Saturday, October 31, 2015

Proxy Figures: SHQ Cultists as Véshgayal (Shunned Ones)

Cultist #1

Cultist #2

Cultist #3

Cultist #4

Cultist #5

Cultist #6

Cultist #7

Cultist #8

Cultist #9

Cultist #10

Back on October 9th I blogged on about some of the Best Kept Secrets in 28mm miniatures: SHQ Miniatures. Some of the miniatures I highlighted were their "Cultists", which they sell in two sets. At the time I was thinking only in terms of human cultists - Cthulhu types, Chaos Cultists, that sort of thing.

Yesterday I received an email from fellow "Petal Head", and customer, Mike Lung, who sent me this scan and asked what I thought about using them as Shunned One proxies. 

I think he is onto something!

This is a scan of part of the back cover of the Tékumel Source Book, literally the "bible" for Petal Heads. The figure upper right is of a typical Shunned One, presumably a soldier or guard. Thee are only a few illustrations of the Shunned Ones, called the Véshgayal by the Tsolyáni, or the Bláshagh in Yán Kór. All show the double joints in the arms though curiously this feature is never mentioned in any of the text descriptions. What is mentioned is that they are tall: 1.85 to 2.33 meters.

So that appears to be two strikes against these figures as proxies, despite looking generally pretty good. That said, it should be noted that while the figures are 28mm and in scale a match to our figures, some are not standing upright so one could easily imagine them being taller if they did straighten out. If you are the sort to be bothered by a small detail like that. 

The double jointed arms are a bit more problematic. There is an unfortunate tradition, however, that there are often inconsistencies between the art and the text in the printed materials. This usually occurs with regards to things like the number of eyes, as many of Tékumel's creatures have three eyes instead of two. It is not always clear which do and which don't and sometimes there are contradictions in the sources. Given this history one could dismiss the double jointed limbs in the art and adhere to the text which is silent on the matter.

For me this is the convenient route, and the best, as I would much rather pay retail for Shunned One proxies than go to the bother and expense of getting them sculpted! :-) That doesn't mean I won't ever get any made, just not in the near future. 

The next thing now is to consider the hound-like beasts the Shunned Ones employ. These are described in Flamesong, IIRC. Now I will have to start the search for proxies for them as well.

Correction: Some friends have pointed out that the reference is in chapter 3 of The Prince of Skulls, not Flamesong. :-)

I should mention that I have been working on a sort of "Lost Valley" scenario which incorporates both the Shunned Ones and the Lorún. That will require its own blog post though...

Some last notes:

1) The numbering on the figures above is my own, based upon the order I took the pics which was completely random.

2) The weapon types listed for the Shunned Ones is mostly pretty close. It also lists 2-handed swords which would be easy enough to make from #4 or #10 above. It does say they do not use slings, bows or crossbows, but rather prefer throwing darts which they use with atlatl-like spear throwers. Myself, I have no problem ignoring this, and perhaps converting some dart throwers if I feel the urge.


  1. They are very good, despite not having two elbows. The segmented armour, although not illustrated, seems right for Tékumel too.

  2. Yeah, those are great.
    Thanks for the goto.