Tag Archives: tabletop

Angmar orc banner

Still working my way through the hordes of Lord of the Rings minis, I have been painting up the odd orc here and there for my Angmar army. This fella is one of the oldies that I managed to snag on eBay. He came with one of the old magazines from the early 2000s and is easily my favourite of the orc banner bearers.

There’s not much to say on this guy. I’ve been alternating between varying shades of green, grey and pink for the orcs’ skin tones, using the film and various pieces of artwork as inspiration. For the freehanding on the banner, I used a pic of an Angmar logo I found online and tried to recreate the logo. I’m not sure if this ‘iron crown’ symbol is used in anything other than one of the LoTR videogames, but I liked the design and thought that it would be easiest of the lot to paint.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Take care and catch you next time.

Hobby update (5th September)

I’ve been keeping up the momentum with the Minas Tirith models, finding a decent method for painting the warriors that means I can get them to a tabletop-ready stage fairly quickly. I also started working on Denethor, a model that I found on eBay for a couple of quid. The bases are done first, following one of Duncan Rhodes’s videos for making urban bases, and the models themselves take little time to complete. In the pic below, the warriors have just dried after a Nuln Oil washe, after which they were drybrushed with Leadbelcher to bring up their silver colour again.

While the washes have been drying, I’ve been putting some work into Cirdan for my Rivendell army. I decided to keep him in line with the grey sashes and green cloaks that my other Elves have, tying him in to the rest of the army. He is a very detailed miniature, making him ideal for drybrushing and achieving some highlights very easily. Cirdan seems to contrast very strongly with the wood elf warriors that I have been painting for Gildor’s warband, as the wood elf models have bugger all in the way of actual recesses, and annoyingly flat faces that I find hard to highlight!

That’s all for this hobby update, anyway. Thanks for reading, and take care.

Angmar Cave Troll

These last few weeks I have been painting up more of my Lord of the Rings minis, including a few more Elves and Orcs. I have just finished work on my cave troll for my Angmar army, a hefty beast of a creature that adds some heavy hitting to the army.

He was easy to paint, being based with Mechanicus Standard Grey followed by a blue ink wash. The rest of his features were standard Leadbelcher and Steel Legion Drab; as for his belly, this was achieved through drybrushing Rakarth Flesh (my favourite of all paints) across the blue flesh. I thought this achieved what I was looking to do in terms of painting his undersides, including blending in with the blue flesh towards the bottoms of his arms.

I gave him the snowy base to fit in with the rest of the hordes from the North, and there you go. A fun model to paint, and less of a pain to actually glue together than I initially anticipated!

In other news, since getting an additional shelf for my model cabinet, I took the opportunity to pick up some Minas Tirith models in some sort of competitive mood to fill the damn thing haha. I’ve always liked the models for Denethor and Boromir (two of my favourite characters in the book and film) and I would like to explore some of the units that the army has to offer.

Anyways until next time, stay safe 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.

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.