Tag Archives: lotr

Taking a short break from posting

This is just a brief post to keep everyone up to date, as I’ve been quite inactive on the blogging front. It’s been quite a busy time, and with everything that’s going on right now I’m feeling a bit burnt out, so I’m going to be taking some time off from the blog.

While I’m still enjoying building and painting minis, I haven’t been doing as much of this of late and life has been keeping my hands full in other regards. In order to shed some weight off my shoulders, I made the hard decision to do away with my minis-based Instagram. I wasn’t really enjoying it the same way I enjoy blogging.

Image by JOYUMA, from Unsplash.

I’ve also been getting back into the habit of writing fiction, which is where a lot of my free time has been going lately. It just feels like now is the perfect time to give that a go, as I have been putting it off for years and years. In the meantime though, I’ll continue to be around and reading everyone’s posts. I just won’t be posting much myself for the next month or so.

Anyways, thanks for reading and I’ll catch you at some point.

Angmar: The Wolves of the North

‘…the wolves that had once come ravening out of the North in bitter white winters were now only a grandfather’s tale.’ The Lord of the Rings, Prologue, pg.5.

I’ve been reading The Lord of the Rings for the past month and I’m halfway through the first book of the Two Towers. So far, the wargs (and just wolves in general) have featured a lot more than I initially thought they would, with even mention of a ‘chieftain’ at one point. The odd line here and there alludes to the evil realm of Angmar and the wolves that would roam from the hills in packs, and such lines are enough to give a chill of dread.

When putting together my Angmar list, I was mainly looking at models that I thought looked cool rather than what’s ‘in’. I’ve always had a fondness for the wargs, and running them as a pack of wild wargs rather than orc-bearing cavalry fits in with this theme of the vicious wildlife from the north lands. I don’t want to go too spirit-heavy with the Angmar army, though the army bonus leans into this method of playing, but instead have a mix of things.

All the wargs have 10″ movement but the rest of their statline is quite similar to that of the orcs; defence 4, courage 2, though their strength sits at a 4 while the orcs have a strength of 3. The chieftain has Heroic Strength and Heroic March with the rule that only fellow wargs can benefit from their Heroic Actions. The chieftain seems like they would be quite decent in a scrap, with a strength value of 6 (same as a cave troll) and the Terror rule which puts up a bit of a hurdle for the enemy to charge them.

In terms of painting, the wargs were built up on layers of Steel Legion Drab mixed with Zamesi Desert, using lighter drybrushing strokes as the layers went on. The faces and paws were Eshin Grey with a brown wash, and some Dawnstone drybrushed for that highlight/fuzzy appearance on their snouts. They were fairly easy to paint and pretty relaxing as well actually.

With the wolf warband done now, I can focus on the remainder of the orc hordes for Angmar, and also finish up some more of my Elves for Rivendell. As always, thanks for reading, take care.

Gildor Inglorion

A month or so ago, I mentioned that I was bringing a warband of Wood Elves into my Rivendell army, which is the benefit of bringing Gildor Inglorion along. The Noldorin Exiles mentioned in the Middle-earth Army Book are meant to represent the Elves that Frodo, Sam and Pippin encounter in Chapter 3 of the Fellowship of the Ring, where Gildor inadvertently scares away a Ringwraith that is crawling at the Hobbits.

The Elf warband led by Gildor gains increased movement, making them fall somewhere in between cavalry and normal infantry in terms of movement. They can also take a host of lovely upgrades that I’ll touch on in another post, but their main benefit is their speed.

Gildor has a sword and Elven cloak, along with a decent stock of Will points and one spell, Immobilise, all for the tiny sum of 70pts. This is a pretty good deal, considering that one of Rivendell’s problems is models with high points cost, so having a hero below 100pts who can lead a warband of 12 troops means he and his Wood Elves can slot into a list without causing too much hassle.

The model itself was fun to paint; I stuck with the colours from GW’s site because they looked pretty cool, and the mix of greens and greys was what I was intending on painting the Wood Elf warriors with. The only part I’m not massively pleased with is the face. This was an unfortunate moment when I discovered that Gildor’s face is actually quite flat and lacking in many grooves to get a wash into. Despite thinning my paints, he was looking like Leatherface at one stage, and I had to strip it and start again. He’s still not 100% where I want him to be, but I fear that more tinkering would lead to catastrophe.

That’s all for now, anyway. Thanks for reading!

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.

Hobby Progress (8th May)

The last few days have seen me painting up some of the High Elves for my Rivendell army. The spear and shield warriors have proved to be some of the fiddliest models I’ve ever worked on, but the results have been pretty pleasing. Deciding to mix gold and silver paints for the final highlight on the armour, I’ve been sticking to batch-painting these elves, which has been moving things along quite swiftly.

These troops feel pretty nostalgic to me, conjuring up images of the first few issues of the LotR magazine and the Warriors of the Last Alliance that I think I recall came attached to one of them. They’ve actually been a joy to work on, and are a nice contrast to the grubby hordes of Angmar orcs that I’ve been painting up recently.

Progress on the wild wargs has still been coming along, with the bases just needing done. I’ll be happy when their ravenous warband is up and running and I can get a game with them. They seem like a fun bunch to play as.

Thanks again for reading, and take care.

Wild Warg Chieftain

With various bits and pieces nearing completion, something was bound to slip through the cracks… Hello, and welcome back to another model update! This time we have another hero finished for my Angmar list, and leader of his own warg warband, the Wild Warg Chieftain.

Right off the bat, this creature is one of my favourites in the Lord of the Rings range. I love wargs as a standard anyway, and the thought of running a warband of wild hill wolves from the north was too much of an opportunity to pass up. I don’t min/max army builds, and my gut twists at the thought; although Angmar’s army bonus ties in with spirit heroes, I prefer the mixture of wildlife that the region has to offer. Rule of cool, and all that.

The Wild Warg Chieftain has one of those poses that just looks badass, pressing down on the chest of a slaughtered man, roaring into the cold winters air. I love the way the fur is grooved into the model, as it scratches that all-important ink wash itch, and the whole thing is a lot sturdier than I initially thought it would be for a metal miniature balancing on a rock.

For painting, I watched a few YouTube videos, building up the fur with Steel Legion Drab before mixing with Zamesi Desert. The mane stands out more in person I think, it looks quite dull on camera unfortunately. For the fella, I painted him in green, black and brown like that of the rangers’ attire.

In gaming terms, he has a 10″ move with Heroic March and Heroic Strength. His/her Packlord rule means that only their wild kin benefit from their heroic actions. The Chieftain is a pretty meaty model with defense 5 and 3 wounds, making it something of a discount beatstick/objective-grabber that can cover decent ground.

I’m gradually getting the remainder of their warband based, so will hopefully have them done in the next week. My initial plan was to have a Wraith-led warband alongside a band of Wild Wargs for smaller games, expanding on this to include a third to beef out the Orc numbers. We’ll see how things go though.

Anyways, thanks for reading. Take care.

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.

Dead Marsh Spectres

I had a bit of a hobby push this morning before work and managed to finish up two of the three Dead Marsh Spectres for my Angmar army. The dead Elf and Numenorean have this chilling quality to them, but I can’t really say the same for the dead Orc that comes in the set. I think GW could have done better than an undead version of a creature that is by nature evil already; I’ll probably paint him last.

Moving on, this is probably the first time in 15 years (maybe longer) since I have painted Elf armour, and I was instantly taken back to painting up the Warriors of the Last Alliance when I was younger. I know a few more techniques these days so the experience was relatively pleasant! The only part that caused me hassle across both models was the vines that are coiled around their limbs- these were a bit of a pain, but they add some extra colour to the minis and work quite well with the bases.

In game terms, the Dead Marsh Spectres are an infantry choice, and a fairly expensive one at 15pts each. Their main draw is the power A Fell Light is in Them which can be used to target an enemy model and, providing said model fails a Courage test, allows you to move them; the same way the spectres drew Frodo into the water in the film. The spectres don’t have a great Fight value for duelling, however they do have decent defence and courage stats, coupled with their Terror rule that makes them unappealing to charge at.

These guys qualify for the “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” Painting and Hobby Challenge issued by Ann’s Immaterium, and join the rest of the Angmar horrors that I’ve painted up so far.

Thanks for reading, and 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.

More Ringwraiths of Angmar

I present my second Ringwraith post, this time for the two remaining Angmar wraiths that I have painted up the on-foot models for.

The first is the Dwimmerlaik, a mysterious Ringwraith that is particularly loathed in Rohan for giving them hassle over the years (so his bio says). He’s equipped with a two-handed sword and has an interesting ability that can force your enemy to spend multiple points of their Hero’s Might, Will or Fate reserves when within 6″ of him. He’s got a pretty heroic pose for an undead servant of Sauron, I’ll say that much.

I have also finished up the Witch-king, Mr Angmar himself. While I would say that the Witch-king is one of my favourite characters in the Lord of the Rings, this particular incarnation of him is not. I don’t really like the flail too much as it’s quite fragile and almost snapped during painting; unlike the metal Dwimmerlaik, this Witch-king is resin and was a bit of a struggle to straighten out after his journey in the mail.

In game terms, the Witch-king has plenty of options for customising him with pieces of wargear (Morgul Blade included), and he has a few steed choices like his fell beast or armoured horse. I think he’ll be really interesting to play as in the LotR battle game, as he has a host of magical powers to cause the enemy some headaches.

Both Ringwraiths were primed grey, drybrushed to pick out the highlights and then coated with black contrast paint. I then applied lighter drybrushed layers on the edges to bring them up a little more in the mix before picking out the metallic details with Leadbelcher. Like pretty much everything in my Angmar force has/will have, I finished them with some snowy bases to replicate the wintery conditions in the north of Middle-Earth.

As these guys were purchased before April, they are also additions to the “Paint the Crap You Already Own!” April painting challenge hosted by Ann’s Immaterium.

Once again, thanks for reading. Stay safe, and catch you next time.