Tuesday 11 June 2024

The Eyes Have It

 Behold! A Beholder!

Way back when I was a nipper, I used to buy Spiderman and Zoids comics every so often (or force my mum to do it for me, at least). Somewhere in the back pages was a full-page ad for Dungeons and Dragons that looked a bit like this:

The internet cannot, alas, provide me with the exact one I'm after, because I distinctly recall one in which the adventurers met their big bad - the classic Beholder! 

I've had a bit of a DM's crush on the old Eye Tyrant since. That meant I had to get a model for one, which I've had for a while, but that lovely lead piece has taken a battering over time. Its flight stand broke off and several of the stalks got bent beyond repair. Time to get a shiny new one, based on the official artwork!

Not the original artwork, in fairness (although there is a miniature for that out there), I was thinking of this one:

Wizards of the Coast do a pretty good line in pre-undercoated miniatures at the moment. Impulse buying has taken the place of mum's wallet, and I picked up the best of their current Beholders when I was at the shop last month. A quick slap of contrast paint, some fiddly eye painting and bingo!

Evil pinecone of death!

Lovely piece - it's got exchangable eyestalks, just like a proper 80s throwback toy! They came in transparent plastic to make the special effects look extra glowy. I painted over them, pretty much, but if the light gets right behind them, they do catch the light a bit. 

Pew pew pew!

It also had a plastic cornea for the central eye. That, I didn't use - it was a bit too thick, and nobody wants a Beholder with a cataract. The idea appealed to me, though, and I thought I'd have a go at making my own one using Vallejo water effect gel. 

I prefer the straight eyestalks, the rays push it too far into kids' toy territory. Which, in fairness, it absolutely is anyway, but I don't like to labour the point.

You can see how well that turned out in the image at the top of the article! Not great, and I had to peel it carefully off in the end. To make it thick enough to fill the pupil properly, it got too thick to cure, and stayed cloudy. I'm currently trying again using multiple thin layers. Very time-consuming, it takes 24 hours to dry fully, and I shall update this article when and if it works out. For now, I just need to think of an excuse to shoehorn the model into a game sometime. Wandering monsters in Necromunda?


  1. Such an iconic monster - you've done a great job on it!

    I loved the old Zoids comics (still available to read online too).

    And that Indel was clearly a liability.

  2. The model is amazing, just like the second pic there, and I love the paint job: it somehow reminds me of the Bloodbeast on the front cover of the Fighting Fantasy book Deathtrap Dungeon

    1. Oh yeah! Must have been a deep-rooted 80s connection, that was my first ever FF book. Great Days!