Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh

I'm a Monty Python fan. I'm also a miniatures wargamer. A few years ago I became interested in Hordes of the Things (HOTT) which is a set of fast play miniatures rules for fantasy battles. HOTT is published by the Wargames Research Group and was written and developed by Phil Barker, Sue Laflin-Barker and Richard Bodley Scott.

The beauty of the HOTT rules is that they are generic and not tied to any particular fantasy genre, set of books, range of figures or even scale. This allows you to use any miniatures you want to create any army you want from any of your favourite fantasy books or movies, legend, myth, anything - you are only limited by your imagination.

I wanted to build an army based on the 1975 movie Monty Python and the Holy Grail in 15mm scale. I knew I had plenty of 15mm medieval miniatures but I was missing some of the creatures, like the Black Beast of Aaaaarrrrrrggghhh for example. Try as I might, I could not find a company that made this creature in 15mm scale. Or any scale for that matter. So I decided to make one myself.

I'm not a miniature sculpter but do consider myself reasonably artistic. I'd never sculpted anything before but I thought I'd give it a go. I did a bit of research on the internet, found some materials, and I was off.

First I built a wire armature in the rough shape of the Beast. The horns were actually made from a piece of underwire from one of my wife's old bras. I then used an epoxy putty called Milliputt to cover the wire and build up the shape of the Beast. Everything you can see of the final miniature is Milliputt except for the eyelashes, they're actually bristles from a toothbrush.

The Beast is 9cm in height and is based on a 40mm x 40mm cardboard base. I painted it in acrylic colours with a few sprays of clear gloss varnish for protection and then a final coat of clear matt varnish to take a bit of the shine off. It's HOTT classification is a 'Behemoth'. Here are some pictures. Click on them for a larger image.

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