- 19/11/2017 at 16:40 #76559
Following Mike’s excellent suggestion, I thought it might be time to start an All-Things-Conan/Hyboria thread, instead of hijacking poor Angel Barrack’s 15mm project discussion. Perhaps this could be a space where we can discuss what has inspired us to model aspects of RE Howard’s world, ranging from literature, artists, music, figures, blogs, terrain…You get the idea.
I’ve hesitated to start such a thread like this because of my inability to post pictures of my collection. This is mainly due to colossal technological incompetence on my part – though I’m a mean hand with a hoe or a rake – along with the awkward fact that all my figures are currently packed away as we get the house remodeled. Maybe when all that’s done one of you could walk me through how to post images – preferably with single syllable words.
But Crom’s teeth, enough of that! Let’s get on with sources of inspiration, project notes and all the rest. Rather than make this an essay, I thought I’d start with a favourite story, by the master himself, with a mere mention of the novel I just began this very morning. A story I’ve found hugely inspirational is “Tower of the Elephant”. In many ways it’s probably not as good as the more popular choices like “Red Nails”, or “Beyond the Black River”, but this one has all my favourite elements: Conan is still young, he is a thief, the focus of the narrative is narrow, with just a few characters, not much of a plot, but masses of atmosphere as the young Cimmerian tries to break into a wizard’s tower, with all that entails. Love that sort of thing. While I also greatly enjoy the stories that feature Conan as a leader and king, my preference is always to the lower level stories.
Now, without wanting to contradict the above, I just started Conan the Conqueror this morning. As far as I can tell this is a story begun by Howard and finished by de Camp. It’s great so far: an ancient wizard from Acheron is raised from the dead to help some twisted noblemen gain power over their respective kingdoms. So far it’s full of magical stones (“the Heart of Acheron”), occultic spells picked up from nameless things in wells and the dripping jungles of far Khitai, much mention of dark Stygia…It’s quite splendid, really. It also sports one of my favourite Frazetta paintings for a cover: the one of Conan riding his horse into a mob of warriors lead by a skeleton. No idea if that’s connected with the plot, but inspirational it is.
So what stories, blogs, films, music, figures inspire you lot? Should be fun. And AB’s got his thread back!19/11/2017 at 16:51 #76561kyoteblueParticipant
How cool is this.19/11/2017 at 21:33 #76579
How cool is this.
WAY COOL !
Well as you might have guessed if you follow my Barbarian Adventure thread I tend to wander all over the place.
Currently I’m concentrating on Conan the pirate. That is to say those stories ( and their gaming potential) that concentrate on his adventures with the Red Brotherhood on the landlocked Vilayet sea and later I’d like to explore his time with Belit and the Black Corsairs on the Western Ocean.
Here’s a few of the stories of conan as a pirate:
And a link to the Conan Pirate Isles rpg supplement
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=020/11/2017 at 09:54 #76608
hmmmm what inspired me?
It all started… (here we go) in December of last year when I realised that after 10 years of only doing 6mm I was burnt out.
I needed a change and thought 15mm seemed a good start.
Had to be low model count so skirmish was the thing.
Not sure why Conan though?
I think… think it may have been seeing some ruins that Ali of Sayiner Microtoys had made that made me think fantasy and then of course Conan.
I had read all the Conan books back in my youth and recall fondly the tales.
Conan it was, quick bit of searching and I found the Copplestone models so ordered them.
I was loathe to buy terrain as I could make it myself and I am a miser.
So I started making a few models, then it struck me, why not sell them too.
This of course slowed down my making as when making for casting they need to be different than were I making them for myself.
I recall a lot of Conan stuff being in dry desert style stuff and of course the Arnie film has that feel.
So I set about making some generic desert buildings in a mud hut tribal village style and a mud wall adobe style without actually paying attention to the Conan lore.
It was only recently that I started bringing the lore into my thinking, until recently it was all generic desert fantasy.
I have been getting inspiration from old Conan comics, the films, various desert based fantasy films, miniatures online and the books as well as the old Xbox 360 Conan game.
Crom’s Anvil will continue to make generic fantasy items but I will start making some very clearly Conan things for my games soon.
Having said that, some of my figures could quite easily be named characters from the books, my Sorcerer will be Thoth Amon in my games.
One thing I won’t do is play as Conan, not only as I can’t advertise my game reports using his name but also, by allowing the chance of meeting Conan in a game, that is way better surely?
I am off now to cast up some terrain whilst listening to some Conan audio books…
These links have been very useful:
oh and I changed my outlook e-mail notification sound to a wav of Arnie saying ‘CROM!’
Enjoy the little things!20/11/2017 at 17:49 #76638
Oh and Pulp films help too.
Just re-watching Indiana Jones and will dig out the Brendan Fraser version of The Mummy too.20/11/2017 at 19:15 #76640
Will anyone mind if I post some relevant quotes from the other thread that spawned this one, just in case any new readers haven’t been following that thread? It’s quicker and easier than repeating the thoughts I voiced there in re-worded form. Basically, my line of thinking revolves a lot around the notion of “many Conans”, or rather “many Hyborian Ages”, each the result of a different interpretation.
Of course, as I have all the restraint of a drunk in a distillery, I may well end out pursuing the world of Hyboria in multiple scales. The travel pack is a good idea. One thing I’m not especially tempted by, for whatever reason, is large scale, army actions. The fates of dynasties and nations I can easily forego; instead give me small, sharp actions, with our favourite barbarian as a thief with a few companions, up against a wizard or a king and his bully boys – perhaps an eldritch horror or two – and I’m set. Nice and focused, just like AB’s been doing on the Crom’s Anvil site. I don’t want to hijack the thread, but currently I’m having great fun picking up characters in 28mm. The Otherworld demon idol is likewise exerting siren-like pull…
I’m collecting figures for two different Conan skirmish projects in 28mm and an additional one in 15mm. I’ve been amassing 28mm figures for Conan gaming for more than ten years, though I’ve not achieved much in the way of painting them. For several years that was the only project I had – I’d fooled myself that I’d scrapped all other projects so that the entirety of my miniature gaming hobby was the Hyborian Age in 28mm. Eventually I took up other projects again, and when I returned to assess my Conan hoard I came to feel that it was too eclectic a mix of figures. The brunt was historical figures but there were also some really fantastical fantasticals that jarred with the historicals. So, I split it into two projects. One uses mainly historical figures and is more in keeping with REH’s original vision. The other is much more OTT, drawing mainly from the films, the comics (both Marvel and Dark Horse), the artwork from the 60s onward (Frazetta, Vallejo, etc) and the video game visuals. The former project is more extensive than the latter. The 15mm project coalesced much more recently thanks to TWW. I suppose that in terms of style it’s more of an amalgam or a golden mean, but if I had to define the style as any one thing, the Marvel comics would be it. The Conan comics are just about the only thing Marvel ever made that I like.
Rhoderic, I find your approach to Conan fascinating. And strangely tempting. I tend to drift a little in the Fantasy direction myself: I love painting evil, frequently bald, sorcerous types, monsters and so forth – the bigger the better – and so to some degree that determines the figures on the workbench. Having said that, quasi-historical humans should always be the main features of a Conan story. Next up for yours truly are Picts: I’m using the Monolith plastics. I’m not sure they’re exactly what Howard had in mind, but they just look so very, very cool, at least to my eyes. I look forward to doing the warpaint.
I suppose the “central tenet” of my approach is that there’s numerous visual interpretations of the Hyborian Age (and the Atlantean Age that goes with it). We’re talking about 8-9 decades of interpretations – each made after its own “spirit of the age” – in several different visual media and partly different subcultures within the grand topography of fantasy fan culture. Even looking at just one medium, the comics, there’s a very distinct difference between the 70s-90s Marvel aesthetic and the noughties-onwards Dark Horse one (and there’s a few other, more obscure comic adaptations too). I like to call these “fur loincloth Conan” (Marvel) and “kilt Conan” (Dark Horse) Each visual interpretation has bastardised REH’s vision in one way or another – even the original cover artists for Weird Tales magazine were “getting it wrong” from the start – but that’s not the point. The point is, each visual has worth in and of itself, and they can exist side-by-side as different, discrete things. I for my part can’t really decide which visual is my favourite, so I like to jump from one to another, because I can. My previous mistake with my 28mm project was trying to weld too many of them together into one thing. Taking Picts as an example, I think the Monolith boardgame ones would suit my deliberately OTT 28mm Conan project perfectly if only there were a few more poses of them. For my more down-to-earth 28mm Conan project, I’ve chosen Gripping Beast Skraelings (although now I can’t remember whether I’ve actually bought them or not, and they seem to be OOP now ). For the 15mm project, the Copplestone Picts were part of what informed my chosen aesthetic in the first place.
Rhoderic, all that you say is interesting. Personally, my inspiration almost all comes, I realize now, from Frazetta’s paintings (and then, not all of them), with a few sprinkles of the first Arnie Conan film, along with, somewhat oddly, the old 80’s film, The Beastmaster (Conan for kids) I couldn’t agree more regarding those early Weird Tales covers. Most of them are quite ridiculous, looking more like Nick from The Great Gatsby, stripped and in shorts, than our favourite iron-thewed Cimmerian. Don’t even get me going about the women…Did they even read the stories?
I have some more thoughts on the general subject of Hyborian Age inspiration, I’ll try to convey them as best I can when I have the time.20/11/2017 at 20:08 #76642
When I first started reading the REH stories some 10-15 years ago, I bought the “Fantasy Masterworks: The Conan Chronicles” compilations. The cover art for the first book has really stuck in my mind better than any other Conan artwork. It’s no “true classic” (yet, anyway) on the level of those iconic paintings by Frank Frazetta and to a slightly lesser degree Boris Vallejo, but to me it captures the mood and ambience of the setting perfectly: LINK
It’s by John Howe, by the way. As many of you will probably be aware, he’s better known as an illustrator of Tolkien’s legendarium. What I love about that painting is partly the sense of exoticism of Conan’s surroundings (even the night sky looks enticingly exotic when composed together with the Zamorian cityscape below) and partly the sight of Conan himself in relative repose, brooding, contemplative, looking out over the world he seeks to experience and maybe – someday – master.
I suppose most of my interest in the Conan stories is to do with the atmosphere of the world Howard built, not so much the sheer brawn-versus-brawn action. Natural, then, that my favourite piece of Conan artwork be something more moody and less action-oriented. Of course, it helps that there’s a sense of adventure about his immediate circumstances, perched on the side of a tower and holding a sword that inevitably draws the eye. And admittedly I do really like Howe’s more action-oriented cover art for the second compilation book, too: LINK.
Anyway, The Tower of the Elephant is my favourite story, too. But I am a bit surprised to see it described as something of an underdog compared to some of the other stories like Red Nails and Beyond the Black River. I’ve always had the impression that it’s the very most popular and iconic of all the Conan stories.21/11/2017 at 18:02 #76696
Ok, so I have been reading a set of articles(Link) talking about the discrepancies between what is described in the conan books and how the artwork often displays something entirely different. The main focus was on how Aquilonians are nowadays usually portrayed as fantasy Romans while in the books they are described as a more midieval society. Now as REH based most of his world on historical precedents I never had any problems with this myself but it did get me wondering.
In the following link you’ll find a list of the different Hyborian nations and the historical time period they are loosely based on.
Now my question to you:
What do you guy’s think of these and are there any you imagined differently and why.
No real reason just wondering.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=021/11/2017 at 19:06 #76701MikeKeymaster
I dont really remember much when I first them, about 25 years ago.
The films influenced a lot of my visual imaginations.
I am currently listening to them on Audible as I work and thus far nothing has come across as Roman.
I do find the tech level thing a bit odd.
I mean tech level Middle Eastern?
What time in the Middle East, 600bc, 200ad, 1900 ad, 2018ad?
No where in the Conan world (rightly or wrongly) would I think of gunpowder and probably not crossbows either.
Though plate mail and siege engines are mentioned.
I am rambling now..21/11/2017 at 19:16 #76702
I admit to being idiosyncratic when it comes to Aquilonia: My vision of the Hyborian Age is ruined by the notion of Aquilonians as high medieval Northwestern Europeans, especially like something out of the Hundred Years’ War or the Wars of the Roses. It’s not quite… “mythical” enough, I guess. Nor exotic enough. That’s not to say I view Aquilonians as Romans per se, but some combination of ancient Romans, medieval Byzantines and earlier medieval Northwestern Europeans is just about right. To put it another way, take the old “Prince Valiant” vision of Camelot (which subverts the classic high medieval Arthurian aesthetic with heavy sword-and-sandal influences), add the occasional Byzantine-style dalmatic, chiton or chlamys, and you’re home. Obviously Nemedia would be more Byzantine-styled than Aquilonia, but I still want a little bit of southern/eastern exoticism to be showing through in Aquilonia as well.
On a similar note, how do you guys envision pirates of the Western Ocean, excluding tribal ones of the Black Kingdoms? I’ve seen them sometimes depicted as having an 18th century “pirates of the Caribbean” type mode of dress (especially in the Mongoose RPG) and I absolutely hate it. I envision them being as medieval/ancient in style as everything else in the setting, but still obviously with plenty of swashbuckling flair. I’d meant to convert 28mm Barachan pirates out of carefully selected Dark Ages Irish. Now I might use plastic Frostgrave Ghost Archipelago crewmen instead, possibly removing the neckerchiefs.21/11/2017 at 19:28 #76703
No where in the Conan world (rightly or wrongly) would I think of gunpowder and probably not crossbows either.
I agree about the gunpowder weapons but there’s definitely crossbows. Arus the night watchman carries one in “The God in the Bowl”. It’s even referred to as an arbalest (i.e. a more mechanically advanced form of crossbow) in that story.21/11/2017 at 19:31 #76704
Ah, fair does.
In my mind not so much, but that will no doubt change once I get to that story(s).
As for pirates, I think of things like Sinbad and Jason and the Argonauts.
Defo not Pirates of the Caribbean et al.21/11/2017 at 22:24 #76709
This is indead what my problem is, for the Vilayet sea its easy the Tripoly pirates without fire arms look sufficiently generic middle eastern to pass for any time period and they fit the general aesthetic of the more eastern nations of Hyboria.
The western ocean is another thing entirely. On the one hand you have vikings, African tribal raiders and what amounts to ancient Egyptians and on the other the Barrachan pirates and the Zingaran privateers which are described as being dressed more or less as conquistadores wearing mohrion helmets and such.
So I went looking for possible candidates without fire arms and found these from Eureka
They are nice models and there’s a pretty good selection of them but Conan?
I dunno , I’ve always thought of the aquillonians as fantasy Romano Celtic types so maybe do the pirate types of the western ocean like a fantasy dark age sea people variant?
Might be a cool idea to explore.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=022/11/2017 at 09:22 #76729
I like those bottom ones.
Naked or rags?
I imagine naked, but from a figure making POV?22/11/2017 at 11:37 #76739
Slaves would depend on when and where.
Up for auction?
Naked, see what you get and teach te (new) slave his place.
In the work force/polite society?
Dressed for what ever function/ocupation the serve in.
In Rome slaves could be very powerfull and ever achieve quite high status, but of course ymmv.
Maybe some kind of bolted metal collar to denote their slave status?
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=022/11/2017 at 11:43 #76741
Slaves in warmer climes as yet unsold.
I was thinking just hands in front bound with rope, but a collar you reckon?22/11/2017 at 13:42 #76753
well realistically the bound hands make way more sense but the iron collars are a popular movie trope.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=022/11/2017 at 14:30 #7675522/11/2017 at 15:16 #76757
I’d have slaves in rags, with some of the men bare-chested, like these guys but unarmed (unless they’re rebelling or pit-fighting): LINK, LINK and LINK. Personally I’d find collars or bound hands too limiting for gameplay purposes.
Regarding Barachan pirates, the dog handler on the left in this pack (now OOP, or at least out of stock) is why I wanted to use Dark Age Irish to represent them in 28mm. IMO he’s perfect for representing piratical fantasy-European types with savage, roguish flair while steering clear of all the post-medieval tropes: LINK.
The thought of Barachan pirates as Bronze Age Sea Peoples given a Dark Ages makeover does intrigue me, though. I did at one point start converting some pirates for what I imagine to be the Hyborian Age counterpart to the Indian Ocean out of colonial African bearers/porters with arm swaps and some head swaps. That might be “sorta kinda” close to the Sea Peoples look, I guess.
As for Vilayet pirates, it might be worth pointing out that REH meant for them to be Cossacks. He was really into the idea of Cossack pirates. Still, I wouldn’t constrain myself to that visual so I’d hardly expect of others, either.22/11/2017 at 15:36 #76760
It was my understanding that the Red brotherhood was composed mainly of escaped slaves who swore revenge against the Turanian empire, they fought together with the Cossacks united under Conan’s leadership.
As such I always imagined them as a mixed race bunch, dressed in the looted fineries of their hated opponents.
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by Stroezie.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=022/11/2017 at 15:41 #76762
I might have fudged that in my head. Sorry.23/11/2017 at 15:40 #76809
Lots of interesting ideas here.
Like many of you, one of the most fun things for me with a Conan project is figuring out how to model the different cultures. Rhoderic, Dark Age Irish is an interesting take on Barachan pirates. You’ve got me thinking. I hate to sound like the typical fan-boy, but have to admit the Monolith sculpts for the boardgame pretty well nail a lot of appearances for me. The pirates, for example, look spot on. Some other highlights:
Thag (half-ape chap), Skuthus (absolutely love that sculpt – the perfect wizard, priest, shaman) and of course, the Picts. Poorly lit, but here are some images: http://www.beastsofwar.com/groups/painting/forum/topic/2017-hobby-progress-can-i-do-365-minis-in-365-days-and-other-shenanigans/
The only niggle I have with the game pieces is that I wish they were in metal. Ah well…
As for Conan himself, his appearance is an interesting question. The influence of artwork (Frazetta and Vallejo especially – though I appreciated seeing the painting by John Howe above – those are superb!), comics and the films have greatly influenced how we see him, no question. One thing that’s struck me in reading Conan the Conqueror (also called Hour of the Dragon) is that our barbarian hero tends to wear more clothes than is typically portrayed in the various mediums. Heavens, he’s often wearing trousers – which just doesn’t work as well for me.
In terms of not-Conan miniatures, in 28mm Bronze Age and a few selections from Hasslefree about have him covered.24/11/2017 at 20:45 #7688525/11/2017 at 00:33 #76902
I don’t, more’s the pity. Fun to see Lin Carter was involved with gaming!27/11/2017 at 04:38 #77089telzy amberParticipant
Duh! I should read through the link first
27/11/2017 at 10:54 #77109
- This reply was modified 4 years ago by telzy amber.
Do you peeps have any visual examples of what you think Turanian style town guard/militia should look like?27/11/2017 at 12:05 #77114
I was thinking of getting some ottoman azabs with spears and/or bows.
anyhoo, no armor, maybe helmet but prefer turban/fez combo, no real uniform, armed with shield, spear or polearm (maybe officer with shamshir?) and others armed with bows.
Or if you really want to go over the top some Bashi bazouks like this guy would be cool
of course that’s pushing late ottoman empire.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=027/11/2017 at 13:42 #77118
Oh yeah, I forgot, extra credit for minis sporting awesome mustache
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=027/11/2017 at 13:55 #77120
I can’t help but think they need a fantasy spin, or why bother?
Maybe a skull or snake on the pommel of the sword.
Maybe some face mask or detailing on the armour:27/11/2017 at 14:17 #77123
+1 for the fantasy spin.
The pics I posted should definitely be considered as a baseline only.
Masks and snakes/skulls would be cool but more for temple guards than town militia imo.
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=028/11/2017 at 15:44 #77242
I second (third?) the Fantasy spin. Pardon my ignorance, but is that a still from the first Arnie film?28/11/2017 at 16:12 #77247MikeKeymaster
I second (third?) the Fantasy spin. Pardon my ignorance, but is that a still from the first Arnie film?
It is.05/12/2017 at 23:51 #77969Jon ShieldsParticipant
Hi everyone. Thought I would make my first post on this thread, after Michael suggested I come to TWW for a little feedback. Apologies in advance if I am hijacking the thread a bit.
Background/inspiration-wise, Arnie’s films were my first exposure to the world of Conan, and then a few of the comics, and then later in life, I got round to reading the books. I tend to be a bit more of a freewheeler when it comes to settings. I don’t have too many preconceived ideas about how the various races/cultures in Conan’s world should look. Although that could explain why it takes me a long time to put a project together: What looks/feels right gets used, what doesn’t quite work gets converted.<b></b><i></i><u></u>
Which brings me back round to my reason for posting. This is a picture of the Xyston Antigonus Monopthalmus model, which I thought would make a good basis for a king in Conan gaming with a little work.
But now I am left in a bit of a quandary. Should I add hair and a crown, or not? The image I am going for is of a warrior king now past his prime, but still not to be trifled with. Any feedback is appreciated, particularly additional information, for example, if you think the king should have hair, what style/length.
Thanks in advance guys!06/12/2017 at 04:38 #77983
First of all, a very warm welcome to you. To be honest the older, more respectable Conan has never been my prime interest, and I’m sure some of the members who are more informed than I am will soon chip in, but I’d say give him long hair, just as he wore as a younger man, with (if you paint him) streaks of grey. I can’t see a tough Cimmerian changing hair styles, somehow, and also have a hard time seeing him balding. A simple and unassuming crown would look rather good, however. Just my two cents! The figure looks great so far.
06/12/2017 at 09:21 #77998
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Gone Fishing.
Hi everyone. Thought I would make my first post on this thread, after Michael suggested I come to TWW for a little feedback.
yay you made it!
I would go hair and no crown, what king wears a crown except on occasion?
In fact quite like this iconic image, which has a mini crown!
I don’t know the Conan world very well tbh , but it is interesting what preconceptions we have.
Only last week I was reading a REH Conan story and Conan was described as having a hairy chest; I don’t think I have ever seen any image of him as such..06/12/2017 at 13:33 #78015
Hairy chest!?!?!! On Conan??? NOOOOOO!!!!
06/12/2017 at 17:15 #78030Darkest Star GamesParticipant
- This reply was modified 3 years, 11 months ago by Gone Fishing.
Hairy chest sounds very “barbarian living in a cold climate”, but really doesn’t fit the imagery I’ve grown accustom to.
"I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."06/12/2017 at 17:27 #78033
One thing that’s struck me in reading Conan the Conqueror (also called Hour of the Dragon) is that our barbarian hero tends to wear more clothes than is typically portrayed in the various mediums. Heavens, he’s often wearing trousers – which just doesn’t work as well for me.
I have a recollection that Conan always seemed to dress after the local culture wherever he went in the original stories. Really, he’s very typical of the “white man gone native” trope that seems to have been so dominant in early 20th century adventure fiction.
Only last week I was reading a REH Conan story and Conan was described as having a hairy chest; I don’t think I have ever seen any image of him as such..
You must have misread that. “Hairy crest”, maybe, or… or, “beary chest”. Yes, that must be it!06/12/2017 at 17:34 #78037
Hour of The Dragon – Chapter Three:
“Wrenching away the bow and an arrow he staggered toward the opening of the pavilion. So formidable was his appearance, naked but for short leather breeks and sleeveless shirt, open to reveal his great, hairy chest, with his huge limbs and his blue eyes blazing under his tangled black mane, that the squire shrank back, more afraid of his king than of the whole Nemedian host.”
Shocked and appalled I tell you, shocked and appalled.06/12/2017 at 18:18 #78041
Being quite the hirsute gentleman myself, I for one welcome this new insight into Conan! 😋
I shall now start on a new quest, to find a 15mm barbarian figure with a hairy chest, CROM WILLS IT!!!
If you like small scale skirmish, check out http://planetares6.blogspot.be/?m=0
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