Enter the Rust Turtle!

As is often my practice, I inserted another miniature into my current painting project, thus helping to ensure that I either fail deadlines or have to scramble last minute to meet them.  Since the current painting challenge I’m working on is my own and the first one I’ve ever done, I think it is best that I continue with my traditional best practices.  So enter the Rust Turtle!

Yep, it’s coming after your rusty spoons!

Dungeons & Dragons veterans will surely recognize this little bug as a rust monster.  I showed these pictures to a friend, who said, “Huh, it looks like a tortoise,” and so I decided that forevermore this beastie would be henceforth known as the Rust Turtle.*

Painting the miniature was pretty simple.  I slathered on some Vallejo Rust wash (76.506) and a couple of layers of Agrax Earthshade, to damp down the orange effect a bit.**  I also applied a layer of undiluted Skeletal Horde Contrast paint, much like a wash.  I probably wouldn’t bother with that next time, but I wanted to experiment and it didn’t seem to add much either way.

Note the propeller-like tail.

I busted out all of my various shades of orange and just started drybrushing until I liked how the turtle looked.  I tried various mottling and speckling effects on the propeller tail and dorsal area, didn’t like any of them so overbrushed with various light shades of orange and covered up the mess.

I used Ungor Flesh and Kislev Flesh sparingly as a final highlight.  The base was just gray, wash with black ink, then drybrush various shades of gray and finish off with some off-white.

I remember getting quite a laugh from this cartoon as a kid.  Funny because it was true!

I originally wanted the eyes to be silver so that is how I painted them.  I ended up going with white though, which I think looks better.  I thought about making pupils and all of those fiddly ocular bits, but decided to stick with simple and not mess with all of that.  Also toyed with the idea of trying some OSL effects, but again, opted for simple.

While I think there is more I could have done with my rust turtle, I’m happy where I stopped.  It will make a fun monster to throw into one of my D&D games, and a good pet to hang out with my slumbering Nurgle forces along with skeletal snake thingie and others.

Primed rust monster, with Neglected WIP Poxwalker #18 for scale.

My first dwarf is done.  I’m going to take some pictures of him today, so he will feature prominently in my next post.  His orange-bearded axe and shield brother is about 75% done and the other two around 50%.  A good thing because this month is going by quickly, as months always do when you have a self-imposed deadline.  Fortunately my painting challenge ends after April 3rd so I have high hopes of finishing all four dwarves.  Maybe I’ll be able to include Neglected WIP Poxwalker #18 as a stretch goal.  Probably won’t but wouldn’t it be grand?

I’m wondering if I should do another painting challenge for April?  I very well might, since the March challenge is keeping me working steadily on my dwarves.  Any ideas about what kind of challenge might be of interest?

Another model has made its fully painted appearance for the March Might and Magic Painting Challenge.  Argentbadger from The Bovine Overlord presents his painted Kharybdis, for the Cryx faction of the Warmachine range.  Argentbadger reports that this lovely, betentacled monstrosity is “focused on melee” and has an “amusing ink spray.”  I bet it is … and does!  Thank you, Argent!

Kharybdis by Argentbadger from The Bovine Overlord.


* The miniature is listed on the Etsy site, where I purchased it, as a Dire Oxidation Monster.  Perhaps that is the official, scientific name?  It certainly qualifies for the “might” portion of my painting challenge.  I remember few monsters from my old days of D&D that could cause the gnashing of player teeth quite like a rust monster!

** I started out with Dark Rust (76.507) but decided it was too dark before I got very far into things.

22 thoughts on “Enter the Rust Turtle!

  1. Pingback: March 2020 Might & Magic Painting Challenge Round-up! | Ann's Immaterium

  2. When I saw this image in Reader, I knew I had to check out this post. Love the old school D&D monsters, and the Rust Monster always fit that weird out of this world vibe. Great looking mini! I wonder if they purposefully placed the tentacles lower to keep them from breaking during games , or it was a manufacturing decision? Paint wise, you did a really nice job and if I tried my hands at a rust monster, I would only hope I could get somewhere close to the colors you achieved!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, I love the old school monsters too, which was why when I saw that rust monster on Etsy I knew I had to buy one. I suspect that they positioned the tentacles and tail in the way they did as a manufacturing decision, though it helps for games too, since the thing is made out of resin.

      I don’t know for sure, but as I understand the sculpts for these things (I got the monster in the same place I got the dwarves and some other stuff) is they are pretty old sculpts that were either meant to be 3D printed in the first place or were scanned, etc. so they could be printed. I suspect that the people selling these on Etsy are simply getting their hands on the plans and printing them off on their home printers.

      As for the painting, I ended up doing a bunch of stuff until it looked ok and if I did more rust monsters I doubt if I’d ever get one that looked exactly like the others. Fortunately, I don’t think that would be a problem, both in that I doubt I’ll obtain more rust monsters and if I did I think it is plausible that they have some minor variation. Heck, one could paint one more of a traditional brown color and say they are a sub-species or the same species and have your anachronistic druid, ranger, etc. start talking about “sexual dimorphism in species.” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I do that with terrain a lot, just keep working it till it looks good. Sometimes on minis, but usually only if it’s a one-off piece. The last thing I want to do in Blood Bowl is paint a piece that I can’t replicate! For those, I jot down notes and make a recipe list in Google Docs. Helps if I ever have to go back and repaint or add another member as well.

        I’ll have to take a peak at some of the Etsy D&D stuff. I’ve been collecting some D&D minis, but haven’t really gotten around to painting them yet. I’ve been itching to start a dungeon crawler, and would love to have painted minis to go along with, but will see.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice work on Russ the Turtle. Looking pretty old-school good there and the colouration is spot on. I just wish I still had some of those old weird “dinosaur” toys from my childhood that inspired the old-school D&D models.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Azazel. From what I heard, Gary Gygax was inspired by a silly plastic toy he found that looked like what eventually became the rust monster. I used to have some “old weird ‘dinosaur’ toys” like that too; goodness knows what happened to them. Probably hermetically sealed in some landfill and will be found 250,000 years from now, given what they were made of, while most other remnants of our cultures will be nothing but dust….

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      • Yeah, those are (I believe) the same set of weird toys that were mixed in with the dinosaurs from my childhood. There are a few other D&D creatures that fit in as well. You know, they’re probably available somewhere on Amazon. Now that would be a fun little project…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Nice Turtle!
    Love the cartoon – I seem to remember that a rust monster was one of the first encounters in the example adventure of either the basic or expert set, and after that you learn that sometimes it’s better to run away!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. I vaguely remember that as well. The rust monster does seem a very good monster to teach that lesson since it does so without your character having to die!

      Liked by 2 people

        • The rust monster has gone through various changes over the decades, though I don’t remember them using their propeller tail to club people with much, though there is no reason why a DM couldn’t house rule rust turtles doing this with either the tail being fairly weighty, the fins being sharp or both.

          Traditionally, their rusting property was the thing that was feared most and their ability to do damage was either non-existent or negligible to an adventurer.

          The current version has a much toned down rust attack and it has a bite that is fairly beefy compared to some earlier versions but still nothing too threatening.

          When I use this mini I’ll probably change the current version to something a bit more threatening/interesting. After all, why paint something like this if not to make some sort of splash? 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Changing things up, also helps keep players on their toes. I know that could be a challenge, when a lot of the players DM’d previously and/or just read the Monster Manual.

            I wish I had my old rulebooks now. Space dictates that it’s probably best not to. But would have been cool to look up the old stats right quick. I didn’t remember them being so ineffectual outside of their rust attack. I imagine DM’s quickly followed them up with another encounter to torment the poor PCs.

            Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. Yes, indeed, highly menacing. Besides the usual rust properties, I was thinking of some ways to make this monster a threat in its own right, rather than a “pet” for a bunch of skin-wearing, club-using hill giants, or something a bunch of elves unleash on their opponents in the early stages of a developing battle. One of my favorites was the idea that actually some varieties of rust monster don’t eat metal, they eat flesh. Their metal-rusting ability is actually them trying to get through the hard, outer shell to get to the delicious, soft bits inside.

      Yeah, I’m not sure about April either. Perhaps a “New & Neglected Model” challenge where you either go out and buy something new and paint it (or at least one miniature from the box) or Neglected, which would be anything that you’ve owned for six months or more, or something that someone else has given to you because they were neglecting it, even if you haven’t had it for six months.

      Maybe an “Ancient Enemies” challenge where the miniature has to either be 10 years old or more, or not the current version of a miniature currently in production. That would certainly spur me into getting some ancient plague marines I have done, as well as some other things that I’m not even sure what they are, lol.

      I’m not exactly covering new territory, but I always did like those Neglected Model challenges. Maybe someone will come up with a better idea that might be more fun?

      I’m looking forward to seeing what you painted. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nothing wrong with a neglected figure. One idea challenge I had, not sure it’s that good though, was to do a figure, any figure, in one dominant colour. I don’t mean that it is painted in the same single pot colour but in a variety of shades of the same colour, say, various green for example (if that makes sense).

        Liked by 1 person

        • That sounds like an interesting challenge. If one omits the base, I was pretty close to doing that with the rust monster, since most of the paints and washes I used were some variation of orange.

          I agree, it is hard to go wrong with Neglected Figure challenges. We all have them, and it is a nice prod toward dusting some of them off and putting some paint on them before they go back to being neglected again, but at least then they are Neglected Painted Figures!

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, rust turtle works for me! I think it looks really good! 🙂 I’ve maybe finished my entry for you challenge as well, but need to get a post done about it this week I think. I’ve even managed to concoct a very tenuous link to magic (but no spoilers)!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, John, I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Oooh! Excellent! You finished your entry and it is maybe a magical star-spanning flying battleship like in that old cartoon Star Blazers? Or angry Paraguayan infantrymen, desperate for supplies, who enlist the aid of a dark physicist-slash-brujo and advance through a wormhole into the far future in search of firepower, gold coin, quinine, and tinned milk? Or … or … I guess I’ll just have to be patient and see what amazing project you will unveil/unleash upon us!

      Liked by 3 people

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