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Colubrida Guard

Vitruvian H.A.C.K.S.
by yo go re

Okay, we had a few weeks with actual Joe Friday reviews, but now we're back to their superior little Vitruvian HACKS cousins.

The Gorgon Horde was thousands strong, growing continuously, and the Colubrida Guard were the most feared of all. They were the generals and commanders of the Gorgon Horde. Smart and cunning, they were far more independent than the other gorgon warriors. They were opportunistic and lay in wait for their victims, for the exact moment to strike and gain the upper hand. They were the rarest and most feared within the Gorgon army. They were immune to the other Gorgons' venom and were cannibalistic. They used fear to command respect while leading the other species into battle.

The name "Colubrida" comes from the Latin word for snake, coluber - specifically, it comes from the scientific family Colubridae, which boasts almost 2,000 different species of snake. If that sounds like a huge number, it is: Colubridae is a catch-all taxon that everything gets dumped into when it doesn't fit anywhere else. It's like the random category on our blog, or the miscellaneous section of our Reviews page.

While the Coral Gorgon, Green Mamba, and Black Racer were all named after specific snakes, this one is basically just called "snake." So how do you pick a color for the snake snake? Boss Fight Studio seems to have gone with the simple milk snake. Well, kind of. The fact that she's orange, yellow and white suggests that she's based on an albino milk snake. (You'll recall, of course, that the normal milk snake is the "red and black, won't attack" counterpart to the "red and yellow, kill a fellow" coral snake. One of them, at least.)

The milk snake gets its name from the folk tale that the creature would suckle from cows and nursing mothers. Ladies, would you really let a snake near your nipples? And how much milk could a tiny snake take in, anyway, a few tablespoons? This figure uses the closed-mouth head, so she won't be sucking anyone or anything any time soon.

Her breastplate and bracers are the same molds all the Gorgon Horde wears, so no surprise there. They're cast in a dark gunmetal grey, which really contrasts beautifully with her vibrant skin. She gets the serpentine bone headdress, which is pale gray with no sort of wash or drybrushing to create shading. While it's not the same white as the stripes on her body, the fact that it's similarly light makes it look appropriate on her. Of course, given the Vitruvian HACKS style, you can take all the armor off anyway, in case you just want a big orange snake lady.

The figure moves well, with a balljointed head, swivel/hinged shoulders, elbows and wrists, a balljointed waist, and eight more balljoints down the length of the tail! The interior structures are ABS plastic, but the outer skin is PVC, allowing it to flex as it moves, or to even rotate around the inner core so you can pose the tail various ways without ending up with the belly pointed at the sky. And the figure includes a pair of alternate hands with the hinge joints running horizontally instead of vertically.

The Guard is armed with the usual Gorgon shield, but comes with two medium-length swords and one scabbard. The weapons are all done in a medium gray, a half-step between the helmet and the armor. Going plain and simple with the color on all the accessories was a smart choice, since the figure herself is so wildly colorful.

Most colubrid snakes are classified as non-venomous, but that's not strictly true: all snakes, even ones that kill by construction, have venom-producing glands; they've just been evolutionarily repurposed to produce mucus to help the snakes swallow their prey; but if you test that mucus, you'll find minute amounts of venom. Yes, even the humble and harmless milk snake.

-- 12/30/16

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