Skip to main content

Reaper Bones Hydra (77191)

What mythical monster lurks in the swamp and would be a nice battle encounter for a whole group of adventurers? What about a five-headed hydra? I bought the Reaper Bones Hydra specifically for this encounter, and I think it turned out quite nice.

The Hydra is a mythical monster serpent/reptile from ancient Greek and Roman mythology, best known maybe for being killed by Heracles. It has several heads and unnatural regenerative powers. You chop off one head, two more emerge instantly. Of course this monster is also in the monster manual of various D&D editions. Courtney Campell from Hack & Slash wrote a great arcticle about the ecology of the Hydra and its variations in the Dungeons and Dragons game. It apparently was also featured in Dragon magazine #272 in 2000, but I don’t have access to that.

The Hydra miniature was sculpted by Sandra Garrity, and there are serveral very nice paint jobs I really like: Aric Clark painted his Hydra in green, forest-like colors. He also painted the back spikes in a light bone color, which I also adapted for my version. In the version from StudioSFS I mostly like the darker scale colors, fitting for a camourflaged predator of the swamp. MGM Painting chose to paint the mini with cyan/blue color scheme, wich also rocks. Peter Fitzpatrick opted for a really cool striped camourflage look with sand/brown colors and green. He also painted the back spikes in a lighter color.

So I decided that my Hydra would also have darker, camourflaged colors to perfectly blend into the surroundings of the swamp. Unfortunately, this would mean that the miniature could look pretty boring due to lacking contrasts. This is why I adapted the lighter back spikes from Aric Clark and Peter Fitzpatrick. My Hydra would have lighter scale color on its underbelly and bit more greener scales on top near the back spikes.

Basing and Priming

The mini came unassembled, so I put it together first and cleaned it with soap afterwards. Also, there were some quite visible gaps between the different parts, so I used some green stuff to mask them. The Bones miniature is quite big, it didn’t fit on a 75mm base properly. I used a Pringles lid as base: it was big enough, but also too flexible as a base. So I filled it with epoxy mass. Which was also a great way to include some twigs and stones to simulate a swamp environment.

The miniature was then primed with Vallejo Black Primer and dusted with White primer with an Airbrush.


I started with an olive green basecoat for the scales and washed the whole miniature with a mix of Vallejo Game Ink Sepia and Black. VGC Bonewhite was applied to the back spikes. The underbelly was then painted with two shades of yellow ochre. I gave the whole miniature a light drybrush and then painted some scales on the back with a forest green. A light wash of sepia was then applied on the back spikes. Finally, I painted the faces.

For the base, I tried something new: Water effects. Vallejo Still Water was perfect to make the swamp base look really wet. I used the technique described in this video by Scale War Machines to apply the water.