Miniature Monday – Dire crab

Crab Arjen_klein
As seemingly any other sort of creature, crustaceans also sometimes are just “extra large and extra nasty” , aka “dire crabs” – have a look at what our painters caught in their nets this time!

(posting by Antonia)
The dire crab was one of the sculpts I really was looking forward to when I first saw it on the Kickstarter page – large arthropods are kind of cool, but in metal versions I often had problems attaching the numerous legs (or keeping them attached), but in superglue-friendly leightweight bones plastic that was an easy task.
I like the uneven structure of the back – it really invites washes or mottling techniques instead of being just one plain surface.
In hindsight it would have been easier to paint before assembly, because the legs overlap somewhat. I’ll keep that in mind for the next time – I’m sure I’ll find use for more than one dire crab as soon as they hit retail over here.


I picked very exotic colors for my crab:
Since I plan to use the crab in a pirate-themed D&D campaign which is set in a tropical environment, I did a web search for “crab species” and picked a nice colorful one. The result got very bright, which I kind of like, although I might “wash out” the colors with light drybrushing later, because in larger/older arthropods colors often seem less intense, and this crab is obviously supposed to be quite large, so… It also needs some detailwork on the legs/joints, but overall it looks ready to terrorize some pirates!


Michael also found inspiration in nature:
He wrote: “I live in Maryland in the U.S., and this area is famous for the blue crab (Callinectes sapidus). I did my best to represent the vibrant colors, and added a gloss coat to the carapace. In hindsight, I wish I had modded the model to give it longer lateral spines and paddles on the back legs to look even more like a blue crab, but I only thought that once I was well on the way. There’s a little water effect on the base to give it some surf.”
So cool that you picked a local species, very convincing! Blue crabs are seafood, right? Are they cracked like lobsters, or put in some sort of soup? For someone who lives very close to the sea I eat surprisingly few seafood, I guess.
Concernig modding – I’m sure with some extra sculpting the similarity would have been even better, and I always like how little changes go far – maybe you can do some conversions on any of the oncoming miniatures?


Timothy´s crab features traditional colors.
timothy IMG_0016
Timothy painted what I consider the “classic” crab/lobster color, an intense orange/red tone and probably a wash on top. I like your choice of colors, and it shows nicely how just one extra color (the bone white) can help to pick out details like barnacles, spikes and claws!
Jim picked some strong colors too:
jimBones Dire Crab IMG2
He said: “My crab is definitely a fantasy world monster! I looked at a few real world pics and then did what I wanted anyway. I may have gone a little too simplistic but the pics didn’t turn out all that well, either. I think it looks OK in person and is certainly fine for tabletop use. In any case, it was a fun beast to paint and I really enjoyed the change of pace.”
I like how you painted the asymmetrical claws, it seems that your crab might use them like a fiddler crab in courtship behaviour – or maybe as a special sort of camouflage or to lure prey? Who knows?

Arjen painted not one, but two crabs!
Crab Arjen
He said: “I loved this mini, so I got two during the KS. One I painted as what we in the Netherlands consider a normal crab, which is something orange brownish from the North sea. For the other I sought a more colorful / different one and found the Atlantic blue crab a lot of fun to paint. I have not decided if I will keep the original bases, so did not do any work there. For the blue crab I created some darker areas on the shield by applying little spots, which looks well from a distance, buy less nice up close. ”
Wow, I really love what you did with the colors – the gradients seem very smooth and subtle in parts, those crabs do really look like real world animals! I’m also surprised how color combinations which might sound weird on paper (grey/orange and especially olive/blue/pink!) translate into such convincing natural patterns! Well done.


This week’s gallery:


Coming next:

10/28/19 Bones IV Villagers: Younger Man with stick (B4 Core)  Nr. 50 on Kickstarter graphic.

Want to participate in the next post? Email the pictures of your minis until Friday 10/25/19 to  (It’s a .de domain, in case emails are bouncing)

–> Attention: The submission date for photos is about three days before publishing date, to give us a bit of time to actually write about your pictures  😀

This way you’ll have two weeks/one weekend to paint, and we have one weekend to write (which is the only time of the week where we (might, *sigh*) have some open minutes).

You can of course send in pics later, but to take out a bit of the stress (most pics arrive here rather last minute) please consider the three day deadline. Later pics will still show up in an update  😉

I added some miniatures to the schedule now. We might still shuffle them around, do extras (like “Show me your project!”) or add more, just tell us what you think in the comments!

–> Since reaper re-organized their online shop recently, some of the links might not be working anymore. Until we come around to fix that you can always use the miniature’s name and use the search box on top of the page.

Bones 4 finally! Yay!

I had to remove some of the shop links because the miniatures are not yet in official retail (the shop links showed “leftover” KS packs which seem to be out of stock completely now)

Here is the link to Reaper’s graphic with all the core pieces, but it’s one and veeeery long picture so be prepared for some scrolling. On the other hand it has separate numbers for most of the pieces. I will add individual shop links as soon as they appear!


11/04/19 Bones IV Villagers: Woman with bucket (B4 Core) Nr. 149 on KS pic

11/18/19 Bones I-III TBA

12/02/19 Bones IV Monsters: Wyvern (B4 Core) Nr. 81 on KS pic

12/16/19 Bones IV Villagers: Bandit with Dagger & Sword (front row, right) (B4 Core) Nr. 100 on KS pic

I added some first picks from the Bones 4 Core Set, some monsters, creatures and villagers. The adventurers I’ll check next, the group was just too large for a quick pick. Any more suggestions?

This entry was posted by Antonia & Dirk Vogel.

7 thoughts on “Miniature Monday – Dire crab

  1. Wow! Great stuff all!

    Back in my day, this would have just been called a Giant Crab, but I guess that’s not extreme enough these days. There were actual dire animals(mainly wolves) in the Pleistocene Era, but I don’t remember any crabs!

    Antonia – That is spectacular! The crab came out really well and will look perfect in a pirate/tropical setting.

    Michael – Beautiful and very realistic crab. This mini lends itself to that particular species but I love that you considered modifying it to make it more accurate. Well done. This makes me hungry! We usually only have access to dungeness, snow and king crabs but my favorite is soft shell (blue) crab.

    Timothy – Exactly what I would have thought a crab should look like! Did you mix your main color or is that pre-made?

    Arjen – While I love both of your crabs, the gray/orange one come out amazingly well! Just beautiful on both of them and much more subtle than mine.

    When I finally looked closely at this mini, I realized that this was probably a fiddler crab (good spot, Antonia!). I ended up combining a few different crabs and adding a little fantasy for a decidedly fantastic creature. This is certainly one of my favorites from Bones 4.

  2. I was just looking at the schedule and noticed that there is only a week between 10/28 (farmer) and 11/4 (milkmaid). Was this intentional? I’m fine with it as I’ve been able to paint a bit ahead but I’m thinking the schedule should be something like:

    10/28 – farmer
    11/11 – milkmaid
    11/25 – tba (see some suggestions below)
    12/09 – wyvern
    12/23 – bandit

    Some suggestions from Bones 2:
    92613 – Anwyn
    92615 – Sarah the Seeress
    92636 – Ingrid
    92679 – Glitterwing, sylph
    92693 – Sea Hag
    92695 – Mab Grinylow

    Bones 3:
    104 – Vernon, Ivy Crown Knight
    112 – Boris Mingla, Evil Warlord
    129 – Sir Malcolm
    194 – Halfling Cook
    and others!

    Bones 4:
    Any of the villagers, especially:
    49 – Beggar & 51 – Server
    46 – Wizard
    72 – Succubus
    98 – Cyclops
    123,4,5 – Hungering Dead

    I’m happy with anything!

    • from this list, bones 2+3, I like sarah, vernone and the unnamed sea hag. Bones 4, all are fine with me.

      • Thanks to you, too, we’ll rummage through our “older Bones” pile and see what we can find 🙂

    • Thanks for the heads-up concerning the schedule, I fixed that in the recent article.
      And thanks a lot for the suggestions too, we’ll check the list/minis in a spare minute (whenever that will be *sigh*)

  3. I like how different all crabs are. even the two blue crabs have a very different feel. I never saw a blue crab, mine is based on pictures, whereas Michael’s is much more realistic (especially the joints). On the other hand, the orange one I used to collect bits of on the beach as a kid. Timothy has a very evenly painted orange one that lacks a certain debt, as if it is a cartoon character, but a very realistic sandy base. Antonia’s crab has a very sunny exotic feel and Jim’s crab has a very nice mottled brow with grey shield. personally, I would have tried to introduce some of that grey on the claw as well to sort of bring the claw and shield together, but I tend to overdo realism. To be honest, your crab is much flashier than mine and will probably scare the players more.

  4. I’m way behind on comments here, but I did want to add that I think Arjen’s crabs look really, really nice. The gradient work is honestly outstanding.

    And yes, blue crabs are delicious! They can be eaten many ways – in crab cakes, Maryland crab soup (tomato-based), cream of crab, fried soft-shell crab (as Jim likes), but a Crab Feast generally involves steaming whole crabs and coating them in Old Bay (a local spice blend), then picking them apart on a brown paper-covered table.

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