Thursday, December 22, 2016

Building the Bestiary #10: Devils

(This is the second of two columns for this week. I'm taking Christmas week off, so look for my next column in the new year!)
(L): Blista (Legends of Chima); (R): Lavaria (Nexo Knights) with Maleficent's horns (Disney Minifigures) and Cute Little Devil's tail (Minifigures Series 16).
My regular gaming group recently concluded the Pathfinder mini-campaign that my wife Erika ran for us. Going into the final adventure of Dungeon Interludes, we knew that the main villain was an evil conjurer known to summon devils, so I helped her prepare by building LEGO miniatures of a few varieties that had CRs appropriate to our level (11th). Because that easily covered most of the devils in the first Bestiary, it seemed only natural to make them the subject of my next "Building the Bestiary" column.

Most devils are Medium to Large in size and bipedal, which makes it possible to use minifigures for the base of most of them. Of course, many will require wings and/or tails, so I've tried to provide a few examples of how I add those limbs.

If your collection or budget is limited, some themes include minifigures that make good generic fiends. Nexo Knights sets are the easiest source for these right now, with their many demonic-looking, magma-themed villains, as are some of the recent collectible Minifigures series. If you have can track down characters from older themes, the minifigure-sized versions of the Barraki (Bionicle; see barbed devil photo below) are good examples of suitable "defaults" for devils and other fiendish monsters.

Lemures, the lowliest of devils, are shapeless masses of flesh that bear only a vague resemblance to humanoids. A zombie or a classic Castle ghost works well for a lemure, or you can build its crude form out of bricks.
Lemures (L-R): brick-built; zombie head on plain gray body; Castle ghost.

Imps are Tiny winged devils. The Cute Little Devil from Minifigures Series 16, with his small legs, horns, wings, and tail, is an obvious choice here, especially if you can substitute a scarier face. The Gargoyle (Series 14) is another good option, lacking only a tail. If you want a figure that is closer to Tiny scale, use a microfigure or see Building the Bestiary #5: Tiny Creatures.
Cute Little Devil (with imp head [Monster 4 game] and Kai's torso [Ninjago]) and Gargoyle (Minfigures Series 16 and 14)

Erinyes are fallen angels with black-feathered wings, cruel expressions, and fiery bows. Wings from the Legends of Chima theme are perfect for this; attach them using a breastplate from that theme, or the smaller, clear wing attachment from sets like Ultimate Lavaria (Nexo Knights). The erinyes shown here has Voldemort's face to suggest the disfiguring evil that mars her once beautiful form.

Bone devils (osyluths) are Large, skeletal outsiders with insectoid wings and long, stingered tails. A LEGO skeleton makes a suitable base. For mine (see photo), I used wings from the Geonosian Warrior Zombie (Star Wars) because they were tattered, insect-like, and wouldn't interfere with attaching a tail. The tail is attached with an L-shaped neck clip, and is made from hinged parts, a robot arm, and a large, hard rubber "fang" piece. The base is a 6x6 radar dish to show that it's a Large creature.

Bearded devils (barbazu) are distinctive for their spiky beards and saw-toothed glaives. Any beard and polearm will serve here, but the more demonic-looking the face and armor, the better. Mine use Garmadon and Stone Warrior minifigures (Ninjago) as a base. Their tails are built like the bone devil's, but are much shorter since they aren't weapons.

Barbed devils (hamatulas) are Medium humanoids covered in barbs, and attack with huge claws. Use spiked breastplates or shoulder plates to suggest the body spines, and long claws like those on the Werewolf (Monster Hunters) or Wolverine (Marvel Superheroes), or clawed gauntlets (Prince or Persia). Barbed devils have long tails, but I've left that off of the figures shown here, as the armor makes it hard to attach an L-clip, too.
Barbed devils (L-R): two Barraki (Bionicle); Yazneg with Werewolf claws (Hobbit, Monster Hunters); Gundabad Orc with clawed gauntlets (Hobbit, Prince of Persia) 

Ice devils (gelugons) are Large insectoid devils. The first example below simply takes a bug-like alien from the Galaxy Squad theme and gives it a weapon suggesting ice powers. The second example uses the same spear but the creature is built from Technic parts. (Note the handled plates I used to attach the second devil's feet to its base. He's a little top-heavy, so needed the extra stability.)

Horned devils (cornugons) and pit fiends both fit the archetypal bat-winged devil shape, and both are Large. Winged monsters such as Blista (Legends of Chima) and Lavaria (Nexo Knights) make excellent choices for these monsters when mounted on Large (6x6) bases (see the photo at the top of this column). If you want a larger boss figure, build one from bricks. (See the previous installments on Giants and Elementals for ideas.) The Burnzie character from Axl's Tower Carrier (Nexo Knights) would also make a lovely pit fiend, though he's at least Huge in size and lacks wings.

Appendix: Past "Building the Bestiary" Columns

#1: Humanoids
#2: Underwater Races
#3: Giants
#4: Undead
#5: Tiny Creatures
#6: Four-Legged Friends
#7: Oozes
#8: Spell Effects
#9: Elementals

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