More grotesques today, this time in the form of Tentacle Brains from Ramshackle Games.

"You have ten of your puny Earth minutes to hand over ALL the Advil!"

“You have ten of your puny Earth minutes to hand over ALL the Advil!”

Like last weeks Avians, as soon as I saw these models for sale I was compelled to pick up a set.  The inexpensiveness of Ramshackle miniatures made that quite easy as the set of four (well, three and a half) models cost £4.50/€5.15 with free shipping.  For any half decent models thats a bargain.  For freaky, giant, armoured, jellyfish brains with guns that appear to be powered by anal-beads I am very happy to pay that price.

“I get dibs on his rations!”

The set consists of three… things and one additional deceased/exploded corpse-thing.  I stuck the dead brain to a larger base for use as an in game objective sometime.  I guess its colleagues will be compelled to eat its remaining brains and gain its knowledge.  Or pick up the briefcase it dropped.

L to R: Tentacle Brain, Tau Fire Warrior.

L to R: Tentacle Brain, Tau Fire Warrior.

The brains have integral bases but I stuck them to slotted bases anyway, as I like that uniformity in my figures.  I really enjoy the weird aesthetic that the models have, somewhere between 1950’s B-movie and Saturday morning cartoon villains.  They look too realistic to be Doctor Who baddies.

I went with blue for the actual brain parts themselves.  I have painted the occasional miniature brain before, often associated with zombies, usually with the grey/beige look and sometimes with some streaky bloody areas.  For these guys I wanted to make the brains a little more alien.



After a little online research the above photo of a jellyfish inspired me.  The rest of the ice-cream-reminiscent colour scheme keyed of that, with yellowy-brown tentacles to contrast a bit with the blue, reddish-pink frills, neutral grey equipment and radioactive green eyes and anal-beads.  Which brings me to anal beads…

Not soothing.

Not soothing.

The tentacle brains each carry a big ol’ rifle.  In my experience, fictional creatures with large brains usually eschew conventional weaponry and tend to sweep their foes aside with mental powers, regularly accompanied by a bass thrumming sound.


Not these guys.  They have instead chosen to equip themselves with very large guns connected to the rear of their bodies (does this species have an anus?  If it does then its likely there, right?) with what appear to be anal beads.  This makes me laugh and so rather than play this aspect of the models down (as in the manufacturers paint job) I decided to do the opposite and make a feature of them.

As for the pseudo science, Im not sure what the guns are firing.  Psychic spheres? Lumps of grey matter?  Poo?  I dont know.  One of my favourite imagined explanations is that the gun is actually sucking psychic energy or willpower or similar from its target which then travels up the beads into the creatures arse where it somehow ingests it, invigorating its encephalitic existence.



If I was hell-bent on tying these models into the existing Rogue Trader background – and Im not –  then I would happily use them as Enslavers.  I am planning to add a couple of other brain-aliens to these ones to make up a small sized force, just for laughs, as I thoroughly enjoyed painting these freakish looking things.

If I were to paint an entire army of brains with tentacles I would take a faster approach, but when its only a handful of these guys to paint I was happy to layer on a few colours (even if it is a bit too rough in places).

Any sci-fi miniature gamer worth their salt should have some large space-brain things in their collection and you wont find a better budget option than these.  I hope that Ramshackle make an entire army of them.  Codex Tentacle Brains: Id preorder the limited collectors hardback edition of that in a secondary heartbeat.

"We are the world, we are the children..."

“We are the world, we are the children…”


16 Responses

  1. I could not press the ‘like’ button enough to express my feelings on this post. Great miniatures (which I’d never seen before) in a lovely paint job, with a side order of amusing text. Good work. I will also pre-order Codex: Tentacle Brains when GW inevitably bow to the overwhelming fan desire to make it.


    • B-b-b-but you didnt press the “Like” button 😉

      Im glad that you enjoyed the post Argentbadger. Sometimes the write-ups come together and sometimes they dont, but fun and interesting toy soldiers make it easier. I dont see myself enjoying writing about a Space Marine in the same way.

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂


  2. What a great write up! Anal beads are a great interpretation.


    • There are many reasons why an alien jellyfish brain attaching its sex toys to its gigantic gun might make tabletop gaming more of a giggle. I approve of that and I am glad that it gets the manufacturers seal of approval 🙂


  3. Hey, it’s Dwight here, glad you enjoyed the models! loved the article! I chuckled at the anal beads comment i was going with plasma venting armour plates to a bio gun feed tube but “sucking willpower from its target which then travels up the beads into the creatures arse where it somehow ingests it, invigorating its encephalitic existence.” wins it for me! (and may have to be the official reason from now on!) i do plan on releasing a few more in the future, different armor arrangements fully armored different weapons and a vehicle too with further help from Curtis Fell from ramshackle games and maybe, maybe a codex at some point, but that will be a long time coming! again thanks for the review love to hear any ideas or concepts you or any one has!


    • Hi Dwight. I like that my interpretation of Tentacle Brain technology may yet have an influence on the future of the range, but dont feel tied to it 🙂

      More Tentacle Brain models would be great. I really enjoyed painting these ones. A Tentacle Brain vehicle sounds like a lot of fun too, Sign me up for the lot please. Judging by what you have come up with already I am certain that you have some idea of where to go with any proposed range yourself.

      And f you need a hand with the background text for the Codex then drop me a line… 😉


  4. Those figures definately have my attention, I can’t wait to see what their vibro-cannon will look like.


    You derived a very pleasing colour scheme from that source material with a few leaps of imagination. I note that you didn’t go for OSL around the eye sockets of the armour, I wondered if you considered another attempt after the Necrons eye shadow incident? Regardless of OSL the eyes look nice to me and seem to have an inner glow of their own with the way you did the highlights.

    Nice work.


    • Vibro-cannon…tee hee!

      While my puerile take on these models amuses me, there is a line that I try not to cross with toy soldiers. Excalibur miniatures “Species 479 Beta-Worm” and some of its ilk cross that line as far as I am concerned. Kinda funny for a while I guess, but implied childish attitudes to body parts and function amuse me more than when it gets to “I just have to paint another 25 giant cyborg willies before next weeks tournament” levels. I tend to switch off around then.

      So more tentacle brains with suspect equipment is something that I am well up for, but if they all have boners or huge boobs or something then Ill probably give them a skip. Probably.

      As for OSL, I dont tend to go for it, for two reasons:

      1) I havent really mastered the knack for painting it.

      2)The online miniatures world is jammed to the rafters with badly executed OSL. Like horribly crowded and overwrought basing techniques, I dont really go for it.

      Incidentally, I like the OSL that Curtis (I am assuming it was Curtis. It looks like his work) painted on the Tentacle Brains shown on the Ramshackle site. I dont count his work as part of the waves of shitty looking OSL all over the internet.

      The simple LED looking eyes that I went for with my brains works well enough I think. Its a lit from the centre thing rather than a lens effect.

      Thanks for the feedback Otto 🙂


      • Your knowledge of miniatures ranges never ceases to amaze me!

        Yeah I tend to agree about bawdy humoured figures in general, although Dave G. did once make a really funny conversion along “Buster Gonad” lines using the old perry twins empire cannon crewman who was hefting a cannonball between his legs which still amuses me today when I think of it but I would not recommend putting it on “cool mini or not” or anything.

        When I get around to painting my Slanneshi 40K warband if I ever blog THAT I will need to find some CENSORED images to cover their shame! I guess I could always have a you must be 13 or over button before you can see them, that would totally be a secure way to stop a minor from being corrupted by Slannesh I am sure.

        I only tried a bit of OSL on my Lieutenant’s plasma pistol an in a fairly understated manner. I am pleased enough with the outcome but I will only use this technique sparingly as you mentioned it is a bit of a fashion at the minute.


        • The line for bawdy or potty humor in toy soldiers is a fine one that requires assessment on a case by case basis. Those old Slaaneshi marine WiPs that you mention make me laugh, but they are pushing the envelope 😀

          OSL is risky. If some areas of the model have a drybushed base coat or other, possibly slightly freeform elements then the last thing that a model needs is an OSL effect that makes the whole model scruffy. I see some decent OSL online of course, but any time that I am at a con or tournament there tends to be ill advised OSL smeared all over the place.

          As I tend to try to get my miniatures painted reasonably fast by using certain imprecise techniques I dont think that OSL is for me.

          Its not just that I cant do it. Nope. Definitely not that 😉


  5. Ha! Fun models, poor taste humor and excellent paint jobs. I believe you nailed this one!


    • Im glad that you liked it Mattias. I do try. It seemed to come together better than usual this time. It turns out that freakishly bizarre miniatures and bum jokes are what really inspire me to the top of my game…


  6. […] I painted some Ramshackle Tentacle Brain models recently.  I enjoyed painting the figures a lot and I liked the uncompromisingly daft pulp sci-fi look that they had, so I added some more brain and tentacle related models to the group to turn them into a larger skirmish sized force. […]


  7. […] have been having fun with ridiculous b-movie evil brain alien models recently, as documented here and here.  Although I would happily add a few more fun miniatures to the force, I dont […]


  8. Thanks for a highly entertaining article with awesome pictures! Love the paintjob and the creativity here!


    • Im glad that you like it Darkover. I enjoyed painting these models as much as any that I worked on in 2013. As I painted a lot of great models over the year, many with high nostalgia factor, thats really saying something. I love my tentacle brains.

      I think that my enthusiasm for this goofy little sub project came out in the article too 🙂


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