Welcome to the Flaming Faggot

Callovia is called "the boundless empire" yet you have managed to find its northern border - a notorious roadhouse deep within the Madrasan Marches on the edge of the wilds of Llanvirnesse. The sign above the door reads "Flaming Faggot," which would suggest a cozy, homey inn with fresh biscuits served at teatime if not for the severed troll heads mounted on pikes at the gate.

As you cross the threshold the raucous din quiets momentarily as all eyes dart to the door and calloused hands drop instinctively to well-worn sword hilts. The threat, instantly assessed, is dismissed and roadhouse patrons go about their business hardly missing a beat.

Grim, hard-eyed men huddle around tables in close conversation thick with conspiracy; caravan guards gamble away their earnings; Caemric rangers sit close to the fireplace cooking the damp of the Black Annis from their clothes as they warm their innards with Red Dragon Ale; minstrels play and buxom wenches dance for the pleasure of men who pay them little attention - until they need a companion to warm their bed.

As you approach the bar, a huge, bald barman with a greatsword slung across his back slides a mug of freshly-pulled ale towards you, its frothy head dripping over the rim.

"Pull up a seat, lad," he says, "and let me tell you a tale of high adventure."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Painting the Mythos: Serpent People

This was a pretty straightforward miniature to paint, complicated only by its small size (about 2 cm), which made the details difficult to paint, especially for my aging eyes that have become spoiled by the larger 28 mm scale miniatures that are popular today.

The serpent was base-coated with Citadel Orkhide Shade, then given a black wash.  The scales were picked out with Citadel Gnarloc Green, and then the body was washed with Citadel Thraka Green. The scales were highlighted with Citadel Goblin Green, followed by an extreme highlight along the most prominent ridges on the head, jaws, and neck with Reaper Pale Green.  The body was then glazed with very watered down Thraka Green, to knock back some of the harshness of the highlighting and smooth out the finish.

The robes were base-coated with Citadel Scab Red then washed with black.  A mid tone layer of Citadel Mechrite Red was applied to all but the recesses of the robes, which were then highlighted by a 1:1 mix of Mechrite Red:Citadel Vomit Brown.  The eyes, tongue, and fangs were painted in, and voila, a quick and easy paint job was complete.

The idea of an ancient civilization of snake people is a recurring theme in many fantasy role playing campaigns, as well as fantasy literature.  Serpent people figured prominently in Chris Pramas's popular Lovecraftian-influenced D&D 3.0 adventure, Death in Freeport, and the snake-like Pantathians are common antagonists in Raymond Feist's Midkemia novels. Serpent people just keep cropping up, and as worn out as they idea may have become, I never tire of them.

In D&D the serpent people are presented as the Yuan-ti, but while traditional serpent people rely upon sorcery and super science, the Yuan-ti have been upscaled and depicted as heavily muscled warriors.  I've got a real fondness for snake people of any ilk, and I have a number of Reaper 'Yuan-ti' miniatures, which I've painted in a variety of colours to represent species diversity:

But, as cool as these guys are, I'll always prefer the robed bipedal snakes of the Cthulhu mythos that scheme in secret, summon demons, and whip out ray-guns to dispatch interlopers.


Trey said...

Cool. Yeah, I've never liked the Yuan-Ti as much as the Serpent Folk either.

A Paladin In Citadel said...

Damn that's some good painting. Think how much better it would be after laser eye surgery ...


The Happy Whisk said...

Very very nice.

Sean Robson said...

@Paladin: (un)fortunately(?) my eyesight is not bad enough to warrant laser eye surgery. I'll just have to make do with the goofy-looking magnifying headset that I wear while painting.

phf said...

May I suggest: the Qol, from Tekumel...


Sean Robson said...

@phf: Nice! Those are some great looking snake people.

Claudio Cappelletti said...

Nice models, from where they comes? There is a place where to buy them?

Sean Robson said...

Hi Claudio, thanks very much.

The first snake man miniature is from Grenadier's Call of Cthulhu line sculpted by John Dennet back in the 1980's. You can probably find these for sale on Ebay.

The latter snake men in the post are more recent miniatures from Reaper, and they are still in production. You can find them at http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/snakemen