Thulsa Doom and the Serpent Cult

Thulsa Doom, Conan the Barbarian, Forge of Doom Miniatures

As already written in the article about Conan the Barbarian, part of the fascination comes from Conan’s adversaries. First and foremost, of course, is Thulsa Doom, cruel mage and Lord of the Serpents.

“Now they will know why they are afraid of the dark. Now they learn why they fear the night.”

In Conan the Barbarian, Thulsa is played by James Earl Jones. Although I love Arnie in this film, it was James Earl Jones’ portrayal from the beginning that really stuck in my mind. The eyes, the voice, the sheer presence. You could really believe he could be the charismatic leader of a cult.

The miniature captures this brilliantly. Thulsa is created by the talented hands of Boris Woloszyn and was published by Forge of Doom Miniatures. Unfortunately, they had to stop production again due to copyright claims. Apparently, in the meantime, they have completely closed the doors and no longer sell anything. By Crom – I am more than happy to own this great model!

Rexor

“Kill them!”

With Rexor, Thulsa Doom’s right-hand man has finally been finished. I always liked that both Thorgrim and Rexor posed threats to Conan, even if they were never a match for him, of course. As trashy as the film is (and it’s probably over-hyped by me, too), I always found Conan’s foes perfectly drawn. Gritty but not deadly serious, taciturn and determined, wonderfully cast.
Rexor’s miniature is of course once again from Forge of Doom, again modeled by Boris Woloszyn. The pose is almost a classic Woloszyn pose, but it fits the character very well and is different from the others, so at least for the main characters there is a nice variety in the design.

Thorgrim

The next mini for the Conan project is Thorgrim, loyal henchman of Thulsa Doom. He is played by Sven-Ole Thorsen and I always had the feeling that he couldn’t hide the fact that he is a friend of Arnie in real life. A bit of sympathy shone through and the fights seemed to me like scuffles between friends. He is one of the characters missing from the sequel, although he doesn’t speak a word.

You killed my snake. Thorgrim is beside himself with grief! He raised that snake from the time it was born.”

The miniature has once again been sculpted by Boris Woloszyn for Forge of Doom Miniatures. Painting Thorgrim was a lot of fun, as the design is absolutely stunning. The model really looks like Thorsen, doesn’t it?

The Snake

The scene where Conan and his companions sneak into the temple of Thulsa Doom and suddenly face a giant snake is one of the many iconic scenes from Conan the Barbarian. While I don’t know if the fight looked good by the standards of the time, I think it’s pretty trashy – still, I love this scene.

When I started looking for miniatures from the movie, I knew I needed the snake. Should I maybe go for a toy snake just to have something the right size? After a while, I found this beautiful giant snake from Reaper. It may not be as huge as it is in the movie, but it’s bigger than I expected and fits in perfectly with the other human-sized minis. Unfortunately, it had some very awkward casting degrees right across the body, which made cleaning it and trying not to destroy the snake skin a real pain. I then tried to mimic the pattern from the movie, and think I did relatively well. The figure definitely makes my collector’s heart beat a little faster.

The Temple Guard

Thulsa Doom’s temple guard fights Conan in Conan the Barbarian, but is only seen for a short time. Her armor is black except for the light fabric and orange elements on the helmets. I usually try to stick to the original design of the movie characters, but I didn’t want to just paint them black this time. I took inspiration from Forge of Doom’s Facebook page and simply adapted the bluish color scheme. I’m very happy with the result, even though they might be a bit too colorful for old Thulsa Doom now.

Soldiers for the cult!

Today I finished some troops of Thulsa Doom. The minis are again from Forge of Doom and were once again kneaded by Boris Woloszyn. There is absolutely nothing to complain about, the casting is flawless and despite their mono poses their heads and arms are different enough to make for an interesting look. I’m very pleased with them as they fit in perfectly with the rest of the range. For the first time in my Conan project, I didn’t stick too strictly to the original costumes from the movie and just went for colors that I thought would match the others. Doom’s troops are growing!

“You, my children, are the water that will wash away all that has gone before.”

The Serpent Warriors

The last warrior squad for Thulsa Doom’s forces is finally finished. It is also part of Forge of Doom’s sadly discontinued, brilliant Conan range and is also kneaded by Boris Woloszyn- I don’t know if I can do anything with the three-man units in any game, but they were sold that way and supplies are unfortunately no longer available. Maybe 7TV Fantasy will help me when it comes out in spring 2021.

It’s the same pose three times, once with a different head and different weapon options each time. The pose can look dynamic or strange depending on the perspective – not the best choice for a triple use, but the weapon and head variants give just enough variance. Unfortunately, the casting wasn’t as good as previous models, but judging that is kind of obsolete with discontinued products. I have tried to paint them independently and through the shields yet army-themed and am quite satisfied with the result.

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