I recently picked up something a little different for a quick build - a Reaper Miniatures Pygmy Mammoth.
I think it may be part of some fantasy wargaming series… but I’m building it for my wife who teaches 4th grade to go along with a fossil mammoth molar and fur sample she shows the kids as part of their science unit.
This is a departure from my usual plastic ships, airplanes, and tanks, and the material is a little different, too – some sort of slightly flexible polymer plastic. It comes partly assembled and is beautifully sculpted and well cast. Mold seams were fairly light and scraped away easily, and I attached the tusks and ears with cyanoacrylate. After blending the part joins with Milliput Standard Yellow-Grey two part epoxy putty, I have an assembled mammoth!
Not wargaming in the sense of large armies with serried ranks of similar figures, but Role Playing Games (e.g. “Dungeons and Dragons”) which require a plethora of individual characters, or at best a small group of similar figures with individually low combat values who need strength in numbers to be useful (although there are systems which allow one to combine one’s “Character” figures into element-based small armies: “Hordes of the Things” is my favourite). Hence the myriad of designs and small numbers of figures in each package.
You may find this information useful with regard to (not) priming the “Bones” Material:
The little mammoth looks cool with his dynamic head-high and three feet on the ground pose, but also makes the free-standing piece a little unstable. Attaching it to a base will help this.
A prefinished oak wall plug plate from the local hardware store should serve nicely.
I’ve used these before – they look good and make for quick, easy wood bases!
To keep the mammoth from stepping through the plug holes, a simple “Earth” platform was trimmed from a piece of .060 inch plastic sheet. I penciled in the positions of the mammoth’s feet and rounded down the edges.
I applied a coating of Golden Gel Mediums Coarse Pumice Gel to give the smooth plastic base some earth texture.
Unfortunately, the groundwork ended up looking more like coarse beach sand than earth, so after it dried I added a slurry of spackling paste thinned with water over the top of it to de-emphasize the overlarge sand grains in the pumice gel.
After it fully dries I’ll paint it and add some baking soda to create a snowy scene.
I’ve had good luck with baking soda “snow” before, so a winter mammoth is a natural!
The mammoth was given a base coat of Tamiya XF-79 Linoleum Deck Brown lightened with Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan with some XF-3 Flat Yellow and XF-7 Flat Red added to give the fur a nice orange hue (surviving mammoth fur samples are typically orange-ish in color). The tusks were painted with Tamiya XF-55 Deck Tan heavily lightened with Flat White.
The mouth, eyes, and areas of skin such as the ears and underside of the trunk were painted with the base color with a little more red added.
After painting the grey toes and black eyeballs, the mammoth was given a thin wash with Grumbacher Raw Umber and Windsor and Newton Burnt Sienna artist’s oils to deepen recesses and give the beast a slightly red-brown filter. Once this dried, a light drybrushing with the base color with a little more Deck Tan added was applied to integrate things and to provide some highlights.
Well… sloths (including giant ground sloths - how cool is that?) did live in California during the Pleistocene Era, and the saber-toothed tiger is the official California State Fossil… so who knows, the wife may have further projects for me!
Something a little different and a little unusual. Great to see! Your mammoth came out wonderfully.
Neat little project. The flowers add that complementary colour very nicely.
Rory and Peter, thank you both! This was a fun, quick project, and the wife was suitably pleased with it. The little mammoth will be a minor prop (teaching aid?) in her science unit when she resumes teaching in the Fall.
It is rather small, though - it will be dwarfed by the fossil mammoth molar she has to display with it.
Now I do have a MUCH larger 1/13 scale Aurora Giant Whoolly Mammoth also still lurking in the stash…