Posted by MortiS-the-Lost –
Herders come in many shapes and sizes. The large ones defend themselves by slamming with their powerful tendrils while other kinds use poison. Although neutral in allegiance, they tend to be very territorial and will attack any who come near. Their name comes from their habit of collecting and placing mushrooms in hidden places so that they can propagate, becoming somewhat like shepherd to subterranean fungus.
Normally here I'd tell you what company made the miniatures you see in the picture and where I got them, but you won't find these miniatures for sale anywhere because I sculpted them myself. Making them was fairly simple and follows a similar method to my Shrieker Mushrooms but with bodies made of plastic-coated garden-wire twisted into roughly humanoid (albeit with 3 legs) shape using the baking-powder and super-glue trick to fill the gaps between the wire.
As with my Shrieker Mushrooms if enough people show interest I'll see about writing a step-by-step guide so you can all have a go at making your own, but for now here's a photo of them before I started painting
^ I'm not going to write a redundant caption telling you what you just read about above
Painting began as always with a black-undercoat which I heavily dry-bushed over with P3 Battlefield Brown followed by P3 Battle Dress Green and P3 Traitor Green. A mixture of P3 Traitor Green and Citadel Bubonic Brown was used as a final highlight for this stage.
I then picked out the gills, neck and bracket fungi using Citadel Graveyard Earth highlighted with Citadel Kommando Khaki and P3 Jackbone.
The cap was painted with a thin coat of P3 Sanguine Base allowing the shading of the initial drybrushing to show through and then highlighted with a mixture of P3 Sanguine Base and P3 Skorne Red followed by pure P3 Skorne Red.
To add a bit more colour to the body I gave the bracket fungus a glaze of Citadel Flesh Wash and washed a few other random features with Citadel Thrakka Green and Citadel Leviathan Purple.
Finally I picked out the scales on the cap with Citadel Kommando Khaki and gave them a wash of Citadel Gryphonne Sepia
Anyone who has played the excellent dungeon-crawling computer game Legend of Grimrock will have already recognized the inspiration behind these models. Anyone who hasn't played Legend of Grimrock really should check it out (and also it's imaginatively titled sequel Legend of Grimrock II)
^ Herders, large mushroom-like creatures from the first Legend of Grimrock game
For a long time I didn't really like the mushroom-men concept. 'Myconids' as they are called in D&D are rather silly looking creatures - puffy little men with mushrooms for heads - something you'd expect to see in Mario game and not what I wanted to see in my dungeons. Then I saw the Herders in Legend of Grimrock; uneven, misshapen and only vaguely humanoid creatures plodding around awkwardly on 3 gnarled-root-like legs, creatures that really looked like a mass of (animated) fungus rather than anthropomorphic mushrooms. I instantly realised this was a much better concept and one I wanted to use in my games.
^Silly, Silly, Silly!
Another thing that has always bothered me about mushroom-based creatures in roleplay games is that they are always classified as plants - mushrooms are not plants, they should be classified as a Fungi, which is separate from plants, animals and bacteria! (seriously - look it up people!)
The bonus pictures this time are of slightly smaller prototype I made which was designed to look somewhat like a 'Spore Herder' - an infantile form of Herder (before they grow their caps) which run about, shooting spores everywhere to create mushrooms for normal Herders to collect.
I plan to make a few more of these little ones in the future as well as some much larger Elder Herders (I'm also told there is a Herder King in Grimrock II, but I haven’t gotten that far in the game yet)
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