The Chronicles of HeroQuest
HeroQuest from Milton Bradley (Hasbro) was the start of my interest in miniature games of which I played many.
At later age I became haunted by thoughts about what could have been. What else was there? Did they design more? Who worked on this succesful range of board games? So I went on a quest myself.
And so far, the results are intriguing. Allow me to tell you a story about Dwarves and Wizards ...
Quest for HeroQuest Quests
Collecting all games by Stephen Baker was the first mission. One of the first acquirements was BattleMasters.
While working on new questbooks for "Allied HeroQuest" I was on the lookout for art by the original cover artists. That's how I met Christian Sperling a.k.a. Konsum24. He gave me the name
Christopher Baker, who worked under the pseudonym Fangorn.
We all know Gary Chalk was the illustrator of the HeroQuest treasure, equipment and spell cards. So I wrote him a mail to ask him about the American expansions. Unfortunatelly he never even heard of the products. He only worked for the European MB releases. Even Les Edwards could not help me further.
So, in my search for the cover artists of the 2 American HeroQuest expansion I activated detective Konsum24 again. With success! With patience he found out that The Frozen Horror was painted by Rick Grayson. Now Rick Grayson has shared with me a concept sketch of the Dwarf wearing a furr cape and wielding and hammer. He clearly stated that he did not work on "Quest for the Dwarf", but nevertheless claimed the 3 characters were concept sketches for the small plastic movers. Following the publication of the picture, SkyKnight confesses he has seen that Dwarf before. A clear hint to "Quest for the Dwarf"!
I received permission from Rick Grayson to publish this picture. Please visit his website in return.
Now finding the artist of the Elf Quest Pack was a bigger challenge. In the bottom right corner there was a name: Kueker. This had put us on a trail that would lead us to another artist who contributed to the HeroQuest legacy. Maybe it was this guy: Don or Donald Kueker. Usually he makes biblical illustrations. More info about him here: Biblical art by Don Kueker.
I emailed to all contacts on that website but without replies. Then I started browsing the internet and after a while I got in touch with a studio where Don Kueker worked. What happended next was one of the biggest surprises in my life. (True!) Don confirmed he had been the artist of the box cover for the "Mage of the Mirror" expansion set, and more! He made concept sketches for what appears to be a "Quest for the Wizard" expansion set!
The information kindly provided by the very friendly sir Don Kueker (http://vimeo.com/42857771) made me wonder how the quest would have been. One name sticked to my mind. I remembered Richard Borg mentioned once in a thread on the Old Scratch's HeroQuest Forum. The name came up in a thread about rumours of prototype miniatures for a "Dwarf Quest Pack" expansion set. So I decided to contact Richard Borg who was very helpful and confirmed that he actually did a wizard expansion pack for HeroQuest, but that it was not released in the USA. Yes! Now we have found the writer and artist of the "Wizard Quest Pack". Pictures of the concept sketches will be online as soon as I recieve permission from sir Don Kueker. (UPDATE 2011/11/16: Images online, see blog below.)
Sir Richard Borg also provided some more background information. You may want to try and find a copy of Parker/Hasbro Europe - Dungeons & Dragons The Fantasy Board Game - released in 2003. The game is still a lot of fun. It had two expansions: "Eternal Winter" and "Forbidden Forest". The "Forbidden Forest" was his expansion.
Now what was that rumour about the "Dwarf Quest Pack" all about? Well, mr. Rodney Phelps a.k.a. SkyKnight, a respected member of the " HeroScape" community, posted some nice pictures of prototype miniatures. These prototypes were used for the two released HeroQuest expansions Barbarian and Elf. That's were he left a clue about the existence of prototypes for a "Dwarf Quest Pack". Inquiries for a detailed release of this information are kindly declined because of intellectual property laws. We all hope he finds permission soon.
So let's embark on another quest. But I'll take another route. A route that is guided by sculptors. The men (and women) who create the finely detailed miniatures that come with the games we all love. The famous Mark Copplestone stated he didn't recognise the miniatures of both the Barbarian and Elf expansions. But he claims they are definitely not the work of Bob Naismith, who was and still is, making a lot of the masters for plastics. Mark Copplestone thinks, by judging the style of the miniatures, that they were sculpted by a US sculptor, rather than an ex-Games Workshop one. My search goes on...
Since Montour Falls - New York is too far away, I'll start a final lead to the "Dwarf Quest Pack". Following fiction by SkyKnight is worthy being mentionned because in a later post he remarked "...I am surprised no one picked up on my dwarf comment in the background section...". I think he refers to this line: "Perhaps the creators will someday be merciful and release the dwarves so Thor may be free.". Does he refer to the release of the prototypes? Were there trolls in the unreleased "Dwarf Quest Pack"? You can read the full fiction story here.
When I ever find all information about the Dwarves and Wizards then I will design two new Questbooks for Allied HeroQuest ... From a fan. For fans. All the best, Toco, 2011/09/07.
I will post future updates below to improve readability.
2016/05/01: Something different now. The Wizards of Morcar expansion had henchmen. It appears the official design sketches by Aly Morrison had some ideas for pistols and spears.
- 2016/04/28: The representative of Don Kueker posted on his Facebook site that Don believes it was not for HeroQuest... :-(
- 2014/06/30: Look what I stumbled upon today: Could this have been the cover for one of the unreleased HeroQuest expansions? I sure looks like it. I'll try to find out as soon as possible! THIS-IS-HOT!
- 2013/09/04: I contacted Andy Foster from Heresy Miniatures. He has some history with GW. His best bets are either Aly Morrison or Dave Andrews...
- 2013/01/16: Was this sabretooth by Julie Guthrie made for MB USA?
- 2012/08/02: A brief video interview with Don Kueker here.
- 2012/02/02: There are 4 more miniatures that were sculpted. One of them is the Dwarf with the hammer (above). The others are monsters but I do not have pictures nor do I know how they look. I sent some emails to known sculptors and GW to request the names of the artists that made all miniatures for the USA expansions, but no names came up so far ...
2012/01/20: Remember this day. The day you saw the female HeroQuest for the first time, ever! (Well, for most of us anyway.) Then also have look at the henchman. It looks like there's the head of a Dwarf on the body of an Elf...
2012/01/19: I finally managed to make some more pictures. The first two sketches are famous women for "Quest for the Elf". The second one is much more intriguing. Is is a Spider, or a Giant Spider?
- 2011/12/02: According to SkyKnight there were color variations in the '4-ups'. And the Sabretooth Tiger has been sculpted, so it was not replaced by the Giant Wolves.
2011/12/01: One of the following concept sketches by Don Kueker remains an enigma. Was the archer a previous version of the Elf that was included in the "Quest for the Elf" expansion, or is it a new
Dwarf-henchman miniature? The lower picture shows the miniature from WOTC's D&D Collectible Miniatures and has a lot of design details in common with the Minotaur concept sketch by Don Kueker.
The Sabretooth Tiger makes me wonder if it was a new miniature or if he was replaced by the Giant Wolves that went into the "Quest for the Elf".
Unfortunatelly there's no indication for which expansion they were meant to be. Maybe the prototype '4-up' sculpts have different colors, and that way we can find out if the Minotaur was opposition for the Dwarf or for the Wizard...
- 2011/11/29: It is confirmed that '4-up' prototype miniatures exist for the Ratman and Minotaur. But pictures of the prototypes remain to be shown. (The Minotaur concept sketch will be uploaded next).
2011/11/22: More work from Don Kueker. He made these for MB. His contact was a guy named Jim. (Don did not create the artwork for the templates and spellcards. That's another quest for me...)
2011/11/16: BREAKING NEWS! I received permission from Don Kueker to show his concept sketches for "Quest for the Wizard" at this website. Behold, the Centaur:
- 2011/09/28: For Europe it was truly over. "Against the Ogre Horde" was the last in row. Les Edwards doesn't really have any more preliminary sketches which were done for projects other than the known MB expansions.
- 2011/09/23: I leaked some info about concept sketches for the Wizard's expansion. The response was priceless! It is now confirmed that ALL prototype miniatures for the "Quest for the Wizard" do exist.