Hello Reader.

 

Before I sat down to begin writing this article I was wondering how long it had been since I last published a piece about a painted miniature here on the blog. It turns out that the last time I published an article about a model I had painted here (not counting the reviews of the Outpost Kit and the Catwalk Set, and the Salt Weathering tutorial) was back in January 2013.

 

That is a long time, but I haven’t been idle all this time. I am still struggling with some “real life” issues but I’ve been committing more time to my hobby as a way of distancing myself from the very issues which had been undermining my painting mojo and one of the things I have been doing lately is devoting some time to my Helldorado miniatures.

I’ll probably be talking a lot more about this game here on the blog in the near future, but for now it should suffice to say that Helldorado was a French Skirmish wargame produced back in the day by Asmodee Editions. It has since been discontinued by the aforementioned company and the its rights have been sold to Cipher Studios which has in turn resuscitated the game with a successful campaign on Kickstarter.

 

I first came across Helldorado while visiting my favorite wargaming store in Paris/France: Starplayer. It was probably 2004, or perhaps 2002-2003, I won’t really recall now, when I entered the store and was greeted by a full blown Helldorado tournament. I can’t begin to describe the impact of seeing so many beautiful miniatures, gorgeously painted (back them every Frenchman seemed a miniature painting master in my eyes) facing each other on stunning tables.

 

Even if every miniature looked great, there was a special miniature that stole my attention from the moment I set eyes on it: “La Gueule des Abysses” or the Jaws of the Deep as it is now known.

 

La Gueule des Abysses / The Jaws of the Deep.

 

I don’t know if the same happens to you, but pretty often I get dragged into a game because I fell in love with a miniature. For Helldorado it was the Jaws of the Deep, for Warhammer 40K it was Space Marines, for Hordes the Dire Troll Mauler, for Confrontation it was the Wolfen, and more recently the 1st Generation Plague Victim plunged me into Mantic’s Deadzone.

 

So a single look to the “Gueule des Abysses” was all it took to get me to purchase it and a lot of other Helldorado miniatures even if, back then, there was no English rulebook published for Helldorado to let me play with them. I assumed I could wait a bit and what a wait it has been to this day.

 

But still, the miniatures were great and I was happy to take them back home with me, but since then the models have sat staring at me, demanding I painted them and still I refused to. No, I’m not going mad, at least not yet. I know it’s not really them, I know it’s me faulting myself for not painting them, but I don’t know if the same happens to you: I often like a figure so much I leave it unpainted, afraid I might not do it justice with my paintjob.

 

And that was the case with this figure, which from the onset seemed such a fierce depiction of a fearsome and powerful beast, ready to pounce over its enemies ripping their heads off in a shower of gore. And it also reminded me of the monster/creature of a film I’m very fond off: The Brotherhood of the Wolf.

 

The Brotherhood of the Wolf (“Le Pacte des Loups” in French) is a French movie which tells the story of an unknown creature, a veritable monster, which had been exacting a deadly toll over the population of the Gévaudan region in France. A renowned hunter/taxidermist is sent to the region under orders of Louis XV alongside his companion, an Iroquois Indian played by none other than Mark “I only star bad flicks” Dacascos (who I guess is more widely known by his part in the adaptation of the “Crying Freeman” manga for the movies), to end the creature’s reign of terror.

 

What’s even nicer about it is that this movie is freely inspired by a real account I’m really into, the story of the “Beast of Gévaudan”, that according to historic accounts, terrorized that region of France between the years of 1764 and 1770, a period in which the creature is said to have slain between 60 to 100 adults and children according to the more conservative estimates. A consensus has never been achieved as to the real nature of the creature, and even if wolves were blamed by the attacks and some were killed and proclaimed as the beast, no one is sure about its real identity, and some claim to this day that the account of the “Beast of Gévaudan” is one of the few historically registered accounts of a real werewolf.

 

An artist’s rendition of the “Beast of Gevaudan”.

 

The Wolf of Chazes – an artist’s rendition of the wolf shot by François Antoine later displayed at the court of Louis XV.

 

The “Brotherhood of the Wolf” movie presents its own theory about the origins of the creature, and not only it’s a good movie in my opinion, but is also portrays the creature in a very nice way.

 

Concept art for the creature in the “Brotherhood of the Wolf” movie.

 

A mock-up of the creature based on the concept art.

 

 

The creature from the movie.

 

The creature in the film, clearly a lion which was subjected do body modifications in order to change its appearance.

 

It should be no surprise to you then, that when I first saw the “Jaws of the Deep” miniature my mind immediately remembered the movie, and perhaps because I had liked it so much (the movie I mean) I fell in love with the miniature. I’m one of the backers of the Helldorado Kickstarter campaign I mentioned, which not only is finally going to deliver me the English copy of the rules I’ve been waiting for almost 10 years, but also has rekindled my interest in this game, and thus spurred me into giving the miniatures I already have here a go, before I get all the goodies from the KS campaign delivered to me.

 

I ended up following the movie’s inspiration and instead of depicting the miniature as a demonic creature, I chose to depict it as a lion which has received some “improvements” from its infernal masters. I’m quite happy with the result I now share with you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And I guess that’s it from me today. We’ll probably feature a lot more Helldorado miniatures here on the blog soon, and also a review of the game and perhaps some battle reports as soon as I get my hands on the rules and have had the chance of playing a few games. Until then I’ll wait to hear your feedback on the Jaw’s paintjob, be them critics or compliments as I like to hear whatever you guys have to say.

 

As I read somewhere on the internet the other day “blogs live on comments” so don’t let this one starve.

 

See you soon!

 

+++

 

Salve Leitor.

 

Pensando aqui pra começar a escrever este post fui procurar no blog quando foi a última vez que publiquei um artigo sobre uma miniatura que pintei. Tirando as resenhas publicadas (do Outpost da Warmill e das passarelas da Micro Art) e o tutorial sobre a técnica de envelhecimento com sal (Salt Weathering) a última vez em que havia postado fotos de um trabalho de pintura meu foi em janeiro de 2013.

 

Meu ritmo de pintura realmente diminuiu bastante, mas tenho tentado manter certa frequência na pintura. Se você anda acompanhando, ou melhor, ouvindo, minha mais nova empreitada no hobby, o Podcast Papo de Mesa em parceria com o brother “Ultra”Marcos (se você ainda não ouviu não deixe de baixar alguns episódios e curtir a página do programa no Facebook), já está sabendo que ando pintando algumas miniaturas do jogo Helldorado.

 

Eu devo voltar a falar desse jogo em breve por aqui, mas por ora, basta mencionar que o Helldorado é um jogo de estratégia (Wargame) que retrata batalhas em pequena escala (skirmish) produzido por uma companhia francesa, a Asmodee, que descontinuou o jogo e posteriormente vendeu os direitos do jogo para a Cipher Studios que recentemente o ressuscitou através de uma bem sucedida campanha no Kickstarter.

 

Conheci o jogo há algum tempo, quando em uma visita à loja Starplayer em Paris lá pelos idos de 2002-2004 me deparei com um campeonato desse jogo em curso. As miniaturas chamaram logo minha atenção, mas foi a miniatura da “La Gueule Des Abysses” o fator determinante para que eu me encantasse pelo jogo.

 

La Gueule des Abysses ou “A Boca do Abismo”.

 

Eu tenho dessas coisas. Às vezes vejo uma miniatura tão fantástica, tão visualmente instigante e arrebatadora, que acabo caindo de paixão por um jogo por causa de uma única miniatura. Aconteceu isso com o Hordes quando vi pela primeira vez a miniatura do Dire Troll Mauler, com o Warhammer 40K quando vi os primeiros Space Marines, com Confrontation quando vi os primeiros Wolfen e mais recentemente com o Deadzone da Mantic por conta do 1st Genreation Plague. A lista é grande.

 

Um olhar para a “Gueule Des Abysses”, que poderíamos traduzir como “A Boca do Abismo” (e que no inglês ficou como “Jaws of the Deep” – algo como “Mandibulas das Profundezas”), foi o que bastou pra mim e logo eu tinha comprado várias miniaturas do jogo, sem, no entanto possuir as regras do mesmo que na época só existiam em francês.

 

Também não sei se acontece com vocês, mas, às vezes compro uma miniatura e ela acaba ficando intocada por um tempão, me encarando de forma reprovativa de dentro de uma gaveta ou da estante cobrando ser pintada. Não, eu não estou ficando louco ainda, eu sei que essa cobrança é coisa da minha cabeça, mas o fato é que vez ou outra eu gosto tanto de uma peça que tenho medo de não fazer jus a ela com a minha pintura.

 

Esse foi justamente o caso com essa figura que me era tão querida. Sempre achei que ela tinha um visual forte, feroz, prestes a ganhar vida e arrancar as cabeças de seus oponentes. E ela me lembrava o monstro principal de um filme que gosto bastante: O Pacto dos Lobos.

 

O “Le Pacte des Loups” é um filme francês que conta a estória de uma besta, um monstro, que estaria dizimando a população da região de Gévaudan na França. Um renomado caçador e taxidermista a serviço do rei Luis XV é então enviado para a região juntamente com seu companheiro, um índio Iroquês norte-americano interpretado por ninguém menos que o Marc “só faz filme ruim” Dacascos (mais conhecido por sua atuação na adaptação do mangá “Crying Freeman” para os cinemas), para por fim ao mistério e ao monstro.

 

O mais legal é que o filme é livremente baseado em uma história verídica em que eu me amarro, a história da Besta de Gévaudan, que segundo relatos históricos aterrorizou essa região da França entre os anos de 1764 e 1770, período em que a criatura teria matado de 60 a 100 adultos e crianças nas estimativas mais conservadoras. Nunca se chegou a um consenso sobre a origem da criatura, e embora tenham na época culpado lobos pelos ataques e alguns tenham sido abatidos e proclamados como sendo a Besta, não se tem certeza sobre a natureza da criatura até os dias de hoje e alguns acreditam que esse seria o primeiro relato com registro histórico das ações de um lobisomem.

 

A representação de um artista da “Besta de Gévaudan”.

 

O Lobo de Chazes – A representação de um artista do lobo abatido por François Antoine e depois exposto perante a corte de Luis XV.

 

Fato é que o filme “O Pacto dos Lobos” apresenta sua própria teoria sobre a origem da criatura, e além de ser um bom filme em minha humilde opinião, o retrato que ele faz da Besta é a meu ver muito legal.

 

Arte conceitual da criatura no filme “O Pacto dos Lobos”.

 

Um modelo baseado na arte conceitual, provavelmente como prova de conceito.

 

 

A criatura do filme.

 

A criatura como vista no filme. Ela se revela um leão submetido a alterações corporais para que se parecesse com outra criatura.

 

Não é surpresa então que quando eu vi a miniatura da “Gueule des Abysses” eu lembrei na hora do filme, e talvez por curtir tanto o filme, eu tenha caído de amores pela miniatura. Fato é que recentemente fui um dos colaboradores na campanha do Kickstarter responsável pelo renascimento do jogo e que me permitiu adquirir um livro de regras em inglês (já que a Asmodee nunca o produziu, ao menos não em larga escala, e eu estou esperando a quase 10 anos por um livro de regras) e como estou bem interessado em finalmente poder jogar Helldorado acabei perdendo o medo e resolvi pintar a minha miniatura favorita do jogo.

 

Acabei indo pelo lado do filme e ao invés de retratar uma criatura verdadeiramente demoníaca, pintei-a como se fosse um leão que sofreu “melhorias” nas mãos de seus mestres infernais. Fiquei bem satisfeito com o resultado que compartilho agora com vocês.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E acho que é isso por hoje. Muito em breve teremos mais miniaturas de Helldorado por aqui, e também uma resenha do jogo, battle reports e tudo mais, tão logo eu tenha tido a chance de ler as regras e disputar algumas partidas. Fico no aguardo dos comentários de vocês leitores, sejam eles criticas ou elogios.

 

Como li em algum lugar da internet outro dia “blogs vivem de comentários” então não deixe este aqui morrer de fome.

 

Até breve.

Comments
  1. Lucas Massa says:

    Não basta pintar, tem que fazer uma tese sobre a miniatura?
    Show de bola, excelente trabalho (pintura e tese).
    O pessoal joga Helldorado ai no Brasil, ou você so curtiu a miniatura?

    • Gereth says:

      Olá Lucas! Obrigado pelo comentário cara! A”tese” deve sua existência ao fato de eu gostar de escrever, me amarrar nessa miniatura, no filme “O Pacto dos Lobos” e na história da Besta de Gévaudan! Não tinha como não falar disso tudo já que pra mim as três coisas sempre estiveram meio que ligadas. Espero que a leitura não tenha sido cansativa!

      Respondendo a sua pergunta, Helldorado não tem tantos jogadores por aqui, ao menos não que eu saiba. Como eu disse a Asmodee demorou demais pra publicar regras em inglês o que, a meu ver, atrapalhou a entrada do jogo por aqui. Vamos ver como fica o cenário agora que a Cipher Studios trouxe o jogo de volta.

      Abraço!

  2. Parabéns. Acho q as fotos ficaram escuras.

    • Gereth says:

      Fala ai Eduardo!

      Pois é… olhando aqui agora concordo com você. Preciso mexer na minha iluminação aqui para que as fotos saiam melhor nas próximas. Quem sabe fazer uma lightbox.

      Abraço e obrigado pelo comentário.

  3. Argentbadger says:

    Nice miniature, and nice painting too. Thanks for reminding me of the Brotherhood of the Wolf, a movie that I also really enjoyed way back when I first watched it.

    • Gereth says:

      Hey there mate!

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to comment. Yes, that was indeed a nice movie right? I had very fond memories of it and eventually purchased a DVD so I could watch it whenever I felt like it. I believe it’s a well written story, and a well directed and acted movie.

      Werewolves have always been my favorite “monsters” and the story of the “Beast of Gévaudan” one of my firm favorites, as there’s so much mistery surrounding it, and it all happened when people were already keeping record. It even warranted a king’s attention.

      I believe the movie picks up an interesting story and weaves its own version of it brilliantly and in a very credible way. And what’s not to like about the creature and that “whip-sword” right?

      Glad to see I can still count you amongst my readers!

  4. Black Ankh says:

    Was the same as you … The Jaws was the first mini i saw from Helldorado and it blows my mind !

    The look of the monster is inspired from the Gevaudan’s Beast from the movie.
    And this beast seems to have been a hyena in fact (according to some research and my personnal studies at Paris Natural museum).

    Great review !

    • Gereth says:

      Hi mate!

      Thanks for your comment! I was extremely happy to see someone sharing my interest, not only on the fantastic Helldorado miniature, but also on the Beast of Gevaudan story.

      Yes, I’ve also read about the Hyena hypothesis, and I believe it’s a quite plausible one. I’ve never visited the Natural History Museum of Paris and I am now looking forward to doing so.

      Cheers!

  5. I loved BOTW and the Beast of Gevaudan is an amazing creation, artistically speaking, and pretty cool from a horror standpoint as well. I didn’t realize there was an actual historical reference for the beast. That said, the “beast’s” attacks could conceivably have been the work of a particularly prolific and vicious serial killer. Serial murder goes back hundreds of years and has inspired a lot of lore. …Like Elizabeth Bathory, the “vampire” lady who tortured and killed hundreds of girls because she thought bathing in their blood would preserve her youth. Even during her own time she was suspected of her evil-doings, but imagine the stories frightened people in the middle ages would concoct to explain a rash of violent killings with no suspect. I think that a lot of unexplained phenomenon or occurances got explained away by wolf and vampire lore.

    • Gereth says:

      Hi there Alien Red Queen! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment mate. It is always nice to talk and interact with readers here on the blog.

      Yes, I totally agree with you that the atacks could have been the work of a serial killer given that they’ve existed in our midst since forever,but have been only recently named so, however the interesting thing about the Beast of Gévaudan is that a lot about it has been submited to historic records.

      These records show that not all people attacked by the Beast died. According to the aforementioned records the Beast of Gévaudan attacked at least 162 humans and killed 113 around the small town of Gevaudan.

      Pretty much all the survivors decribed bein attacked by a creature and not a person.

      To me the story of the Beast of Gévaudan is very reminiscent of another I’m very fond of, the one of the man-eating lions of Tsavo, also portrayed on a nice movie called “The Ghost and The Darkness” and very much real.

      I’d reccomend this article to find a little bit more about the Beast:

      The Modern day hunt for France’s Beast of Gévaudan.

      Once more thanks for the comment mate! Nice talking to a like minded fellow.

      • Yeah, I saw that some people claimed to have seen the beast. I wonder how many of them were legitimately attacked by “the Beast,” and how many were attacked by something or someone else and just called “Beast” because it was the thing to blame at the time. Historically and geographically speaking, I wonder what types of animals were indigenous to the Gevaudon area at the time. If the attacks indeed stopped after that one gentleman slayed a wolf, I would (as was suggested in the Wiki article) wonder if he was involved. No properly adjusted and healthy wolf attacks people like that. :/

        Also, glad to stop by and feel free to do the same! :)

        • black ankh says:

          Well,
          I’ll try to add a bit of light in this, but, as i’m french, and that’s quite difficult words sometimes, i hope everybody will understand me.
          I’m a biology teacher, specialised in evolution, animal biology and classification, and, during my time at university, with one of my teacher we add a good time working on the Gevaudan’s Beast, as i thought it was a great subject for a long term project for students in college !

          Our work confirms what a lot of people think : the beast was a hyena. The thing was confirmed by a friend of mind, working at the National Museum of Compared Anatomy and Paleontology of Paris, who has access to the old regirsters.

          In fact, The real “beast” was a man, kind of serial killer who liked to kill and rape. This killer may be the son of the count of Morangies OR the son of his personal dog keeper (his master of the hunt who actually killed the beast : Chastel )
          Most of the victim showed signs of death by weapon such as a sword or knife.
          But other injuries were obviously done by an animal.

          Most of the peasants know what a wolf or a bear looks like, because as that time it was common.
          Some injuries showed that the bones were crushed, and no wolf nor bear (and no dog) can do so.
          The only animal who can do that, is a hyena.
          And we know that Antoine, son of Chastel, was, in his early years prisonner in north-east africa, where taming hyena is still done by local tribes.
          Back in the Gevaudan, Antoine Chastel would have worked under the order of Morangies to cover his crimes using the Beast.

          The description of the animal : stripes, long fur at the top of the back, saddistic “devil-like” laughting, and all the measures done thanks to the three rapports of the local police and the church, point in the direction of the hyena.

          Finally, when Chastel (father) killed the beast and bring it to Paris, the “officiel beast” was already killed by François Antoine.
          Chastel was bringing a proof that François Antoine lied, and so that he failed… but as he was under the order of the King, it would have meant that the King has failed ! That was not possible.
          So Chastel was treated like a liar, and his beast was taken, hidden, and destroyed.
          My friend at the museum found out that thanks to a register, that a hyena, from the gevaudan was stored in the museum with some other animal in too bad shape to be displayed !

          Hope this helped !

          • Gereth says:

            Hi Black Ankh!

            Don’t worry about your English mate, as it is perfectly understandable. Thanks for taking the time to comment, as it was really nice to read what you had to say about the Beast of Gévaudan once more, and this time more in depth.

            Yes, I had read about the theory of the hyena as I mentioned on your first comment here, and also subscribed to it as one of the possible culprits about the killings. As you pointed out the average person back then would know a wolf or a bear, animals native to Europe, but not a hyena, but it certainly fits the descriptions.

            What is completely new to me is the involvement of a person as an active character in the killings. Up to now my belief was that the Beast could be an exotic species introduced to the region (either unwittingly or not) but it is surprising to find a human hand behind the killings.

            Once more thank you for your comment and for stopping by mate.

            Cheers.

          • black ankh says:

            The involvment of a person is, in fact, sure.
            Some of the cadavers (women and childs) were found naked, clothes organised near the body, and sometimes with clear markings of a blade, or even behead but not with the classic prints of jaws : it was a clean and clear cut (once again : blade)
            Sometimes, those injuries were mixed with prints of bites (and the number of teeth reccorded in the register is not the one of a wolf or a wild cat, but points toward the hyena, once again).
            We think that Morangies disguised himself, raped and killed people, sometimes with Chastel’s son and the beast who was unleashed on the body to cover Morangies acts, and sometimes, the beast was left alone, to create a sentiment of fear in the land !
            Even, people told the saw the beast à 2 places at the same time. It might be the hyena released somewhere, and Morangies raping elswhere, but disguised as the beast !
            Some testimonies claimed that the beast was once shot, and act like a human, on this feet, pressing the wound and running …

          • Gereth says:

            Once again thanks for all the new information Black Ankh.

            Being Brazilian, there’s VERY little information about the Beast of Gévaudan available in Portuguese. There’s slightly more in English but again I assume there’s a lot more references and books to follow, and being French means you have a “fresher” trail of the Beast to follow.

            Thanks a million for sharing this information and thus enriching what I knew on the subject mate. That was very appreciated.

            Cheers.

          • Wow! Thanks! That’s really cool. Andnow that I think of ti, you’re right. A hyena makes a lot of sense. I didn’t think they got THAT big though. So it was beast AND man! But it definitely makes sense that there was a man involved. They make the worst beasts anyhow!!!

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