Monday 14 February 2022

Hawk The Slayer Was Rubbish!

Don't punch me.

I'm just trying to get your attention for my recent painting exploits beyond the edge of darkness in a world of swords and sorcery.

These are the Raven's Revenge miniatures from Crooked Dice, based, less than loosely on the thinly sketched characters from 80s cult classic, Hawk the Slayer.

If you've never seen Hawk the Slayer, I can only assume that you had a miserable and bleak childhood or are too young to remember a time pre-Jackson, when fans of the fantasy genre had to take what they could get.

I can only recommend this slice of cinematic history. It's exactly as good as that poster suggests.

The somewhat bloodthirsty heroes remind me very much of a party of level one murder-hobos from an introductory adventure of AD&D.
  • Nobody discussed what the others were playing, so the party is fighter heavy. 
  • Hawk spent too long on his backstory.
  • Crow has min-maxed archery.
  • Gort enjoys violence without consequence a bit too much.
  • Baldwin (the only rogue) steals from PCs and doesn't have enough hit points.
  • Ranulf is cursed by bad dice rolls.
  • The DM is forced to use an NPC to save a party devoid of ideas.

Hawk is the eponymous, and amazingly uncharismatic, hero played by John Terry (not that one). His father and fiancé were both killed by his brother Voltan, and he wields the legendary (and criminally underused) Mindsword.

Ranulf is a 'warrior' who manages to lose every fight he's in. He loses a hand early on in the film, which is something not represented on the model. 

I decided to leave him as he was as I didn't want to hack up the model and Ranulf's loss of a hand really doesn't impact on the film in any way thanks to his repeating crossbow and general rubbishness.

Gort, played by Bernard Bresslaw of Carry On fame, is referred to as a giant. In this context 'giant' means 'slightly taller man'. 

He eats, hits things with his hammer and devises cruel and unusual punishments far more unpleasant than anything the so-called villains ever come up with.

Baldwin is a Dwarf, and the character was clearly written by somebody who had clearly never engaged with any other works of fantasy, where Dwarves are one of the more consistent factors. At least he's a bit shorter than the others.

This whip-wielding thief serves no real purpose to the adventure save for being somewhat irritating and loosely filling the role of comic relief.

It's actually a relief when he dies.

Crow, the last Elf, has a legendary ability with a bow thanks to the power of really dodgy editing.

He also answers the question as to why Elves don't ever seem to have short hair: because they look like Vulcans.

The 'Woman' (seriously, that's the character's name - welcome to the 80s) is the most useful of any of them and boasts a range of powers that include:
  • teleportation via fluorescent hula hoop;
  • immobilisation with silly string;
  • death by ping-pong ball.
As you can see, she is rightly feared.

Prince Voltan the Dark One is the villain of the piece and, with a name like that he was always going to be.

Played with scenery-chewing menace by Jack Palance, Voltan is apparently Hawk's brother, despite clearly being older than their father, who he kills.

I was worried that I'd made his eye to manic and staring...

...and then I realised I hadn't.

In all honesty, Hawk the Slayer is rubbish. However, that's the beauty of it and I can't wait to get these on a table. I probably need to paint up some nuns and murderous thugs so that I can play the Raven's Revenge scenario which appeared in a recent edition of Wargames Illustrated.

Pleasingly, not only can I call this bunch a 'unique warband' for Hobby Bingo, but I've also added a fairly healthy amount to the painted total.

Acquired: 25
Painted: 33


  1. Absolutely tremendous! I love these so much. I have fond memories of the film, but I think it is fair to say that it hasn't aged well, but neither have I. :D

    1. None of us have, but at least we've aged better than Jack Palance's acting.

  2. Yes I agree with you it was rubbish, in that 80's fantasy cult its so bad its great. Loved the film and you done a great job on the miniatures mate.

    1. Thanks. The thing is, as a kid I thought it was brilliant. I need to watch Krull again to see if that's just as bad.

  3. I started getting into the Fantasy genre in the '70s but I must admit I never heard of Hawk the Slayer at least not where I lived. Love your interpretation in miniature form though :)

    1. Thanks. It's very much of it's time but, along with Clash of the Titans, is the most memorable film we rented from the first local VHS store.