Thursday, October 16, 2014

'Fhtagn!!' 'Why, bless you...' 28mm Innsmouth Deep One Hybrids


Since it's Halloween this month I decided to read 'The Book of Cthulhu', an anthology of short stories based on HP Lovecraft's horror mythos. I've been so entertained with it that I decided to get these Deep One hybrids done-up for future Pulp games using Strange Aeons. (And I'll shamelessly give a shout-out for Uncle Mike's 2nd edition of the game which is now up on Kickstarter.)

While I'm sure there are several who'll know what a Deep One hybrid is, I suspect there may be others who won't, so I'll give a little background to help set the stage.

'The shadow over Innsmouth' by Mushstone (deviantART)
In 1936 H.P. Lovecraft published 'The Shadow Over Innsmouth', a short novella that tells the story of a young traveller who comes across Innsmouth, a near-derelict fishing town set on the coast of Massachusetts. After several unsettling encounters with the locals, the traveller slowly uncovers the town's horrifying dark secret. The residents of Innsmouth, many years previous, had made a dark pact with a strange aquatic race, known as the 'Deep Ones', where the townspeole would receive gold and great bounties of fish in exchange for providing blood sacrifices to the Deep Ones' gods and to allow themselves to be interbred with the creatures. 

Yeah, sure, seems like a sweet deal, right?  

Yeesh...



Anyway, the progeny of this forced breeding first seemed like relatively normal humans, but as they aged they slowly began to change. By middle age  their eyes became large, bulging and lidless, their skin lost its hair, turning scaly and their hands and feet became clawed and webbed. 


For a bit of fun, I painted one of the figures a bit preppy, with a blue sweater with the Miskatonic University crest. :)

The change concludes near old age when the hybrid creature makes its last transformation into a fully fledged Deep One. All the while this physical transformation is 'percolating', the Deep One hybrid follows a similar change in character, becoming increasingly depraved and evil as time wears on. 



As a final 'gift', the newly transformed creature is taken back by the Deep Ones to their city on the sea floor to serve as immortal stewards to Father Dagon, Mother Hydra and the Great Cthulhu. 

So what you have is one of the first pulp eldritch horror classics and a great, wonderfully creepy little read.


Deep Ones from Strange Aeons
Except for the last trio of figures, which are from Uncle Mike's Strange Aeons' range, the above figures are all from Rattrap Productions, available through Brigade Games. While the castings required a lot of work to clean up properly, they proved to be wonderfully creepy and great fun to work on. They're not my best work, but I'm more than happy to have them as part of my collection (and as I write this I see I still need to go back over them to dirty them up a bit. No rest for the wicked...)

Next up: Some human pulp adventurers to act as counterpoint to these aquatic fiends.

43 comments:

  1. Excellent stuff. I love the work of HP Lovecraft, especially stories like Shadow Over Innsmouth, Call of Cthulhu and At The Mountains of Madness.

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    1. Thanks Lee! Yes, classics all of them. I found 'At the Mountains of Madness' the most disturbing (in a good creepy way) of his stories.

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  2. Very nice. I must try and give them a read again. I tried last year but couldn't get into them for some reason. Lovely work and they look great against that backdrop.

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    1. I find Lovecraft's writing a bit baroque in style so I can sympathize with you putting them down. In fact, I usually enjoy the modern interpretations of his oeuvre by other writers as it provides easier reading (at least for my poor noodle) thus my enjoyment of 'The Book of Cthulhu' which is a great collection of stories by modern authors.

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  3. Nice work Curt! An interesting topic and one I should read someday.

    Christopher

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  4. Father Dagon praise you! Brilliant stuff as always Curt and yet again our tastes are wonderfully aligned - I have a few packs of these guys in my lead pile too.

    Great to see the new Kickstarter going well - several stretch goals unlocked and still more than two weeks to go. Fantastic to see a small, 1 man operation get supported

    Ia! Ia! Cthulhu Fhatgn!

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    1. Back to your figures though (sorry!) they are wonderfully crisp - I wouldn't have thought to put bright colours on simp creepy fish men, but they look great.

      I assume you're going to add some SA Deep Ones to this shambling horde one day? :-)

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    2. Thanks for your comments Paul! Yes, I'm still not sure about the vibrant crisp approach to the figures. I thought I'd try something different from the more muted tones you usually see them in. The jury is still out on that...

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  5. Fhtagn! Fhtagn! Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn!

    Wonderfully creepy work Curt :)

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    1. Thanks for that Tamsin, and bless you!

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  6. Well that is pretty cool, I better watch out as a live on the coast of Mass, and it is Oct and I am in Salem!

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    1. Yes, witches, deep ones, vampires... I think you need to schedule a vacation in order to politely avoid the denizens of your region!

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  7. Great painting work. All things related with Cthulhu are really interesting; this was my first RPG and the beginning of a wonderful period so I´m reading "Strange Aeons" and thinking about a game...

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    1. Thanks Juan! I think you'd enjoy the game. It's very simple to run and provides for plenty of fun campaign environments. Our group has tweaked the rules somewhat to provide for multiplayer team play, but that being said I'm really looking forward to seeing the changes in the upcoming 2nd Edition.

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  8. Nice work! Love the molted skin.

    I have yet to get the Rattrap ones. I just bought Mason's from Lead Adventure that he sculpted. I also have one of the Black Cat Bases (the one with the cleaver) and plan to get a few more there. I also have the Trenchcoat one fom EM-4, they only made two figs and are a bit smaller. Plus I am going to get the Insmouth set from the UM KS it is just too cool to pass up!

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    1. Thanks styx! Ooh, I'll have to check out the Mason figures. I'd love the Black Cat ones but I've had no luck in receiving my orders :( Like you I'm looking forward to getting the huge ones from Uncle Mike (I love the partly submerged model!).

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  9. These are some of my favourite of the Lovecraft mythos and you have done them proud

    Ian

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    1. Thanks Ian! I have to agree with you as well - to me the Deep Ones and the folks of Innsmouth are some of the most evocative creatures from Lovecraft's work.

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  10. Great work dude - what an excellent setting, and the paint jobs are real beauties. I like the academic sweater...a hipster hybrid...

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    1. Haha! Yes, a Deep One hipster. I should have given him a goatee, horn-rimmed glasses and white cords from his Apple earbuds. 'Dude, that is so, well, deeeep...'

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  11. Oh Curt these are wonderful, I love them! I've never read any Lovecraft, but now feel compelled to do so.

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    1. Thanks Michael, very kind of you. As I commiserated with Simon, Lovecraft's style can be a bit esoteric and many of his 'imitators' do a better job, but it's always interesting to go to the font, the Old God, of the whole mythos cycle.

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  12. That's just pure madness! One thinks you can't dig out anotther stranger and yet cooler topic to work on but Mr. Curt does it time and again. My hat off for so much ingenuity.... before I forget: Great figures, they really look suitably fishy.

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    1. Thanks very much Nick! This whole horror/pulp thing is a recurring interest as it doesn't require a lot of figures to significantly add to the collection (and I've always loved the esthetic of clothes/vehicles/guns from the 1890s through to WWII).

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  13. Great painting Curt, not really sure what they are though??

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    1. Thanks Ray, but you only need to read the post and you'll find out what they are. :P

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  14. Gesundheit! ;-)
    Certainly sounds a fishy tale! I have often be interested to learn more of Lovecrafts mythos... just never really got round to it... I guess this could be a good starting point?
    Nice painting too.

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    1. Oh, how very droll, Mr. Bowman. :)

      There are a few collected works out there that are quite good. Most of his stories are relatively short so there is no great investment in time to get stuck in. Enjoy!

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  15. Grand stuff, if however slightly disturbing! .

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    1. Thanks Dave. Disturbing? Yup. You just have to see a picture of Lovecraft and it all sort of falls into place from there.

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  16. The story creeped me out when I read it close to 30 years ago... some nasty goings-on in Innsmouth!

    Nice work, Curt! And you can tell Strange Ian that he does a nice line in Deep Ones.
    ; )

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    1. It is a wonderfully creepy book. Thanks for the thumbs up Evan!

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  17. Wonderful figures, Kurt! I have seen the movie of Innsmuth, and I did try to play Call of Cuthulu; it seems with both the more you understand, the more trouble you are in!
    I'll stick to the woods with skin walkers, Wendigos, thunderbirds, and the like. My tribe's elder gods and spirits don't try to eat your flesh AND soul! ;)

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    1. I think you surmised 'Call of Cthulhu' pretty well David. It's really not a question of if you're going to die but just a matter of how badly... Thanks for dropping by!

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  18. Very cool figures and very good painting. I bet the transition dudes were tricky to do but they look excellent.
    Cheers

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    1. Thanks Brendon, they took a bit of thinking to figure out how to paint but once I figured a scheme they seemed to come together fairly well.

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  19. Very nice. We have a couple of areas around here that have similar inhabitants. But we have no Miskatonic University unless you count the LSE?

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    1. Haha! Yes, there are more than a few folks here in Regina that have 'the Innsmouth look' (and we're in the middle of the continent).

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  20. Excellent work, Curt !
    I read the story ages ago but you brought my memories to live again.

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  21. thats a great post ....thanks.....aboput the deep ones They look great....i have a question though...unfortunately i cannot make out where to buy them on the website you providet :)

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    1. Yes, the Brigade site is a bit of a challenge to navigate. Below is a search link to the individual Deep One Hybrid packs. Go quick before they move them.

      http://brigadegames.3dcartstores.com/search.asp?keyword=deep+one++hybrid&search=

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