|Disturbingly, the scale is appropriate for the male and female of the same species. So... The Arachnarok is Mother... shudder.|
The model in question is a conversion of the Heresy Miniatures Monstrous Spider. When I assembled the Arachnarok I realised that you got a free shaman model if you didn't want a character level of blummin' big spider. This got my brain rolling as the £23 price tag of the GW character spider is perchance a little steep for an ok spider, nothing special. The dude riding him is nice but... Then I remembered that I had picked up a Heresy spider a while back. Buah ha ha haaa!
Starting from the Catchweb Spidershrine piece from the Arachnarok kit, I constructed a rough wooden platform out of Plasticard planks and rods. I added woodgrain by scraping a razor saw across it to cut grain into it. I was totally intending to photograph this as it would have made for a neat how-to but failed utterly to do so. I'll just have to do more scratch building won't I? With the platform/howdah finished I turned my attention to the rider:
I already had a shaman planned for the army so didn't want this chap to look like one. Conversion time! The weapon was going to be based on the staff of the shaman so needed to be some sort of polearm. I kinda wanted it to be a non-goblin weapon so I went for one of my favourite looking weapons, the Tomb Kings Khopesh. Painting it as antique, patina'd bronze was fun too. I needed a shield too, well, following on from my usual policy of shaming armies I either own or play regularly I decided that he had "liberated" a Dwarf shield from it's owner. Job done. Incidently, I totally hadn't noticed the extra freaking eyes on this chap before I started working on him! I suspect the legs are also supposed to be mutant features but they looked more like a vanity feature held on with webs. His story has become that his spores landed in the nest of the Arachnarok and the growing gestational fungus was repeatedly attacked by the magically mutated babies causing some physiological changes. His appearance - and the brain damage from repeated neonatal poisonings causing aggression - meant he rose to the top of the heap in the Blackhead tribe.
The patina on the antique bronze was created by stippling a few layers of Val Scurvy Green with increasing amounts of white added. Another layer of the Sycorax Bronze was stippled on top and painted to create a sharpened edge before the whole thing was glazed on Coelia Greenshade.
The niftiest bit? I magnetised the howdah so that I could use "Father" as a normal spider too! Yay! Plus he's much, much easier to transport. But that's not all!
While painting the spider my brain was whirring away on the subject of using hordes (I'm drafting a Beard Bunker article) and it occurred to me that I had not followed one of my main points. That adding a hero to a horde turns a horde from an inconvenience to a full blown problem. The solution? Change the army list, save myself £30 in trolls and add another big boss! Now, every version of this model I've seen painted has been dominated by the squig. Why? Because it is always bright freaking scarlet. Why? Because squigs were invented during GW's red period and the scheme kinda stuck. Following my usual policy of monstrous things being more scary if painted as real things I decided that toads were probably the closest thing to a squig in the real world. A quick google search gave me the message that pale underbelly and stippled dark topside would be the win. It was fairly experimental and I was playing a lot so I can't give you exact mixes but Val Stone Grey and Val Camo Black-Brown were involved along with a wash of Athonian Camoshade. I really like the effect, whaddaya think? If I ever expand the army beyond the 3k it is at Squig-toads will totally be a thing.
Finally, this is totally not the first of these I've made, the chap above was made at least five years ago, probably more, as a conversion contest thing. He's based on the shelob monstrous spider doodad and has a scratch built howdah nailed to the carapace. I really, really, don't need this chap anymore. He's not even based so would fit into whatever army you have. Anyone want to buy him? About £30 or nearest offer. Email me if you want him :)
Well that's it for today, more Eldar in next week.