Friday, 13 December 2013

Grenadier Monster Manuscripts vol 1 MM4 Basilisk

"In European bestiaries and legends, a basilisk is a legendary reptile reputed to be king of serpents and said to have the power to cause death with a single glance."

The next nugget to be extracted from the lead mountain was Grenadier's take on the Basilisk. Whilst I am big fan of Grenadier figures, and especially of John Dennett who sculpted this one, I was not enthused - it looked like a slightly comical figure rather than the king of serpents. And what was with the eight legs??! Still, out with the brushes...

I'd been reading an article about how difficult it is to paint yellow, and I thought "it can't be that hard". Wrong. It's really difficult to do it without the figure looking grimy... this is my best shot and I still think it needs a bit of a wash. Originally the figure was done in two shades of yellow - a dark yellow for the scales on the top, a lighter yellow for the bottom part of the figure - and then a light coat of The Army Painter mid-tone wash. And then highlighting. Lots and lots and lots of highlighting, before picking out the detail of the crest in red, the teeth in white and the claws in black. The base is simply GW sand, whilst the finish is satin varnish to give it a slightly shiny scale look.

It didn't come out too badly I think - it's just a really weird creature, basically a dinosaur with too many legs - and I still think it looks too cuddly to strike terror into the heart of anyone. I suspect it is to do with the pose - that raised claw looks like it is about to beg for something. Love and affection and a nice cup of tea perhaps.

As for the eight legs... well, I did some digging, and found this woodblock print of a basilisk from 1640, which is probably where John Dennett drew some inspiration and then probably thought, "the king of serpents... with a chicken's head. Nope. Let's give it the head of.... T.Rex." And no, I don't mean Marc Bolan...


  1. Cool to see one of these painted!

    John Dennett is not one of the reasons I'm a big Grenadier fan but I like this sculpt. I can tell you straight up where he drew his inspiration. He had out the Monster Manual II, the Greater Basilisk entry. ;) It's remarkably faithful, and that's why I like it. I just wish it was about three times as massive. At 3x size the upraised hand might make sense, it'd be poised ready to squash an adventurer.

  2. Ahhh, makes a lot more sense - thanks! I don't have a copy of MM2 to hand, but I'll take a look when I next set up a session. It's a real shame that he didn't go for it and make it a larger sculpt - but then I suppose he was bound by size constraints at Grenadier.

  3. yep it's a shame he didn't go bigger cause in this case, bigger would have most certainly been better.

    as for the paint job, it's not a bad attempt at yellow at all, so what he looks grimey, I really don't think he showers much while stuck in a dungeon all day and night LOL