Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Ghost Archipelago & Frostgrave - Serpent-Men

Today's post showcases more of North Star's modular plastic kits, this time the serpent-man boxed set for Ghost Archipelago, along with a few hybrid kitbashes using parts from the Frostgrave Cultist box and heads from a Stargrave sprue.

Group shot of all 23 miniatures. 

The serpent-man figs are quite a bit bigger than the Frostgrave humans are, and come with larger 30mm bases.  They're fairly slender though ("gangly" would be a fair descriptor) and not as bulky as many modern 28/30mm scale stuff like GW's bloated figure range.

Scale shot with some Frostgrave soldiers.

I've done three kitbashed "hybrid" serpent-men, partly as a test to see how compatible the kit's weapons are with the smaller human kits.  I think they work pretty well, as long as you don't mind a bit of Implausibly Huge Sword syndrome.  Their hands (which are part of the weapon bits) are pretty much identical in size, so no need to worry about sculpting them yourself, just clip at the "bracelet" and attach to the wrist on the human arms the same way you would with some of the optional cultist bits (eg that neat wavy-bladed left hand dagger).

(Left to right) Hybrid serpent-man swordsman, spellcaster, berserker.

The actual serpent-man figs seem to have been somewhat poorly received, the main complaint being their lack of tails and supposedly short arms.  Personally I quite like them as-is, they have a distinctly unnatural look with an anatomy that parodies the human form without wholly departing from it.  Their arms aren't short at all, it's their legs that are quite long, an effect made more noticeable by their hunched shoulders and forward-jutting heads.  As for tails, well, I like Sleestaks just fine, and they're just as tailless.  A competent modeler could easily sculpt their own short tails if wanted, but I'll pass.

Warriors wielding twin blades, backed up by a pair of crossbowmen.

These guys have actually seen more table time in RPGs and Frostgrave than Ghost Archipelago, which kind of died off locally about the time I finished the original batch.  The hybrids are newer, of course - their reptilian heads only came out with Stargrave.  I'm sure these figs would be happier someplace less snowy than Felstad, but it's probably warmer in the catacombs beneath the city.

Spearmen (spearserpents?) both with and without shields.  Those wavy blades are just neat.   

I could see using them in scifi games as well.  In Stargrave they'll make nice randomly-appearing Primitives.

Serpent-men with shields and hand weapons, some converted from other blades, as well as a dagger-wielding torchbearer. 

They can be (and have been) used as part of a player's crew as well as NPC creatures, although it's probably a good idea to adopt a unique color scheme or do some conversion to tell the NPCs apart if doing so.  Or use them in Frostgrave, where serpent-men don't normally appear at random.  Wizards are notorious for having oddball henchmen.

Two-handed weapon users.  As you've seen above, it's easy to convert the blades on these for use as really intimidating single-handed weapons.   

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