Raising the Deep, part 2

datetime July 11, 2013 10:00 AM

Yesterday I showed you my new D&D character, Pirisca the Gasping, a former fish goddess who currently inhabits the body of Margie, a woman whose husband and sons ate her.

The fish goddess, I mean.

They didn’t eat Margie.

That would be awkward.

Pirisca now runs around in Margie’s body, summoning creatures of the deep to combat the forces of evil. And by far her favourite minions to order about are Margie’s family, who were cursed by Pirisca’s final divine act to live out eternity as adorable fishpeople.

(Margie, for her part, firmly believes that they got off easy.)

So in addition to my sculpted Pirisca/Margie miniature that you saw yesterday, I also needed a whole host of summonable minis to accompany her. As a result, I’ve spent the last month having an absolute blast painting fish and fishlike entities. Three months, if you include Rask and the Spitter. 🙂

Here, now, is what this effort yielded.


George is Margie’s husband, and Pirisca’s primary summon. George was already pretty stupid before he was a fish, so in his current state it’s highly questionable whether he’s more harmful to Pirisca’s enemies or her allies.

The mini I chose for George was the Spawn Mother from the Malifaux range, which is so many different kinds of awesome that I couldn’t possibly have made any other selection.

I was originally planning to paint Pirisca’s minions in exotic ocean fish colours– clownfish, lionfish, etc– but then I stopped and thought about it more, and remembered that Pirisca was the goddess of a very small lake; she wouldn’t have any idea what those fish looked like. Instead, she would be familiar with lake and river fish– less flashy, more earth-toned fish. At first I was a bit bummed out to be losing the “fun” fish options, but then I actually did some research, and discovered that freshwater fish are just as neat-looking as their oceanic counterparts.


George, for example, is modeled after a trout. There’s a really awesome blend from silver, through pink, and into green at the top, with a grey stippling pattern overlaid on top. Here’s how that turned out on George:

I had a lot of fun with George. 😀

The Boys

Pirisca’s three sons, who aided their father in devouring their goddess, are smaller versions of what their father was transformed into. Model-wise, I used Malifaux Gupps, which are the pinnacle of all of human achievement.

Seriously, go look at them and try not to SQUEEEEEE out loud.


Each of the boys was modeled after a different lake fish. The oldest, Chauncey, is painted in the pattern of a sunfish– a brilliant gold-to-green fade with brown stippling over the top.


The youngest son, Aloysius (pronounced A-LOU-ISH-US, and obviously spelled nothing like I would have guessed), was model after… whatever the hell this thing is. Seriously, I don’t know– it was on a graphic of various lake fish without any label, and it suited my need for a non-green fish.

I used a brighter blue than the reference fish, because I was painting in the dark.

I’m serious, that’s my excuse.


The middle son, Eustace, is modeled on a lake perch. We used to catch these in Lake Ontario where my family used to camp, and I HATED them because they were small and bony and tasted weird, but they were like 90% of what we caught.

As a result of that childhood trauma, I now refuse to fish.


They are now summoned as a trio when Pirisca needs useless chaff to act as a doorstop against overwhelming numbers of foes. During some combats they get summoned, killed, and resummoned three or four times in the span of a minute.

Their debt to Pirisca is slowly being paid off purely through schadenfreude.


Pirisca is now in a town on the ocean, and has started meeting new aquatic creatures she’d never dreamed of before. When Margie’s kids said they were getting lonely in the Time Out Dimension and wanted a playmate, Margie convinced Pirisca to send them a pet.


Meet Princess, the boys’ loyal coconut octopus.

Coconut octopi are one of the most beautiful animals I’ve ever seen, and the mini I painted based on them (an old Reaper Aquatic Familiar) is one of the best I’ve ever done. I was so happy with the result that for once I’ve decided not to delete my painting progress shots as I usually do, and instead walk you through how I tried to replicate the majesty you see above.

I basecoated the mini in the palest parts of the red and yellow blends; the pink is GW Tanned Flesh (discontinued colour), with some white mixed in on the lower parts. The yellow is straight GW Desert Yellow, with a bit of white mixed in on the top.

The first wash on the red portions was straight Red Gore, while the first yellow wash was 50% P3 Phosphorus Yellow/50% GW Golden Yellow.

I then applied a thin wash of 50% Red Gore/50% GW Tausept Ochre to the lower areas of the yellow blend, followed by a pure Red Gore blend toward the tips of the 3rd tentacle from the front (on both sides).

My next wash was 80% GW Scab Red and 20% black. I wet blended this wash onto the outsides of the octopus’ silhouette, and on the sides of where the tentacles show on the main “umbrella”.

Once this wash was applied as a general blend, I got out a teensy-tiny brush and used it to paint teensy-tiny circles in an interlocking pattern, all over the bulbous head and the umbrella.

This wasn’t especially difficult, but it did take a while…

I continued this pattern partway into the yellow section, just like in the reference photo.

…and then all the way onto the head.


The last step of the blend was to wash 75% black/25% Scab Red onto the outside/underside of the umbrella and arms.

Final effect: beautiful, just as a princess should be.



When Pirisca was the goddess of her lake, she was a force for good, ensuring that her followers, both in and out of the water, had enough to eat. She was not alone in that lake, however; another entity existed in the depths, surrounded by scuttling horrors, befouling all that drifted past: Klamptor, Underlord of the Muckbed.

Pirisca existed in a state of blissful non-sentience, but Klamptor the Demon Clam was fully aware of his existence, and he envied Pirisca’s mobility and beauty. He plotted against her for millennia, and over time he and Pirisca became inextricably linked, his cowardly malice forever drawn toward her guileless good cheer.

Pirisca is now severely injured, and her control over her divine energy suffers from this loss. As a result, there is a chance whenever she calls for her followers, that the summons will be overheard by her ageless enemy, and that he will interpose one of his own agents into the dimensional gap.

It is at these times that Pirisca and her allies are plagued by the pitiless fury of Klamptor’s most implacable enforcer:

Manny, the Demonic (Yet Also Spicy and Latin) Death-Crab

I didn’t own a model to represent Manny’s arrival amongst inferior mortals, so I had to make one.

My incredibly cursory research could not turn up a conclusive answer to whether crabs have six or eight legs, so I went with the answer that required me to attach fewer wires to the mess above.

I drilled lots and lots of holes into a small square GW base and planted Manny’s legs underneath, bending each flat so it wouldn’t slide back out the top.

A blob of putty formed the center of Manny’s hate cluster.

I only applied a very, very thin layer of putty to Manny’s agonypendages, using a clayshaper to smooth them out and create segments.

I wasn’t able to add supporting wires to Manny’s apocalypincers at the initial wiring stage, so I stuck them on now in preparation for more polished final puttying later on.

More clayshaper work yielded Manny’s smooth and sensual Casanovarapace (he’s Spicy and Latin, remember?), which I then lightly moulded into segments (not depicted here, but which you can see later).

One putty layer later, Manny’s terrible countenance stood manifest on our plane of existence. It was hard to concentrate over the distant wail of boiling children and eyeless widows.


Manny, unlike Pirisca’s children, is not a creature of this pathetic world, and as such, he was not restricted to the plausible colourations of mortal crustaceans.

His true form is unknowable, but when acting as Klamptor’s agent, he chooses to array himself in the baffling raiment of madness.

Madness, incidentally, is accomplished by basecoating in 50% GW Ultramarines Blue/50% white, washing in GW Enchanted Blue, and then washing again in GW Regal Blue.

Cruelty is added through two washes– one of 50% GW Catachan Green/50% Wurm Green, and then a second of 50% Catachan Green/25% Regal Blue/25% GW Dryad Bark.

Finally, Latin spice is applied with a very faint coat of 75% white/25% Ultramarines Blue, diluted 1:3 with matte medium and dabbed on with a teensy-tiny brush.

Fear Manny

And give glory to Him

For the hour of His judgement

Is come.

From the Revelation to Saint Rainbow Smelt, chapter 14, verse 7


Pirisca, accompanied by friend and foe alike, is ready to slay mighty dungeons and explore cavernous dragons.

Dry land will never know what hit it.


3 thoughts on “Raising the Deep, part 2

  • Fish

    You were wildly successful here Spud. Those are really great.

    The mystery fish up there is a Paddlefish, an aquatic filter feeder, not uncommon in the Mighty Mississippi. The coloration is more of a slate grey in real life, sometimes with a reddish tail. You should go check out some google images, they are really bizarrely cool looking when feeding.

  • Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *