Thursday, August 15, 2019

Giant Catfish

Tall tales of giant catfish have circulated in the American South since the 19th century, and were even propagated in the Northern states along the Upper Mississippi River.

Giant catfish, 1914
Hardin County, Tennessee

While modern US tabloids have reported attacks on people by giant catfish, it was the South Asian goonch that seemed to demonstrate that attacks on humans by giant catfish were possible.

In D&D, the giant catfish was introduced in the Creature Catalog under the category of Giant Fish. They were described as being 15 feet in length, with 8+3 HD. Instead of having spiked fins with poison, they were able to cause damage with their barbels (which I'm guessing is founded in the mistaken belief that catfish can sting with their whiskers).

I'd probably just change the stats a bit and say that the catfish can bite for 2D8 damage, and inflict 1D4 damage with each of two fin attacks.

To represent giant catfish, I have several different gashapon models, as well as a gigantic Reaper catfish that I just bought today.

The first two catfish are Lake Biwa giant catfish (Biwako-o'namazu; ビワコオオナマズ). Both are ChocoQ shokugan from Furuta – Choco Egg Classic (チョコエッグ・クラシック no. 047C), and Choco Egg Animals of Japan Collection series 2 (チョコエッグ・日本の動物コレクション第2弾 no. 047).

The two catfish are multi-part plastic models manufactured by Kaiyodo. They are slightly different sculpts, each measuring 73mm in length. The Choco Egg Classic version comes with a base.

The next image is of a Lake Biwa giant catfish by Yujin from the Kitan Club Nature Technicolour Nature of Japan vol. 02 (奇譚クラブ・ネイチャーテクニカラー・日本のいきもん vol. 02 no. 19), and a red torrent catfish (Akaza; アカザ) from the Furuta Choco Egg Animals of Japan series 4 (チョコエッグ・日本の動物コレクション第4弾 no. 119).

The Yujin catfish is a single piece model made of PVC measuring 70mm in length. The torrent catfish is made by Kaiyodo, and measures about 64mm in length.

The last model is the Reaper Gulper (Bones 44038).

The Gulper seems to be modeled after the flathead catfish, though it is covered with spikes like the typical modern fantasy "dire" creature. It is made with the new Reaper Bones Black material, and measures 125mm in length.

All five catfish compared.

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