Saturday, September 17, 2016

Dark Passage: The Pirate Lords of Háida Pakála

GW Tryanid Carnifex heads

GW Tyranid Hive Tyrant heads

GW Lizardmen Bastiladon (L) 
and Tyranid Exocrine (R) heads

GW Tyranid Tyrannofex (L) and Hive Crone (R) heads

GW Tyranid Tyrannofex heads 
(single variant shown twice)

GW Imperial War Manticore heads

GW High Elf Flamespyre Phoenix heads

GW Lizardmen Stegadon heads

Recently I started working on something I have been thinking of doing for a while. That is, taking bits from existing plastic kits and using them to make faction specific conversions to my Khmer galley and war canoe models. The intent was, and still is, to get proper Khmer and Cham prow and stern posts done. That is just taking a little longer than I had hoped. Still on "the list" though!

Anyway, a little while ago I picked up the heads shown below, sold as bits from a couple of ebay sellers. Given that I only needed the heads, why should I buy the whole kit?!

I have both full versions and cut-down hulls for both the galleys and war canoe models. The galley is 12" long and the war canoe 8".

Full and cut-down galleys

Looking at the bits available, I thought different ones would be suitable for various factions. One faction I am particularly interested in is the Pirate Lords of Háida Pakála. I particularly like the idea of using the GW Tyranid heads with the Háida Pakálan warships. My second choice would be to use them with the Tsolei Islander vessels, but I have found an alternative for them.

Below are the various heads shown blue tacked onto the galley and war canoe hulls. The idea of course would be to use greenstuff (or similar) to build up the hulls to suit. I think that the Tryranid heads make quite fearsome figureheads. Just the sort of thing the Pirate Lords would want!

Exocrine head on a war canoe

Two different Hive Tyrant heads 
on the war canoe

Carnifex head (variant 1)

Carnifex head (variant 2) - note poison sacks!

Carnifex head (variant 3)

Carnifex head (variant 3) 
shown from a different angle

Tyrannofex head shown on galley

Hive Crone head on galley

Hive Crone head on cut-down galley

Tyrannofex head 
shown on cut-down galley

Tyrannofex head variant
on cut-down galley

I mentioned the Islands of Tsolei. My thinking with these is to use GW Lizardmen heads. I've shown the Stegadon heads below, attached to cut-down galleys. I'm also thinking that Saurus Warrior and Temple Guard heads might suffice for the war canoes but don't yet have any to test the idea.

Stegadon head variants
on cut-down galley

Lastly, I think that the War Manticore and Phoenix heads are well suited for use in more civilized navies. So I am assigning them to the Tsolyáni navy.

War Manticore head variants
on cut-down galley

Phoenix head on full galley

In the next part, I'll describe some of the wilder ideas I have for these vessels for use with my Dark Passage naval skirmish rules.


  1. Need those Manticore and Phoenix heads. Excellent idea.

  2. The manticores appear to come with two variant center "crests" which makes for two different looks. In addition, there are heads available "with saddle attached" but I haven't seen what they look like up close. Re. the Phoenix, I believe there are fire and ice versions. Not sure if the heads are different though.