Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Dragonsnails are gigantic chaos-mutated pond snails that mostly sport one or two heads, and enjoy eating people. They inhabit the swamplands of Prax, in particular the Devil's Marsh, where they presumably originated.
Pictured here are two dragonsnail miniatures. The snail on the left is a Drakesnail from the Dreamblade CMG (Chrysotic Plague #20). The snail on the right is a Ral Partha dragonsnail from the Creatures of Glorantha boxed set (RuneQuest 10-402), also available in the Dark Denizens blister pack (RuneQuest 18-015).
The earliest dragonsnail miniature, however, was produced by Archive Miniatures, and faithfully replicates the artwork by Luise Perrin from RuneQuest 2nd edition (shown at the top of the page). It is a particularly difficult miniature to find, and remains high up on my hunt list.
All the available dragonsnail miniatures are two-headed versions, so anyone wanting a one-headed (or three headed) dragonsnail will have to make their own. Probably not too difficult to do using seashells available in any craft store.
I just quickly made a couple of mock-ups out of Elmer's-Tack, but when I have some time, I'll make up some proper one-headed dragonsnails.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
While doing an image search for OSR artwork, I came across an illustration by Stefan Poag that reminded me of the Vul-Kar idol from the Fireball Island game made by Milton Bradley that I bought a while back to use as a piece of dungeon terrain.
The idol is made up of three pieces molded in a very dark brown plastic.
I decided to wire it up with some LED lighting to spiff it up a bit and make it look more like the artwork from the game. To do that, I drilled out the eyes to allow the LEDs to shine through.
I then drilled two small holes in the base to accommodate wiring for the LEDs, and a larger hole for a burning flame.
The flame is a Mega Bloks torch flame from their old Dragons line.
I wired it all up in series, soldered the connections, and used some electrical tape to hold down the loose parts.
9 volt battery attached, and voilà!
As an aside, Vul-Kar bears (at least to me) a strong resemblance to Zardoz.
Zardoz (or Vul-Kar) may also have been an influence on the decoration on the front of the Iron Claw Goblin Stone Thrower as well.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
1/72 Multiverse has finally reached the 100,000 milestone!
I will have to confess I've neglected posting for the month of July because of that massive time sink known as WoW. Other than entering a MUD way back in the early 90's, I have not looked into playing any of the MMORPGs that are now so popular among gamers (though I do like looking at their various character and monster designs). At the behest of some friends, I signed up for a free month-long trial of WoW, and took advantage of a huge discount on the game and it's expansions. Frankly, because we are scattered all over the world, this is really the only way I can game with members of my old gaming group.
A big thanks to all the readers who have made this possible.
MMORPGs are just about what I expected. The mindset of most players is definitely that of a video gamer for whom "death" is a mere inconvenience, and clearing levels as fast as possible is the main objective. Still, I guess it's more about the social aspect of gaming with friends that makes it enjoyable.
Now that I've leveled up to where I can participate in the same dungeons as everyone else, I should be able to get back to a more regular posting schedule.
Monday, August 13, 2012
The Serúdla is a large semi-intelligent dragon-like creature found in the deep forests of Tékumel. The typical specimen is about 15' long, but they can grow up to 25' or even 35' in length.
The creature has been dubbed "The Pale Murderer" by the peasantry, but they are not intrinsically hostile to humans. The tribes of the Ghatóni confederacy in Tékumel's north-west have discovered a method of training the Serúdla for use in war, and units of armored Serúdla are fielded by the Ghatóni.
For some reason, I was under the impression that they were often encountered as mated pairs, but maybe I mixed them up with some other creature since I can't seem to find that reference in any of my Tékumel materials.
No company has made a Serúdla in miniature (as of yet), but a kind reader graciously sent me a pair of Serúdla that he created using 3D printer technology.
There are two versions of the Serúdla, an unarmored one (left), and an armored one (right). I particularly like the way the beaked appearance of Tékumeli creatures is faithfully captured by these models. I'm not sure what the proper term is, but there is definite "pixelation" on the models. For the Serúdla it looks nice, since it gives the appearance of fine scales to the creature, but I'm not sure how well the printing works if smoother surfaces are required. In 1/72, these Serúdla scale out to about 21' in length.
The arms are on a separate sprue, and come with empty hands or holding swords.
These particular models were made of a material called Nylon 12. It is fairly flexible, so delicate features like these claws can withstand some slight bending without breaking.
Unfortunately some of the digits did break off, and after they were glued back on, they did in fact become prone to re-breaking.
Next, I tried reposing some one of the hands using a hairdryer. Unlike plastic, Nylon 12 did not shrivel up under heat, and I was able to change the finger position of the model.
It worked so well, I tried straightening out the armored Serúdla's tail with my heat gun. The tail was much thicker, and as usual I overdid things and ended up melting a couple of the left rear claws, which I had to recreate with Kneadatite. But other than my overzealousness with the heat gun, the tail was re-positioned without any problem.
After figuring out how I was going to pose the arms, I assembled the miniatures. Nylon 12 is very porous, and soaks up CA glue like a sponge. Large smooth surfaces do not seem to adhere very well without pinning, but the ball joint on the arm and the socket were made with a bit of texture, which allowed the parts to be affixed.
Next, I painted the miniatures. The acrylic paints seemed to soak right into the material as well. I tried to add a bit of opalescent sheen to the Serúdla with a wash of Ceramcoat Pearl Finish, but I was unable to capture the sheen by photography. I also cut some bases out of plastic card, and glued the models on to prevent the damaged claws from breaking off.
I was really impressed with these models, and seeing them made me want to try my hand at creating some 3D models for rapid prototype printing. I hope that the Serúdla from The Tékumel Project will be as nice as these.