Fantasy Flight – Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths – Spawn of Ungoliant (Monster MAYhem ’22)

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant

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….

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant

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?

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant

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.

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant, LotR SBG Spider Queen of Mirkwood

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.

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant, LotR SBG Spider Queen of Mirkwood

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…

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant, LotR SBG Spider Queen of Mirkwood

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!

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths - Spawn of Ungoliant, LotR SBG Spider Queen of Mirkwood, Reaper Miniatures 50153 Berkeley Zombie Survivor

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!

34 thoughts on “Fantasy Flight – Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Shadowed Paths – Spawn of Ungoliant (Monster MAYhem ’22)

  1. Stunning work mate, reminds me of some of the peacock spiders amazing colour schemes. I used to have the same problem at shows with my alien spiders that I was the only one who would put them out or pack them away as the rest would not touch them.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Nice job .. that is quite a beastie and you did a great job painting it up so colorfully. I do think, the young lady in the picture is going to need a bigger chainsaw though.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. That was kind of you to consult with Marouda before painting this spawn of Shelob, mate! I really like the bright color scheme as it makes the spider look quite dangerous. Speaking of which, doesn’t Oz have all kinds of deadly critters? If so, Marouda’s fear of them makes a lot of sense! It could just be an American stereotype/overgeneralization though too. We are pretty good at doing that as the rest of the world has noticed!

    I really like the idea of this lady being a spider queen as well. GW’s spider minis in MESBG are all way overpriced for what they are. And to think they want people to buy a bunch of the spiders for Hobbit scenarios set in Mirkwood. That truly is madness! 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, it comes down to if I want her to be willing to touch the model, it needs to be slightly less realistically repulsive, so the sickly Sorastro scheme fit the bill. We do have a large variety of nasty spiders, though even the big “friendly” ones (Huntsman) aren’t ones I really want to hang out with. As for the GW ones, I guess it’s just typical GW pricing – but it doesn’t help when the models are also pretty awful in some cases! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, it seems that leaning into crustacean-adjacent designs is something that makes spiders look a little less creepy on the tabletop as I’ve seen designs do that a few times…

      Like

  4. I really like that! 🙂 And the base has come out very well! My wife applauds you for consulting with Marouda about an acceptable paint scheme for it – I’m in the black books for telling her that that largest spider I’ve ever seen lives in the storage box at our caravan, just outside the bedroom window! I’m sure you’ve got enough Afrika Korps troops and equipment to tackle this spider mind you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Haha thanks John and Mrs.NeedsVarnish! If I had a large spider living anywhere near a bedroom window I’d be out there with a flamethrower! I’ve got to check and see if there’s any other DAK vehicles I need to paint, and if not, I can shift to the last DAK infantry (and artillery/field guns) and start painting vehicles for a different formation…

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yep, aside from Artillery and getting into the Fallschirmjaeger, it’s just Dianas, Lorraine Schleppers and Bisons – none of which I own and all of which are difficult to get hold of and expensive in $$ to boot!

        Like

  5. I don’t know, you might have gone too far the other way. I like spiders, but that thing is damned grotesque and I might have to flee the table, haha! Nice work and a great, possibly even better alternative to the standard spider miniature! 😃

    Liked by 2 people

      • Oh shoot, I forgot about that spider you painted. That’s really amazing with the natural colors. I’ve got 4 or so spiders sitting around that I haven’t figured out how to paint. And I’m pretty sure I bought them after seeing your post, haha!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Time to get them painted and then to find them all smashed up one day after you pause the painting for a few minutes to go to the toilet or check the post or something… 😉

        Like

    • Thanks mate – I did a bit of googling as I needed to find something that would be acceptable to Marouda to touch on a table – so realistic schemes were right out. It also fits in close enough with the teal spiders I’ll be doing for the others.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.