Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Unleash the Hounds of Hell!



Those of my beloved readers that work in the education sector will appreciate just how fraught this time of year can be.  That's not to say that it things are bad, just busy and consequently I have had little time to devote to the blog.  In a bid to keep the readership entertained, I have a preprepared post for just such an occasion, but must apologise from the outset, as this is going to be a very picture heavy post!  It is with some relief that I am happy to post these completed Barguest.  What, you may ask, is a Barguest?  Well to quote directly from the 'Witchfinder Rule Book' they are,
"The feared gigantic demon dog - bred by the vampire to serve and protect.  These foulest of creations cause terror to anyone that has displeased their master.  The barguest can move at the speed of the fastest steed, its powerful jaws render limbs from a man with ease and razor sharpened back bones can disembowel a horse at the gallop."

So, the Barguest, a terrifying spectral hound, with fierce, flaming eyes and frightful table manners has cemented its place in English folklore with sightings throughout the country, but with a predominance to the bleak moors of Yorkshire Dales. In fact the legend of a monstrous black dog is believed, by some, to have been the inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's, 'The Hound of the Baskervilles'.


For me these Hell Hounds brought to mind the legend of the Beast of Gévaudan, where an animal of unknown origin described as having, "a big head, reddish flanks, a black stripe on its back and a thick tail", terrorised an area of France in the Margeride Mountains between 1764 and 1767. The legend has subsequently been brought to life in the oh so French, but oh so wonderful 'Brotherhood of the Wolf''. A film by Christophe Gans, this is a strange creation fitting, as it does, into a multitude of genres namely, French, historical, horror, action and even martial arts. Starring Samuel Le Bihan, Mark Dacascos, Emilie Dequenne, Vincent Cassel and the eminently watchable, Monica Bellucci - certainly worth a look if you not come across it before.


My Barguests are in fact Hellhounds from 'Heresy Miniatures', which seem to be my 'go to' company for the forces of evil!  You have a choice of four different poses that will require some modelling skills to put together.  Lashings of green stuff and super glue did the job for me, but what I hadn't realised when I originally picked them up at 'Salute 2014' was that there is also a choice of heads too!*

 *six to be exact! 


It wasn't until I finally sat down to work on them that I realised my oversight and although the random selection of heads that I had amassed were perfectly serviceable, I just fancied a bit more uniformity.  Fortunately for me the very splendid Andy Foster of the aforementioned 'Heresy Miniatures' was able to sort me out with a matching set of 'Evil Scoobie' heads to complete my build.


Having pinned them to some 'Warbases' MDF cavalry bases and undercoated with my favoured black spray the rest of the colour scheme rather chose itself; raven black fur - check!  Razor sharp back bones - check!  Fierce, flaming red eyes - check!


In essence the painting was all fairly straightforward, but I do finding making black look interesting a challenge.    I did take a bit of time to match their bases to those of the 'Noctelinger' that I had done earlier and, as mentioned before, the Heresy miniatures do take a bit of work, but are certainly worth the effort.  Wonderful sculpts with subtle variations in pose, not to mention all those head choices give so many options when it comes to putting a pack together.



"There is a foul stench on the air tonight, carrying with it a howl so terrifying that any would be traveller would be wise to seek the safety of their home as the Barguest was abroad. Flushed from the shadows by the guttering torch, the red eyes glowered at its intended prey. With unnatural pace and strength the beast powered forwards leaving only enough time for a single shot; the puritan levelled his pistol, composed himself and fired…"

74 comments:

  1. Just an awesome post Michael... both educational and featuring some great WIPs (which I always greatly admire on your blog). Very tempted to dig out my some stuff from my "Heresy Miniatures" now... as I tend to flit from project to project ;-)

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    1. Thank you Simon, I do love Heresy miniatures although there is occasionally the odd blue word during their assembly, the finished product more than makes up for any hassle.

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  2. wow ! excellent work ! those hounds are really impressive !

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    1. Thank you Sam, there are great sculpts to work with.

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  3. Lovely work and a terrible tease for us Witchfinder fans. Beast of Gévaudan has been proven to have been a trained hyena a popular rich nobleman's toy of that period in France.

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    1. Thank you Robert and I promise that I will get some miniatures on the table before too long! A hyena you say? That would certainly work.

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  4. Frightful and fearsome beasties Sir Michael :)

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    1. I understand getting them to 'roll over' and 'beg' is fraught with difficulty! ;)

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  5. An excerpt from 'Old Hughes' Dictionary of the Eldritch' describes the creature.

    "Barguest (n); a spectral apparition which is always the last to leave any party or social gathering. He will not depart until all fermented and spirituous liquor has been consumed."

    A fearsome beast indeed...

    Lovely work, as always, Mr Awdry - your 17th C occult subjects are always entertaining!

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    1. Absolutely priceless, from that definition I may indeed be a Barguest! :D

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  6. One of my favourite films. Time for another watching methinks. Lovely work on your hellish hounds sir and your graveyard setting is spectacular...

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    1. Thank you so much Millsy, it is all starting to come together, just very, very slowly!

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  7. Great work!

    "...a single shot aimed truly, which lodged in the beast's brain, killing it instantly!"

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    1. That would certainly be the preferred outcome for the Puritan!

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  8. Excellent! I know what you mean about black, but you did a great job. I wouldn't like to meet those beasts in broad daylight, much less a moonlit graveyard or a dismal moor in the dark of a moonless misty night.

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    1. Thank you so much, it took a bit of experimenting before I was happy with what I was doing, but ultimately the result seems to do the trick!

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    1. That is incredibly kind of you, thank you!

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  10. Very nice Michael. I love those puppies - did mine in Hell hound red colours though with the alternate Alienesque head!

    http://tasmancave.blogspot.com/2013/12/hell-hounds.html

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    1. Now had did I miss those? I now feel the need for another set with the alien heads, thank you Paul.

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  11. Outstanding, Michael. The black looks very good indeed.

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    1. Thank you so much kind sir, they seem to work as a group anyway.

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  12. Impressive stuff Michael! The black skin on them looks spot on.

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  13. Awesome post Michael, these Hounds of Hell are terrifying and beautiful...and the first (and last) pictures are so atmospheric...Outstanding job sir!

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    1. Thank you so much Phil, I have to confess that I rather enjoyed setting up the photographs and telling a bit of a story.

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  14. It's wonderful to hear from you again, Michael. Although I assumed that this time of the year is pretty stressful for those in the educational sector I was starting with getting worried whether something else might be in disorder at Awdry Towers.

    Anyway this post is an excellent return and your work on the hellhounds is awesome as always. They are perfect for the witchfinder background and they might be a perfect addition for a project a friend of mine is thinking about. Many thanks for introducing them.

    All the best
    Stefan

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    1. Dear Stefan, I am sorry. I had planned to post sooner but things just snowballed. It may be busy, but this time of year is also fun and of course we will soon be starting our long holiday. I am pleased that you like them and that they may be of some interest to your friend.

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    1. You are too kind Gordon, thank you.

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  16. Fantastic level of skill on the models and painting. I remember watching, and enjoying, the Brotherhood of the Wolf' film at the pictures and remembering how impressive the countryside seemed and how vast the oak forests looked (I must get out more).

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    1. The locations were particularly beautiful and rather well shot as I remember - I think we both need to get out more. :)

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  17. They are so awesome Michael!

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  18. I love what you did with those. I keep looking at them on the site and there is a risk this might tip me over the edge.

    Great job as always Michael.

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    1. Thank you Mike and I'm sorry if I've tipped you over the edge, but they are great!

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  19. Fantastic work on these nasty beasts

    Ian

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  20. Excellent work, sir! In my part of the world, Norfolk, we have 'Black Shuck,' a hell-hound of that like supposed to haunt the coast. Of course, it was a tale put about by smugglers to keep people away from the shores when the 'gentlemen' were at work, but you never know if there's a nubbin of truth in there somewhere...

    Heresy are my go-to people for Doctor Who style miniatures, and they've always given great service.

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    1. Thank you so much and the 'Black Shuck', now there's a name to strike fear into the mortal soul! I really can't fault Heresy for service, just jolly nice people.

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  21. They are superb Michael a job well done converting and painting them :D

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    1. Thank you Simon, certainly worth the effort in the end.

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  22. Hola Amigo
    MAGNIFICO trabajo si señor
    un saludo

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  23. Stunning work on the hell hounds Michael!

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  24. What wonderful looking figures Michael, you did a grand job on them, though I would expect nothing less. I may have to peruse Heretic Miniatures sometime soon!

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    1. Thank you Terry, Heresy miniatures are certainly a class act, I have not been disappointed by the service that I received.

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  25. Keeping us on our toes! Great idea Sir. Suprise inspection eh!
    Beautiful as usual Sir Michael, inspirational as always.

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    1. Thank you so much Bob, very kind of you.

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  26. DAMN !
    They are Fantastic, Sir! I must get some for myself...Heracy Miniatures you say,
    -Well let me check it out!
    You are telling us that you are ".. finding making black look interesting a challenge."
    I say, you are a pro-miniature-painter! The Hellhounds are Excellent!

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    1. Thank you so much and i really can't rate Heresy enough, a great company.

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  27. Jolly spiffing ol'boy, black is always a challenge but I think you have done a grand job with your hell hounds

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    1. Thank you so much Dave, greatly appreciated Sir.

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  28. Superb brushwork as always, Michael. Coincidentally I recently watch Brotherhood on DVD. I was looking for inspiration for a scenario using my SYW French to hunt the beast.

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    1. Thank you Dean and what a wonderful coincidence; I love your idea for the scenario by the way.

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  29. Super job with the blacks and the greys. Equally impressed with how the bone protrusions were painted.

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    1. Thank you kind Sir, a little wash around the bone seemed to lift them nicely.

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  30. These are brilliant. I didn't know that Heresy makes demon dogs. Love the way you painted them. Cheers, Karl

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    1. Thank you, they do a wonderful range of heads for them too - worth a look.

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  31. Outstanding work Mr. Awdry! Your painting style matches these nice sculpts perfectly. The scenic shot at the end is especially great.

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  32. They look the Dogs B****cks Michael and your graveyard scenery looks superb.

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    1. Thank you so much Pat, really enjoyed working on these.

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  33. Great painting! They look very scary indeed!

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  34. I usually try not to comment when I come across these that have been posted so far in the past, but this is too good. Excellent work on the Barguests, but the vignette is what I really love. Top notch!

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    1. Thank you so much Sean, sorry to have missed this at the time.

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  35. Looking for inspiration for a completely different project, I clicked on some pics and was drawn almost magnetically back to your blog! And then I realised I even left a comment on these back at the time too :-)

    Just goes to show how enduring your blog is. And how cool these Heresy models are - guess I'll be buying a half dozen more for my "Riders of Doom" fantasy army for Dragon Rampant

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    1. Well that's incredibly kind of you Paul and I really need to have a closer look at Dragon Rampant myself, who knows we both might be putting another order in to Heresy!

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