Friday, 29 January 2016

Tygers of Pan Tang - The Beast and His Handler

The tigers of Pan Tang are so iconic, that they even named a New Wave of British Heavy Metal band after them. The Stormbringer RPG by Chaosium Inc. states that:

"The tiger is a rare animal in the Young Kingdoms. Tigers roam freely only on the Isle of Pan Tang where it is the sacred totem animal of Chardhros the Reaper, Lord of Chaos...In rare cases they act as a Pan Tang warrior's combat companion."

It would therefore seem pre-destined that my Pan Tang Frostgrave warband would include a tiger (either as a Hunting Dog or Snow Leopard animal companion). Happily, Citadel anticipated my need, and produced a pair of tigers and their handlers as part of their Pan Tang range.

Image taken from Stuff of Legends.


I suspect that the tigers were sculpted by Jes Goodwin, and the handlers by Aly Morrison, but I'm not 100% sure. I have the original tiger handlers in my collection, and would happily have used them in the Frostgrave warband, except I also have a pair of the unreleased tiger handlers that I acquired back in April 2014. Given that the only painted examples I've ever seen are in the collection of ex-GW top man Bryan Ansell himself, I figured this would be a good opportunity to paint up one myself.

I painted the tiger handler first (he will probably be a Frostgrave thief), with a very simple paint scheme - flesh, white kilt and a flash of blue on his bandana to tie him with the other warband members.

The tiger on the other hand took a lot more planning. I painted the dull orange and white underbelly first, resulting in a tiger that looked a little like this:


Next step was the daunting task of adding all the stripes. I didn't want to replicate a particular set of markings 100%, but I did want to create a credible looking tiger.

One of the photo references for the tiger's markings.

A closer look at the facial markings.

And here's the end result - Tiger Handler Shelek Whipmaster with his tiger, Jagged Claw:




Whilst the tiger isn't entirely true to life, I think he's certainly recognisable as being a tiger! I simplified the markings somewhat in the translation to a 28mm figure - most noticeably by not adding any markings to the inside of the legs over the white. I decided this would potentially detract from the overall silhouette of the tiger, without adding much to the look.

The only other thing of note is the large 40mm hex base I used. After rejecting 2mm and 3mm MDF or acrylic bases, I discovered the Sabretooth Games Lord of the Rings Combat Hex figures (approx. 40-45mm scale). They are all mounted on the large hex base - I managed to find a cheap job lot and popped off the figures for the bases.

Next up will be my Frostgrave apprentice - Theleb K'aarna himself!

19 comments:

  1. That tiger is excellent. You've done a great job on the markings.

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    1. Thanks! As I mentioned, I spent ages looking at pictures of tigers, but I think it was worth the research :)

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  2. Gods, that tiger is fantastic Jon! Kudos on the ultra-rare handler, (very nice too), but the big cat completely steals the show mate - nice work!

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    1. I know, it should be a showcase of the rare unreleased figure, but I managed to totally upstage the poor fella ;)

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  3. They're absolutely lovely, it will be a pleasure to see them in the lead.

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    1. Absolutely! I'm looking forward to a hex-off v your Champions of Law :)

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    2. I want to see that battle report. I would even put it in comic if you liked. ;)

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    3. I strongly suspect that we will blog heavily about the weekend ;)

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  4. Excellent stuff. You caricature paint scheme is what I have been saying for years. Your not painting a tiger...your painting the idea of a tiger. You did it masterfully!

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    1. Essence of Tiger sounds like a 1970s male scent. Perhaps I should market it? ;)

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  5. Tremendous work on that tiger. The striping is perfect and the color is likewise excellent.

    Interestingly the body of the tiger says "panther" to me more than tiger, as it is quite long legged and lanky. I wonder if it was a head swap conversion of another figure?

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    1. Thanks :) I'm pretty sure the tiger was sculpted specifically for the range...at least I can't recall it appearing anywhere else. It's certainly pretty stretched compared to a real tiger; the face is much more elongated too. That might just be another part of the process of sculpting in 28mm scale, just as human heads and hands are exaggerated in 28mm?

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    2. Yes, that is certainly a possibility, a "heroic scale" tiger. Alternatively, it could be a different subspecies of tiger... This is after all a "tyger"

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  6. Loving your Frostgrave stuff! The tiger is excellent :)

    Warburton

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    1. Thanks Warburton. Much appreciated :)

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  7. The wonderful thing about Tigers is that Tigers are wonderful things.

    Bouncy, flouncy, balls of murderous fun!

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    1. Excellent. I must remember to sing this in-game... :)

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