Spider Queen, Early Stages

Spider Queen of Dol Guldur


As noted in my last post Spider Queen, References the Spider Queen I'm creating for the September painting challenge at on One Ring is to represent a mightiest of of foul creatures that lived for hundreds or even thousands of years in the deep caverns of the Mountains of Mirkwood.  After the coming of the Necromancer to Dol Guldur she has been drawn forth by its evil and has been seen openly hunting the depths of Mirkwood as well as the more remote reaches of the Mountains.  Her spawn, the lesser Spider Queens and their Giant Spider brood have taken dominance of many parts of Mirkwood and have become a constant threat to travelers and the Elves of Thranduil's Halls.


(please forgive the image quality...we're still waiting to replace our camera so these are taken w/ my mobile and I'm not very good with it for close ups).


The model I am using is a mix of one of GW's Spider Queen models and their Shelob model.  As such the legs are those that are modeled after the creepy pose of Shelob, one of the things that drew me to this combo.  Even so, I still had to modify them slightly to get the pose I really wanted.  It was delicate work as the legs are so fragile that more than a minor tweak can cause a break (speaking from experience...I broke a rear leg early and had a bear of a time repairing it).  Also, it's very important that any bends I did make were on the joints of the legs only and didn't create any new curves in the leg segments which would totally ruin the appearance.  SI used the joint of the leg to the body combined with some minor leg joint adjustments to get the action stance just right.  Though the model will be posed climbing around a tree on its base, here is a shot of the base coated model just standing flat with an unsuspecting Rohan archer for scale.


 For her base I have formed an old tree from twists of heavy gauge wire and covered with Green Stuff.  It took some tweaking to get the shape just right to match up with the leg positioning.  The wire tree is mounted thru the base so that several of the wires come out a hole in the bottom and spread out to grab.  Other wires were shaped for roots and the rest covered with Green Stuff and glued down to give a solid structure.  Some rocks and bark mulch were positioned around and then it was covered with some stone and sand.  A few dried potato eyes were glued in as large, distorted fungi.  I am currently researching how to produce willow-style draped foliage and may even add a victim or two hanging from the tree if I don't feel it's over the top.


Here are some shots of the Queen as she will be positioned on the tree.



As I am a gamer as much or more so than a painter/modeler it is critical that she be playable.  So while designing the tree and the Queen's position on the base I did about a dozen "test fits" of warrior and cavalry models as well as those in WotR movement trays, around her base.  I wanted to be sure that for the average model the tree did not prevent a typical positioning over models against her.  It's fine to do a small turn of the base of one or the other model to ensure contact but you don't want a low-hanging tree branch creating such a dead zone in one segment of the model that it's more frustrating than anything else when playing.


Here is a pic of that same poor Rohan archer standing bravely for the last couple seconds of his life.  It was an end worthy of song though none around lived to sing it.





Work in Progress