Sunday, January 25, 2015

Killing You With Ugly

To quoth the good book:

      This nightmare creature is loathsome beyond description and has no redeeming features. Its body resembles that of a huge, bloated buffalo. . . (its) neck is long and thin, and perched atop it is a big head uglier than that of a warthog. Its legs are thick and stumpy, much like a hippopotamus. . .In any case, the most horrid aspect of the catoblepas is its bloodshot eyes.
                                                                                 -Gary Gygax, Monster Manual, 1977

Ral Partha Catoblepas, vintage 1988

Ugly is right. Although this Ral Partha sculpt misses out on a few of the nicer details from D.A. Trampier's original art, like the fleshy bits 'round the eyes and the clubby tail, I think it hits a home run in the straight-up ugliness game. More importantly to me, it gave me the golden opportunity to really work on wet blending techniques. Serpent neck blending into hippopotamus armored flesh into hairy warthog bristles. I am very happy with the grey-to-flesh blending on the abdomen. I think I could probably have gone a little warmer with the greens, but I like the "natural" look I have now and I don't want to do anything that might screw that up.

It was a very productive week hobby-wise, as I also managed to prep all of the Otherworld Adventurers and Hirelings that I still have in my queue, along with the first batch of Redbox Games Kickstarter rewards. I finished off this OW ranger mid-week, and he will probably end up replacing the thief mini that my older son uses as his character in Barrowmaze. He's a big fan of the bow here.

And finally, I (admittedly) rushed the paint job on this (honestly) iffy sculpt of an undead dog from Grenadier just to get it off my desk. It's a Cthuhlu mini titled "Hound of Tindalos" and looking it up online, it appears mine is missing a big long tongue. Dunno, but I don't think a big long tongue would improve it much. Maybe a zombie in Barrowmaze will make this his Ol' Yeller. Woof woof.

Hope your own leaden pursuits are ticking along smartly. Take care, brethren.


  1. That Catoblepas is a hideous-looking thing! You've painted it superbly though and the blending between the different textures is genius.

    1. Thanks much, Gaz. It always surprises me how well the paint job seems to turn out when the miniature in question is really fun to paint, like this one. I was giddy going from color to color while painting the Catoblepas- total blast. I think it shows here. That dog, on the other hand. . . well, like I said- I just wanted it done so that it would stop staring at me from the lead pile.

      Thanks for stopping by. I did want to tell you- I've had a look now at your Trapdoor ruleset and I must say- I am impressed. If the family ever wants a quick dungeon hack-through without the campaign trappings, I plan on giving it a run.

    2. I think the zombie hound turned out great, despite your dislike of the sculpt.

      Thanks for picking up a copy of Trapdoor. I was aiming for an rpg-meets-fantasy wargame vibe and hope I have to some extent achieved this. I have almost finished off a supplement (Trapdoor: Companies of Chaos) which provide amendments for using the core rules for skirmish wargames, with an in-built campaign system similar to Mordheim or SBH. This will be available shortly through Wargames Vault for free.

  2. Outstanding job on the catoblepas. "Loathsome beyond description" never looked so good.