Watch Out for the Tremors!

This week's Monday miniature is the Burrowing Horror miniature. It took me a little while to figure out exactly what it would represent in Pathfinder until I came across the Bulette (also known as a Land Shark). When I was asking around the game store what they thought it might be, someone said that it didnt really matter it was a fantasy creature so I could do whatever. This is true and I definitely dont think you should ever feel limited by the SRD or how Reaper classifies the miniature. However, since we do use these models for Pathfinder, I often find reading the Ecology of the creature/monster to be inspiring. 

I rarely find that the SRD tells you specific colours though sometimes there are reference pictures. That said, in real life animals colours and patterns often reflect its environment. For the Bulette the SRD says;
" Environment: Temperate Hills  
The creation of some unknown arcanist in millennia past, the bulette has bred true to become one of the fiercest predators of the hills. Burrowing rapidly through the earth just beneath the surface, sometimes with its armored fin cutting a distinctive wake behind it, the bulette launches itself free of stone and soil to tear into its prey without remorse, giving rise to the common appellation 'landshark.' ... Folklore claims that the flesh behind the beast’s dorsal crest is particularly tender, and that those willing and able to wait until the fin is raised in the excitement of combat or mating can target it for a killing blow—yet most who have faced the landshark agree that the best way to win a fight with a bulette is to avoid it entirely."
 Reading this led me to the brown as I thought it would most likely blend in the dirt. Being described as a "Landshark", inspired the the grey for the top as I thought that would fit with rocks that would often be found in hilly regions. Finally, the suggestion that it is weaker behind the dorsal crest led me to paint some fleshier sections on its belly and of course, behind the dorsal fin. 

This is a strategy that I often use when I am stuck for a paint scheme on a model, particularly for a fantastical monster. The environment can also help when it comes time to design the base.
Felt unfinished without a base

As for actually painting this model I found it hard to stop. It felt unfinished as I wanted to clean it up. However being a monster that spends most of its time underground having a dirtier finish works well. Because of the way the model is designed I hadn't planned on basing it, however to help me feel like it was finished I decided to look at basing it. Realising it was classified as a Huge creature and the footprint of the model was much smaller than the 3" base just confirmed for me that creating a base was the right thing for this mini.

I am glad I did, as I really enjoyed making this base. I wanted it to look like he had just jumped out of the ground and so tried to make it look like he was at the edge of a hole with the dirt all disturbed. According to the ecology, the Bulette is territorial so I added hints that this is not the first time he has fought here. Overall, I am really proud of how it looks and really completes the model. I dont think the photos do it justice.

As for experimenting and trying new things, that happened with the base too. I tried using coffee to add to the loose dirt look. This is the first time I have tried this though I have been wanting to give it a go for a while. It worked out really well, though the colour was a little off compared to what I had painted the rest of the dirt. So I just dabbed some paint over it to help it blend, though I did leave some of the original colour showing through. I can definitely see me trying this again. 

In the past, I have often had people ask me how I make my bases (which I find really flattering!). I thought this might be a good base to step through my process so I am trying something new with this step by step slideshow. I hope its helpful for peoples!

This ended up being a super long post! Thank you to those who read through it! I hope me talking through my process and the slideshow was helpful to someone.

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