I’ll admit that it has been a long time since I read Michael Moorcock’s collection of novels. Prior to that, a friend of mine gave him a backhanded compliment to his writing by saying he was ‘a good ideas man’.
It is probably thanks to this golden age of television that we are being treated to currently that our standards for storytelling and characterisation in visual media have been raised.
Moorcock’s novels are written from the perspective of the Eternal Champion, Elric in this case. I can’t fault him too much, since there are many themes that were being explored in the sixties and seventies in his work – finding time for meaningful players outside of the central figure wasn’t really a factor.
As such, we aren’t given much material for the Melnibonean who is really the great nemesis in Elric’s life. He is the archetypal cardboard cutout villain, almost evil for the sake of being evil, stooping at nothing to achieve his nefarious goals.
Yyrkoon’s treatment doesn’t really stack up to me. He’s supposed to be an accomplished sorcerer, a powerful mind. Yet despite being resourceful enough to find the Mournblade, twin weapon to Elric’s Stormbringer it seems as if his sanity has been consumed when the two cousins meet, probably by the Mournblade. Yyrkoon should represent the establishment, Old Melnibone, but he cuts a pitiable, desperate figure, we deserved better.
I won’t say much on the roles of women in these novels, but Cymoril being at best a pawn and a plot device at worst is probably about par for the course for the times.
Anyway, on to the mini. Our villain is from the EC05 range from 1987(?) Which I think came in blister packs. I’ve always really liked the figure, the whole range captures the spirit of the books for me. Jes Goodwin stamped out many figures similar to Yyrkoon, look no further than the Wood Elf range for Warhammer for some examples. Nevertheless, he’s got a unique enough flavour.
I have no desire to paint in the style of the era but I did put a little ‘blanchitsu’ on the tops of his boots, although the camera is doing its best to hide it.
Skin: Rakarth Flesh/Fleshshade/Pallid Wych Flesh skin
Armour: Abaddon Black/VGC Jade Green/VGC Jade Green + White
Fur tunic: Space Wolf Grey (yes!)/Drakenhof Nightshade/White
Strangely enough I found the original eBay image on my work laptop. I must have purchased him fairly early on in 2012, just as the Oldhammer thing was taking off, before demand sent prices for old lead skyrocketing. The original paint job was faithful to the character, I wonder if they were a book reader.