Friday, October 16, 2020

Warren of Vile Fungi

I backed the Warren of Vile Fungi Kickstarter by Mortal Arrow almost a year ago, and received the figures on my doorstep earlier this week.

All in all, I was quite satisfied with the results of the Kickstarter campaign, and I really like all of the fungal monsters that were produced. The creatures reminded me of the various plant monsters from the post-apocalyptic novel Hothouse by Brian Aldiss.

Hothouse is credited as being one of the inspirations of Gamma World, but I find it odd that James Maliszewski in his review of the novel, somehow finds the idea of cables from the Earth to the Moon as being too difficult to accept as science fiction.

In fact, the concept of the space elevator has been around since 1895, and has been used in the works of Iain Banks, Yukito Kishiro, and Tsutomu Nihei (among others). The concept has also been proposed in a fantasy context at The Vertical Jungle blog with a plant based elevator akin to the webs described in Hothouse.

I'm actually going to have to read Hothouse again because I don't remember many of the details anymore (I think I read it back when I was in high school... ). I wonder if I will have a different opinion of the story after I re-read it.

Anyway, I showed some of the smaller myconids from the Mortal Arrow Kickstarter campaign in a previous post, and now, I'll present the rest of the miniatures.

I think my favorite miniatures from this Kickstarter are the Gas Spores, which are monsters from the AD&D Monster Manual. The Crackle Orb (MAFMMN03A) is just about the same size as my Beholder, while the Spore Tyrant (MAFMMN03B) is much larger (maybe the size of a Nolzur's unpainted Beholder?).

The Crackle Orb had a large casting bubble that needed to be filled in, but otherwise there were no issues with the models.

The Phantom Fungus (MAFMMN07) is another interesting model, with 11 pieces cast in a light-weight clear resin. The creature was originally described in the D&D v3.5 Monster Manual.

The body is entirely clear, but the legs and tentacles have a decidedly yellow tint to them (it's not really visible in my pictures though). Thankfully, it looks nothing like the official D&D design which I found to be quite awful.

I was unsure of how to attach the legs at first, but Mortal Arrow has thoughtfully marked the body and legs with Roman numerals to indicate which leg goes where.

I had to carve away excess resin from the body for leg II, and drill out the hole for leg IV to get the legs to fit flush with the body, but even after all that, all the legs were still not level with the tabletop.

Despite the unevenness, the model stands up quite well due to the number of legs.

I used clear epoxy to attach the legs because I was not sure if CA glue would cause the resin to fog up. I didn't bother epoxying the tentacles in place because I kind of like having the option of using the model without them.

The next four groups of monsters first appeared in the AD&D Monster Manual II, but the Mortal Arrow designs are completely new and improved.


The Fruiting Ascomoid (MAFMMN04A) consists of 2 resin parts, while the Fellrot Ascomoid (MAFMMN04B) is a single piece resin miniature.


The Baby Basidirond (MAFMMN01) is a 3 part metal miniature.

The assembled model looks very similar to the Pathfinder Battles Purple Fungus (Maze of Death #005) which is shown on the right.

The two adult Man-eater Basidironds have many identical parts. Basidirond I (MAFMMN06A) consists of 4 metal parts and 4 resin parts, while Basidirond II (MAFMMN06B) consists of 4 metal parts and 5 resin parts. If you order from the Mortal Arrow website, I think that the catalog numbers are actually reversed for these models.

The legs on the models must have been warped, because they kept on tipping over, and needed to lean against each other like a couple of drunks to stay upright.

I had to use a blow dryer to heat up the legs and reposition them to allow the Basidironds to stand without assistance. The resin is very flexible, so it works well with heat, but you have to be careful if you drill into it because it tends to trap the bit and leads to them snapping off (I broke two drill bits trying to pin these models).

Between the two Basidironds is a Pathfinder Battles Mind Frond (Maze of Death #004), which I guess could be a toddler Basidirond.


The Phycomid set (MAFMMN05) consists of 3 resin pieces.

The human body on one of the pieces is obviously too big, so maybe I'll modify it into the corpse of a giant lizard or something.


The Ustilagor Nymph (MAFMMN02A) is a 2 piece metal miniature, while the Ustilagor Prime (MAFMMN02B) is a 3 piece metal miniature.

I don't have much to say about the miniatures, but as monsters, I wish the Ustilagors were more like cordyceps fungi instead of being psionic.

The next creatures were all independently created by Mortal Arrow.

The Carnivorous Mushroom (MAFMMN08) is a 3 piece model in gray resin.

It reminds me a lot of the carnivorous mushroom encountered in the caverns underneath Ant Hole Town (アリの穴街; Arinoanamachi) from Somali to Mori no Kami-sama (ソマリと森の神様).

The pin on the tail does not align well with the main stalk, so I had to cut it off and replace it with a metal pin.

I may modify this model to look more like the carnivorous mushroom from the anime.

The Rhyzonid Ancient One (MAFMMN09A) is an awakened Myconid, and consists of two resin parts.

The Zygom Rotguard (MAFMMN13) are described as the enforcers of Ascogenea, and consist of 3 metal parts.

I think the Rotguard would look good painted up as either a fungus or a plant.

The Living Toadstool (MAFMMN14) is (I believe) a zygom infested giant toad, and consists of 5 resin parts.

I think it might look pretty good alongside my Plague Toads.

The original focus of the Kickstarter were the Myconid Heroes (MAFMMN10A-E), and their Corrupted Myconid counterparts (MAFMMN11A-E).

I don't particularly care for the Heroes because they are too tall, and they fall into my doghouse category of mushrooms-that-wear-clothes. All of the models come in multiple parts, and require assembly.

I didn't bother gluing them together because I plan to sell them.

I do however love the Corrupted Myconids. They look cool, and they don't pretend to be human by wearing faux clothes.

Tosser (MAFMMN11B) and Stabber (MAFMMN11E) are 2 piece metal models.

Thrasher (MAFMMN11A) and Mauler (MAFMMN11C) are 3 piece metal models.

Of these four Corrupted Myconids, Thrasher is my favorite.

Rasper (MAFMMN11D) is the most impressive of the Corrupted Myconids, and consists of 4 pieces.

Rasper is like a gigantic fungal centipede, and a bit of cutting and drilling is required to make all the pieces fit together. I also filled in the gaps between the segments with Kneadatite for additional strength.

Finally, on a related subject, I want to show some of the more monstrous Fightin Fungi miniatures produced by Alternative Armies for Ganesha Games. These include the Matanagar (FIFU 009), Spore Monster (FIFU 014), and Swamp Lion Fungus (FIFU 034).

These models are on the smaller end of the spectrum when compared to the Mortal Arrow figures, but are nice nonetheless.

This was a pretty long post, and if you've reached this far, I thank you for reading.

I'm thinking about shooting some turntable videos of these miniatures and uploading them to YouTube so that the models can be viewed from all sides. If there is any interest in such a project, please comment below.


Hugh Walter said...

I don't know how I missed you post on the 12th but caught-up now! Both lovely posts, I picked up something which I think is a sentient mushroom a while back, possibly from a Studio Gibli thing, sadly in a larger scale than your chosen frame!

On the subject of space elevators they are looking into it seriously, I wondered if they couldn't use that balloon the millionaire went up in (to parachute back from space) a few years ago, it could trail some fine fishing-line (tolerant of extreme cold?), when it got as high as it could (with the extra weight) a large firework should take it beyond the gravitational pull, then it's just a case of the receiving station catching the line and then pulling ever thicker cables up with a big winch? The old'er stuff could be fed back down until you had a full pulley with two parallel lines! Build a service-core around that with oxygen stations . . .

I'm probably missing some immutable law of physics!


EY said...

Thanks for reading Hugh.
I'm not up to date on latest info regarding space elevators, but the last time I read something on the subject I think it said we're currently limited by not having cables that were strong enough to run up into space without snapping. Maybe one day material sciences will catch up to our imagination.

JF_guenzl said...

awesome article!

btw: did you already see the new fantasy miniatures by Speira?

EY said...

Hi JF,
I have been keeping an eye on Speira models, but I haven't seen any pictures of the actual physical models (except some of their prehistoric animals), so I'm hesitant about buying anything.

Darathar said...

I did an order with them in 1/72 I'll post it up in my thread on LAF when I get em.

EY said...

Looking forward to your post Darathar. I'm interested to see how the detail on their smaller models is reproduced in 1/72.