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TaleSpinner

Making of the Catoblepas

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I want to be awesome like you when I grow up.

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Definitely loving that cute stage too... 

 

And Whooooo, a TaleSpinner WIP thread YAY! 

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I recall the basilisk's "cute" stage, as well. Good stuff. Looking forward to several days of this!

 

*Makes popcorn*

 

*Looks at the number of "likes" already accumulating*

 

*Makes more popcorn and sets out many bowls*

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Yeah, head down is the iconic way for the miniature. In fact, the name of the beast is derived from the words, "to look downward".

 

The catoblepas (pl. catoblepones; from the Greek καταβλέπω, (katablépō) "to look downwards") is a legendary creature from Ethiopia, first described by Pliny the Elder and later by Claudius Aelianus.

 

D&D version: 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSc3c_XJu5qpOiLdjdHyYQ

 

 

1614 historical:

 

250px-Catoblepas.jpg

 

But, more importantly, I think a "cute" version is a *great* idea! Maybe in the next Bones, each sculptor could contribute their own "cute" critter for an add-on or something...!

Edited by ced1106
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14 hours ago, ced1106 said:

Yeah, head down is the iconic way for the miniature. In fact, the name of the beast is derived from the words, "to look downward".

 

Yep, too bad D&D decided to make game rules for miniatures that force minis to either conform to the rule or match the creature description, but not both.  It simply isn't possible to fit a creature that by the description is 6" (30') long onto a 2" base and not have it hang over the edge.  Heck, I got the goroloth job for this KS because the previous goroloth Reaper made was 5 inches long, but the base size for an aboleth in D&D is 3" even though by the description they should be 5" long.  Reaper has spent the last several years fielding complaints that that mini simply isn't usable because it doesn't fit on a 3" base.  They have another smaller one they made that does, but that one everyone complains that it isn't big enough (including people who complained about the big one not fitting its base). I'll be discussing this more when I post the Making of the Goroloth topic.

 

I personally HATE the D&D base size rules with a passion of a thousand burning suns. :grr:  D&D is NOT a miniatures war game; its an RPG.  Creatures are the size the DM says they are...period

 

2nd edition had this figured out with the long vs tall sizes; why they abandoned that I don't understand.  So now everything long has to be posed upward in a vertical column, whether or not that makes sense.  If it isn't, companies like Reaper can't sell them to half their market, but if they do pose vertically the other half of us who follow the descriptions, not the damn base size, won't be happy with all the contorted minis.  Reaper cannot win this; catch 22.  It's often left to the concept artist and us sculptors to figure out how to meet both requirements at the same time.  It sucks!

 

</rant>

 

 

Alright, back to the sculpt:

 

Next, I added the armature wires for its knob and spikes and then used GS to sculpt them. (Still cute! ::D:)

 

c12.jpg.2bb2165a5347d2692539a809e921b784.jpgc13.jpg.dbc743303a528340201ffd17ccdf6223.jpg

 

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I sculpted the thick hide on its back, and then it was time to start detailing the head:

 

c19.jpg.7efd240555b0d4935d34f53034f882d4.jpgc18.jpg.2499129070ce2c8f6821227ebea87bcf.jpg

 

 

The lower jaw and teeth on this guy are CRAZY as conceptualized.   I'm one who want all my critters to look like they will fit into an ecosystem.  I struggled to figure out just what use this critter would have for that lower jaw; then I realized that it would be the perfect rake for collecting filamentous algae from swamp water while letting the water drain away.  That's what I ran with.

 

The armature for this was weird looking.

 

c21.jpg.a44d977c7d0c365578a39580936726bf.jpgc20.jpg.4949b050687974443194851e7b0595b9.jpg

 

 

I also added ear armatures and sculpted those:

 

c22.jpg.902b60ed9354e35801001ba754ec691b.jpg

 

 

So this is where I first thought I was done and sent proofs to Ron for checking.  These are a few of the proof photos I sent to him: 

 

(Not cute anymore; I rarely do cute. :down:)

 

c24.jpg.bec9825fdc64611b3f5d8bb36d3f5bc0.jpgc23.jpg.1e18b47876ddc5216cb299611fe5cf96.jpg

 

c25.jpg.ee5969ca16cdb795feb1f353b3af2331.jpg

 

 

 

I'll cover his reply and the changes that resulted next time.

 

 

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Thanks for posting this!  This is like the analog version of the nereid WIP thread - cool!

 

How do you get the pebbly skin texture?  It looks like BBs of greenstuff smooshed just the right amount - is it something like that?

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36 minutes ago, rubegon said:

How do you get the pebbly skin texture?  It looks like BBs of greenstuff smooshed just the right amount - is it something like that?

 

No, I lay down a 1 mm thick sheet of GS and adhere it to the surface.  Then I cut in all the rough shapes with my spear tool.  Then it is a hour of slowly refining each scale and removing tool marks.  Finally, I patted it all with a flat diamond file to squish them together a bit and add a bit of texture.  I think the upper pebbled skin on this one took about 3 to 4 hours.  The single ones on the sides were done as BBs as you mentioned. They are a real bugger to get them to stick tight.

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1 hour ago, TaleSpinner said:

Yep, too bad D&D decided to make game rules for miniatures that force minis to either conform to the rule or match the creature description, but not both. 

 

Thanks -- WotC is also the same company that didn't put out miniatures for the monsters in their written modules (and sold the miniatures in random packs, anyway, so you got some guy with an ice cream cone sticking out of his forehead when you wanted a goblin); didn't write D&D RPG modules supporting the miniatures and tiles from their D&D Adventure System Games or Dungeon Command; had at least three different D&D miniature lines (HeroScape, D&D Adventure System, Dungeon Command) that shared the same sculpts but had incompatible miniatures (unless you painted the unpainted D&D Adventure System miniatures and rebased the HeroScape ones and didn't mind that your heroes all wore frickin' purple); and ended up with two different scales for their D&D Adventure System Games because WizKids doesn't care unless it's going after Reaper (and even then, you have to prime the miniature again because frickin' gaps, mold lines, and the occasional arm glued in a preposterous position).

 

So back to 5th edition, fights that don't take four hours at high levels, and theatre of the mind, I suppose. :lol: Thanks again for the WIP!!!

Edited by ced1106
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I remember lobbying at the "cute phase" for you to leave it that way! HAHA Still I think the head you ended up with is pretty awesome. 

3 hours ago, TaleSpinner said:

I personally HATE the D&D base size rules with a passion of a thousand burning suns. :grr:  D&D is NOT a miniatures war game; its an RPG.  Creatures are the size the DM says they are...period

 

 

The lower jaw and teeth on this guy are CRAZY as conceptualized.   I'm one who want all my critters to look like they will fit into an ecosystem.  I struggled to figure out just what use this critter would have for that lower jaw; then I realized that it would be the perfect rake for collecting filamentous algae from swamp water while letting the water drain away.  That's what I ran with.

 

 

 

I couldn't agree more on the ridiculousness of basing rules. It's called FUN! I understand you need a general system of rules to allow everyone to have a good time but getting hung up on something as irrelevant as a base size will never make sense to me. 

You would find a legit reason for that crazy head. I'm just like "that looks cool, going with it"! 

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After I submitted it to Ron, he got back to me.  He loved the sculpt, but the head was off compared to the concept.  Essentially, it was too short and the eyes were too small (closed).  I matched it up to the art myself again, and yep, he was spot on; oops.  So I cut away the ears and eye lids and cut the head in half:

 

c26.jpg.34230e53cb9eba0e8dfe21c85b1e8eac.jpg 

 

I put that back together again using a new pin and some Apoxie:GS, adding the necessary length:

 

c27.jpg.06135a363694d6c58e99b2c0934d5bd2.jpg

 

Then I popped the lower jaw off and made a new, longer one.  I really went for exaggeration on the teeth this time.  I figured that if y'all want shorter teeth, a simple nipper would do the trick, but making them longer would be difficult.

 

New armature, this time made so that the jaw is a separate piece:

 

c28.jpg.288b26433c21af53acc5a21aa6e2dfaf.jpg

 

 

I put the ears back on, but lower this time.  Then I resculpted everything.  Here's the redone head (and the one that made it into the final):

 

c31.jpg.d9de5887c35a99258eb8d7777c904297.jpgc30.jpg.ef23e24f316fd2b792c59005bbcbae6a.jpgc29.jpg.56edd86652ee11c8325087a00c97ee6c.jpg

 

 

Once Ron approved those, I snipped it off of the cork.  

 

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Ron wanted a swamp base, so I sculpted that.  I made it so that the feet should just fit into it.  I hope China will leave it as a separate piece, but I have no way of controlling that.

 

1909054354_c39-Copy.jpg.d80d9fdfa7ddc1d1fce8586099c9870f.jpg

 

Well, that all for the WIP portion.  Tomorrow morning, I'll post all of the final photos I took before I sent it to TX.

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Thanks for showing this, I can't sculpt but I love seeing how it all comes together.

Since I don't game and only paint for fun/display I never cared about regular base sizes.

 

I once scratchbuild a chariot ( wood and metal parts) for a Marauder Chaos Lord drawn by horses for a GW Chaos Marauder Army.

I just thought it looked cool and I had no intent to game with it, but those who did all pointed out how the base was too big and that it therefore would get killed easily because a whole regiment could basically encircle it, touch the base and be in melee.

I didn't care, I liked the look of it and had fun building it.

 

I like a lot of your sculpts @TaleSpinner the Goroloth and the Arakoth Spider are in my shopping basket in the PM.

I also like this creature but I do not need a core set and I didn't like all of the others it got paired with, so I'm in doubt about the monster set, or buying it in retail later.

Any idea what the price range for the Catoblepas will be once it hits retail? Maybe the Monster set is still worth it?

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7 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

Any idea what the price range for the Catoblepas will be once it hits retail? Maybe the Monster set is still worth it?

 

Unfortunately, no.  That side of the business is something that as sculptors we, really have little connection to.  Once I turn the minis over to my clients, the rest of the process is a bit of a black box.  I do know some about how molding works, since we need to know that.  But pricing and marketing are WAY beyond my core competencies.

 

 

Here are the finish pictures of the model as I sent it to Reaper.

 

Important: The pieces seen here will likely change during production.  I cut the model so that masters can be cast in metal or resin.  Once in China though, they will completely redo the part configuration to fit with the steel molds and production needs.  They will add the keyed tabs you see in Bones.  They may have different break points, etc...  I just want to be clear that just because I sculpted it in 4 parts, does not mean it will be in those same 4 parts when you get it.

 

c35.jpg.77636eda051646ea988e1d6a7fa410fa.jpgc37.jpg.434955d0075bbc06edc4eb02cd0b2493.jpg

 

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c39.jpg.e5978064367926f3bf2042fda70c0bd2.jpg

 

 

Scale reference on a 50mm (2in) base:

 

cato.jpg.971d5a667ac29db98f654fa2932f5972.jpgcato3.jpg.511dd3bdf6d2f6af897a268addd6816a.jpg

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