Category Archives: model building


Hey, so it’s been nearly 4 months since I last posted anything. Since then, my wife and I had our 3rd child in January, and have moved house in recent weeks too.

This move was a perfect time to re-evaluate my hobby space, as everything had to be wrapped up, transported, and unpacked again. I went through a whole roll of bubble wrap in the process, too.

Word Bearers

I’ve been looking at the models that I will be focusing on in the next few months, once my uni course has finished for the term. I’m looking to begin by finishing off my Angmar orcs, Rivendell elves, and possibly my Scions.

Rivendell (2nd Age)

I’m also interested in getting playing LOTR MESBG at some point too. This is a goal for the far-future, however. My main aim is to get back into the swing of painting again, and what better place to start than with the orcs? They are nowhere near as uniform as the other armies, and benefit from looking haggard.

A mix of Chaos cultists, Imperial Guard tanks, and odds and ends

I’m also keeping a strict rule on myself not to buy anymore plastic or metal until everything is painted up. It sounds easier said than done, but I’m serious about keeping my hobby space in this new house more under control than the previous. Late last year I ended up adding a 5th shelf to the cabinet as I was running out of room, and I don’t particularly want to have to add a 6th. At least not in 2022.

Pray for me haha.

All the best to you all, and thanks for reading. I’ll have new posts soon.

Some new figs & a life update

Hey, everyone.

I’m getting back into the general swing of life after a huge event last week, the birth of our third child! It has been an incredible time and has really turned life on its head, though we are majorly happy. I think it’s safe to say our little family is finally complete! Everyone is healthy and safe, and that’s the main thing.

Obviously, this hasn’t left a lot of time for much else, though it was my birthday last week and I treated myself to a pack of models for my Minas Tirith army: the Guards of the Fountain Court. Despite being foulcast, they don’t look to be bent out of shape (thankfully) but when I get a spate hour I’ll be cleaning them up and gluing them together!

Painting has taken a backseat right now as a deadline for my writing course looms next week. I’ve mainly been too exhausted in the evening to drag my paintbox out and prop myself up, but I’m sure once life settles down again I can resume.

I’ll update again in the near future, but until then, take care!

Hobby update (30th December)

What will probably end up being the last post of 2021, here I am about to begin painting Boromir’s banner! Freehanding anything makes me very nervous, but I’m going to take it slowly and not get stressed about it along the way.

I found some rare sunlit, dry time to get my newest models primed and ready for painting. So far, I have based them and just waiting for them to dry before beginning work on their armour.

I grabbed myself a packet of the Osgiliath veterans as well, as the models are so cool. I loved the battle in Osgiliath during the LOTR films, where mixed forces of rangers and armoured warriors fought the orcs; this blending of these different troops is part of what inspired me to collect Minas Tirith as an army, so having the veterans added to the mix does wonders for the visual aspect of the army as well as the bonuses that they bring (i.e: receiving a Fight value bonus of +1 when 6″ from Boromir or Faramir). If Boromir has his banner, this can stack, making these guys Fight value 5 (equal to Faramir himself).

This year has been a strange one. I’ve fallen in and out of love with the hobby multiple times, picked up the Lord of the Rings minis and fallen down a rabbit hole with them. Although I’ve been distracted by writing and uni, painting models is still a great stress relief for me, and I hope to continue onwards into the new year with this, even if I am just posting once a month.

Wishing you all a happy and safe 2022 when it comes!


Holidays update

Hey folks, this is just a quick update today to say Merry Christmas and hope you’re enjoying the holiday season! It’s also an update on the haul today, as I received some minis and have managed to drag my exhausted self to the table to assemble a few tonight, despite feeling like I’ve been run over.

All the minis I received for Christmas are Lord of the Rings; three sets for my Minas Tirith army, these being citadel guard, commanders and Beregond & Cirion. The citadel guard are very cool looking models, with the appearance similar to that of regular troops wrapped in cloaks. I reckon they would do alright defending Denethor.

The commanders set comes with a troop with war horn, one with a banner, a knight of the white tower, and one captain (whose sword was broken, and wasn’t actually in the box- bloody finecast).

Beregond & Cirion are two heroes of lower points cost; they seem to be oft- forgotten minis in Minas Tirith army lists, but are reliable in their own right. And cheap to play. Beregond is more of a thematic choice for me, as I was intending on getting Pippin into this list as well, with Beregond himself being one of my favourite characters from the book.

I put in a good 40 mins of tidying and gluing these guys together, finishing some with chopped up sprue pieces (these act as shattered parts of the white city- ruined brickwork, etc). If the weather can stay dry in the next few days, I might even be able to get them primed.

Anyways, that’s all for today. How did you all fare with your Christmas hobby hauls? Have a great evening and take care.

Hobby update (21st October)

I have been working on painting up my Lord of the Rings minis recently, mainly leading with my Minas Tirith horde. I’ve been gravitating towards an army that mixes the armoured Warriors of Minas Tirith with the Rangers of Gondor, much like that scene in Osgiliath in the movies.

This month I picked up a box of the Rangers of of Middle-earth and have set to work building the archers first. The models are very detailed, and can be used for a few armies, depending on how you paint them. I plan to paint them in the varying shades of green and brown as they appeared in the films.

On the painting front so far, I have been working on the WoMT, batch-painting a handful of troops. I mainly want to use these guys as the first line of offence/defence, with the rangers acting as fire support and additional spear support. As such, I’m leaning towards getting the sword/spear & shield troops done first. I threw in some armoured archers to break up the monotony.

In the background I am continuing work on Boromir as my main hero of the army, having completed the force leader, Denethor, recently. There are three separate models for Boromir that will take some time to finish up (sword & shield, banner, with banner on horse) so I’m just moving them into the batch-painting queue as I go. The banner is going to be a bitch to freehand.

I’ve also been slowly finishing the wood elves for my Rivendell army. These guys have just been needing basing for the past little while, so I have decided to make a conscious effort to give them the push they need.

As always, thanks for reading and take care.

A more recent progress update

It’s been nearly 2 months since I posted last, and I have been using the time to work on writing projects. I’ve had 5 pieces published in the last couple of months, so it’s been getting off to a great start.

In recent weeks, I’ve picked up a paintbrush and started working on my LotR armies once again. A recent addition to my Angmar force has been the lovely cave troll, as I felt they needed some muscle in the army. I managed to get him primed this afternoon before the thunderstorm, and after filling in his belly with plastic putty. I’m surprised he is still holding together; Army Painter’s super glue is mighty strong, I’ll say that much.

So far, I’ve given him a blue ink wash and I intend on giving his belly and underarms some fleshy tones when he dries.

As for the troops, I am still painting orcs and elves. The orcs just need alternating between colours to give them that variety; the elves are a massive line of identical troops that I’m trying not get bogged down with. I like the effect when they are all together though, they do properly radiate light, as elves should!

The model at the front is Cirdan, a minor hero for Rivendell. I actually found him on a genuine model shop site, brand new, for £8. I snapped him up instead of being ripped off by everyone on eBay, and have been painting him in similar colours to my troops. I love how much detail he has as a model, and always looks so dignified no matter what haha.

There are a number of extra models that I purchased during the last few months for LotR that I will show in subsequent posts. I also managed to finish my mounted Witch-king, but still need to take the pics for that one. It’s been relaxing getting back into painting and modelling, and not feeling so much of a chore as it kind of did in June. A rest has done me good I think, and I look forward to checking out all of your work that I might have missed.

As always, take care and catch you next time.

Erestor (Summer Solstice Painting Challenge)

I have just wrapped up work on my entry for the Summer Solstice Painting Challenge, hosted by Ann’s Immaterium. For this challenge, I have completed Erestor for my Rivendell army; he is an advisor to Elrond who suggests that the One Ring be hidden in the care of Tom Bombadil early on in book 2. I chose him because I really like the model for one, the pose being distinctly deadly, but also because I really enjoyed painting him and reckon that he is the best of the Elven troops that I have finished so far.

I went with the Rivendell colour scheme that appeared as an alternative for the Elves in an old copy of White Dwarf (I have only found the image online, I don’t know which issue it appeared in, sadly- if anyone does, please let me know). This mainly involved a grey tunic, green cloak with blue ink wash, and gold armour drybrushed with a mix of gold and silver.

As for the base- with the rest of my Rivendell troops I tried going for an autumnal woodland effect, but this didn’t pan out and I had trouble sealing the odds and ends to the base. I drybrushed green patches over some of it, giving a kind of mossy look before leaning hard on the Valhallan Blizzard to cover up any mistakes. I love that paint, but I use it too damn much…

Erestor is a great figure, and though his role is small in the book, it made me seek him out and read more into him. In the tabletop game, he seems to be an underappreciated gem with a fight value of 6 and a defence of 7 with his heavy armour. He can also throw his Noldorin daggers, and gets re-rolls for wound rolls when throwing them or striking with them. I’ve yet to see how he performs in-game, but as I plan to take Glorfindel as the leader to my Rivendell army, Erestor will no doubt fill a useful role in leading his own warband.

Anyways, that’s all for this post. As always, thanks for reading and take care.

Witch-king & the Dwimmerlaik

The Witch-king is one of my favourite characters in the Lord of the Rings, as I might have mentioned several times before. His history is very grim, and the tales of war between Angmar and Arnor makes for an interesting read. Even the snippets of history that appear in the early chapters of the Lord of the Rings tease the horrors of the north from times past, and video games like War in the North also lends to the lore in this regard.

My favourite Witch-king model is this one from the scene at Weathertop in the Fellowship film, when he is approaching Frodo. I managed to get this one for a few pounds on eBay not long ago, and set to work with the black contrast paint. As with the rest of the Ringwraiths, I followed this up with light drybrushes of Dawnstone and lighter touches of white afterwards.

I do like the cheeky Morgul Blade tucked into the belt.

The Dwimmerlaik followed the same steps, and I repeated my painting steps for his horse that I initially used on the Tainted’s steed. I tried to keep the horse as dark as possible, washing the flesh with Nuln Oil before bringing the brown back up again with a light drybrushing of the original colour. All the bases got the snowy Angmar treatment, with the skulls taking a wash of Nuln Oil and Agrax Earthshade.

This is the majority of my Ringwraiths complete now, leaving only the mounted Witch-king to go. Painting the hooded riders has been fun, but the results aren’t always obvious on camera. Alongside the mounted Witch-king, I was basing the Wargs last night and making some progress with the Orc horde too. Things are taking shape.

Thanks again for reading, and catch you next time.

Hobby Progress (29th April)

Time seems to be crawling along as well as bounding by, which is a strange feeling but I seem to be noticing it more and more… and with that, we are towards the end of another week and I have yet to post something!

I’ve started to work on the orcs for my Angmar force. These guys were an eBay rescue which was decent because I got the standard box of 24 for half the retail price; the catch was the models were still on the sprue and half primed. The black prime was spotty and very thin, so I primed right over the top of it (after freeing the orcs from the sprues, of course!) Painting these guys is taking me right back to my old room in my early teens, when I was working on an army of a similar style.

With the orc rabble, I’m intending on keeping the colour palette small for the clothing- this will mainly boil down to Steel Legion Drab, Eshin Grey, Leadbelcher, etc- and a variety of skin colours since orcs were shown to be quite mixed in the films. Bugman’s Glow is definitely in there, some of the more sickly green paints too (I’m poor at remembering my green paints’ names), and there were orcs with blueish/grey skin too, so all that will be going into the mob.

Due to the small sizes of the LotR armies in the game, I have also been slowly assembling a Rivendell force. I’ve long since failed one of my resolutions about not buying any more minis until my current ones are painted, but I still haven’t bought any bitz though, so there’s one win.

I’m in the process of putting together an Elf-based list and have started with Gildor Ingolrion, the singing wanderer who inadvertently scared away a Black Rider, saving Frodo, Sam and Pippin on their travels early on. His special rule allows Wood Elves to be taken in a Rivendell army as part of his warband, so I thought that I would start here with a small group taken straight from the novel.

That’s all for this update, I hope you’re all well. Take care.

Hobby Progress (22nd April)

April is flying by, though the way the time is going it feels like it’s passing swiftly and slowly simultaneously. It’s a strange feeling. On the other hand, my sleeping pattern has been stable for a little while now, so I’ve been feeling that little bit healthier; couple this with the fact that my work are doing a step-count challenge, and it’s given me a push to get more fresh air and exercise.

On the hobby side of things, I have been continuing to work on my Angmar army for Lord of the Rings. I like how the armies for this game are generally quite small and the pricing for the models isn’t outrageous (when compared to the likes of 40k). I think there’s a lot more incentive to get the models you really want into your force rather than saying “you need to take 10 of these to have this,” etc.

eBay has been pretty useful in finding heaps of cheap troops or the occasional hero. I’m yet to paint up any of my eBay-rescue Orcs, but they will be coming soon. This handsome chap above is another incarnation of the Witch-king, only without his flail. I think this is the Fellowship version, the one where he is about to stab Frodo at Weathertop. I like this version of him the best, as I reckon it’s the most sinister sculpt of the Witch-king available. Furthermore, he was only a couple of quid online so I wasn’t filled with that usual sick feeling I get when I buy something I know I shouldn’t have!

I’ve had fun painting up the Wargs, as it’s been mostly drybrushing. They are very textured miniatures so it’s been a satisfying process, and I’m happy with the end result of the fur. All that’s left are the gums, teeth and claws for the Wild Wargs rank-and-file, but I’ll save that torture for another day.

The Chieftain is a brilliant model and has been near-finished for a while now. This morning I focused on the rock underneath him/her and the body they are standing on. I tried to paint the corpse in the colours of the Rangers of the North/Dunedain, although I don’t think it’s too visible in this pic. I’ll get a clearer shot when the model is finished.

That’s all for this update, anyway. I’ve been looking into taking a postgraduate course in October so much of my free time has been diverted to doing preparatory work for that. I’m still finding the odd sliver of time to paint, so hopefully I can push some of these Angmar models across the finish line soon.

As always, thanks for reading and take care.