Man O’ War: Beasts of the Deep

Here be dragons…

This second set of sea monsters released for Man O’ War was a little different to the other box, in a few ways.  Firstly, it contained only four monsters, but the same number of components (the Black Leviathan is a two part model), so it gave an impression of less value.

An old White Dwarf advert, dug up from the mists o’ time.

Ol’ Jazz Claws looks like that star of “The Briny Bunch” (AKA Monsters of the Sea), while the Beasts of the Deep seems to be composed mostly of extras.  That is of course, until you see Triton.

“Ho ho ho, Green Aquatic Giant!”

Look at that guy.  Seriously.  Sea monsters are great and all, but there are eight of them in the MoW range, and only one crown wearing, trident wielding, surface tension gliding, giant mer-man.  A must-have.

Guaranteed delivery in under thirty minutes, no anchovies.

The Triton sculpt doesn’t have quite the gravitas that the Mark Gibbons illustration has, but seeing as the pose is supposed to evoke feelings of old map illustrations, that’s ok too.

Musical instrument not included.

And how could anyone not like that model?  Sure it’s not conventionally cool, and I wouldn’t want my sister to go out with that guy, but as far as the sorts of giggle inducing figures that I want to see on the table go, Triton has “it”.

Plus the fig also reminds me a bit this PBF strip:


Too bleak for a game about aquatic genocide?  I don’t think so.

The Behemoth (which is always said in a Stephen Wright voice in this house) is probably the least inspiring model in the Beasts of the Deep set, although as MoW sea monsters go, it isn’t really any better or worse than any other technically.

I really should make time to read Moby Dick.

As fantasy monsters go, a giant narwhal with extra teeth is a perfectly fine thing to have attack a ship, but the Behemoth doesn’t really go up to eleven.  But everything cant go up to eleven I suppose.

I did find out that male narwhal do in fact have teeth, two of them.  The horn is actually a tusk.  So y’know, its not all childish whimsy around here, you can learn the occasional thing too.

Behemoths/mussels, the unicorns/pistachios of the sea.

I went for a fairly naturalistic colour scheme on the not-narwhal.  I didn’t want to cramp the Megaladons style by also painting the Behemoth a cartoon whale blue, so he ended up being brown.

I’m not certain about whether this Sea Dragon is trying to immolate that dwarf balloon or jump start it. As a Mark Gibbons fanboy, I’ll allow it.

The Sea Dragon is presumably closely related to the sea dragons in the Dark Elf fleet, but has not been broken in by whatever unpleasant shenanigans the Dark Elf Beastmasters get up to.  It’s design, the head in particular, suggests that its a different species of sea dragon anyway.

Sandra Sea Dragon regrets eating those hell-syrens last night.  She hates seafood.

I decided to go for a sort of fishy colour scheme on the sea dragon, loosely based on a perch.

A perch, yesterday.

Irish wildlife, including fish, tends to be brown, neutral colours.  The Great Barrier Reef the waterways of Ireland are not.  So as a kid, the one time that I actually caught a fish when fishing, I was impressed at the vibrant orange and green of the perch.  So I decided to go for something like that on the Sea Dragon.  There was no way that I was going to go for the 90s red look.

The Leech Wyrm Fate card from Dreadfleet.

I also like that the Sea Dragon looks a fair bit like the Leech Wyrm from Dreadfleet, which considering that the Wyrm is in fact the “rot-breathing corpse of a sea dragon, infested and controlled by wriggling chasm leeches”, makes sense.  The MoW references in Dreadfleet are quite fun.

L to R: Leech Wyrm, Sea Dragon

Last, but not least, is the Black Leviathan:

The Black Leviathan miniature is another reason why the Monsters of the Deep box is a must have.  The deep sea is full of genuinely creepy looking things, so its nice to have a nod to something like that on the table.

Imagine the smell…

The studio scheme for this model is quite nice, I have been fond of it since I first saw it.  The dark purple fits closely enough with the black in its name, but I decided to ignore that element.  I decided to go with an albino, Marianas Trench vibe instead.

I’m not certain why so many of the MoW monsters generate cabaret feelings in me, but they do.

The Leviathan is probably my favourite of the MoW monsters, although there is some stiff competition.  In addition to liking the model because I think that, in the context of tiny model ships, it looks pretty scary, almost cthulhuesque, I also like something about its big Muppet-like mouth, I can imagine it speaking in a cartoon or something.

I couldn’t help myself…


…yeah, I know…


… well I had my fun, that’s the main thing.

Here endeth my giant fantasy sea monsters project.  With the Dreadfleet terrain finished, the coastline unexpectedly acquired and painted and now twelve (count ’em!) monsters finished and ready to hit the table, I really am rather pleased with myself.

The next MoW thing to appear here will be a ship of some sort.  It kinda has to be, I dont have anything else nautical left to paint now.

L to R: LeechWyrm, Bone Giant, Bone Hydra, Behemoth, Triton, Black Leviathan, Prometheus, Megaladon, Kraken, Sea Elemental, Sea Dragon, Gargantuan


32 Responses

  1. Excellent as ever mate, that’s a fine looking collection of wee beasties! I must admit to being surprised, (and a little disappointed), that the Behemoth didn’t get a fleshy pink body, and a shiny purple nose though… ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just you wait until you see the plans for some of the ship crew in 28mm. I will lower the bar substantially, it shouls be right up your street Alex ;D

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A very satisfying gaggle of beasties, they all look brilliant. I was dubious about your square basing, but they turned out great. You’ve set the table beautifully for some gorgeous sea battles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m not a rectangular base sort of guy generally, as you know Mr. S, but there were a couple of reasons that pushed me this way. Once you take the need for bases as written, the rectangular base won out for practical reasons:

      1) perpendicular corridor fire is measured a lot in Man O’War, using card templates as an aid. Putting them edge against edge on the bases makes things nice and straightforward.

      2) cutting right angled bases to fit snugly is far easier than trying to locate enough oval shapes to cover the various shapes and sizes of the ships to be used.

      3) the Dreadfleet ships have very tasteful rectangular bases, so matching them to those (to an extent. My wave sculpting isn’t quite the same as the beautiful work on the Dreadfleet pieces) makes complete sense to me.

      I am chuffed with how the table is set for some games now. Its odd, but adding the actual fleet will be gravy at this point ๐Ÿ™‚

      Thanks for the feedback!


  3. Another great batch! I’d never even heard of these models until you posted them… now I love them! You consistently nailed the “map beast” look on all of them, so they look good together too despite disparate colours.

    Also, nice Leviathan memes, lol. And more Alestorm! Can’t go wrong there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The World According to Leviathan just sort of happened, but it makes me laugh ๐Ÿ™‚ I wasn’t sure if anyone else would be amused by them, but they have been.

      I was only keen on a limited number of the MoW monster models, historically speaking. Mainly I had an eye on the idea of using the Leviathan as some sort of Deathworld or Necromunda sump monster as fantasy navy engagements didn’t appeal at all then.

      Fast forward a literal quarter of a century and the goofy, cartographical little guys are a big part of the draw for the entire project.

      As much as I would like to take credit for matching the miniature design style to painting techniques or approach, I think that the illustrative/cartoony subject probably simply suits how I paint generally.

      That doesn’t stop me from being pleased that you like them though Al ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the considered feedback, as always.


  4. This is a really impressive collection of monsters! Love the thought you’ve put into the colour schemes, some of them are pretty sofishticated.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha! I dont know if you mean that about the colour schemes Curis, or if you were simply setting up a wonderfully dodgy pun, but I’m taking it!

      They are fun crew, t’be sure.


  5. Those are terribly daggy models (and always were – I think that’s where they get their charm!) – but you’ve done a great job with them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha, daggy is, based on my limited Home and Away-esque understanding of the word from the late eighties, pretty much bang on. Entertainingly, if potentially annoyingly eccentric about sums them up.

      Thanks Azazel, I’m glad that you like the figs. There were fun to paint.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Another fine job on the second set. The sea dragon also reminds me of the dragons from Mighty Empires.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Man, you got me there, they are fantastic. You may say that the Behemot is not inspiring as a mini, but I have to say that the palette you used makes it really really interesting. Everything is so great!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Im not sure why I decided to paint the behemoth is fairly realistic colours Suber. Maybe it’s because its particularly close to a real world animal and would look a bit dodgy if painted in more exotic colours.

      As you say, it turned out perfectly well in the end, although I may have spent less time painted the Behemoth than I spent on any of the other models.

      As always Suber, thanks for taking the time to comment!


  8. Love it. Especially the gobby Black Leviathan. Though a white Black Leviathan is kind of funny in its own way, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Argentbadger!

      The Leviathan really is an evocative model, for a few reasons. Darker colours are fine on it too, but I liked the idea of some deep sea albinism as part of the look.

      Another tiny bucket list model finished!


  9. I love how you’ve left out everything that pertains to the actual player role so far. ๐Ÿ˜‚

    Are you sure you have the motivation sorted out?

    Cheap stabs aside, it looks bloody marvellous… as I have come to expect from you. And of course, it all gives me the ‘ooooh maybe I should get into that too’- jitters which must be the hallmark of a perfectly executed miniatures project.

    Sincerely Dr. The Viking

    Liked by 1 person

    • ๐Ÿ˜€ yup, I deliberately left the actual forces until last. It makes sense and is a pattern that I have come around to. Better to stall after terrain is finished than after a force is done but with nowhere to play.

      I think that my motivation is pretty much bang on target Doctor ๐Ÿ™‚

      There is zero point in having a finished force of toy soldiers without terrain, and every game benefits from things like monsters or NPCs.

      If six months ago you had asked me about about a possible future interest in Man O War, I would have said “No chance”, but y’know, whatever. I try to follow what I am enthusiastic about these days and worry about the rest later. Right now the idea of painting some little ships and pushing them around a little painted, monster filled seascape floats my boat, so thats whats happening.

      There is a Norse fleet list in Man O War by the way Doctor The *VIKING*….

      Thanks for the feedback!


  10. Nice work… I recommend Moby Dick by audio book though rather than trying to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m a convert to Audiobook Warburton. I get through a few amonth these days. I will add Moby Dick to the list of coming attractions.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Great work again, although now you will have to have the leviathan narrate your game reports.

    And you point above about doing the terrain and supporting cast first is well taken… a glance at my hobby material will show many completed figures, but little in the way of completed terrain.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lasgunpacker!

      Having approached a couple of projects in this, perhaps reverse order a few times recently, I am quite happy with how it works. While the factions that I am interested in vary, the one thing that *all* of the forces require is terrain.

      Inspirational Leviathan is the sleeper hit of this project, no question.


  12. This is such cool stuff. All of those have turned out wonderful – setting the bar pretty high for the actual ships. Do the monsters play a big (or even a decent) role in MoW?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Mikko! I hope that the ships live up to the hype.

      The monsters are actually part of the forces in MoW, summoned to aid one side or another. The Monsters are unreliable and potentially dangerous to both sides though, more like rampaging kaiju whose motives temporarily align with your own.

      Pleasingly, last night I found a piece on a Nurgle plaguefleet *with allied sea monsters* attacking a merchant fleet in the new Age of Sigmar rulebook. I dont need to background to permit me to do things in my games, but it is fun when the concepts align.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Lovely job – particularly like the whale.

    I’m always keen to do a naval project of some sort – an excuse to build little islands. Tumbling Dice make 1/4800 (i.e. TINY!) napoleonic ships I keep looking at. I know nowt about ships mind!

    Top stuff on these.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s funny how sometimes the model left until last due to relatively less enthusiasm can be one that people are drawn to, but the whale has had a few positive votes at this stage. I’m glad that you like it bladesandblasters.

      I have, to date, limited interest in large historical naval engagements, but all it takes is the right book/article/tv show/movie etc at the right time and I could be all over it.

      But for now its the 1/??? scaled and fantasy shenanigans filled world of Man O’ War.

      Thanks for the feedback!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think itโ€™s the brown on the whale – Itโ€™s really nice.

        In my head Iโ€™ve got a very small scale (1/1000 maybe) post apocalypse boat project (like waterworld) Iโ€™d like to do – complete with sunken stuff as scenery (maybe sky scraper roofs etc) but Iโ€™ve never knuckled down to find the minis.

        Liked by 1 person

        • That sounds like a great project! Probably one that you would have to work on entirely yourself from start to finish, which requires a pretty single minded attitude and a lot of commitment compared to something that you can rope a few mates in with.

          Visually though, a sunken city could be brilliant. Now you have me thinking about a sunken fantasy city in MoW…


          • Yeah – like all my projects! I was thinking of using art boards (the wooden ones with frames) flipped onto their back so you could add building/whatever then literally sink them into water effect. Hmmm….

            Liked by 1 person

  14. I feel like there could be a market for MoW monster plushies… but why stop at the monsters? I can see you hugging a plush plagueship, squeezing it tight till the slimy green stuffing comes gushing out… mmm… gush…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Like the old Real Ghostbusters toyline, or Madballs, or the MotU Evil Horde Slime Pit. I’m certain that there are plush zombie pirate things out there.


  15. […] Man O’ War: Beasts of the Deep […]


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