I seem to be on a bit of a roll at the moment with my 28mm models from ancient Greek legends. Last week, I showed my satyrs and at the end of that article I promised harpies. Well, here they are - at least, in their unpainted form.
These models come from the Wargames Foundry Greek Mythology range. There are 4 packs of harpies, each of 5 models, so you'd imagine that there was a lot of variety in this collection. However, 2 of the packs have feathered wings and 2 have leathery wings; I prefer not to mix and match these, so my choice was reduced to 2 packs. Added to this, when I picked up a couple of packets at Salute 2014 earlier this year the Foundry stall had sold out of all apart from 1 variety.
So, I've got 2 packets (10 models), with 5 distinct sculpts, though some of the poses are quite similar to others. I'd like to add a bit of variety; what can I do? These figures aren't very good for repositioning limbs, as the arms are often tightly coupled to the wings and the wings are very solid.
Inspiration came from reading a passage in the 7th Voyage rulebook. In the suggested scenario, the cast of harpies have a variety of different weapons (and none). Although that might not make any functional difference in some rules, it will in others - and it should be relatively easy to achieve. Let's give them some weapons!
Claws and clubs
The first batch of harpies that I'm showing here have not been given any weapons. 3 of the 4 models are straight out of the packet, whilst the other one (3rd from the left) has been cut off its base and its legs have been repositioned. I've placed a flat rock on the base and mounted the harpy on a wire; it's meant to look as if she's leaping from the rock onto her prey.
Gripping Beast Dark Age Warriors kit; these smaller spears worked well since the harpies are not quite as chunky as many modern 28mm figures.
I have a number of spare swords from various Warhammer kits, but all of them were really far too big for my taste (imagine that!). This caused me some difficulty until I remembered that I also had a part sprue of goblin warg riders from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings range. Excellent - the LotR models are a very good fit, scale-wise, for these harpies. Fortunately for me, there were 2 spare swords on the sprue. Again, I drilled out the hands of the recipients. Each sword was cut into 2 across the middle of the hilt, with the blade part pushed into the drilled hand from one side and the pommel part pushed into the hand from the other side.
I was determined that some of my harpies would have ranged weapons. Again, I raided the LotR warg riders, but this time I cut off the hand or arm that was holding a bow. These were spliced carefully onto the harpies, after carefully removing their own hands.
These were certainly the most complex conversions of the bunch. As well as the bows themselves, I added quivers (from the same donor sprue); in turn these needed belts or straps to hold them. I added a loin cloth to one of the harpies, mainly to help disguise my botched belt. The other model didn't need such an adjustment as a conveniently-positioned arm already obscured the join between quiver and belt.
All Ready for Painting
So, here's my group of 10 unpainted harpies, based and ready to be undercoated. In the original Greek myths, there were only 2 (sometimes 3?) of these creatures, but where's the fun in that? I want a whole flock of demi-humans with a bad attitude. I see them as something like enormous seagulls: aggressive, dirty and noisy!
I've already painted these figures, but I think that pictures of the finished models can wait for another time. However, I'll give you a hint as to their appearance: purple!