Friday, November 30, 2012

The Minotaur

Painted: Otherworld Minotaur

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We collectors are spoilt for choice when it comes to minotaurs, but this one here from Otherworld is a contender for my favorite. I have two more of these, one of the armored variant and another of this one I have a conversion in mind for. There is no question I am on the side of "feet" in the feet vs. hooves debate that has been raging since the dawn of fantasy miniatures and it's nice knowing a guy like this minotaur here is in your corner. And I'm just as strongly on the side of au naturel in that other debate, whether monsters should bother wearing clothes. Honestly, how many monsters that you know are going to give a rat's ass about clothes? Monsters have no shame, guys. No shame. They never had "the fall" in the garden of monsters and the thought, oh no, god (or some especially sensitive gamer) may be watching me and I better grab a fig leaf. Please believe me when I tell you that's not how monsters think. Their priorities are eating people, and more eating people, which are things they do equally well whether or not they are clothed.

Other Minotaurs

Anyway, as you may know, when I show off a monster I like to give honorable mentions to other contenders and/or pause wistfully and consider another group of the same monster I have buried under lead mountain and will probably never paint. As I said we are spoilt for choice, and a fully fleshed-out roundup wouldn't be a bad topic for a post, but for now I'll say the other contender is the set by Bob Olley currently produced by Cavalcade. (Edit: Awesome painted example over at Drums in the Deep.) Even though I'm probably not as big of an Olley fan as your typical old school lead freak this batch of minotaurs catches my eye every now and then for reasons that I hope are obvious. And, as is the case for many other encounter groups you'll see here, my other unpainted group is made up of crusty Citadel homeboys, lead by a couple multi-part lords.

Oh, and I almost forgot. Though, as I say, I prefer minotaurs with feet, generally, I have both Taurg the Axe and his little cousin, sculpted by Allan C. for the tragically defunct Ilyad Games. If you disagree with me on the feet issue and you could pick one hooved minotaur to put in your corner, you could do a lot worse than Taurg, that's for sure.

So I guess I can't call myself a hard-liner. And I guess there's no reason to draw a line in the sand, anyway. Minotaurs with feet and those with hooves got along just fine in the Warhammer world for generations, where the expression of hoof or foot is clearly due to the whim of this or that chaos god.


Manufacturer: Otherworld
Line: DM Series - Dungeon Monsters
Figure: DM6a - Minotaur I
Release date: 2008
Sculptor: Paul Muller
Date painted: 2011


I wanted to have the painting highlight the contrast between the human and the bull parts of the figure, and to this end I chose a very human flesh tone for the man parts and a a bullish black for the hair and head. This set up another challenge, however, because there are some parts that are sculpted to be hairy on the figure, and others that are more less bare, but even a hirsute man is going to have hair more or less all over—on his back, arms, chest, etc. I tried a very old school technique to get that hairy look, but feel it was only partially successful. I added graphite shavings from a pencil to some matte medium and daubed it on as I had done for a five o'clock shadow or two back in the day. The shavings more less dissolved, however, leaving a more uniform gray than I'd hoped for. I went back and forth with black and flesh paint to work the hair and flesh together to a point where it seemed natural, and am fairly happy with the result, but after the fact I think less gray and more finely drawn, individual, black hairs may have sold the effect better. My other thought was that as a creature spending most of his time wandering underground mazes I gave him too sunny a tan. Now if I make the others paler, however, I might draw undo attention to the fact.

Second to lastly, a shout out to Blackfly who posted up another fresh rendition of this minotaur over on his blog, MadPonies, which is what got me in gear to share my one version. Thought I had MadPonies on the blogroll already, but looks like no. Fixed that.

And lastly, this was birthday present so thanks OpForOverlord! Took me just one year to paint it, and just under another to post it. That's giving it the fast track in my world!

As always, the collection can be viewed in its entirety at flickr.


  1. Hideous! Great flesh tone and the contrast between 'human' and 'bull' works incredibly well.

    1. Thanks man! Was just catching up with your blog and had forgot about the great Olley minotaur you posted recently. Edited the post to call it out.

    2. Looks good! I like the contrast between flesh and hair.

      I believe the only minotaur figs I have are much smaller, one by Superior models and a couple Grenadier Julie Guthrie sculpts. If I pick up an additional one, it will definately be the Otherworld figure.

    3. Thanks m4jumbo! I think I have a Guthrie minotaur somewhere, but it's one of the bigger ones... about as tall as this one and somewhat bulkier. The smaller ones she did are pretty nice.

  2. I hope you don't mind if I comment. I've only been painting for six months and it's pieces like this that inspire me and make me want to improve. I'm entirely self-taught and have only seen 2 other figures in real life that weren't painted by me. My husband is crippled and blogger is the only way for me to interact with painters and to learn.

    You make the flesh look alive because I can see the musculature and even the veins in the piece. The tattoo on the arm is a really nice touch as well. I know I've run on, but I'm new and can get excited about these things.

    1. Thanks Anne, I appreciate it and welcome all comments! :) I wish you continued success in the craft.

  3. Cheers Anne, its inspired beginners that remind us veterans that we can't rest on our laurels. Dig the Bushwoolies.

    I don't mean to turn this into a clearing house of Minotaur sculpts, but I'd like to submit this one for the edification of Spooktalker's many readers:
    This woebegone fellow has many charms that are, er... undersold by the paint job. In the flesh, he has the most doleful, sympathetic expression and solid anatomy (including feet). He also has a long, bovine tail, which is rare.

    1. Hey, that's a cool sculpt I forgot about. You have him painted, right? You should post him and his crew!