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 his 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!

WizKids WZK73357 Pathfinder – Deep Cuts Minis: Medium Earth Elemental (D&D Monster Manual 72) (Monster MAYhem ’22)

WizKids WZK73357 Pathfinder - Deep Cuts Minis: Medium Earth Elemental

I just wish these titles could get longer. There is still a point to these long, unweildy blog post titles, though – and that’s so they can be found via a google search. After all, a lot of these models’ primary purpose ends up simply being painted models on the internet, as I paint a wide variety of models and don’t get to play any of the games they go with nearly as often as I’d like to – and so in order to give the models a longer online “shelf” life than the little bump of regular readers once the post goes up, it’s also important to ensure that they can be easily found using a google image search. That applies whether it’s a detailed paint job that’s taken me weeks to get finished, or something siomple like these models that were largely drybrushed over the course of a single afternoon.

WizKids WZK73357 Pathfinder - Deep Cuts Minis: Medium Earth Elemental

The trade-off, then, is generally not being able to use amusing puns for post titles as I used to do, as a lot of my fellow bloggers still do (and I do enjoy that lowest form of comedy myself!). I guess I should talk about the paint process… Uh.. after some cleanup/mold line removal, I mounted these on 50mm bases, added a bunch of slate chips around the eges to blend in a little with the rocks that surround the models, painted dark grey and then drybrushed both up with browns and greys. They then got toned with Green Stuff World’s Liquid Pigments – one in green and the oither brown, and then finally both drybrushed again with light grey and finally white on the highest points to desturate them and tone the pigments back down.

WizKids WZK73357 Pathfinder - Deep Cuts Minis: Medium Earth Elemental

The transparent crystals were masked with blu-tac (poster putty to some of you) and then painted with Green Contrast paint, and after the matte varnish of the entire model gloss varnished by brush. Eyes were simply painted in, red over yellow, though you can barely see them in most circumstances due to the hunched posture. That’s really the majority of the work. After all, we’re talking about a pair of cheap & cheerful PVC models meant for tabletop use.

WizKids WZK73357 Pathfinder - Deep Cuts Minis: Medium Earth Elemental, Reaper Miniatures 50153 Berkeley Zombie Survivor

Good old Berkeley provides us with the scale shot, as is usual, and we have another two minor monsters completed for this month’s Monster MAYhem challenge!