Monday, 12 October 2020

Weekend Workbench - Cheap Giant Spiders

Just a quick post to show what I'm working on - a horde of giant spiders for Rangers of Shadow Deep, Dungeons & Dragons and various other miniatures games.

These are a great representation of one of my favourite parts of wargaming - transforming cheap toys (or in this case, Halloween decorations!) into figures for gaming! I needed additional spiders for some particular Missions in Rangers of Shadow Deep (each comes with a list of the amount of particular NPCs and enemy miniatures required as standard, although additional enemies can arrive during the game, so it's good to have some extras on top) and I can see them coming in handy for some games in Mirkwood-set games, recreated classic Warhammer Quest and maybe to add to the forces of some Lolth-worshippers if I ever take my D&D players to the Underdark...

These spiders came from the Sainsbury's Halloween range a couple of years ago - they're nicely detailed but all in one pose, scuttling along, and with a cavity on the underside of their thorax and abdomen. In order to add some variety to their poses I used some very hot water, submerged each spider one by one until there was a little more flex in the plastic I slightly twisted the legs. I had two aims with this - bringing the legs on most of them in a little tighter to fit on the bases and to make them look slightly different to each other - I'm particularly fond of the ones with their front legs rearing up in a classic "about to strike" pose. Once they'd had some time to dry from the hot water bath I lightly sprayed them from the top with light grey primer in order to be able to properly see the moldlines, then used a few fresh scalpel blades to clean up any that could be found. The hollows on their undersides were then filled with epoxy putty.

As for their bases, these are plastic ones that I'd removed various pre-painted Pathfinder monsters from in order to strip and mount on my normal lipped bases. It turned out that I had exactly the right amount for the spiders and it felt good to reuse them - the kitbasher creed comes to mind - "never throw anything away!". In order to have a good amount of the base connecting to the underside of the spiders for gluing I built up a little island of cork sheet along the middle of the base, with various chunks around the edges, followed by gravel and sand.

I added the skaven clanrat to the picture for scale - he's on a 25mm base, so these guys are pretty big... painting them should be a whirl, although I do keep finding additional moldlines!

Thanks for reading - completed pictures will arrive within the next couple of days!


  1. Wow, I would never have guessed they weren’t actual miniatures, they’ve come out looking great!

  2. Wow, I would never have guessed they weren’t actual miniatures, they’ve come out looking great!