Hunting for Monsters
|"Frutti di Mare" by muhani|
(source: Massive Voodoo blog)
There are a few sea monster models available in the market that I know of (please post a comment if you can think of any other!): Kobblestone has a big fish-like Sea Monster. Black Cat Bases has a Kraken and so does Armorcast. And then there's this list of Fishmen and Sea Creatures at Frothers. But none of these models really satisfied me; especially the kraken I find rather underwhelming.
|Kobblestone's Sea Monster and the two Kraken models from Black Cat Bases and Armorcast|
|The tentacles grabbing for a brigantine|
(source: Fist Full of Seamen blog)
Release the Kraken!Robert Watson of Immortal Realms offers a number of tentacles in various sizes and positions plus a huge Kraken head. The tentacles range from "small" (still twice the size of a normal pirate!) to truly gigantic.
With one exception the tentacles are cast in clear resin (with a light yellow tone). This gives them a very artsy touch making them look more like some original interior design objects rather than... uhm... toys. To be honest, it even made me feel kind of bad thinking about undercoating them.
So what about that one exception I mentioned? One of the tentacles is incredibly huge. This one is made of a flexible rubbery foam. Look at this:
|The tentacles for comparison|
The quality of the casts is good. There is some damage on the huge tentacle compromising the texture but I think that can pass as a scar - from previous ship battles.
Playing with TentaclesWhat I enjoy about the use of tentacles instead of a single Kraken model is that this leaves the true horror to the players' imagination. How large really is the Kraken to which the tentacles belong to? Are they just the tip of the iceberg? Like any good horror film the effect is much more intense when it is only alluded to, rather than simply showing off everything.
But there is another nice side effect to this. Now you don't have one enemy model to fight against - you have many enemy models to defend against. All of which belong to the same entity. This allows for much more interesting scenario conditions than the old worn out concept of a single powerful enemy model. The ship crews need to fight back the approaching tentacles before they grab crew members or - much worse - damage the ship and pull it down into the dark depths of the seas. Navigation of the ship will not only be determined by the best position for a broadside against the opposing player's vessel but also by the tentacles drawing near.
By now I think I have given you enough reason to head over to Immortal Realms and get yourself some tentacles. Let your brave seafarers send this squid right back to Davy Jones!
So what if I want head?If you still do want to have a "head" to complement the creature there are currently two good options, I think. I already mentioned that Immortal has a head on offer along with the tentacles.
|The full kraken by Immortal Realms|
As I write this there is a cool Kickstarter campaign running: Grifted Vision's Dungeon Crawler. At the $60 pledge level you get an unpainted kraken model.
|Grifted Vision's kraken model as presented on Kickstarter|
Further ReadingSetting Sail: Collecting Ships for Tabletop Games - An extensive reference of 25-28mm ships
Collecting Pirate Miniatures - A list of 25-30mm pirate figure manufacturers, plus a 'Legends of the High Seas' miniatures reference