Time for a Spider! Today’s model is a Ral Partha Giant Spider from their licenced Dungeons and Dragons range in 1995. Which is why it has a “TSR 1995” on it’s underside. While some of you might wonder why RP felt the need to licence something as incredibly generic as a Giant Spider, where no copyrights or trademarks could possibly exist, the answer lies in it being part of a branded D&D range that stores would carry and purchase from.
Friend of the Bitz Box, Mark Morin actually painted the same model a couple of years ago, along with some other old-school Grenadier Spiders.
I painted the thing in woody browns, inspired by our local Aussie heroes, the Huntsman Spider. Even though the Huntsman isn’t furry like our D&D model, I still wanted her to have the “feel” and “appearance” of a “real” spider. In order to do that, I followed the really simple, muted tones of real spiders rather than going all that crazy with bright colours, as it’s clearly not a tropical specimen. I also went with browns rather than blacks, since I wanted it to stand out a bit more, and perhaps be a little less creepy(?) The tiny, beady eyes were painted black, with a single dot of white for the highlight, and gloss varnished. Not that you can see them, they’re so bloody small!
After trying to make the thing look kinda-realistic with the paint, I wanted to then draw it away from looking like a large spider had invaded my games room by using the basing to tie it in with the rest of my minis collection, and with that black rim separate it from the tabletop slightly. I also used some bits of slate to raise the front f the spider, since it’s rearing up (for some reason) and make it look that little bit more impressive when sat next to other models.
It really is a nice sculpt, and probably one that’s now lost to time. It wouldn’t take much for someone who owned the mould to scrape off the TSR from it (or probably most of that range) and sell it, and I’m sure that’s the case with at least a good chunk of the rest of the mid-90’s range. After all, no-one “owns” Orcs, or Kobolds or Elves – which is why we now have GW selling us “Orruks” and “Aelves”, but without knowing the intricacies of that particular licence agreement, who can tell? RPE don’t have it. Maybe Mirilton or someone else like that owns the sculpts now? (Well, not Mirilton – I just checked!)