8 May 2021

Monster May(hem): Shoggoth

"Formless protoplasm able to mock and reflect all forms and organs and processes — viscous agglutinations of bubbling cells — rubbery fifteen-foot spheroids infinitely plastic and ductile — slaves of suggestion, builders of cities — more and more sullen, more and more intelligent, more and more amphibious, more and more imitative! Great God! What madness made even those blasphemous Old Ones willing to use and carve such things?"

They're the words of Professor William Dyer, the protagonist of Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, as he realises the sheer horror of what shoggoths are, what they can do and what they might be capable of if they ever got to a populated area. If that sounds a bit familiar, there is a direct line from Lovecraft's 1931 story to John W. Campbell's novella Who Goes There? (1938) to John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). 

The shoggoth, which I've named Bob, is the first mini I painted from the Cthulhu: Death May Die game. I picked it just because it looked like the most straightforward one to do out of the 45 minis in the game.

Bob's a black gelatinous blob that can extrude tentacles and eyes at will. I don't particularly like all-black models as it's a dull colour, so after spraying Bob with black car primer I airbrushed him all over with Dark Sea Blue and washed him with Blue Tone.

After lugging Bob upstairs to dry the wash with Alicia's hairdryer, I mixed a bit of Ghost Grey with the Dark Sea Blue and began drybrushing him. There are lots of bits to highlight and I'm fairly sure I got all of them.

Looking at Bob from this angle, he could even make a decent Beast of Nurgle. Anyway, after three highlights I started on his eyes. Ugh. They're just Flat Red with black slit pupils, some of which worked and some of which we'll just not talk about. And Christ on a bike, I've just noticed I missed one of the pupils.

I didn't want to muck about too much with the base, so I gave it a coat of tacky glue and dumped on some sand. Once dry it got a coat of matte varnish to seal it, then a coat of Dark Grey and a highlight with Neutral Grey. As Bob now looked like he was oozing across an ashtray I gave it a final drybrush with Pink to provide a stronger contrast with the model.

Bob menaces Lizzy Ives, the first Cthulhu: Death May Die investigator I painted. There's a post on them coming soon. Bob looks good, although he could do with better definition and depth in terms of highlights and shading.

I have a feeling that this month might be a bit Lovecraft heavy, so I'm digging through my boxes trying to find a monster that isn't an interdimensional tentacled horror. 

The other willing victims participants in this year's Monster May(hem) are:

Keith, who started this madness, has begun with a superb Ripper Beast.

Roger from Rantings from Under the Wargames Table.

The Good Ground's Tom has kicked off with an excellent Red Slaad.

Dave from Wargames Terrain Workshop.

Azazel from Azazel’s Bitz Box painted up a great Coral Golem, one of Reaper's odder offerings.

Mark of Markamorin.com.

Jeremy at Carrion Crow.

Mike, who's on Instagram @sasquatchminis.


  1. Great work on Bob Matt, isn't that the name of a planet ? LOL ( Titan AE if you didn't know)
    The missing pupil should be an easy fix, and the overall colour scheme works really well

    1. Thanks, Dave! Bob looks pretty good and I'm sure he'll be a formidable opponent whenever we get to playing the game, which is depends on me getting the models painted. So around 2034 LOL!

  2. This is really great, Matt. I dig shoggoths; and Bob is a prime example of why. If you haven't seen it, Sandy Petersen did an entire YouTube video on shoggoths and why they are so damn scary. Check it out!
    Also: "Bob the Shoggoth" sounds like a great name for a band.
    I actually had a copy of Cthulhu: Death May Die in my hands yesterday, and was contemplating buying it...then I saw the new Dune board game and I was tempted to buy that instead...then I couldn't decide so I put them both down and left the store.
    But I still want both.

    1. Cheers, Keith! Bob is a pretty terrifying mini, and shoggoths always send a shiver down my spine. I'll have to check out that video as God knows I need something to pass the time. If you don't buy C:DMD then there's still an invitation for you to venture into the wilds of Vermont for a game!

  3. Great work on a truly terrifying monster, you have to worry about the mind of HP Lovecraft don't you.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. Thanks, Roger! Yeah, HPL was pretty inventive with his creatures and settings. There's some truly inventive stuff in his stories.

  4. Bob looks great and I, for one, look forward to seeing more minis from this game! I'm only somewhat familiar with it but the sculpts look to be an improvement from what I painted up for my copy of Mansions of Madness so you've definitely got my attention :)

    1. Thanks very much! I'm working my way through the minis (some are not-so-mini) and it's a fun process. I just looked up images of Mansions of Madness and I'm not that impressed with the minis; Cthulhu looks like a large dog with tentacles!