Archive for the ‘Lord of the Rings’ Category

Host of Mordor

For a little space you may triumph on the field, for a day. But against the Power that now arises there is no victory. [...] The West has failed. It is time for all to depart who would not be slaves.

Recently I have been revisiting my Mordor collection, once more buoyed up on my enthusiasm for all things Tolkien. A number of these models were already painted but have been rebased in order to better fit in with my collection. I was never all that happy with the grey, dusty bases so I redid them as verdant fields representing Gondor or Rohan. A few new orcs have been added including a drummer and a standard bearer along with a Mordor Troll (which I have finally got around to finishing after a few years of it sitting around on my ‘work-in-progress’ shelf*).

*or, more accurately, my ‘work-has-ground-to-a-halt’ shelf in many instances.


All those Quendi who came into the hands of Melkor, ere Utumno was broken, were put there in prison, and by slow arts of cruelty were corrupted and enslaved; and thus did Melkor breed the hideous race of the Orcs in envy and mockery of the Elves, of whom they were afterwards the bitterest foes. [...] And deep in their dark hearts the Orcs loathed the Master whom they served in fear, the maker only of their misery.

The orcs were fun models to paint and each was surprisingly quick. I tried to emulate the dark and dirty look of the orcs in the film but was careful not to go overboard. At this scale too much dirt would make the models look messy and poorly painted. Instead I used a palette of dark, grimy looking colours to achieve the overall effect which, while not identical to the films, works very well at this scale.

Mordor Orcs

The design on the banner was copied from one of the concept sketches in Chris Smith’s The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare. Although this book is not a great read, it contains a wealth of concept sketches and images of film props which are incredibly helpful when painting models. The design was painted on using Mephiston Red and Shaded by adding Vallejo Black/Red.

Orc Standard Bearer

Orc Taskmaster

Orc Drummer

The taskmaster and the drummer represent two different approaches to painting Lord of the Rings models. The taskmaster is painted to be as close as possible to the film whereas the drummer involves a bit more artistic license. Originally I painted him with pale skin as seen in the film. However, this didn’t look right so I gave him dark skin more akin to an Uruk Hai. Sometimes you just have to go with what looks right rather than total fidelity to the film.

Mordor Troll

There came striding up, roaring like beasts, a great company of hill-trolls out of Gorgoroth. Taller and broader than men they were, and they were clad only in close-fitting mesh of horny scales, or maybe that was their hideous hide; but they bore round bucklers huge and black and weilded heavy hammers in their knotted hands. Reckless they sprang into the pools and waded across, bellowing as they came. Like a storm they broke upon the line of the men of Gondor, and beat upon helm and head, and arm and shield, as smiths hewing the hot bending iron.

The troll was another fun model to paint and a different sort of challenge because of it’s large size. I pretty much followed the ‘Eavy Metal team’s colour scheme which is very similar to the film. I also replicated a lot of colours and techniques used on the orcs to help tie them together as a cohesive force. Overall I’m very pleased with how all of the models look together, they are all different but the shared palette makes them look reasonably unified (well for orcs anyway).

Mordor Troll


Legolas from the ‘Breaking of the Fellowship’ set is finished. I have now completed the eight members of the Fellowship who were at Amon Hen. The set also included a Gandalf model depicting him shortly before falling in Moria (his ‘You shall not pass!’ pose) which I will no doubt get around to painting at some point.

He was tall as a young tree, lithe, immensely strong, able swiftly to draw a great war-bow and shoot down a Nazgul, endowed with the tremendous vitality of Elvish bodies, so hard and resistant to hurt that he went only in light shoes over rock or through snow, the most tireless of all the Fellowship.

Legolas gave me the most trouble out of all the models from the Fellowship and I found it difficult to match the green of his tunic to the film (it still isn’t perfect). The tunic was painted Luftwaffe Green, shaded with Athonian Camo Shade and highlighted with Loren Forest followed by Straken Green.


The completed members of the Fellowship together:

The Breaking of the Fellowship

I also have a few other projects on the desk which I intend to get on with now that these guys are done. I have my recently purchased ‘Escape from Goblin Town’ boxed set (which I will share with you later in the week) and my Dark Angel army to be getting on with.

All the best,




Another member of the Fellowship, Gimli son of Gloin.


Boromir is now finished and based. For the leather jerkin I tried to emulate the slightly blueish tint that you see in the films. This was done by highlighting the black with Dark Reaper and Thunderhawk Blue. Not only does this match the films quite closely, but the blue/black is more visually interesting than simply highlighting black with grey. Over all I am very pleased with how Boromir has turned out. This is a great model and one of my favourite poses from the Breaking of the Fellowship set.

There was a tall man with a fair and noble face, dark-haired and grey-eyed, proud and stern of glance. His garments were rich, and his cloak was lined with fur and he had a collar of silver in which a single white stone was set; his locks were shorn about his shoulders. On a baldric he wore a great horn tipped with silver that now was laid upon his knees.

The base, as with all of the other members of the Fellowship, was painted VMC German Camo Medium Brown lightly drybrushed with Bleached Bone. Various flocks, clump foliage and tufts were used to build up the bases. Finally, birch seeds were added to simulate fallen leaves.


Another member of the Fellowship finished, Aragorn.

I am Aragorn son of Arathorn and am called Elessar, the Elfstone, Dúnadan, the heir of Isildur Elendil’s son of Gondor. Here is the Sword that was Broken and is forged again!

Hopefully I will be finished with this set soon, Boromir and Gimli are nearly finished (they just need basing) and I’ve started work on Legolas.

I’ve also been working on other Tolkien-related models which I will share with you soon (check out my Twitter feed for a sneak peak @Mini_Miscellany).

Until then have a great week,


Frodo and Sam

A couple more models from ‘The Breaking of the Fellowship’ set, this time Frodo and Sam. I’ve really enjoyed painting the hobbits. It’s been something of a challenge because of their tiny size but I am very pleased with the results.

Merry and Pippin

Recently I have been painting a lot of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit models. My passion for these models has really been reignited by the recent film. Currently I am working my way through ‘the Breaking of the Fellowship’ set which depicts the Fellowship as they appear during the climatic scene of The Fellowship of the Ring. Here are the first fruits of my labour, Merry and Pippin.

These models really are tiny (standing about 2cm tall) but are really finely detailed. They were a great deal of fun to paint although painting details such as the eyes were tricky! However, undeterred I have already started work on Frodo and Sam who should be finished soon.

All the best,


Gollum 1

Another of my Hobbit themed models, this time Gollum. As with the White Council, this model is taken from the Lord of the Rings release rather than the new range of models released for The Hobbit. This was a fun little project and quite quick to paint (the whole model is largely one colour).

The rock was drybrushed first and then I painted Gollum himself. The skin started with a basecoat of Tallarn Flesh with a bit of Codex Grey added to remove some of the warmth of the colour and make Gollum look a little less healthy. This was washed with thinned Dark Flesh followed by a more precise application of Scorched Brown in the deepest recesses. I then highlighted the model by adding increasing amounts of Bleached Bone to the basecoat. I then added a tiny bit of White Scar for the final highlight.

Gollum 2

In the photo below you can see the scars on Gollum’s back. These were picked out with Tanned Flesh and highlighted by adding Bleached Bone. I also used a little bit of Baal Red around the edges to add to the effect of the scar tissue.

Gollum 3

I added some clump foliage and flock to the base to match the look of Emyn Muil in the film and to tie Gollum in with my other LotR/Hobbit models. It also adds a bit more realism tot he rocks which are rarely as bare in real life as they often are on model bases.

I hope you like Gollum and my other Hobbit models. In my next blog post I will be returning to the grim darkness of the 41st millennium with some more Dark Angels.

All the best,


White Council

As mentioned in a previous post, it was my intention to try and paint all of the White Council before the release of The Hobbit as a kind of ‘count down’ project. Well here they all are finished. As these have been completed ahead of schedule I have started work on Gollum who will hopefully appear in another post later in the week.

Here is the final model to be painted for the White Council, Elrond of Rivendell. Now I know this isn’t the ‘official’ model of Elrond, rather it is meant to represent Celeborn. However, I don’t really like the unarmoured Elrond model GW produce and so I was searching around for an alternative and I found this model in my collection. I think it suits Elrond very well.

Elrond of Rivendell

The model has quite an unusual colour palette which I would not have chosen had there been no existing depiction of Elrond to work from. The lilac robes were painted with a mix of Space Wolf Grey and Warlock Purple highlighted by adding white and a little bit of Bleached Bone to stop the colour becoming too cold. The warm brown robes were painted Dark Flesh and highlighted Vermin Brown followed by a Vermin Brown and Vomit Brown mix.

All the best,



With only one week to go to the release of The Hobbit here is my version of Galadriel for my White Council project. This is such a simple, elegant miniature and it was a joy to paint.  Unlike Saruman, who was painted with off-white robes, Galadriel’s garb is much brighter. The model was primed white and shaded with Fortress Grey followed by Codex Grey and then blended back up to pure White Scar.

DSCF2814 DSCF2815

Next up is Elrond to complete the White Council.