27 Tinaliya, Medium (never produced)
PNH-28 Pygmy Folk, Light (never produced)

Hostile Non-humans
PNH-2 Grey Ssu (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH2)
PNH-7a Black Ssu, Heavy, Legs up (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH7 — Ral Partha sold both sets of legs but Tékumel journal sold them individually)
PNH-7b Black Ssu, Heavy, Legs Down (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH7 — Ral Partha sold both sets of legs but Tékumel journal sold them individually)
PNH-14 Hlüss, Medium Warrior (Jeff Berry)
PNH-29 Shunned Ones (never produced)
PNH-30 Hlüss, Heavy Warrior (never produced)
PNH-31 Hlüss, Brood-Mother (never produced)
PNH-32 Chyrstálli, Small (Kathy Marshall)
PNH-33 Chyrstálli, Large (never produced)
PNH-34 Hokun, on Foot (never produced)
PNH-35 Hokun, riding on mount (never produced)
PNH-37 Hlutgru (never produced)

Underworld and Surface Creatures
PNH-6e Sro with Wings (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH5)
PNH-9 Mihálli, Warrior (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH9)
PNH-10 Mihálli, Sorcerer (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH10)
PUS-11 Ghar (never produced)
PUS-12 Feshenga (never produced)
PUS-1 Kayi (never produced)
PUS-2 Thuhunru’u (never produced)
PUS-3 Chnelh (never produced)
PUS-4 Dlago (never produced)
PUS-8 Hra (never produced)
PUS-7 Mrur (David Sutherland)
PUS-8 Ool (never produced)
PUS-9 Ru’un (never produced)
PUS-10 Sagun (never produced)
PUS-13 Renyu (never produced)
PUS-15 Vorodla (never produced)
PUS-16 Female Adventurer (never produced)
PUS-17 Male Adventurer (never produced)

In 1983, the Tékumel Journal halted business and the miniatures line immediately moved to the newly incorporated Tékumel Games. Tékumel Games added some new miniatures by Jeff Berry and Kathy Marshall. According to a Fall 1985 catalogue the line included:

T-11 Tsolyáni General (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1a)
T-12 Tsolyáni Standard Bearer (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1b)
T-13 Tsolyáni Trumpeter (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1c)
T-14 Omnipotent Azure Legion Officer (Jeff Berry)
T-21 Sérqu Sword of the Imperium – Hvy. Inf. w/Pike (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T2)
T-22 Sérqu Sword of the Imperium – Hvy. Inf. w/Bow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T3)
T-31 Legion of the Mighty Prince – Hvy. Inf. w/Pike (Jeff Berry)
T-41 Legion of Hnálla, Master of Light – Hvy. Inf. w/Pike (Jeff Berry)
T-51 Omnipotent Azure Legion – Hvy Inf. w/Spear (Jeff Berry)
T-61 Legion of Red Devastation – Med. Inf. w/2 hnd Sword (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T4)
T-71 Legion of the Seal of the Worm – Med. Inf. w/Spear (Jeff Berry)
T-81 Generic Tsolyáni Medium Infantry with Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T6)
T-91 Legion of Lord Khariháya – Med. Inf. w/Crossbow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T9)
T-101Legion of Joyful Vrayáni – Light Inf. w/Sling (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T8)
T-111 Sakbe Road Guard – Light Inf. w/Spear (Tom Meier = Ral Partha T10)

YK-11 Yán Koryáni General (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1a)
YK-12 Yán Koryáni Standard Bearer (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1b)
YK-13 Yán Koryáni Gong Beater (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1c(i))
YK-14 Yán Koryáni Gong (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1c(ii))
YK-41 Generic Yán Koryáni Inf. w/Open Hand (catalogue noted “can be either Med. Inf. or Hvy. Inf. depending on how you paint them”) (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y2)
YK-42 Generic Yán Koryáni Inf. w/Bow (catalogue noted “can be either Med. Inf. or Hvy. Inf. depending on how you paint them”) (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y3)
YK-61 City of Dháru or Vánu – Med. Inf. w/Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y4)
YK-62 City of Dháru or Vánu – Med. Inf. w/Sword (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y5)
YK-71 City of Tléku Miriyá – Med. Inf. w/Crossbow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y9)
YK-81 Generic Yán Koryáni Light Inf. w/Axe (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y6)
YK-91 Legion of the Mad Ones of Hlíkku – Light Inf. w/Spear (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y8)
YK-101 Generic Yán Koryáni Light Inf. w/Javelin (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T7)
YK-111 City of Mákhis Light Inf. w/Longbow (Tom Meier = Ral Partha Y7)

M-11 Mu’ugalavyáni General; (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7a)
M-12 Mu’ugalavyáni Standard bearer (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7b)
M-13 Mu’ugalavyáni Drummer (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7c)
M-21 Legion of the Victorious in Vimúhla — Hvy. Inf. w/Pike (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M1)
M-31 Legion of Destroy in Glory – Hvy. Inf. w/Poleaxe (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M4)
M-41 Legion of Exalted Flame – Med. Inf. w/Spear (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M3)
M-51 Legion of Sanguine Victory — Med. Inf. w/Warhammer (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M2)

Legion of the Lightning Shaft with Super Heavy crossbow. (Image used with permission of Lost Minis Wiki.)

M-71 Legion of Lightning Shaft – Med. Inf. Crossbowman/Artilleryman (Jeff Berry)
M-72 Super-heavy Crossbow for M-71 (Jeff Berry)
M-81 Legion of the Long Arrow – Light Inf. w/Longbow (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M5)
M-91 Generic Mu’ugalavyáni Light infantry Slinger (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M6)

CS-11 Nlüss w/2 Hand Sword (Tom Meier = Ral Partha Y10)
CS-21 Tane Sro w/Howdah (a modification of Ral Partha NH-5)

P-11 Priest of Hrü’ü (Bill Murray = Ral Partha P1)
P-12 Priestess of Avánthe (Brian Apple = Ral Partha P2)
P-13 Priestess of Dlamélish (Brian Apple = Ral Partha P3)
P-14 Priest of Vimúhla (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T5)

NH-11 Shen – Unarmored (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH1)
NH-12 Shen – Armored (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH6)
NH-21 Ahoggyá – Tall, unarmored (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH4)
NH-22 Ahoggyá – Short unarmored (Sutherland?)
NH-23 Ahoggyá – Tall armored (modification of NH-21)
NH-24 Ahoggyá – Short armored (modification of NH-22)
NH-31 Hláka – Flying (Bill Murray = The Old Guard NH3)
NH-32 Hláka – On ground (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH3)
NH-41 Grey Ssú (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH2)
NH-51 Black Ssú – Legs up (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH7)
NH-52 Black Ssú – Legs down (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH7 variant)
NH-61 Sró with Wings (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH5)
NH-72 Páchi Léi (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH8)
NH-81 Mihálli Warrior (Brian Apple = NH9)
NH-82 Mihálli Sorceror (Brian Apple = NH10)
NH-91 Pé Chói – unarmored (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH11)
NH-92 Pé Chói – armored (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH12)

Hlüss Neuter Warrior. (Image used with permission of Lost Minis Wiki.)

NH-101 Hlüss Warrior, Neuter (Jeff Berry)
NH-111 Tinaliya – unarmored (Kathy Marshall)
NH-121 Urunén Officer (Unknown sculptor)
NH-122 Urunén Standard Bearer (Unknown sculptor)
NH-123 Urunén Drummer (Unknown sculptor)
NH-124 Urunén Sorceror (Unknown sculptor)
NH-125 Urunén Halberdier (Unknown sculptor)
NH-126 Urunén Crossbowman (Unknown sculptor)
NH-131 Chürstálli (Kathy Marshall)

Interestingly, the Sutherland figures (with the exception of the “short” Ahoggyá) were temporarily dropped from the line. Concern over Sutherland’s exclusive contract with TSR might have been the reason that Tékumel Games dropped the figures (though PHD later produced them again). For unknown reasons, Tékumel Games also renamed the Tsolyáni Aridáni with Javelin (Ral Partha T7) to a “Generic Yan Koryáni Light Inf. w/Javelin.” Topless women throwing javelins apparently transcend nationality.

The Old Guard’s initial range of 27 different figures in 1978 had expanded to 71 different figures by 1985. However, the expansion concealed a certain shakiness.  No single company had held onto the line for very long and there had already been significant periods when production was in limbo.  This came to a head in 1987-1988, when an internal dispute halted production at Tekumel Games.  This “Time of Darkness” lasted more than five years and only in March 1993 does a post appear in the “Tékumel Digest” announcing that Wes Posthlewaite and PHD Games had begun selling Tékumel miniatures again, which will be discussed in a future post.

As previously promised, I will eventually publish a guide to distinguishing figures made from the same molds by different companies.  I am also planning a table giving the various stock numbers for figures made from the same mold by different companies.

[This post was substantially revised on March 27.]

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