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!

Fantasy Flight – Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Spreading War Heroes – Beorn (Beorning and Bear-Form) and Calaminth Took

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Spreading War Heroes - Beorn (Beorning and Bear-Form) and Calaminth Took

Today we have another pair of heroes from FFG’s Journeys in Middle Earth board game. Since the last few posts of models from this game have been from the Forces of Shadow, I felt it was time to do another couple of player characters.

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Spreading War Heroes - Beorn (Beorning and Bear-Form)

So first up we have the Chieftain of the Beornings himself, Beorn – in both his human and bear forms.

Beorn was one of those models that was hard to get started on, but then once I sat down and concentrated on working on him after the initial skin and fur coats, really almost painted himself in what turned out to be a pleasant morning and early afternoon where I got both forms completed.

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Spreading War Heroes - Beorn (Beorning and Bear-Form)

There’s not a lot else to say here really, Naturalistic colours for both models, some pleasant blending, and they were done pretty simply and easily.

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Spreading War Heroes - Calaminth Took

The second character for today is another one of the many (created) Heroes from Journeys in Middle-Earth board game in the form of Calaminth Took, presumably a relative of Pippin. I guess she provides the game with the same role for hobbits that Tauriel provides for the Hobbit films since there – as I mentioned when I posted my painted Elena and Beravor there aren’t a whole lot of canon female characters in Tolkien’s writings, and even fewer when it comes to adventurer-protagonist-type characters. Calaminth was cleaned and primed as I’d initially hoped to get her painted for Fembuary this year, but it didn’t end up happening at the time, so as a model that seemed relatively straightforward to get painted, I’ve gotten her done now, bit by bit over a few days.

Of course, this same expansion includes artwork for a female Rohirrim with African features and an Asian Elf, but I’ll have more to say regarding my thoughts on those models once I have them painted.

Fantasy Flight - Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-Earth Spreading War Heroes - Calaminth Took

As far as painting Calaminth, there’s really not a lot to go on, so I took inspiration from the character card (as seen above). A bit of a cross between sterotypical Ye Olde Matronly English Inkeeper and “Hobbit”. (Complete with a somehow-immaculate apron even in the midst of adventuring in the wilds!) Another model that was a bit hard to get started on but went pretty smoothly and quickly once I did start work. And that’s that! Now I need to decide whether to paint another pair of heroes, or do some more villains. I’ve got plenty of both all ready and prepped for painting…