Short History of Tékumel Miniatures 6: The Reign of PHD

PHDKharihaya

Introduction

On Mar 20, 1993, a fan noted on the Tékumel Digest that PHD Games in Anderson, Illinois was “apparently” selling Tékumel miniatures. Barker confidante Bob Alberti quickly confirmed that PHD was legitimate and had Barker’s permission. The five-year “Time of Darkness” was over. Wes Posthlewaite and Larry Hull had acquired the old molds and launched PHD to get Tékumel miniatures back on the market.  I have often wondered about the name “PHD.”  Presumably it was formed from the initials of the founders: Posthlewaite and Hull, but who was the “D”?  (Thanks to Felipe Morales for pointing out what in retrospect was the obvious answer to this in the comments below.)

PHD was a boon to Tékumel fans and would stay in business for nearly ten years, selling more figures than any previous company. Posthlewaite and Hull had ambitious plans to expand the line (e.g. a 1994 usenet post where Posthlewaite mentioned 13 new figures), but, in fact, the company would only ever introduce five new sculpts in addition to the 78 existing molds inherited from Tékumel Games and Tékumel Journal.

Catalogue

The PHD catalogue follows with the five new figures in bold. PHD used different stock numbers for individual figures and for retail packs of (usually) multiple figures. The stock number for both the individual figure and the retail pack appear in the list below. (Some of the retail packs, like the Sro, actually contained only one figure.) The name of the sculptor and the equivalent figure by Ral Partha or Tékumel Journal are also listed.

TK1501

TK1501

TK1001/TK1501 Tsolyáni Officer (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1a)
TK1002/TK1501 Tsolyáni Standard Bearer (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1b)
TK1003/TK1501 Tsolyáni Trumpeter (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T1c)
TK1004/TK1501 Omnipotent Azure Legion Officer (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PT1d)
TK1005/TK1502 Sérqu, Sword of the Empire w/Pike (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T2)
TK1006/TK1503 Sérqu, Sword of the Empire w/Bow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T3)

LegionMightyPrince

TK1007

TK1007/TK1504 Legion of the Mighty Prince w/Pike (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PT11)
TK1008/TK1505 Legion of Hnálla (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PT12)
TK1009/TK1506 Legion of Hnálla w/Halberd (David Sutherland)

OALPike

TK1010

TK1010/TK1507 Omnipotent Azure Legion w/Pike (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PT13)

TK1011

TK1011

TK1011/TK1508 Omnipotent Azure Legion w/Sword (David Sutherland)
TK1012/TK1509 Legion of Red Devastation (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T4)

TK1013

TK1013

TK1013/TK1510 Legion of the Seal of the Worm (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PT14)

TK1014

TK1014

TK1014/TK1511 Generic Infantry w/Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T6)

TK1015

TK1015

TK1015/TK1512 Legion of Lord Khariháya w/Crossbow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T9)

TK1016

TK1016

TK1016/TK1513 Legion of Joyful Vrayáni w/Sling (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T8)

TK1017

TK1017

TK1017/TK1514 Sakbe Road Guard with Spear (Tom Meier = Ral Partha T10)
TK1018/TK1515 Legion of Ever-Present Glory (David Sutherland)

DoomedPrince

TK1019

TK1019/TK1516 Legion of the Doomed Prince (David Sutherland)
TK1020/TK1517 Legion of Lord Chegárra (David Sutherland)

BrokenBough

TK1021

TK1021/TK1518 Legion of the Broken Bough (David Sutherland)

Nakome

TK1022

TK1022/TK1519 Legion of the Sweet Singers of Nakóme (Wes Posthlewaite)

TK2001/TK2501 Yan Kor General (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1a)
TK2002/TK2501 Yan Kor Standard Bearer (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1b)
TK2003/TK2501 Yan Kor Gong Beater and Gong (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y1c)

TK2004

TK2004

TK2004/TK2502 Gurék of the Mighty of Yan Kor (David Sutherland)

HekkekkeNna

TK2005

TK2005/TK2503 Gurék of Hekkekka Nna (David Sutherland = Tékumel Journal PYK12)
TK2006/TK2504 Generic Infantry w/Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y2)
TK2007/TK2505 Generic Infantry w/Bow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y3)
TK2008/TK2506 Gurék of Ngaku w/Axe (David Sutherland)
TK2009/TK2507 Gurék of Dharu or Vanu w/Halberd (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y4)
TK2010/TK2508 Gurék of Dharu or Vanu w/Sword (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y5)

TlekuMiriya

TK2011

TK2011/TK2509 Gurék of Tleku Miriya w/Crossbow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y9)

YanKorInfAxe

TK2012

TK2012/TK2510 Generic Infantry w/Axe (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y6)

MadOnesHlikku

TK2013

TK2013/TK2511 Gurek of the Mad One of Hlikku (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y8)

TK2014

TK2014

TK2014/TK2512 Yan Kor Light Infantry (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T7)

TK2015

TK2015

TK2015/TK2513 Gurek of Makhis w/Longbow (Bill Murray = Ral Partha Y7)

MuugCommand

TK3501

TK3001/TK3501 Mu’ugalavyáni General (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7a)
TK3002/TK3501 Mu’ugalavyáni Standard Bearer (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7b)
TK3003/TK3501 Mu’ugalavyáni Gong Beater and Gong (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M7c)
TK3004/TK3502 Victorious in Vimúhla w/Pike (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M1)

DestroyinGlory

TK3005

TK3005/TK3503 Legion of Destroy in Glory (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M4)

ExaltedFlame

TK3006

TK3006/TK3504 Legion of Exalted Flame w/Pike (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M3)
TK3007/TK3505 Legion of Sanguine Victory (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M2)

LightningShaft

TK3008

TK3008/TK3506 Legion of the Lightning Shaft (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PM8)

LongArrow

TK3009

TK3009/TK3507 Legion of the Long Arrow (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M5)

MuugSlinger

TK3010

TK3010/TK3508 Generic Infantry w/Sling (Tom Meier = Ral Partha M6)

TriumphantTerror

TK3011

TK3011/TK3509 Legion of Triumphant in Terror (Wes Posthlewaite)

Nlüss

TK6001

TK6001/TK6501 Nlüss w/Great Sword (Tom Meier = Ral Partha Y10)
TK7001/TK7501 Bearer Slave (Ken Fletcher)
TK7002/TK7502 Priest of Hrü’ü (Bill Murray = Ral Partha P1)
TK7003/TK7502 Priestess of Avánthe Brian Apple = Ral Partha P2)
TK7004/TK7502 Priestess of Dlamélish (Brian Apple = Ral Partha P3)
TK7005/TK7502 Priest of Vimúhla (Bill Murray = Ral Partha T5)
TK7006/TK7502 Priest of Karakán (David Sutherland = Tékumel Journal PP4)

TK8001/TK8501 Sro w/Wings (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH5)
TK8002/TK8502 Sro w/o Wings (modified TK8001)
TK8003/TK8502 Chürstálli Small (Kathy Marshall = Tékumel Journal PNH32)
TK8004/TK8504 Mrur (David Sutherland = Tékumel Journal PUS-7)

ShenUnarmored

TK9001

TK9001/TK9501 Shen Unarmored (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH1)

ShenArmored

TK9002

TK9002/TK9502 Shen Armored (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH6)
TK9005/TK9503 Ahoggyá Unarmored (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH4)

AhoggyaArmored

TK9006

TK9006/TK9504 Ahoggyá Armored (modified TK9005)
TK9007/TK9505 Hláka Standing (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH3)
TK9008/TK9505 Hláka Flying (Bill Murray = The Old Guard NH3)

GreySsu

TK9009

TK9009/TK9506 Grey Ssu (Bill Murray = Ral Partha NH2)
TK9010/TK9507 Black Ssu w/Legs Up (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH7a)

BlackSsuLegsLow

TK9011

TK9011/TK9507 Black Ssu wLegs Down (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH7b)
TK9012/TK9508 Páchi Lei Armored (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH8)

MihalliWarrior

TK9013

TK9013/TK9509 Mihálli Warrior (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH9)

MihalliSorceror

TK9014

TK9014/TK9510 Mihálli Sorcerer (Brian Apple = Ral Partha NH10)

PeChoiUnarmored

TK9015

TK9015/TK9511 Pe Choi Unarmored (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH11)
TK9016/TK9512 Pe Choi Armored (Tom Meier = Ral Partha NH12)
TK9017/TK9513 Hlüss Warrior (Jeff Berry = Tékumel Journal PNH-14)

TinaliyaUnarmored

TK9018

TK9018/TK9514 Tinaliya (Kathy Marshall = Tékumel Journal PNH-26)
TK9019/TK9515 Urunén Officer (Unknown = Tékumel Journal PNH-18a)
TK9020/TK9515 Urunén Standard Bearer (Unknown = Tékumel Journal PNH-18b)
TK9021/TK9515 Urunén Drummer (Unknown = Tékumel Journal PNH-18c)
TK9022/TK9515 Urunén Sorcerer (Unknown = Tékumel Journal PNH-18d)

UrunenHalberd

TK9023

TK9023/TK9516 Urunén Halberdier (Unknown = Tékumel Journal PNH-21)
TK9024/TK9517 Urunén Crossbowman (Unknown = Tékumel Journal PNH-22)

TinaliyaArmored

TK9025

TK9025/TK9518 Armored Tinaliya (Posthlewaite)

PygmyFolk

TK9026

TK9026/TK9519 Armored Pygmy Folk (Posthlewaite)

Miniatures were a side business for Posthlewaite and Hull that started slowly and suffered periodic lulls in operations. Throughout PHD’s history, you can see Internet postings asking if it is really still in business.

In 1999, the company started a website, which is still accessible via Wayback: http://hometown.aol.com/phdgamesinc/index.html . The website is the source of the photos on the list above.

The End of the Line

PHD stopped casting for good in mid-2002, though as late as July 2003 Posthlewaite was still discussing possible new figures. PHD never announced it was closing and the website was open for years later like an abandoned lobster trap. The occasional would-be customer would simply receive no reply to his order. Apparently, Posthlewaite became preoccupied with building a new house and then moved to Louisiana and never restarted the company. In any case, by 2002, the Old Guard and Ral Partha molds that formed the backbone of the line were roughly 25 years old and definitely the worse for wear. One customer late in the company’s run complained that the figures were “as formless as a nshe.”

The slow fade to black of PHD was the end of the line for Tekumel 25mm miniatures. However, a savior would soon emerge when Howard Fielding and Australia’s Eureka Miniatures would release a beautiful line of 28mm miniatures molded from new sculpts, which will be the subject of a future post.

Collecting Note: PHD initially cast miniatures with a lead based mixture common at the time. In January, 1995 the company announced it was moving to a lead-free pewter alloy like many other miniatures companies,. I have never seen lead PHD figures and given the slow pace of the company’s start-up would imagine they are quite rare.

4 thoughts on “Short History of Tékumel Miniatures 6: The Reign of PHD

  1. There were rumors that he lost his business and/or house during Hurricane Katrina, and then several years ago there was a run of ebay auctions for whole sets of figures. The name of the seller implied it was Posthlewaite. I ended up getting about 20 Legion of Hnalla, several Legion of the Mighty Prince, and a few other random ones. The Mighty Prince I’ve nicknamed “Legion of the Midget Prince” as they are noticeably shorter than the Hnalla figures. BTW, the Hnalla figures are comparable in scale to the current 28mm figures.

    • Thanks Bill. PHD stopped production in mid-2002 and went radio silent in mid-to-late 2003 so I think Wes had closed shop before Katrina. Wish I had gotten in on that sale though.

      I am still wondering who supplied the “D” in PHD.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.