I "fake-joined" the Setting the Miniature Scene Swap at Craftster, which simply means that, while you still have to follow the rules for said event, instead of actually exchanging the item(s) that you made with another member, you're creating it for yourself. The "Fake Swap Craftalong" at Craftster is intended for people that really want to participate in a particular challenge, but, for whatever reason, can't (lack of funds for shipping, having already reached their quota limit for active swaps, wanting to make a certain object/thing but their partner(s) aren't interested in the subject matter, etc.) In my case, I've just been so lazy about producing any kind of artwork lately that I figured having some deadlines hanging over my head would force me to get to work on something, anything, and, thus far, that motivational strategy is working. Or, at least it was, until I bought some new video games . . . my productivity took a steep nose dive after that!
It can be kind of tricky to scale monsters to one another, given their wildly different anatomies. For these, I aimed to make them all about the same height, which worked out okay, although I should have made the Crocotta a bit smaller and the Mushus a little bigger.
The Barometz (a.k.a., "The Vegetable Lamb of Tartary" or "The Scythian Lamb") is a mythological plant creature from Central Asia. Strangely, it bore "fruit" in the form of a lamb that was tethered to the earth by its' root "umbilical cord". Like a normal sheep, the Barometz would devour all of the grass surrounding it, however, because it couldn't move any further than its' root allowed, it would then die of starvation (unless some kind-hearted person brought it fresh food that is). The Barometz creature in the game is clearly a plant, but, sadly, it looks absolutely nothing like a lamb.
The Barometz was arguably the easiest of these five figures to make, as it had the simplest anatomy/form. The detail work was still time-consuming though. I feel that I should have made the neck a bit longer, given it more of a "S" curvature, and done the "ropey" texture on the body better (my first pass at it was more symmetrical and "clean" looking, which is what I should have stuck with), but, overall, I think my Barometz came out fairly well.
The Crocotta is a mythical beast of Indian or Ethiopian origin, said to resemble some combination of dog/wolf/hyena/lion. Crocotta was reputed to be immensely strong, swift, and cunning, fond of digging up, and devouring, buried corpses, and capable of imitating the speech of humans (to lure its prey out of the safety of their homes). Leucrotta is another name for the creature (or a separate, but similar, species, depending on the source), which Sega also used for the brown-hued version of the Crocotta sprite.
I think that Crocotta is my weakest-looking figure out of this quintet. The creature seemed really good to me unpainted, but, once I added color, my opinion changed (I feel that way pretty often about the figures I make). For some reason, I just could not model a tail that I was happy with for this creature either. I made, and cut off, several versions before settling on the one pictured. It was the best of the lot, but still not exactly what I wanted.
Cyclops are the well-known, single-eyed giants from Greco-Roman mythology. This one has satyr-like legs, but is otherwise unremarkable, design-wise. I've made a lot of one-eyed monsters over the years, but never a proper Greek cyclops, so, this creature fills a hole in my collection in that regard.
Cyclops took a lot longer to model than he should have, relative to the other four figures in this set. I spent too much time tinkering with his muscles and the positioning of the limbs I guess.
"Mushus" is probably a truncation of Mushussu (once misinterpreted by scholars as "Sirrush"), a monster from ancient Babylonian myth. While Mushussu is sometimes depicted with the tail of a scorpion (or a serpent), it's more of a dragon-like creature, so, like the Barometz, the game's version is significantly off-model. This Mushus sprite, recolored green, is also utilized for the "Pabilsag" enemy, a legendary entity that actually was half-scorpion, which is naturally a much more appropriate choice than Mushus was (I think scorpions look better in red than lime though, which is why I went with the former).
While I love spider and scorpion monsters, usually, I dislike having to make that many legs (it's repetitive and monotonous), but, in this case, as the appendages are pretty slim and simple in form, it was a relatively quick and painless endeavor.
What on earth is Salwa, anyway? I doubt that the fiend itself knows. Offhand, I can't think of anything from mythology that matches Salwa's grotesque appearance, but it's a delightfully-disgusting and creative monster design, that's for sure! There was a Salwa Kingdom in ancient India, which would be my guess as to where Sega got the name from.
Unlike the rest of these creatures, Salwa is a "boss" monster, or, more accurately, a "Wizard King", one of several super-powerful enemies that you'll have to confront and defeat on the way to your final opponent, Ahriman, in the game's last dungeon.
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