Curis' Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

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Curis
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Curis' Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

Postby Curis » Mon Jan 01, 2018 1:43 pm

The Umber Hulk is the iconic Dungeons & Dragons monster, a powerful tunnelling beast with the power to confuse anyone who sees all four of its eyes at once. This confusion is a form of psychic hypnosis, rather than puzzlement over the fact it has eyes in its nostrils, and what might happen when it sneezes.

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“Feckin’ peg it!” squeed Ploppin the Halfling.

Such a colourful shot! The red and blue lights echo the garish paint choices this Umber Hulk’s previous owner made. This miniature was a snip at £3 from the Oldhammer Trading Company and I celebrated by taking it to the pub that evening.

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The lovable four-eyed spongmonster at the pub.
Also pictured: a Grenadier Umber Hulk.


He came missing a finger-claw, which I replaced with brass wire and putty. I also carved him new mandibles from some random Games Workshop plastic bits.

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jazz hands /dʒaz handz/ noun: …

The miniature has been released by Grenadier both with and without the mandibles. In the original catalogue, the photographer completely misinterpreted the mandibles as unicorn bits.

Grenadier held the licence for Dungeons & Dragons miniatures 1980–1982, but released all sorts of suitable figures both before and afterwards. This is not actually an official Umber Hulk but an “Umberbulk”. It is still in production nowadays (without mandibles), via Mirliton.

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Original the Monster. Do not steal.

The 1st edition Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual states “Umber Hulks are black, shading to yellowish gray on the front. Their head is gray on top, and the mandibles are ivory coloured.” But I did mine a burnt umber colour as I got hung up on the name “Umber Hulk”. In my defence the picture of them in the Monster Manual illustration is black and white.
Umber Hulks and Rogue Trader Ambulls

When writing Rogue Trader, Games Workshop anticipated players would want to use their existing figure collections, and so they slipped in a lot of the iconic Dungeons & Dragons monsters as thinly-disguised aliens. Blink Dogs became “Astral Hounds”, Beholders became “Enslavers”, Umber Hulks became “Ambulls” and so on.

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Mighty Squat Hero Warmaster Gorun fighting an Umbe…Ambull, with support from the Reckoners Space Marine chapter.

The Ambull did eventually get its own model.

Interestingly, having been ported into space, they got put ported back into their native fantasy setting in the form of White Dwarf 108’s Terror in the Darkness scenario for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, where the adventurers head into a mine only to encounter Ambulls.

That’s it for today! I’ll leave you with this photo that was meant to show the detail on the top of the head, but his pose looked like it was inviting tickles.

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Cudgy cudgy coo cooo. Cudgy cudgy coo cooo.

Chris S
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Re: Curis' Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

Postby Chris S » Mon Jan 01, 2018 10:58 pm

Nice work on the Grenadier Umber Hul =D>
I must learn to add that last extra highlight to make my
models stand out more.

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Re: Curis' Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

Postby Curis » Wed Jan 03, 2018 1:29 pm

Thanks Chris!

James over at Gonzo History is running a competition inspired by Gary Gygax’s antics designing the original D&D monsters. Legend goes that young Gary, looking for fantasy monsters to populate his dungeons, got a bag of cheap plastic monsters from Hong Kong and made up names and rules, bringing Rust Monsters, Bulletes and Owlbears to life for the first time. James’ challenge is to do the same and win fabulous magic prizes.

The competition rules I took to heart were:

- Find something cheap and nasty and plastic. Not any of this blog’s regular finely-detailed fodder, but something entirely unsuitable for real miniature modelling. (“Did you try company X‘s miniatures?” you could snark.)
- Reinvent it as something different. It’s a challenge about creating a fresh iconic monster. No point finding a cheap plastic toy dragon and painting it to be a … dragon.
- It’s explicitly not a modelling or painting challenge, so don’t expect to win with technical excellency.

Presenting the Great Wight Shark:

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Putting the “soul” in sole fish.

This monster started life as a free gift with some CBBC kids magazine. I was initially drawn to it because of the armour-plated head, which I thought could be transformed into a cool fantasy fish-helmet. I also thought I could sculpt a samurai armour visor on top and make it into an Oriental Knightfish. But then I realised the toy was not just green but GLOW IN THE DARK. Rather than squander this gimmick under putty and paint I decided to harness it to portray a fish spectre.

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[center]She’s a shark, and she glows in the dark.

I added bloodsplatter to create visual interest, and also to attach it to a gaming base. There’s a steel pin running through the bark base through the bottom jaw of that I’ve disguised as blood dripping out its maw and running off the lowest point of its chin.

Here are the stats, 1st edition Monster Manual style:

GREAT WIGHT SHARK

FREQUENCY: Uncommon
NO APPEARING: 1–6
ARMOUR CLASS: 5/10
MOVE: 15″
HIT DICE: 5
% IN LAIR: 10%
TREASURE TYPE: Nil
NO OF ATTACKS: 1
DAMAGE/ATTACKS: 2D4
SPECIAL ATTACKS: Nil
SPECIAL DEFENSES: Silver or magic weapons to hit
MAGIC RESISTANCE: Standard
INTELLIGENCE: Animal
ALIGNMENT: Neutral
SIZE: L
PSIONIC ABILITIES: Nil
ATTACK/DEFENSE MODES: Nil

The Great Wight Shark is an undead giant plate-skinned fish, existing on the normal and negative material planes. They are found haunting the places where their inshore waterways once were – where lakes have dried up or rivers have changed course over time.

Great Wight Sharks will attack if their territory is invaded, and can work cooperatively in packs of up to six to hunt prey. Their semi-material jaws, originally for punching through the thick shells of freshwater prey, can penetrate even a knight’s plate armour. Great Wight Sharks have heavily armoured heads and thick thoracic shields with an armour class of 5, though they are very vulnerable to attacks to their fleshy hindquarters where their armour class is 10.

Commonly sighted with other aquatic undead species including Stingwraiths, Ethery Eels, Kelpie Kelp, Tadpoltergeists and Vampiranhas.

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A Great Wight Shark ambushing along the ancient path of the Garradsbane River.

Great Wight Sharks are unable to leave the bounds of their prehistoric waterways, which will at first be indistinguishable from regular land. However, the boundaries past which the sharks can’t move can be worked out with clues such as the ruins of old bridges, old maps, or baiting them and seeing how far they pursue.

Shouts out to contest sponsors Chaotic Henchmen Productions, Oakbound Studios, Otherworld Miniatures, Grant Howitt and of course Monster Man.

Curis
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Re: Curis' Dungeons & Dragons Miniatures

Postby Curis » Mon Jan 29, 2018 4:33 pm

Every year the Curis Christmas list (or "Curistmas list") features swathes of miniatures suggestions. Family assume I'm no longer a teenage nerd (haha! half true!) and that I can't possibly still want tiny toy soldiers. However, me and a group of miniature-loving friends arranged a Secret Santa so there was a teenage nerd present under the tree on 25th December.

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ADD6 Paladin and Gobslob the Bugbear from Citadel Miniatures.

The Dungeons & Dragons Paladin was gifted (thank you anonymous Santa) on the condition it was painted before the day the festive surfeit of Baileys was finished. I painted him alongside the Bugbear as that's the first of the monsters needed to run the Lost Mine of Phandelver scenario from the 5E D&D starter set.

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This Paladin is such a thin miniature, he's almost a Paper Mario character.

Everything on the Paladin is a sculpted texture. All the armour panels are festooned in splodgy texture. The cloak is splodgy fur texture on one side and splodgy abstract tree texture on the other. It makes his overall form difficult to read as it's a mound of details akin to a Michael Bay Transformer design. On the plus side it does make him gloriously quick to paint, and I could spend a load of time on the only smooth surface – the plastic shield. I painted a rampant griffon design, hinting he's a distant relation of Lord Weuere in my Norman army.

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Drool-worthy painting?

"Gobslob" is the Bugbear from Citadel Miniatures' 1983 Dungeon Monster starter set. With a name like that he had to have a big bit of drool hanging out of his mouth. It's made by melting blister pack into transparent stringy goo with a soldering iron, then dribbling contact adhesive down it. Though I assumed the glue would remain clear when dry, it went a cloudy green colour. I've decided to run with this and say Gobslob has an excessively bacterial mouth.

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Sir Griffiths du Filigrann lost in a mine, somewhere in Phandalin.

Congratulations to Asslessman and Rochie for getting their Secret Santa miniatures painted and blogged too. Now on to paint more of the monsters needed to run Lost Mine of Phandelver.


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