It’s an under-reported fact that in the world of fantasy miniatures there’s a dearth of decent spider sculpts.
Whilst looking at the creature list for Frostgrave it suddenly dawned on me that in the 30 or so years I’ve been in and out of the hobby I’ve never seen a giant spider sculpt that really came close to realistically resembling a spider.
Pretty much all the metal spider figures produced by various manufacturers over the years (usually as dungeon inhabitants for RPGs or wargaming mounts for evil creatures) go down one of two routes –
Route One – overly chunky and badly positioned legs with excessively furry bodies.
Route Two – uncanny resemblance to the cheap Chinese plastic toy spiders found in the toy section of pound/dollar stores the world over with abdomen and legs flat to the ground.
I assume the reason for this general lack of realism was the difficulty in casting in metal. The finesse needed to represent proper spider leg proportions in relation to the body position would probably mean the castings would be liable to break as they came out of the moulds.
Nowadays plastic prevails as many manufacturer’s first choice material. Despite the fact it can easily cope with finer detailing there are still few spider miniatures out there. About the best modern miniature representation of a giant spider is GW’s Sherlob from their ‘The Hobbit’ range. There’s no way I’m dropping £20 on a spider miniature though, especially as I need two…
With this in mind I decided to bite the bullet in the short-term and use a couple of Reaper Bones Spiders. Although these are anatomically correct they’re a little on the small side and aren’t as imposing as I’d have liked.
These were mounted on 30mm slotta bases with paving stones cut from foam sheet glued on the tops.
The long-term plan is to revisit the Spiders. I’ll either keep looking for a more imposing pair of sculpts or finish off some scratch built versions I started.