After the painting challenge of last weekend, I was left with the Heroes of Journeys in Middle Earth to finish. Aragorn Based of the artwork from The Lord of the Rings Card Game, there were several options to choose from when it came to colour schemes. However, the miniature sculpt appears to be based on the bottom left, so I used that as my guide. Armoured Jerkin – P3 Battlefield Brown Shirt – Citadel Orc Brown Cloak – Citadel Jungle Green Trousers – Coat d’Arms Green Grey Boots & Straps – Coat d’Arms Dark Leather Sword/Dagger – Coat d’Arms Gunmetal Hair – Vallejo Flat Brown Skin – GW Bugman’s Glow / P3 Khardic Flesh / P3 Midlund Flesh As a final shade, I applied an all over wash of Army Painter Soft Tone. Legolas The artwork for Legolas presents some very different possibilities. In the end I decided on the art that is used in the game (on the left) as this simply looked better. Tunic – Coat d’Arms Dark Elf Green Cloak &
Following last weekend’s painting challenge, this week has been spent applying the finishing touches to all the models. With the application of some varnish this morning (I used Vallejo brush-on Matt Varnish), these are now ready for the table. Ruffians Goblin Scouts Orc Marauders & Hunters Wargs Wights Troll Many thanks to Per at Roll-a-one for the idea of using wallpaper on a computer screen as a backdrop for miniature photography. A brilliantly simple and effective way of adding a themed background for your miniatures.
Well, we have come to the end of the Bank Holiday weekend and I am somewhat disappointed to report that the Journeys in Middle Earth box set has not been painted. The final tally was twenty-five and a half models – the half being the Legolas hero figure, which is still in progress. (Although technically the figure is actually zero, as I usually only count a miniatures being painted when the basing has been done). Where did it all go wrong? Probably with the Ruffians, as I had far too many colours involved. Whilst I am really pleased with the end result, they took far too long finish. The Orc Marauders also seemed to take forever to finish, as is often the case with figures that you are not enjoying. However, on a positive note, I did achieve a fair bit, and the game is almost fully playable with painted miniatures. Certainly for the game I am currently playing with Josh, I only have to finish Legolas and Aragorn – and I am almost there with that (it’s amazing how much time was spent on Monda
The final Enemy miniature in the core box set of Journeys in Middle Earth is also the biggest in the box – the Troll. Much like the wraiths, this model is inspired directly from one of the cards in the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. In this instance it is the Ruthless Hill Troll, so I based much of my colour scheme on this artwork. The main body colour is Coat d’Arms Pale Green, with CdA Mid Grey used for the scaly hide. Much like the Goblins earlier,I wanted the dramatic shading of an all over wash without darkening the skin colour too much, so I used Army Painter Soft Tone. I really enjoyed painting this figure, and am very pleased with the final result. With all the Enemy models painted, it is time to turn our attention to the heroes.
They next group of miniatures are the first that actually appear to be based on a specific piece of card art – these are the Wights, which look to be based on the picture on the left. Once again I am limiting the colour palette to browns, greys and black to maintain the generally dark appearance of the enemy models. Though the creature has exposed skeleton, I am taking further inspiration from the drawing and painted this a pale grey colour rather than bone, so it has a more ethereal rather than physical tone. Finally, as these models are undead, I want the shade contrast to be both cold and stark, so the models were washed with HE Nuln Oil. Quite pleased with how these have come out. Next up is the big guy, as it is time to paint the Troll, which is something I have been looking forward to.
Due to some other commitments my painting time on Sunday was somewhat restricted. Even so, painting the Orcs turned into something of a slog, rather than a joy. Whilst the Orc Hunters are OK, I dislike the Orc Marauder miniatures, which wasn’t helped by the fact that I found them a pain in the arse to paint. On a practical note, I wanted to differentiate between the Orc and Goblin miniatures in the game. Once again looking at the card art, Orcs are depicted in several different skin colours. In the end I decided on brown because It fit in with the ‘bad guys’ general colour palette I had an old Citadel ‘Orc Brown’ paint that was close to the colour I had originally envisaged for the skin tone, which worked out just about perfect. I changed a couple of things with this batch of figures. Firstly I started using a different Gunmetal paint. As I noted in the previous update,the Army Painter Gunmetal really didn’t seem dark enough, so I switched to the Coat d’Arms version,
The next batch of miniatures on the list were the Goblin Scouts. The first question is simple – what colour are they? Whilst most people would probably answer “Green” you may be surprised that in the Lord of the Rings they are never described as such. Goblins (and Orcs, as the term seemed almost interchangeable for Tolkien) were often described as black, brown or grey, or perhaps using terms such as ‘ swarthy’, but never green. However, we are using the card artwork as our reference, and whilst some Goblins are indeed brown or greyish in colour, we are going for green in this instance. I wanted a light green colour, and so dug into the depths of my paint box and found an old pot of Citadel Goblin Green – this was from the original Citadel Paint Set (They didn’t label the pots back then) so I hate to think how old it is – 20+ years! However, it seemed to work a treat. I am using Army Painter Gunmetal for the armoured weapons, but this does seem altogether far too
Next onto the painting table were the Ruffian models, since I had a good idea as to how I wanted to paint these. The palette for these models was going to be predominantly brown, so I used the technique that Matt Slade shared with us last year and first applied a wet brush of a 50/50 mix of Vallejo Flat Brown and Vallejo Hull Red. I then used a similar process to how I painted my Gnolls – using a wide palette of various brown shades and mixing these between the models so as to obtain a non-uniform look. The idea is to make the enemy models look varied in colour whilst keeping them of a general drab appearance – the brighter colours will be used by the heroes. Once complete the models were given an all over wash of Army Painter Strong Tone. I am pretty pleased with the result. However, these took me almost twice the time I expected to finish, which has already put the final target in some jeopardy. I think the problem lay in the fact that I was using a large range of colours. Simply switching betwe
I thought that I would start with something easy – the Wargs. These are big models with very pronounced detail. The first question is: what colour to paint them? With this entire collection I want to take my inspiration from the artwork that Fantasy Flight have produced for Lord of the Rings, rather than use over influences, such as the films. The best way to do that is to look at the artwork that has been used in the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game. Whilst some Wargs are brown, or even white, most of the artwork I have seen shows them as being dark grey or black, so I took that as my colour guide. I could of painted the Wargs in different colours to add some variation, but this approach would be more time consuming – plus if they are all the same colour they look more like a pack as opposed to individuals , at least to me. In all the models I am painting for this game I am aiming for a finish that gives a decent ‘Tabletop’ standard which should look good when the figures are placed
The first step, at least when painting models, always seems to be the most labourious. Since these are plastic miniatures I decided to give them a good wash and scrub with an old toothbrush before I did anything else. I don’t often do this to be honest, but thought that I would be extra vigilant in this instance. Once dry the models were inspected for flash and mould lines. There were actually very few of these apparent – probably most notably on the head and arms of the Ruffian models. These were removed with a modelling knife. Overall these are very neat and clean castings. And so into the most arduous step if, like me, you apply your primer with a brush – priming the models. I actually plan to try out several different techniques during painting, but decided that all the ‘Enemy’ models would be primed with a black undercoat, whilst the heroes would primed grey. This will potentially give a contrast between light and dark on the final models – we shall see. In both cases
This weekend is a bank holiday in the UK, and I will find myself left to my own devices for the weekend – so I decided to set myself a challenge. The task is, on the face of it, a simple one – paint all the miniatures from The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth in a single weekend. 31 miniatures in total: 6 Goblin Scouts 3 Orc Hunters 3 Orc Marauders 6 Ruffians 3 Wargs 3 Wights 1 Troll 6 Heroes The plan is to start painting after I finish work tomorrow evening, with the aim of having everything finished by around tea-time on Monday. It should be easily achievable, but this is me we are talking about here! I’ll be posting an update at the end of each day with details of my progress.
It has taken almost a full month, but the Gnoll warband has been finished. The undercoat \ basecoat was applied to the models on March 31st. Since then work on them has been somewhat sporadic, but the Easter break has allowed me some time to really get my teeth into the final few models and get them finished. I approached the task by dividing the figures into smaller groups – 2 groups of six models each, followed by a group of eight. Then the seven metal character models and finally the two hyenas. The basing on all the figures was left until the end and all done together. Gnoll Characters A Gnoll Tracker with his pets Gnoll Sergeants (They are characterised by wielding two-handed weapons) Gnoll Warriors with hand weapons Gnoll Archers The warband has 29 models in total, so should be quite flexible for most of my needs – the character models with perhaps a couple of rank and file models would make a great group for Thud and Blunder. The models in both metal and plastic have actually been a joy to
Yesterday was spent working on the basing of the figures I have recently painted, with the result that all the miniatures (well, all bar a couple of birds) for the first mission of Rangers of Shadow Deep – ‘The Missing’ – have now been finished. I started painting these on the 19th February, which a total of 59 miniatures painted in 33 days, which must be some new sort of record for me! First off we have our intrepid Rangers. These will be selected from the following miniatures from the Foundry fantasy range: These can be accompanied by a Rangers best friend (Otherworld Hunting Hounds): Then we have the monsters our Rangers will be facing – Giant Rats (Reaper Bones), Zombies (Mantic Games) and Giant Spiders (Wizkids – D&D Nolzur’s Marvelous Miniatures) Finally, we have “The Missing” of the mission title – Villagers (Gripping Beast) Next up on the painting desk are miniatures for ‘The Beacon Tower’ mission, which include Gnolls, a Fles
I have probably mentioned several times in the last that I am something of an enforced painted – I paint because I really don’t like the look of bare plastic and metal on the tabletop. Painting isn’t part of the hobby I would necessarily choose to do – I would much prefer to be playing games. However, since I also think that I should paint the models I have bought to put on the tabletop, I find myself looking to use what techniques and skills that I can find to make painting as quick and painless as possible. My goal isn’t to paint models that will win awards, but rather to get models onto the tablet that look decent from “wargames range” – the range you see figures when actually playing with them. This is typically 3′ – 4′, so if a model I have painted looks good at arm’s length, I am usually pretty happy. One of my favourite ways of painting is to use a dark wash over a figure to provide contrasting shades and highlights. It is a techni
Rating: Thud & Blunder is a set of skirmish rules for warfare set in a land of high fantasy. The rules are written by Charles Murton and Craig Cartmell of The Ministry of Gentlemanly Warfare, who have also authored In Her Majesty’s Name, Daisho and Blood Eagle. They are available as a 164 page hardcover book, or as an e-book/PDF, released on the 13th March and is available from North Star Figures. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is an adage that could be applied to this set of rules. The core mechanics of their previous games give Thud & Blunder it’s basic skeleton, whilst the changes required to move the action into the realm of fantasy: fantastic beasts, magical powers, numerous warbands involving your favourite races from fantasy and a wealth of mythical settings add muscle to the bone. Flesh this out with a campaign system and you have a final creature which is both formidable and a thing of beauty. In order to play, you will need at least a couple of warbands