Sunday, June 30, 2024



Some sources use the word Leshy as a proper noun to describe a tutelary deity from Slavic mythology, but I use the term to refer to a class of nature spirits.

The main reference for lore regarding leshy in English seems to come from Songs of the Russian People by W.R.S Ralston. Leshy (spelled "Lyeshy" in the book) are said to belong to two classes—one associated with forests, and the other associated with fields. The later classification being similar to agricultural spirits like the polevik.

Ralston writes that leshy resemble medieval devils in their natural form, but the description of shaggy haired creatures with horns and goat feet bring satyrs to mind for me.

Léchies, Dictionnaire infernal, 1863

In early illustrations, they are often depicted as wizened old men or woodwoses.

Girl and Leshy, M.V. Yakunchikova, 1899

Leshiy, E.I. Kovrigin, 1853

Lěshiy (Fairy Tale Series),
E.G. Sokolov

However, more modern illustrations depict them as having a tree-like appearance, which I attribute to costumes used in performances of The Snow Maiden.

F. F. Fedorovsky, 1910 & V.M. Vasnetsov, 1885

The current pop culture appearance of the leshy is taken from the antlered, skull-faced monsters from The Witcher 3, known as leshen.

Unlike in the video game, their depiction in The Witcher TV series is a throwback to a tree-like appearance that is somewhat reminescent of Warhammer dryads.

My personal exposure to the leshy was from the manga Kutsuzure Sensen, which introduced a diminished WWII era leshy.

The appearance as a small plant-like creature might have been influenced by Final Fantasy XI, where the Sapling class of monsters includes the leshonki, which is the name used for leshy children.

Leshonki (レショーンチ)

Leshy were also featured in the game, starting with Final Fantasy IV, but they appear as female spirits like nymphs or dryads.

Leshy (レーシー)

Pathfinder leshy also have the look of small anthropomorphized plant creatures, and are essentially druidic familiars. I ordered the boxed set of miniatures that was released back in April because I like the concept of plant and vegetable monsters which harken back to similar creatures from Dragon Quest and Maplestory, or even the flowers from Through the Looking Glass, and What Alice Found There.

The miniatures in the first row are a Flytrap Leshy, Fungus Leshy, Gourd Leshy, and Lotus Leshy.

The second row include a Seaweed Leshy, Sunflower Leshy, Fruit Leshy, and Cactus Leshy.

Some previous releases include the Pathfinder Battles Fungus Leshy (Darklands Rising #3) and Leaf Leshy (City of Lost Omens #4). The last miniature from the D&D Icons of the Realms line is Amidor [the Dandelion] (Wild Beyond the Witchlight #27). I don't think it's stated anywhere that Amidor is a leshy, but he looks the part to me.

The 3rd party supplement The Botanical Bestiary, published by Inky Cap Press is full of similar plant creatures, wonderfully illustrated by Sita Duncan.

3D print files were also created for the leshy in the supplement, but I feel they are rather sterile compared to the actual artwork, and I am unsure how well they can be scaled down in size.

In any event, my leshy miniatures will be repurposed as vegepygmies, since for pedantic reasons, it irks me that vegepygmies are fungi.

By attributing the sapience of these plants to symbiosis with russet mold, everything falls into place, and allows the vegepygmy name to be reclaimed by actual plants (though on the other hand, several of the leshy are relatively tall, so probably can't be properly called pygmies anymore).

I will end with some actual vegepygmy miniatures that were not covered in my older post on the subject.

The miniatures include an Icons of the Realms Vegepygmy Chief (Tomb of Annihilation #14), a Vegepygmy from the Tomb of Annihilation boardgame, and a Pathfinder Miniatures Mold Runt (Jungle of Despair #2). I also included the DDM Thorn (Angelfire #25), and Baby Groot (Marvel Next Phase #014) who also fit the part of vegepygmies.

The Tomb of Annihilation miniatures, are small and weedy, perhaps being better suited for vegepygmy sprouts. The non-boardgame Vegepygmy is a lot harder to find than the Chief, but other options are now available from Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures to fill out a warband of similar miniatures. Meanwhile, the Pathfinder vegepygmy is inexplicably adorned with dreadlocks, making me think they are often encountered with cannabis leshy.

Saturday, June 1, 2024

КамАЗ-5350 part 2

Here is part 2 of my post on the Xixili KamAZ-5350 trucks. Now that I've built up the kits, I can offer a bit more commentary regarding the models.

Most of the parts of the kits are the same. I found that changing the order of assembly made construction a little easier.

All the small parts of the undercarriage were added first, but not the exhaust and transmission parts.

The dual wheels were put together with the round side inbetween the two wheels, and the octagonal side facing outwards.

The cab was then fully assembled. The interior of the cab should fit against the fender without a gap (although on some of the models the fit is not entirely perfect, perhaps due to the plastic being slightly warped).

After the cab is assembled, attach it to the undercarriage. Then add the exhaust and transmission parts, followed by the metal rods and wheels.

The two most basic vehicles are the KamAZ-5350, and KamAZ-5350-379.

The side windows of the MM-501 modular armored compartment for the KamAZ-5350-379 were incompletely formed in my kit. They are not individual panes as shown in the instructions.

The single part is supposed to slot into the window openings, but the fit may be loose, so they probably need to be glued in place.

I did receive some replacement parts from the seller, but I have not put them in place yet because I wasn't sure if there is supposed to be a colored tint to the glass in the actual vehicle.

The tanker truck does not seem to be based on the ATZ-7-5350, and seems more like a civilian tanker, lacking the equipment compartment that is seen on most military tankers.

The wagon can be hooked up to any of the KamAZ-5350 models (although not very securely). The front axle can pivot, but the hitch attached to the fifth wheel tends to fall off unless handled delicately.

I'm considering making some amber lights to attach to the top of the cab for the tanker truck, and a spotlight for the Grad K.

The 2B26 Grad-K model is one of the recent kits I received.

Model assembly is not exactly the same as for the previous three trucks, due to the Grad K having a different exhaust layout. The launcher is a bit simplified, but allows the model to be more robust for gaming.

Xixili Grad K vs 4D Grad

Finally, there is the KamAZ-65225 Tractor Unit with ChMZAP-9990-0000073 Trailer.

The KamAZ-6522, while similar, is not the same as the KamAZ-5350. I got the impression from pictures that the cab of the KamAZ-6522 might sit up higher than the KamAZ-5350, but that is not the case for these models. Several of the cab parts are identical between the two.

KamAZ-5350 vs KamAZ-65225

The trailer is not particularly well engineered in my opinion, and does not hitch up to the cab particularly well.

The rear ramps do not move very smoothly, and essentially need to be disassembled and reassembled for raised and lowered configurations. Then again, this may be by design for durability.

The supports for the trailer (red circle) are only long enough to have the trailer in the hitched configuration. Even pulling them out as far as possible from their slots, the trailer tips forward with the rear wheels up in the air.

Red and orange marked image

Also, the wedge shaped chocks (orange circle) should be open frames, and not solid. There are no attachment points or locator marks for these chocks either, so I need to do a little more research before gluing them in place.

The trailer is capable of carrying various tanks, but the ends of the tracks extend past the sides of the trailer. In pictures of the real vehicles though, at least the T-14 is wider than the trailer, so any scale discrepacy is hopefully small.

T-14 vs T-90MS

A while back, 4D Models released a KrAZ-260 tank transporter, but I never got one, since some sellers said that the truck is actually closer to 1/64 scale.

I'm not sure if this applies to the trailer as well, but if anyone actually has the kit and did scale measurements, I'd be interested in hearing about the results.

A final comparison of all the vehicles.