Tag Archives: tabletop gaming

Rangers of the North pt.2

Welcome to the follow-up to the initial Rangers of the North post. I have been working on the Dúnedain here and there, tending to batch paint these guys in threes.

This time, I included the army leader, Strider; he was painted up in the same manner as the other Rangers, mixing up greens and browns with darker brown tones and greys. I like this model of him a lot, as it includes his bedroll, bow and quiver on his back, for that wild wanderer appearance. I was also curious as to how he would look alongside his fellow Rangers.

The two accompanying models are more of the metal Dúnedain from GW. The sculpts aren’t bad, though the poses are a little odd; I can’t quite figure out what it is about them. I really enjoy painting these troops though, and making them look weathered in appearance. There are heaps of little details across each model that lend to the appearance and backstory of these men who dwell in the wilds, even if their poses are a bit unsettling.

In gaming terms, Strider/Aragorn is built as you would expect a hero of his calibre. He sits at 3/3/3 for Might, Will, Fate, with the Mighty Hero rule meaning he can expend a free point of Might per turn without reducing his store. He has access to just about every Heroic Action in the game (March, Resolve, Strike, Accuracy, etc), and options for bow, armour, Elven cloak and an Anduril upgrade to his sword, turning it into an Elven hand-and-a-half sword. His downside is he costs 160 points base, but the Rangers army isn’t meant to be one of high troop numbers anyway, with the Dunedain themselves costing 25 points per model.

As always, thanks for checking in. Take care.

Hobby update (30th August)

Just a brief update today. I’ve been chipping away at the LOTR minis for a little while now, and am finally pushing some of these figures close to, or over, the finish line. For my painting session tonight, I thought I would snap a few of these.

First up is the latest Rangers I have been working on. These guys are an all-hero army in the Middle-Earth Strategy game, so they are a pretty small force. I’m mixing in some Dúnedain models and plastic Ranger troops to bulk out the numbers. You might recognise Strider on the left there, as well.

I’m keeping a small palette of colours for these guys, including mixing up some colours to give a few of the Rangers grey cloaks. It’s not removing the uniformity from them completely, but I guess it breaks up all the dark green to an extent.

Aragorn and some half-finished Dúnedain

One model I did finish tonight is the Rivendell banner bearer. This Elf has been waiting patiently in the queue for a good while, and now he is finally done! I intend to post some group pics of my Rivendell Elves when I have the last of the warriors done.

Rivendell banner bearer (all done!)

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

Glorfindel: 2 different ways

I bet you were thinking I was one of the lucky 2 people in the world that got a Forgeworld Glorfindel when they released a few days ago, right? Haha, no such luck. As much as I would have loved to have a new sculpt of one of my favourite characters from the books, the all-powerful Elf was just out of reach. I have been painting up my GW metal minis however, the figures having been sitting in my pile for some time.

First off is the armoured figure, Glorfindel in the armour of Gondolin. There isn’t much to say about this one; he’s decked out in similar armour to Erestor, and I painted him in inverted colours from my other Rivendell Elves. As such, his garments are closer to how I have painted Cirdan, with the grey cloak and green skirting.

Secondly is the unarmoured Glorfindel; this one came in a pack with Gildor, and although he is a bit strange in terms of sword size and face proportions, he’s an alright mini. He was fun to paint, and again I used the inverted colours to make him stand out ever so slightly from the rank-and-file, as well as tying in with their scheme.

In gaming terms, Glorfindel has the Lord of the West rule, allowing him to re-roll a D6 in a duel. He also has Unbending Resolve, which allows him to roll two extra dice while trying to resist spells. In summation, he’s a bit of a beast, and a comfortable choice to lead my Rivendell Elves.

That’s all for this time, anyways. Thanks for reading, and I hope you’re doing well. Take care.

Lady Galadriel

These last few weeks, I’ve made it my goal to power through my Elves, in particular my Lothlorien force. The leader I chose back when starting this army was Lady Galadriel, one of the characters I found most interesting in the films and books.

I got this mini, “the Protectress of Lothlorien”, (as it was called) version, on eBay ages ago for next to nothing. Figuring it to be the moment when she is giving her dark queen speech to Frodo by the mirror, I decided to give her the laziest paint job I could, and kept her in various shades of grey. This also served the purpose of making her stand out more from the rank and file Wood Elves around her, but also show the more terrifying side of her that her enemies seem to fear.

In terms of paints, Galadriel was primed with grey, washed with Nuln Oil, drybrushed with grey again, and some light white highlights applied. Her hair is Rakarth Flesh with a wash, and her flesh is Dawnstone. That was it.

The Elves in these pics have all been batch-painted so have just been completed in one little group. I’ve been working with a small palette, mixing and matching clothing and cloak colours as I do when painting Orcs. It’s a good feeling seeing more colour come into this army now, and less blank, primed miniatures. They’ve been very satisfying and relaxing to paint up.

The Sentinel is an important model for a Lothlorien army, being able to essentially cast a spell without using Will. They can be a nuisance for potentially moving an enemy model in any direction (should they fail a courage test), and seem worth having as a support mini.

My Lothlorien list as it stands is to have Galadriel running with 18 Wood Elves with throwing weapons, and Haldir leading a bow-heavy warband with some Galadhrim sword & shield support too. The Sentinel will be in there somewhere too.

But anyway, thanks again for reading, and take care.

Hobby update (28th June)

Tonight I’ve been working on a few models of my Elven forces, mainly trying to slap some paint on as many as possible.

First up is Lady Galadriel, a WIP of the Elf-Witch during her moment of spotting the Ring in Frodo’s possession. I was torn between painting her as an ordinary Elf, but figured the pose lent itself to something a little darker. I still have to do highlights and change the flesh colour, but I’m going to aim for something close to what she appears as during her “dark queen” speech in Lothlorien.

I also worked on the Sentinel and some archers as well. There were a good few many minis that were sitting on the precipice of the wash stage, these included. Again, I’ll go back and highlight when dry, but the ink wash is currently tying all the tones together.

And that’s where we’re at this evening. I’ve been losing a lot of sleep to the baby, as well as being struck down with the cold, but aim to get more done this week where possible! Thanks for reading, and take care.

Citadel Guard WIP

A couple of brief shots of the Citadel Guard from my Minas Tirith horde. I don’t know why I like the look of these guys so much, they just have this moody, badass look to them that elevates them above the Warriors of Minas Tirith. I’m yet to tidy up the yellow trim on their clothes, but that detail can come towards the end. So far, I have been drybrushing some highlights onto their armour and cloaks.

My intention with the Citadel Guard are to use the spears as part of Denethor’s warband, while the bow-wielding variety will stick with Beregond’s small, 6-man warband. I enjoyed Beregond’s role in the book, and I think my love of the Citadel Guard must have come from there also.

Anyways, thanks for reading.

Hobby update (5th June)

Welcome back, and here we are for another hobby update. As always, I am working through my piles of miniatures, this time mainly those in the Lord of the Rings tabletop game.

This evening, I was working on one of my warbands for my Minas Tirith army; Beregond and a pair of Citadel Guards. I drybrushed some highlights onto the guards, before filling in Beregond’s armour with Leadbelcher (as he was a few steps behind his colleagues). At the end, I gave him a Nuln Oil wash all over, with the intention to drybrush his armour next time, as well as fill in his flesh tones and hair.

I’ve been getting back into the swing of drybrushing using this Gandalf miniature from the Fellowship kit I got a year or two ago. While it was a technique I leaned heavily on for pretty much every one of my armies, I am a little out of practice with everything. I’ve been working with various tones of grey, highlighting with Dawnstone. These new Fellowship models are fairly ugly in comparison to the ones that were doing the rounds back in the early 2000s when I was in my teens, but the reason I picked up the new(ish) kit at all was for using members of the Fellowship as allies in themed armies.

With my small Rivendell force, I could either ally in Gandalf for magic support, or bring in Frodo, Sam and Pippin alongside Gildor Inglorion and his Noldorin Exiles, as in chapter 3 of the book. Alternatively, Aragorn and a few rangers could accompany the Rivendell elves as a scouting party, much as they did in the book before the Fellowship left Elrond’s home.

I’ve stuck with the same scheme for my Rivendell elves, with the grey sash, green cloaks and silver/gold armour. The wood elves (available through the inclusion of Gildor in a Rivendell list) are more individual, though I have opted to keep their colour pool small so there is some coherency among them.

So this evening was about getting a few of the minis across the finish line; one tiny detail on some, basing with the others, and a few that are just in the early stages of painting up. I completed a warrior of Minas Tirith by finishing off his shield (did not photo him because that would have been too sensible), based two of my wood elves, tidied up a base coat on Cirion and an Osgiliath veteran, painted then shaded Gandalf’s skin, and worked on the armour of a few other models, that of Beregond, the Citadel Guard, and a trio of Rivendell elves.

I’m happy with the progress today, and have enjoyed painting again. Jumping back in felt a little scary at first, but it was ultimately relaxing and fun. I do have to apologise for the less-than-stellar pics; whereas the old kitchen was lit up with 12 spotlights in lieu of having a small window, our kitchen in this new place has just two ceiling lamps, but large glass backdoors that obviously let in additional light. I might need to get a small personal lamp for painting, but until then the pics are mostly me experimenting with where the hell the best light is coming from!

Until next time, thanks for reading. Take care.

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!

Boromir: 2 different ways

Much like some amateur chef on a terrible reality TV cooking show, I present Boromir: 2 ways.

First off is the bare bones Boromir with sword and shield. It’s a great model, I like the pose and when I first saw this one I thought how awesome it was to see Boromir in his Gondor armour like one of the troops. He also has the Horn of Gondor hanging down by his waist, which is one of my favourite details of this sculpt.

Secondly, we have Boromir with the Banner of Minas Tirith. As well as counting as a run-of-the-mill banner in game, it also increases the Fight value of friendly Gondor troops within 6″ by +1. I find this to be quite handy as I’ll be filling out Boromir’s warband with a mix of rangers, warriors of Minas Tirith and Osgiliath veterans (who also benefit from an additional +1 to their Fight value just by being near either Boromir or Faramir).

I struggled with the freehand at first. My initial attempt can be seen lurking in the background of one of the shots in my previous post, but I decided to redo this after the tree I painted on the back of the banner turned out better than the front. I’m really pleased with how it turned out! I just have the banner on the mounted Boromir mini to do now haha.

I intend to use Boromir as one of my main heroes in the LOTR battle game, as he is one of my favourite characters from the book and just an all-round great warrior. I’ve enjoyed painting both of these minis and am happy to see them integrate with the rest of my Minas Tirith troops.

Anyways, that’s all for this time. 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!

Cheers.