Sunday, 7 December 2014

Greek Mythology: Harpies: part 2

Introduction

Last week, I showed how I had converted my harpy models.  I promised then that I would show the painted versions soon.  Well, this is sooner than I expected, but I've got nothing else for today's article so here they are!

Unarmed Harpies

As I hinted in part 1, I've decided to paint these creatures with a purple skin tone.  I wasn't sure about this, though I had decided that I didn't particularly want any normal human colouring.  After all, these are supposed to be monsters!

Some research on the internet suggested that the most popular visualisations of harpies were a Caucasian ("white") flesh, followed by a variety of greens, slate blues and purples.  My elder son suggested that I colour them something like pigeons, with grey bodies and iridescent green hair.  It's an interesting idea, but I couldn't quite bring myself to try it.

In the end, I noticed that the harpy from the 1963 classic Jason and the Argonauts was somewhat purple.  If it's good enough for Ray Harryhausen then it's good enough for me - purple it is!

Melee Weapons

Careful observers of these pictures will notice that there are several different forms of harpy in this flock.  Some have human legs, but most have bird-like legs.  A few harpies have their wings and arms fused together, with claws instead of hands, but the remainder have separate limbs.

I suppose one could argue that these physical traits corresponded to the level of curse placed on the different individuals by the gods, or perhaps to their degree of depravity and consequent physical degeneration.  I don't feel any need to come up with any particular explanation for the various forms; they add some variety and that's good enough for me!

Archers

I'm quite pleased with the way that these 2 more complex conversions came out.  You really cannot tell where are the joints between plastic and metal, especially on the arms.  Unless you look back at last week's unpainted figures, of course - but that would be cheating!

The Flock

I would have liked to model some of the harpies in flight.  I'm slightly disappointed that none of the poses really lent themselves to this, though the one with outstretched wings might have worked.  Perhaps I'll get some more of these models some day and see if I can manage such a conversion?

As always, I've given them what I hope are appropriate names.  This is slightly complicated by the fact that there weren't anything like this many harpies in the original Greek myths.  However, once you add in variations of the tales by different authors (and later retelling by the Romans and others), it is possible to come up with a reasonable variety of names.

Conclusion

Once again, these were very simple models to paint, as the bulk of each figure is just a pale violet undercoat with a dark wash.  I'm still not totally convinced that the purple colour is good, but at least they cannot possibly be mistaken for humans.  It should make it much simpler to tell friend and enemy during a game!

24 comments:

  1. Nice I like the colour you chose as well very fitting.

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    1. Thanks, Simon. I was *very* nervous about the violet/purple colour; it's a long way from anything I've attempted before. Still, it seems to work well enough.

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  2. They have turned out really well.

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    1. Thanks, Bryan. I'm still not completely convinced by the colour, but I won't be altering them now!

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  3. Wow! You are turning into a veritable painting fiend Colgar6. Lovely colours. There's a real "Jason and the Argonauts" feel to them :-)

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    1. Thanks, Blax. Again, these models were really easy to paint and didn't take much time at all. It probably took more effort looking for inspiration than it did to actually apply the paint to them!

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  4. The purple skin tone does work really very well. I rate these very highly looking forward to more Greek myth stuff now. Really want to start some my self. Greek myth songs of Baldes and Heroes sound brilliant. (oR 7TH vOYAGE)

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    1. I'll definitely be using either "Song of Blades and Heroes" or 7th Voyage for games with these (the latter might depend on whether I get any suitable supplements or event cards for Christmas :-) ). So, what next? Centaurs? Maenads? Amazons? I quite fancy some more monsters: the hydra, Cerberus, Talos...

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  5. They look like I should think Harpies would - nice conversion work too

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    1. Thanks, Dean. There are a lot of different visions of harpies out there, from almost human to complete monsters and in many different colours. Still, these have that 1960's feel to them, which is what I want :-) .

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  6. I think these are a good take on the mythic harpies, theyr'e very obviously bad-guys fromthe su[erb choice of colouring, thought the urpke flesh tones hardly show, it is there and porrays the harry Haisen effect superbly. Human flesh tones imo would have made them more succubus than harpy, oh, and well done with the mix of conversted figures and styles- very impressive.

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    1. Just because they're purple, they must be bad guys? Hmm - Barney isn't a ba...wait a minute - I think I'm seeing a pattern here! Although I thought the whole "gnawing on bits of dismembered people" thing was a better indicator of their ethical position than their colour :-) .

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  7. Nice flock dude! Don't worry, the purple looks great. Lovely conversions, seamless.

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    1. Thanks, Bob. I'm feeling a lot better about them after reading all the positive reactions :-) .

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    1. Thanks, Michael! Glad you like them.

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  9. Wonderful.. I've painted two harpies (one is more a siren or at least a singing harpy). Never thought to give them names. Not that I need another project, but I'm now inspired to paint more so I can at least field a flock of them at some future time.

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    1. Well, if you're true to the ancient Greek stories then there were only 2 (sometimes 3?) harpies, so you could claim to have collected both of them already :-) .

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  10. They are great, Colgar! I do like the purple.

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    1. Thanks, Mathyoo. I wasn't sure about the colour to start with, but it seems to meet with general approval.

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  11. Nice use of purples but then I am preaching to the choir.

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    1. Thanks, FEM. I wasn't sure about the purple to start with, but it's growing on me!

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