Category Archives: model building

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.

Hobby Progress (9th April)

Hi and welcome back to another progress update. Painting minis has been a fairly odd affair lately, as I’m really just painting whatever I feel like at the moment, rather than sticking to any one unit. I’ve drifted from the wild wargs to the Ringwraiths to the spectres on a whim. Again I find myself in the position of having lots of models nearly finished with very little actually completed.

The weather was reasonable last weekend so I was able to get my orcs primed without them blowing away. I reckon once I get the warg warband painted up then I can move onto the orc rabble for my Angmar force.

Painting the wraiths has been fairly straightforward, with only really the Tainted needing some extra work done to make him look slightly luminous and rotten. The Dwimmerlaik has been something of a test wraith for painting, but he’s endured the worst of it and come out looking alright so far. I’ve been priming them grey, drybrushing highlights and then using the Black Templar contrast paint on them, going back over with some light highlights afterwards. It’s the most painless way I can think of painting the riders in black!

Thanks for reading, take care.

Barrow-wights

I’ve not been sleeping very well over the course of the last two weeks, with sleep disturbed by odd wake-up times and the odd nightmare. As such, my day-to-day workings have been fairly skewed and that goes for the painting as well. Still, I’ve found some pockets of time to get work done on the minis in my cabinet, and have managed to finish a couple of Lord of the Rings models. Being tired as hell, they are two of the easiest miniatures that I could paint.

The Barrow-wights act as ‘captains’ for an Angmar army, being classed as a Hero of Fortitude which allows them to lead their own warband of 12. With decent stats and the ability to paralyse enemies, a Barrow-wight seems to be a bargain at 50pts. I painted them up to reflect their appearance in various pieces of Lord of the Rings artwork, having a more earthy/dead flesh colour to them than the default paintjob from the website. I would have liked to have attempted an even darker colour to match that of the spirit that appeared on the Barrow-downs in the LotR: War in the North video game, but I didn’t want them to end up blending in with the Ringwraiths.

As for the models themselves, they bring back pleasant memories. I used to have the ‘Fog on the Barrow-downs’ set that GW came out with about 15 years ago, a set that included Tom Bombadil, Goldberry and a quartet of Barrow-wights; unfortunately the contents of that kit have long since left my possession. I recently bought this pair of Barrow-wights from GW, overjoyed (and also surprised) that they were still in production.

I’m aiming to getting my Imperial Guard Scions finished by the end of April, which is a generous deadline to say the least. I’ll see how my sleeping improves.

Thanks for reading, and take care.

Hobby Progress (23rd March)

The last few days I’ve been taking it fairly easy, on the back of finishing the first draft of the latest short story I was working on. My brain took this to mean that I was now free to mosey around on Skyrim, which is what I’ve been doing for an hour or two here and there.

Hobby-wise, I’ve taken the time to work on painting up another Troops choice for my Imperial Guard, this time the Scions. There are just 5 bodies in this unit so it’s a bitesize squad to tide me over, and the paint scheme is quite simplistic. I’ve opted to go with the Iotan Dragons’ scheme, as they are a regiment that trains in dark environments and specialises in cavernous warfare, normally in the pursuit of the xenos menace. This ties in with my own army’s background, as I originally wrote them as being recruits from a harsh mining world themselves.

Secondly, I have been doing a lot of reading into the Lord of the Rings battle game lately. In one of my earlier posts, I mentioned replacing my old destroyed Witch-King with a box of Ringwraiths of Angmar. Since building the kit, I started to read up on the rules and watch a few videos, and did a little list building. Before long, I’d ordered a box of wargs, a warg chieftain (because the model is beautiful), and some Dead Marsh spectres. I would like to get a small force ready for getting out the gates and playing when society eases back into something resembling normality, and I just really love the LOTR models.

A potential theme might be an army based on the Angmar invasion force at the Battle of Fornost, lead by the Witch-King on horseback. I need to pick up a box of orcs for the actual fodder, but I’m aiming for a 500pt force that could get me through a few games and get a hang of the rules with to start out. Until then, I have a little chunk of models to assemble and paint up.

Anyway, that’s all for this post. Thanks for reading, take care.

Imperial Guard Command Squad part 1

One unit that appears to cause grief in online discussions is that of the Imperial Guard Command Squad. This is for a number of reasons, but I’ve seen boil down to their equipment loadout as well as points cost, and just the general notion that they apparently don’t fill a role that’s required in a Guard army. While these are points worthy of discussion, I prefer to think of the Command Squad as more of a centrepiece for an army than a unit that’s going to make its points back several times over.

I like the idea of a mixed unit that has various uses but also a unit that looks cool on the tabletop, and/or fits in with the army thematically. With the Command Squad kit, as well as a bunch of leftovers (seriously, where do all these extra Guardsmen keep coming from), I’ve assembled two units that can be mixed and matched depending on what I might feel like bringing to the table. There will be a following post covering the second squad.

The vox veteran relays the Company Commander’s orders from a safe distance.

This first squad is more of a long range deal, being able to hunker down and shield a Company Commander. Here we have a sniper, a vox and the lascannon heavy weapons team that I painted up a couple of weeks back. The vox would allow the Commander to issue orders to other units within range that also have a vox (which, I think, is every one) and the sniper and lascannon team could plink away at tough targets from a safe distance while the spotter gives additional cover with their lasgun.

Veteran heavy weapons team for tough armoured targets.
The deadeye marksman was trained on the expansive wastes of the regiment’s homeworld.

The heavy weapons team I’ve shown before, but have added the transfers to tie them in with the others. I feel like I’ve opened a huge can of worms by issuing squad number decals now, but it’s something that I was probably going to have to do to the remainder of the army sometime down the line anyway haha.

As always, thanks for reading and catch you all next time. Take care.

Imperial Guard Basilisk

The second vehicle to be completed for the army is the mighty Basilisk, equipped with the earthshaker cannon.

The Basilisk is the second Heavy Support choice for my army, a touch of additional firepower for the Guard and one of their more iconic tanks. While I currently have more units assembled for my Troops slots, I realised that my army was somewhat light on the heavies.

I needed artillery with silly range.

With a range of 240”, the Basilisk’s earthshaker cannon does not require line of sight when choosing a target. It also allows two dice to be rolled on deciding the number of attacks, with the lowest number being discarded. I also equipped the tank with a heavy bolter as it had to have something, but I don’t think I’d ever want it to be in the position (range, even) to use this gun. I’ve gone with no upgrades, keeping the Basilisk at 125pts, based on GW’s most recent points shift.

In terms of the crew, I understood there to be a model on the sprue, although no such model was actually shown in the pics online. The kit came in a blank white box so there were no pictures to use as reference, either. It turned out that there was one artillery officer in there, and I would have to use spares to build someone for him to scream at. I had such spares from a heavy weapons platform I hadn’t built yet, so quickly whipped up a crouching troop with leftover pieces.

The shell he’s crouching by was a spare from the Bullgryns kit and the bases were actually unused Necromunda ones, taken from my Cawdor Gang kit that I used to fill out my Word Bearers Cultists a year ago. The idea behind this was it made more sense to have the Basilisk crew on industrial bases as they would be on the gun platform, not the dirt like the rest of the army.

Anyways that’s all for this update. The Basilisk joins the Leman Russ as the backbone of my Imperial Guard heavies. Next up I’ll be working on some infantry or elites and taking a little rest from painting vehicles.

Until next time, thanks for reading and take care

Hobby Progress (13th March)

A few days ago, I made the smart decision to start building the last Imperial Guard model that was yet to be assembled, the Hellhound kit that was a gift from Christmas that I hadn’t gotten around to. Unfortunately, I forgot that there was a reason I’d been leaving this can of worms to one side for a later date.

Jokes aside, this wasn’t as painful as I anticipated. The bulk of the Chimera chassis came together easily, and the interior was fiddly as hell though I didn’t encounter anything too bad. One of the armour plates refused to seal with the plastic glue, but this was down to a wonky strut that hadn’t gone into place.

The chassis and the loose plates were sprayed in grey while the drums for the interior were primed in black, then painted up with Leadbelcher. After a black ink wash and some time to dry, I could finally put it all together. In case you can’t tell, I hate doing models in sub-assemblies. It makes me twitch, maybe because you have loads of half-painted, semi-built parts everywhere with the increased chance of something going walkabout.

It’s fully built and ready for the standard vehicle rundown, but I want to take a break from painting up another tank a) until the Basilisk is fully painted, and b) after I’ve painted up some more infantry. At this point in time I’m torn between painting the Command Squad or the Scions next.

The Tainted. He just looks really sad.

In other news, I finally replaced my Witch-king mini that got damaged beyond repair around 6 years ago. That was a Witch-king on fell beast though, a model I had built at whatever age, 15 maybe? It had been hanging on for dear life ever since and after two house moves and 12 years of bumps and scrapes, the ancient superglue and modelling cement finally gave way when my wife bumped into a table he was balancing on. I’d never seen a metal miniature break into so many pieces before.

That was probably my last metal mini, no joke. This week, however, I was looking at LOTR minis online and figured it might indeed be time to replace him. The fell beast mini was gone from GW’s store but I picked up a Witch-king happily riding his horse, accompanied by a few badass-looking Ringwraiths.

Maybe after all these years, I’ve been wrong about metal miniatures. Maybe back when I was wrestling Mordor Trolls together at the age of 15, the superglue was just bollocks. Building these guys was quite relaxing, and they required little to no clean-up (apart from the resin King himself). It’s been an hour and they still haven’t fallen apart!

As always, thanks for reading and take care.