Saturday, November 29, 2014

Lolth and a Decapus

After a couple of months of inactivity on the hobby front, I was able to spend the Thanksgiving holiday finishing up a couple of miniatures. The first job was elevating the Pathfinder Paeta to being Queen of the Demonweb Pits.

I wasn't able to find out much about what or who Paeta is, but she seems to be somehow related to phase spiders. The legs on my Paeta figure were all bent and distorted, so I had to clip them off and pin them so that she could stand up properly.

Unfortunately the plastic that the figure is made out of is not very strong, so the legs will sag if she is kept free standing for long periods of time (or if the temperature is too high).

I thought that she would make a good representation of Lolth, since I am of the same opinion as Shandar the Ashen One regarding Lolth's current depiction as a drider.

I repainted her face using Jim Roslof's illustration from the cover of AD&D Module Q1 as inspiration.

Now I'll need to find some solifugids and pedipalps to back her up.

The second figure I completed is a decapus, modeled after the Erol Otus art for the cover of D&D Module B3.

Because of this picture, I've always thought of the decapus as a kind of plant creature. The tentacles that split and rejoin reminded me a lot of the banyan tree, while the spines on its body reminded me a lot of the spines on the rambutan fruit.

I cobbled the figure together using a grell and an abyssal maw from the D&D Miniatures line.

I chopped off the legs and extra eyes from the abyssal maw, and used the body as the basis of the decapus. The tentacles were removed from the grell, reshaped a bit with a hair dryer, and then pinned to the body.

The spines on its body were made out of stretched sprue that I bent and glued into holes drilled into the body. The attachment points were then sealed with J-B Weld.

I added splitting and rejoining tendrils using round cross sectioned plastic twist ties. I shaved off some of the plastic at each end of a section to expose the wire, and then glued them into holes drilled into the tentacles. The ties were then slathered with J-B Weld.

I built up some more ropiness to the tentacles with J-B Weld, and after the epoxy dried, I painted the miniature.

The eyes bulge out unlike the decapus of the Otus picture, but I think it makes the creature look more plant-like this way.

In conclusion, a size comparison of the miniatures with George:

Sunday, November 9, 2014


"...suppose this war just goes on and on and on and destroys everything in the world. Well, since the Volkswagen can get along without water, she’s bound to survive when other creatures die off! Someday the world is going to be populated with nothing but Volkswagens!"

Castle Keep (1969)

The design of the iconic VW Beetle (aka Volkswagen Type 1) is often claimed to have been significantly influenced by Adolf Hitler (for whatever reason), but Ferdinand Porche was more likely inspired by other sources (particularly Tatra, and allegedly by Joseph Ganz).

Eventually, the car that personified Kraft durch Freude became inextricably associated with the hippy movement.

In the 1/72 world, VWs are primarily diecast models. The most commonly encountered models are produced by Hongwell (also repackaged by Schuco).

Version 1

Two different models were produced by Hongwell. From real life experience with a red VW like the first version of the Hongwell model, I could tell that it was too big. In fact, it measures out to about 1/67 scale.

1/67 version 1 (left) vs 1/72 version 2 (right)

Their second version scales out exactly to 1/72 scale. If you see these models on eBay, the best way to tell the difference between them is to look at the side windows.

1/72 version 2 (left) vs 1/67 version 1 (right)

For the cabriolet version, the shape of the canvas top is also different.

1/72 version 2 (left) vs 1/67 version 1 (right)

On the other end of the spectrum is the plastic VW Maggiolino 1200 manufactured for PEZ by the now defunct CGGC Grisoni.

Wilt is 7' 1" (216 cm)

The model is marked as being 1/72, but despite what it says, the car is more like 1/87 scale.

Scala 1:72

Other cars in the series which may-or-may-not-be 1/72 include the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper.

Real-X/Epoch also makes a good 1/72 scale VW, and Oxford makes a 1/76 version of the 1958-1964 VW.

Top row: Hongwell (red and green), Epoch, Oxford, PEZ
Bottom row: Hongwell

From left to right: Hongwell (red and green), Epoch, Oxford, PEZ

The Epoch and Hongwell cars are made from different molds, and may represent different models of the Beetle. Hongwell also makes a version of the Beetle with Herbie markings, but it is a repaint, so represents the wrong model year of the car.

1/72 VW Beetles

Following up on the success of the Beetle, Volkswagen introduced their van (Volkswagen Type 2) in 1950.

A 1/72 version is made by Hongwell. The wheelbase is identical to the Beetle, which is as it should be. I think that the body may be a bit too short, but it looks good overall.

I saw the yellow-and-green marking in the picture below on a car driving on the road. Does anyone recognize what it is?