Archive for Apr, 2013

Astral Claw

In addition to my Hobbit models I am also working on a small number of Astral Claws. I really like the new colour scheme devised by Forge World a few years ago and the background of the chapter really appeals. Now that I am nearing the end of the Dark Vengeance set it seems like a natural stopping point for my Dark Angels collection. Therefore the marines I bought at Christmas are now destined to become Astral Claws.

The reason for this is the fact that I am more of a painter/modeller than a gamer and therefore I would much rather just paint what ever I feel like at the time rather than working towards building usable armies. The Dark Angels were a nice little project but I don’t really want to carry on painting yet more green power armour. At times like this the gaming side of the hobby seems like more of a straightjacket to me than a source of inspiration and so, after much thought, I decided to break out of the army building mindset and just paint them as Astral Claws. I must say, I’m glad I did as these have been great fun to paint. The silver armour is much quicker to paint than the green leaving me more time to paint interesting details such as chips and scratches on the armour.

Astral Claws Heraldry

The chips are painted freehand over the armour colour using Rhinox Hide. They are then highlighted with a lighter mix of the basecoat. For the silver this is pure Mithril Silver and for the blue this is a 50/50 mix of Lightning Bolt Blue and white. This gives the chips the illusion of depth and really makes them pop.

Tactical Squad Marking

The iconography on the models is applied using decals from Forge World and Games Workshop respectively. I applied a bit of wear and tear to the markings in order to make them look like part of the armour. As you can also see in the above photo, the eyes were painted amber to tie in with the leonine theme of the Astral Claws. At present the base has been left black as I am not sure how I am going to paint them yet.

I can’t foresee myself embarking upon any more army sized projects (or at least not for quite some time) instead I am going to focus on individual models and squads so this project should be fairly small.

Misty Mountain Goblins

Now goblins are cruel, wicked, and bad-hearted. They make no beautiful things, but they make many clever ones. They can tunnel and mine as well as any but the most skilled dwarves, when they take the trouble, though they are usually untidy and dirty. Hammers, axes, swords, daggers, pickaxes, tongs, and also instruments of torture, they make very well, or get other people to make to their design, prisoners and slaves that have to work till they die for want of air and light. It is not unlikely that they invented some of the machines that have since troubled the world, especially the ingenious devices for killing large numbers of people at once, for wheels and engines and explosions always delighted them, and also not working with their own hands more than they could help; but in those days and those wild parts they had not advanced (as it is called) so far.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I finally succumbed and purchased the ‘Escape from Goblin Town’ boxed set. Initially I was reluctant to buy such a large set as I didn’t want to end up with lots of models that I never got round to painting and ‘Escape from Goblin Town’ contains 36 goblins! In the end I resolved to find a quick and easy way to paint the goblins, allowing me plenty of time to devote to each member of Thorin’s company. Although I usually paint each and every model to the best of my ability I knew that if I attempted this with so many similar models I would never get through the lot.

Painting Stick

In order to speed up the process I adopted a technique I read in an old White Dwarf and affixed each of the goblins to a long stick using Blu Tack. This allowed me to prime them all at once and apply the initial basecoat to all 36 goblins using an airbrush. This whole process took about an hour (including drying time) and I then when to work washing and drybrushing the models. Below is a rough guide to the process:

1) Basecoat Dheneb Stone using an airbrush.

2) Wash the whole model with a heavy application of Baal Red.

3) Drybrush the goblins Elf Flesh.

4) Give the goblins a lighter drybrush of Pallid Wych Flesh.

5) Apply purple, red, sepia and blue washes and glazes over the rotten and diseased parts of the goblins as desired.

6) Paint the details.

This was a very quick process and produced some good results. On the whole I am very pleased with these and, although not my best work, they are painted to a pretty decent tabletop standard.

Misty Mountain Goblins

Misty Mountain Goblins

Misty Mountain Goblins

I hope you like them,



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, DĂșnadan, 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,