Thursday, September 23, 2010


The Lernaean Hydra of Greek mythology was a poisonous serpent-like monster with nine heads, that took its name from the lake near which it lived. The creature became famous as the second boss in the Twelve Labors of Herakles.

In later times, the image of the hydra became conflated with the Beast of Revelation so that nine heads were reduced to seven, and the body turned from serpent-like to dragon-like.

"And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy".

– Revelation 13

Other seven-headed hydras include Ray Harryhausen's hydra from Jason and the Argonauts...

And the Babylonian Tiamat.

Anyway, enough background, and onto the miniatures. Of the nine-headed hydra miniatures that I am aware of, only the Dennis Mize Hydra (Ral Partha 01-192) is still in production (available from IWM). The other nine-headed hydras include the Minot hydra from the Olympians, Heroes & Horrors range, and the Starcast hydra from their Fantasia Myth line (which I have never seen). The Mize Hydra is a four piece model, with the heads cast in groups of three. There is an unfortunate design flaw in this particular miniature because after you attach the heads, the miniature becomes front heavy, and always tips forward. It is managing to stay upright in the picture with the help of some UHU Tac.

The Tom Meier Hydra (Ral Partha 10-417) is the large Revelation-type hydra with seven heads and a dragon-like body. The model comes in five pieces, with three parts for the heads, and two for the body. I reposed the heads for this particular hydra, since many of them were pointing in all kind of weird directions. I also cut out the middle of the base for the front legs to make it look less obtrusive.

The last two hydras are sculpts by Julie Guthrie. On the left is a plastic Mage Knight Hydra, which is identical to the Hydra from the All Things Dark and Dangerous line (Ral Partha 02-901). This particular hydra has seven heads, and the metal version is still available as a multi-piece model from IWM. On the right is a five-headed Dwarf Hydra (Grenadier Fantasy Classics 318/Fantasy Lords 124). The heads of this particular hydra bear a close resemblance to that of the Harryhausen hydra.

There are a couple of other hydras that I will probably get in the future, including the Alternative Armies Giant Hydra, and a three-headed hydra from M.Y. Miniatures. What to do with all these beasties though?


Lobo said...

monsters look always great vs 1/72 minis!

Andrew said...

In looking for Hydra Miniatures on ebay (the min company that makes 30mm robots) I found that D&D Miniatures makes a plastic pre-painted hydra monster.

EY said...

I took a look at those DDM pre-paint hydras, and wow are they expensive! Maybe they're some of the larger sized monsters, but still...