Thursday, October 31, 2013

Lovecraftian Horrors

In honor of Halloween, I've decided to write about some of the miniatures that I own which represent monsters from the Cthulhu Mythos.

Spiders of Leng

These gigantic spiders are denizens of the Plateau of Leng, mentioned briefly in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, and later fleshed out in the Call of Cthulhu RPG.

There have been various miniatures of Spiders of Leng, but they always struck me as being too pedestrian. However, when I saw the Knobby White Spider (The Force Unleashed #52) from the Star Wars Miniatures Game, the first thing that popped into my mind was that it was a Spider of Leng. The only thing the miniature needs is to be painted purple.

The miniature is quite disturbing. I really have the urge to hit it with a mallet when I look at it, and reaching into a box to take the miniature out... Ugghh!

Cats from Uranus

The Cats from Uranus are creatures from the Call of Cthulhu RPG. They are described as being similar to the Cats from Saturn, except uglier.

There have not been miniatures of either type of cat, but the Bad Kitty (Baxar's War #31) from the Dreamblade CMG would seem to fit the bill for a Cat from Uranus. It is not multi-hued and psychedelic like a Cat from Saturn, but it is definitely hideous.


The Moon-beasts were the antagonists in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, and described as vaguely amorphous grayish-white toad-like beings with a vibrating mass of short pink tentacles on the end of their snouts.

On the left is the recent Pathfinder Moon-Beast (Legends of Golarion #29). In the center is the RAFM Moon Beast (RAFM 2941), and at the right is the Grenadier Moonbeast (Call of Cthulhu 222).

The Grenadier and RAFM miniatures are very similar, and the Pathfinder miniature is not far off either, though it does not have any eyes. I'll have to repaint the Pathfinder Moon-beast because the pink hands and feet make it look more ape-like than toad-like. The Grenadier Moon-beast is fairly hard to find nowadays, since it is one of the CoC miniatures that has yet to be re-released by Mirliton.

Dholes (or Bholes)

Dholes are mentioned in Through the Gates of the Silver Key, and have been described as gigantic worms in later works even though I do not believe they were stated to be worm-like in the story. Bholes on the other hand, were explicitly described as being gigantic worms in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. It is unclear if they are the same, but both were gigantic creatures dwelling in the Vale of Pnath, so it may very well be that one or the other name came about because of a typographical error. In any event, Dhole was the term used by later Mythos writers, and so we have the Dhole (instead of Bhole) miniature from the Byatis and Dhole box set (RAFM 2030).

I really like this miniature, but it essentially is a newly hatched Dhole, since the creature is supposed to be hundreds of feet long (with fleas the size of rats). I'd say that an in-scale miniature would probably have to be at least a meter in length.

Serpent Men

Originally created by Robert E. Howard for his Kull stories, the Serpent Men of Valusia were introduced to the Cthulhu Mythos by Lin Carter and Clark Ashton Smith. They are mentioned by name in Lovecraft's The Haunter of the Dark.

The two miniatures to the left are Ral Partha Serpent Men Heroes (Children of the Night 13-041). These miniatures are currently available from Ironwind Metals. The trio on the right are Grenadier Serpent Men (Call of Cthulhu 6502; Nightmares 619).

The Ral Partha Serpent Men do not have tails, which may be more accurate as far as descriptions of Serpent Men go. The Grenadier Serpent Men on the other hand do have tails. The one in red comes from the boxed set, and has been described as holding and orb. To me it just looks like he has his hands clasped together, and I cannot make out any sign of an orb in his hands, so I'm not sure if there is another version of this miniature.

Off to answer the doorbell now!


1Mac said...

Even though we had discussed it before, I still got a thrill of false recognition when I saw those Grenadier snake cultists again.

EY said...

Agreed. Those conversions really made me want to make some companions for the Grenadier serpent cultists modeled after the Strange Aeons serpentmen.

Paul´s Bods said...

That is one creepy looking Spider!!!!

Sean said...

Just saw this. Great post, I really need to get back to my plans for 1/72 Cthulhu adventures.

EY said...

Hi Sean,

Surprisingly, the Redbox Gangsters and Police/Citizens are not too horrible either. I think I saw someone on Lead Adventure Forum using them for 1/72 CoC gaming. They looked pretty good painted up.

mordicai said...

Using creepy Star Wars minis to side-swipe my players who are familiar with the DnD mini line is a favorite of mine.

Baconfat said...

The Leng Spider is horrifying.