Sunday, 18 January 2015

Ral Partha Werewolves 01

This will be my last review of my werewolf figures for the time being. I do have a lot more to show but they need re-basing. This time round I'm looking at a selection of Ral Partha 28mm scale Crinos form werewolves. These were all part of the official White Wolf Werewolf: the Apocalypse range of figures and they all stand approximately 40mm tall.
In keeping with Vampire: the Masquerade, where vampires belong to an assortment of clans, so too, do werewolves, or Garou as they prefer to be known, belong to any one of a variety of tribes. There are currently 13 known tribes working for the forces of good. According to Garou oral history, it was always their duty to keep the balance in nature on behalf of Gaia. They did so by culling overgrown populaces, hunting too powerful predators that otherwise would rampage unchecked and fending off otherworldly spirits that overstepped their stance. In addition they believe in the existence of the Triat, a trio of deities that define how the world works: the Weaver is the deity of order and scientific advancement, the Wyld is the deity of creation, entropy, and chaos, while the Wyrm was the deity of balance between order and chaos who destroyed that which ended the harmony. At some point, the Weaver went mad by trying to bring the entirety of the Wyld's chaos into order and trapped the Wyrm in her Pattern Web, injuring it while also driving it to madness and making it seek out the destruction of the world of Gaia's creation.
The Garou themselves are a self-acknowledged dying race; the largest Gaian tribes number 750 to 1,250 Garou worldwide, with the smaller tribes numbering less than 500. The Wyrm-serving Black Spiral Dancers comprise fully one-tenth of the total Garou population and are the largest single tribe. The Black Spiral Dancers are not part of the 13 Gaian tribes. The White Howlers were a tribe of Garou of who were descended from the Picts in Scotland. They attempted to battle the Wyrm directly by seeking it out in its lair known as the Black Spiral. They were driven mad by the Wyrm and only survive to modern times as the antagonistic Black Spiral Dancer tribe who actively foster the Apocalypse and are heavily deformed due to their devotion to the Wyrm instead of Gaia. They are evil, corrupt and often mutated. Many of them work for the infamous Pentex corporation, a global company of immense power and influence, very similar to the Umbrella Corporation from the Resident Evil books and films.
At the far left is a member of the Glass Walker tribe. The Glass Walkers are a tribe who are most in tune with the Weaver, directly involving themselves in human society and having technological prowess. This character is armed with a sawn-off pump-action shotgun and also holds some sort of shamanistic totem. Glass Walkers usually have mottled grey fur.
Next up is a member of the Black Fury tribe. The Black Furies are a tribe of solely female Garou who are most in tune with the Wyld and claim to be descended from the mythical Amazons. The black furred body with white face is typical colouration of the Black Furies. To be honest, as shown in this form there is little difference between her and any of the male Crinos form werewolves. Her body is slightly slimmer but hardly that noticeable.
At the far right is a member of the Silver Fang tribe. The Silver Fangs are considered the leaders of Garou society, often having relatives who were members of royal families. They have since been the result of heavy inbreeding and many members possess mental illnesses. This character is clearly on a mission to hunt down vampires. He/she is armed with a silver dagger and a wooden stake.
Zhyzhak, at the far left, is a named Black Spiral Dancer leader. There is no denying that she is definitely female. She is dressed in a leather outfit suitable for a dominatrix and naturally, holds a whip. She is cruel, sadistic and a fearsome opponent. She does not appear to be mutated, which is rather uncommon amongst Black Spiral Dancers.
In the centre of the group is another Black Spiral Dancer. This Crinos form Garou has been severely mutated. Note his large bat-like ears, thin membranes between his arms and body and unnatural looking tail. To emphasise his mutation even further I gave his black fur a dry-brushing of metallic green paint. He holds aloft a trophy he has just acquired - the severed head of a Garou.
At the far left is yet another Black Spiral Dancer. He is also a mutant, having lost all of his fur. He wields a curved silver dagger. He is a minion of Zhyzhak and serves her loyally. He was a multi-part figure with his tail and right arm being separate pieces.
I managed to buy over half of this range of figures. The reason I didn't buy all of them was that I never did play Werewolf: the Apocalypse. I primarily bought the game and figures to use as adversaries for my player character group in Vampire: the Masquerade. In hindsight, I wish I had bought more of this range. I always loved Ral Partha's figures as they were exquisitely sculpted. This range of figures has been out of production for many years now and it seems unlikely that they will ever return.

18 comments:

  1. Well you certainly saved the best til last with these Bryan. What an eclectic mix and what superb models as well. Your bat-like spiral dancer is my fave by far, predominantly because of that corking paint-job you've done on him. The metallic green dry-brush is inspired. He looks awesome!! You'll have to look far and wide to beat a werewolf with a sawn-off shotgun as well. Where do you find these excellent models!?! I'll be keeping my eye out for these in the coming weeks in the hope of spotting one coming up for sale second-hand. Spookily this really is the month for werewolves as "Vertigo" have just released the first part of the "Wolf Moon" mini-series [http://thebrownbagaeccb.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/wolf-moon-1-vertigo-dc-comics.html] which I'd have thought you'd love :-) Sad to see an end to this series but does this mean we finally get to see some SDE you tease ;-)

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    1. Many thanks for such a lovely comment, Simon. I had read that some of the Black Spiral Dancers had unnatural looking fur and so thought that by dry-brushing it metallic green would be an inspired choice. I'm very pleased with the result. His colouration is unnatural - as it should be.

      Good luck on finding any of these figures as they are rarer than hen's teeth.

      Thanks for the link to the "Wolf Moon" comics. If, as I hope it will, it comes out as a graphic novel I will certainly buy it.

      Yes, I will be concentrating on SDE for the next month or so. I have loads to show you.

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  2. They are actually quite cool. The green fur makes it look more eerie and magical, very nice touch.

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    1. That was precisely the effect I was after, Johnny. Thanks, mate.

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  3. They are fantastic. Love the background as well it would be great if someone revisited this setting. It sounds fascinating.

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    1. I quite agree, Simon. It would be nice to see again.

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  4. I was not aware of this figure range. They are very nice and would be great for something like fear and faith rules. I don't fancy my chances of ever finding them though! Just show that in wargaming you have to buy the stuff while its there. Another very interesting post :)

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    1. Thanks, Chris. Ral Partha introduced the Vampire: the Masquerade and Werewolf: the Apocalypse ranges in 1993 but in 1996 they were discontinued. That didn't give the buying public long to collect them, so I'm very grateful I was able to acquire so many when I did.

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  5. Yet more hairy goodness. If you do decide to have a break from lycanthropy do come back to them I have enjoyed this figure round up.

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    1. Thanks, Clint, and don't worry, I fully intend to return to the subject of lycanthropy in the future.

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  6. A stunning showcase Bryan. I remember some of the lore from back in the day, when I played Vampire : The Masquerade. Never actually played the werewolf side of things though, shame really.
    Never mind SDE, let's get back to zombies Dude!

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    1. Many thanks, Bob. Werewolves made great opponents in Vampire: the Masquerade but I never cherished the idea of running a straight werewolf campaign.
      Zombies will be making a comeback soon. I have big plans for them, my friend.

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  7. Those are very diverse, but not my favorites - I like the paint jobs though.

    I had a chuckle at Zhyzhak, its a name of a philosopher Žižek :D

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    1. No problem, Mathyoo. I don't mind if you don't like them that much. I do and that's all that matters.

      I wonder if White Wolf knew about your philosopher? I thought it was just a made up name.

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  8. Interesting mix of fgiure types (even if a little peculiar imo).

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    1. Thanks, Joe. I take it you are not familiar with "Werewolf: the Apocalypse?"

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  9. Hokay... If I thought that last week's werewolf in a bra was weird, I think the corset and the bat-wolf top that. It's good to see these models, but I don't think I'll be rushing out to buy any of them :-) !

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    1. It's just as well you don't want to buy them, Hugh, as they are exceedingly rare and almost impossible to find.

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