Call of Cthulhu Limited Edition Detective

For two years now I’ve entered a turbo-niche Halloween painting competition where entrants have to paint one piece from Citadel Miniatures’ insanely characterful Night Horrors or Gothic Horror ranges – the two 1980s ranges designed to support Games Workshop’s Call of Cthulhu licence.  As last year I painted one half of the classic Citadel LE3 Gumshoe Detectives duo, Bogart, it seemed only right this year to paint his partner – Cagney.

Citadel Call of Cthulhu LE3 Gumshoes Detectives

Bogart and Cagney: 50% Bogart & Bacall, 50% Cagney & Lacey.

Bogart’s moody trenchcoat with upturned collar, one hand in pocket and nonchalant cigarette make him instantly recognisable as a noir detective.  However, Cagney was very much a a man in a plain suit (with a gun).  He could easily be a mistaken for wedding guest (with a gun), a 1970s newsreader (with a gun), or an estate agent (with a gun).  In order to align him with the contest’s theme of REAL ULTIMATE EVIL, I thought I’d plough some effort into the base.  (Actually, an estate agent is pretty close to REAL ULTIMATE EVIL, so maybe I should have gone in that direction.)

Sydney Morning Herald

Newspapers are a shrinking industry.

The newspaper on the base is a rendition of the Sydney Morning Herald , with the he headline ALERT SUNK is a reference to the Call of Cthulhu story where Cthulhu gets his head rammed over by the steam yacht Alert.  (Thanks for coming up with that idea, Michal.)  I painted the headline as small as I could on a piece of thin card and then cut it out so I didn’t have to worry about the normal freehand space constraints.

Citadel Call of Cthulhu LE3 Gumshoes Detectives

With the newspaper done, I figured I’d model the base as Sydney harbourside.  The lapping waves effect were taken from sho3box’s Man O’War Nurgle fleet (thanks sho3y).  I added a Chaos Spawn tentacle to explain why Cagney’s drawn his gun.  With that done, I figure he’s firmly anchored in the lands of Call of Cthulhu investigator.

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Citadel Call of Cthulhu LE3 Gumshoes Detectives investigating the cult

The dynamic duo at a harbourside warehouse rumoured to be focus of cult activity, while two totally normal stevedores go about their totally normal business.

The LE3 Gumshoe Detectives, while part of the Gothic Horror range, are also part of the numbered limited editions series that Citadel Miniatures pumped out in the late 1980s.  I’d like to paint up all twenty five of the codes, and am planning the LE1 Space Orc soon.

Citadel Call of Cthulhu LE3 Gumshoes Detectives

LE2 Space Marine and both LE3 Gumshoe Detectives.

Gotta think what to do for next year’s entry now. The Night Horrors range and Gothic Horrors are chockful of characterful one-off miniatures.  Both detectives were resculpted at least twice for rerelease later in the Gothic Horror range, so I’ll see if I can track down those.  I’m also obsessed by the Doctor Who miniatures that were slightly resculpted and released as Gothic Horror pieces too!  Roll on 2019’s competition!

Cagney came first in the competition, meaning I defended my title from last year.  Congratulations to the other entrants who got their pieces finished to the deadline, and thanks to Ashley for organised the contest – why not join the group on Facebook yourself?

In related news, I won a statuette at Golden Demon this weekend, and I’ll be publishing the stage-by-stage tutorial on Patreon later this week.

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14 thoughts on “Call of Cthulhu Limited Edition Detective

  1. You make the water effect look better than I ever could.

    That’s a great model for loads of reasons. The pose and the light suit manage to scream PULP in a satisfying way. Toy soldiers that dont mine tropes are, by and large, not great toy soldiers. No fear of that here.

    As for getting a Golden Demon, its both exciting and well deserved. Well done!

    1. Thanks sho3y! It’s actually the third time I’d painted it – the inital two colours for the suit just looked really wrong. The initial white looked too much like a wedding groom, and I tried burgundy too but he looked like Ron Burgundy.

      I just did the water like you told me. If you think it looks better than your then it’s only cos you’re looking at mine in the objective way you’re not with your own stuff.

  2. You have accurately portrayed the menace and horror of Sydney Harbour perfectly. The tentacles are usually a bit larger.
    I’ve always wanted to play a Cthulu adventure and seeing these dyed-in-the-wool true blue Aussie investigators has only heightened that want.
    The effort put into the various elements of this model were well worth it, and as usual I’m in awe of your freehand skill. Kudos!

  3. Both of these guys have exactly the right amount of pulp, bringing out the excellent character of the sculpts. I particularly like Cagney’s tan coloured suit and the Sho3box (TM) water effects on the base. Of course the newsprint is something else!

    Congrats on your wins!

    1. Thanks axiom! I’m keen to see what other colours will work on noir suits for future investigators! You have to start thinking of all those bits you only do when you wear suits yourself, like, “Do these socks go with this tie?”

  4. Brilliant work. The newspaper is great. You have achieved the goal of getting this model to sit seamlessly in the eldritch horror world.

    Great work on the Golden Demon too :)

    1. Thanks! I almost went for the elder sign in chalk somewhere on the base – but I’ll hang onto that for a future Gothic Horror mini.

  5. Not only the fantastic painting I’ve come to expect but a really interesting and unique base. I somehow now can’t see the figure without it. Congrats on the Golden Demon, I’ll be looking and commenting on your patreon later this weekend.

    1. Thanks Sean! I did a plain 25mm base for the figure too, so he’s not carting around an inexplicible waterside diorama in games. See if that ever gets an outing.

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