I have been looking for some additional prehistoric figures for a while now to compliment my existing tribe of hunters, mostly converted from the (now defunct?) Flytrap Factory 'cavemen' range. Unfortunately, these fantastic sculpts are bijou to say the least, only standing about 20mm to the eye, and of course they are also very much caricatures rather than realistically proportioned modern hominids. However, I was particularly interested to see if I could find an additional tribe member who looked a bit shaman-esque.
While looking at various 28mm 'pygmy' ranges - incidentally, the most characterful and, arguably, least racist seem to be from EMP Games and Bend Sinister - I stumbled across the awesome Lost Horizons jungle goblins from EMP Games shown above (photo 'redistributed' from their website). I thought the little mask-wearing chap in the middle might be suitable and, as they weren't too expensive, I ordered a pack on spec.
I was really pleased that I did, because the figures are great! All three bodies are headless and missing their right hands, and you get two spears, a skull wand/mace, two goblin heads and the wee masked head. I popped a spear-wielding, mask-wearing chap together and noted with some satisfaction that he scaled very well against my existing tribe. However, his costume was really very distinct and, more of an issue, his spear was completely different. He was the right scale, but clearly a different tribe.
So that got me thinking about making up a small band of outfolk as competition for my existing tribe. I thought I could probably do all of them wearing the masks, but while I waited for a response from EMP about whether masks could be bought separately, I started fiddling with what I already had...
Starting with the goblin heads, I cut off the large ears and the end of the nose, and removed the sticking up tooth from one of the lil' gobbos. I then fixed them high up on the neck-pin-bit (it is supposed to be inserted into the head) to give the figures a bit more neck that you get with a common or garden variety goblin. I also removed the wand from one of the hands, drilled it, and inserted a piece of bent paperclip.
The gaps around the neck joins were filled in with Milliput, and the paperclip was built upon to turn it into a sling. I'm not really happy with the shape of the sling as it doesn't seem to hang naturally, but overall I am happy with the weapon conversion. I then went a bit out on a limb and sculpted tiny boobies for the mask-wearer (the goblin body on this one was narrower around the chest, curving out at the belly and hips), and also gave her a thick plait hair to hang over her shoulder.
After allowing the Milliput to harden, I went over all the areas with a knife to smooth them off, added nipples, increased the depth of the existing grass ruff to make it look like the it flowed over the top of the left beast, and went to work on the rest of the hair. The female had her plait integrated so it comes out from the back of the mask, while the other two got thick hair covering over their missing ears, and facial hair. A soul patch-cum-goatie for the spearman, and muttonchops and a moustache for the slinger.
Frontally, the slinger seems to be channeling my dad which is a bit of a worry...
Not shown is the tribe's faithful hound which will be another Black Cat Miniatures dog I've had sitting around for a while. They are all not undercoated and eagerly awaiting some paint.