My next Monster Model from Fantasy Flight’s Journeys in Middle-Earth board game. As it happens, it’s also another submission for this year’s Monster MAYhem challenge over at Dead Dick’s Tavern and Temporary Lodging, As you’ll have seen, it’s the Spawn of Ungoliant model from the Shadowed Paths expansion, so… notsomuch Shelob, but perhaps one of her sisters….
As is pretty common when going to paint a model – especially when I’m going to paint something from a Mythosor Universe such as D&D or Tolkien or Marvel I’ll often do a google image search to see if there’s a canonical look, which I may use or ignore – and more importantly if there’s something that might spark inspiration. When looking for this model, I had a slightly different problem to usual – this thing is a big old spider, and while I’m not an especially large fan, Marouda is very much not a fan at all – and, oh, this is a boardgame/tabletop model that we’ll have to handle and use – so that creates a dichotomy where going for a realistic look as I often do when it comes to animals and natural-istic beasts just isn’t going to work. I’ve painted a couple like that before, and they’re ….not very popular ’round here, shall we say?
Luckily when browsing for a scheme, I first saw some spiders painted in a pretty cool scheme on reddit by a user called Bellman276 before finding Sorastro’s version of this creature. After a check in with Marouda on how she thought they looked and how she felt about using them on a table, she agreed that both sets of unnatural spiders looked good and were unrealistic enough to beat a bit of that arachnophobia that can impede gameplay. So I then basically went Soastro’s scheme, but with a little teal/blue mixed into the shading so that the Spawn here would also work alongside the regular Giant Spiders (sorry Weta, your Hobbit scheme for Mirkwood Spiders is a bit too natural, and as such, triggerific!) And so, that was that. Except…
Back in march, when I painted the Fell Beasts for Journeys in the Dark, I also created some base inserts to drop them into, so I could use them in games of AoS and KoW as larger beasts, such as Fell Bats. I did the same here for the Spawn of Ungoliant with a 60mm base, so I’ll also be able to use her as the Spider Queen of Mirkwood, particularly as the Official Citadel/Games Workshoip model is hot garbage.
As you can see here, despite the rather small integral base, the model “fits” the 60mm base pretty nicely. The trick to it really is to add some “stuff” to the larger base so it simply doesn’t appear as a big empty circle.
Adding in a few larger pieces of slate as well as a few pieces from the Citadel head-bone kit worked pretty well, I think. I kept them much more pale rather than browny as I usually go, though the weathering still added some brown, so there ya go…
I also fleshed it out a bit with a damaged shield from a RPE Undead model as well as a spare sword from some sort of viking model. Environ-mental storytelling, that is!
As usual, Berkeley is here to provide us with a scale shot for this monster model. Not the giantest of giant spider models is the Spawn of Ungoliant, but certainly more giant than I’d want to deal with in person at any stage – and she’s now ready for the table in two different Middle-Earth-Setting games, so the finished beast works for me!