Monday, January 9, 2017

Wolf-in-sheep's-clothing: Redeeming a Mini for a Redeemed Misfit

So a few years ago, my family got me Pathfinder's Misfit Monsters Redeemed for X-mas.  I loved the book because it gave a fresh coat of paint a lot of the really "stupid" monsters from old first edition D&D.

One of the "redeemed" that grabbed me with the old Wolf-in-sheep's-clothing (hereon called the WISC).  Old grogs might recognize the monster from the 1e adventure Expedition to Barrier Peaks or maybe the 1e Monster Manual II.  When creating "alien" monsters, it's fine to push the boundaries of weird life forms.  However, here we have a creature from another planet or plane of existence... that looks like a stump (okay)... and grew a tumor out of its head that looks like a rabbit? Or maybe that's its hair, I guess?  Goofiness ensues.  As such, the WISC been roasted many times - my favorite being that it's "a tree stump with a vagina and a weird rabbit sitting on it."  

The Pathfinder update removes the goofy and amps up the alien.  Gone is the fluffy bunny headpiece.  In its place is a "corpse lure". The WISC is intelligent enough to watch its prey's behavior. Then it kills the prey and then props that creature up to use it as a lure, and imitate its motions. When attacking, it has the ability to grapple it's prey and implant eggs inside it - a la facehuggers.  It also has two sets of teeth - the outer set for latching on, the inner set for grinding pieces like a wood-chopper. I really liked the re-write, and it worked well for the campaign I was writing.

Finding a good mini was another issue, though. There was only one existing miniature that existed for this creature from Dark Platypus.  But I really wasn't all that happy with the look or the way the tentacles stuck out.  After my experience with the Hanging Tree, I wanted to see if I could actually make one.

Using Cool Mini or Not's Instant Mold, I copied the teeth set from Reaper's mocking beast and eyebeast (from my original Bones Kickstarter set).

I dremeled out a little hole on a plastic bottlecap and superglued on the mocking beast's teeth.

Next I superglued on the copied eyebeast teeth. After which I realized I needed to expand the shape so his teeth didn't look like they were coming out of the ground. So some more green stuff.  At this point I began to realize this wasn't going to be able to fit on an 1" base.  In game terms, that meant I wasn't looking at a Medium-sized creature but a Large one.

I used an old wood piece from a base I'd cut out previously to secure the top. And (of course) put a little magnet on there in case I ever wanted to mount a creature on it, and have it stay put.

Here you can see some of the gaps I would need to fill in after gluing on the second jaw pieces.

Next step was to fill in those gaps, add the first set of tentacles, and create some root systems for the stump.  In retrospect, I probably should have used green stuff over some wire.  Instead I just used green stuff minus the wire.  

It worked out fine though.  I also made a little indentation on the tentacles to paint eyes on the end.

I primed it grey, and then retro actively decided to add some wood putty to get that bark look.

Another view with more wood putty

Here's the final mini.  I went with a "dead" tree stump tone - rather than a fresher tree stump color palette.  In other words... a lot more grey, less beige.

Of course, the idea of the monster doesn't work without having regular stumps too, so those had to be made.  These have some more "freshly" cut tones.

In my game, the party was heading to a loggers cabin where a bunch of lumberjacks had already cut down some trees. I had the creature already killed one of the loggers out on patrol and managed to pull off the encounter with a little bit of Terror.