Posts Tagged ‘Lord of the Rings’

2014 has been a busy year for me as I finished my PGCE and embarked upon a new teaching job which has been very demanding. The bulk of my hobby activity recently has been helping to run the G.A.M.E.S. club in my school with friend and fellow teacher Mr Taylor. It has been really rewarding to see the kids enthusiasm at discovering and exploring this great hobby.

In terms of my own hobby, I did manage to get some time to work on my own models. Here’s a quick recap of 2014 on Miniature Miscellany.

January

January saw the completion of what has definitely been the most popular series of posts on Miniature Miscellany, my Astral Claws Centurions. These were great models to paint and I am really pleased with how each one has turned out; they all have such individuality and character.

Astral Claws Centurions

I also converted a captain for my Astral Claws.

Astral Claws Captain

I also continued with my Dreadfleet set, painting up another three ships. This is a fantastic set and has been a real ‘slow burn’ project for me. The models are fantastically detailed and it has been nice to take my time over them. I tend to paint them up occasionally as breaks between other projects which explains why it has taken so long to get through them.

Dreadfleet

February

In February I painted up some dwarves from the Hobbit using quick and easy techniques (silver spray paint, washes  and drybrushing). I’m really pleased with the results of these simple methods. The dwarves from the film have a great design and these are finely detailed sculpts. It’s just a shame that there isn’t more variety to the range, I’d love some armoured dwarves with shields and spears.

Grim Hammers

March

March saw something of a real highlight for me as one of my models was featured in White Dwarf! A boyhood dream come true.

DSCF3870

April

April saw some retro hobby goodness with this classic model from the Gorkamorka range of the late ’90s. I had planned to paint up more orks and do a write up on how to paint ork skin tones but never quite found the time. Perhaps I’ll get round to this in 2015.

Nazgrub

May

In May I painted up these Dead Men of Dunharrow using quick techniques (spray paint and washes).

LotR Army of the Dead

June

The summer saw some reinforcements for my Astral Claws in the form of a venerable dreadnought and a drop pod. The dreadnought was fantastic fun to paint although I had a few initial problems getting the colour scheme right. The drop pod, on the other hand, was a real paint to put together as it had to be assembled in lots of sub-assemblies and painted in sections. I’m pleased with the finished result though.

Venerable Dreadnought

Astral Claws Drop Pod

July

July saw a variety of orcs/orks in the form of some Lord of the Rings uruk hai and my Battlefleet Gothic ork fleet (still a work-in-progress).

Mordor Uruk Hai

Ork Fleet

Perhaps the most ambitious project for me was working on a fully modeled terrain board. In July I finished the first of the board tiles.

Battlefield

August

August saw some more work on Dreadfleet and some Astral Claws.

The Curse of Zandri

Astral Claws WIP

September

September wasn’t a very productive month hobby-wise as I started my new job. I’m pretty sure I did paint something but no blog posts.

October

In October I started work on Shelob.

Shelob

November

Who was finished in November.

Shelob

December

Which brings us up-to-date with some more Lord of the Rings models and Dreadfleet.

Mordor Orcs

The Mouth of Sauron

Flaming Scimitar

Not bad for a year’s work. There have also been other side projects which have not made it onto the blog but which I hope to bring to you soon including the start of a warband for Inq28 (inspired by the Blanchitsu articles in White Dwarf and a number of fellow bloggers) and the start of my Space Hulk set.

2015

So, what does 2015 hold?

I’m not going to make any hobby plans or resolutions for 2015 as I have seen other bloggers out there do. My free time is very precious at the moment and so I tend to paint what ever I am in the mood for when I do get some hobby time rather than trying to discipline myself and be prescriptive. As I don’t really play games at the moment I am not worried about completing armies for painting up certain units to a deadline. However, I do have a few ideas for  projects I would like to work on.

As I write this I have a Space Marine dreadnought and the Witch King of Angmar primed on my desk and awaiting paint. As mentioned above, I purchased the limited edition Space Hulk set and so I definitely want to get some of those models done. The other day I unearthed three Eldar grav tanks airbrushed red which I would like to finish and which might lead to an Eldar army. I will also continued to work on Dreadfleet. Who knows, perhaps 2015 will be the year in which the set is finally finished. I would also like to continue working on making terrain, an often overlooked but very rewarding part of the hobby.

Hopefully some, if not all, of these projects will make it to the blog over the next twelve months. However, you know how it is with Games Workshop. Their release rate at the moment is incredibly prolific and so no doubt there will be something new and shiny released in 2015 that will grab my attention.

What about you, readers? Do you have any hobby plans for 2015?

 

 

The Mouth of Sauron

And thereupon the door of the Black Gate was thrown open with a great clang, and out of it came an embassy from the Black Tower. At its head there rode a tall and evil shape, mounted upon a black horse, if horse it was; for it was huge and hideous, and its face was a frightful mask, more like a skull than a living head, and in the sockets of its eyes and in its nostrils there burned a flame. The rider was robed all in black and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dur he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said: “I am the Mouth of Sauron”.

Continuing with the Mordor theme, here is my Mouth of Sauron (both on horseback and dismounted). Painting him was relatively simple as he is basically black and silver. The black is Abaddon Black mixed with Kommando Khaki (as described here) and the horse was painted Vallejo Black/Brown and again highlighted by adding Kommando Khaki. To break up the black mud was added to the bottom of the robe using Vallejo German Camo Medium Brown (the same colour as the base) and Mournfang Brown. I kept the mud lighter at the top where it would be dry and darker towards the bottom to simulate wet mud.

The Mouth of SauronThe Mouth of SauronThe Mouth of Sauron

The Mouth of SauronThe Mouth of Sauron

Oh, and here’s another orc. You can never have too many orcs.

Mordor Orc

Mordor Orc Captains

I’ve recently finished painting up a few more orcs for my ever-growing Mordor army. Here are a couple of captains to lead my horde into battle. I’m particularly fond of the orc on the right who is based on ‘Skully’, the orc captain who is at the harbour in the film.

Mordor Orc Captain

Mordor Orc Captain

And here are a few more rank-and-file orcs. These are a mix of the original metal Fellowship of the Ring models and the later Return of the King plastic orcs.

Mordor Orcs

Mordor Orc

Mordor Orc

Mordor Orc

Mordor Orcs

Until next time,

Andy.

 

Shelob

But still she was there, who was there before Sauron, and before the first stone of Barad-dûr; and she served none but herself, drinking the blood of Elves and Men, bloated and grown fat with endless brooding on her feasts, weaving webs of shadow; for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness.

Arachnophobes, look away now. Here is my finished Shelob model. This was great fun to paint and relatively quick for such a large model; it was completed in a couple of evenings work. The final model is truly disturbing.

The main body is chaos black highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Kommando Khaki. This was then glazed with a thin mix of Agrax Earthshade and Nuln Oil. The red started with a glaze of Khorne red and was highlighted by adding increasing amounts of Dwarf Flesh. The redder areas around the mouth and the motling on the abdomen were glazed with Bloodletter. The mouth them received a wash of Carroburg Crimson before the teeth were picked out. They eyes were left black and finished with gloss varnish (which looks very effective in real life but is somewhat lost in the photos).

Shelob

Shelob

Shelob

Shelob

Shelob and her poor, entwined victim, Frodo.

Shelob and her poor, entwined victim, Frodo.

Right, I suppose the only way to save Frodo is to paint Sam to come and rescue him.

Shelob

It’s a good job I’m not arachnophobic as I have just finished assembling Shelob. I just need to fill a few gaps and texture the base and she’ll be ready for painting. This is a truley creepy model which should look great when finished.

Shelob

Shelob

Mordor Uruk Hai

Here are my finished Mordor Uruk Hai. These were fun models to paint and I kept to a very limited palette of dark browns and greys to match their appearance in the films as closely as possible. The tricky thing about painting them was to keep them very dark but without them ending up looking like black blobs. Hopefully the different areas look distinct enough while still having the desired overall effect of dark, dirty orcs.

The Uruk Hai were painted using the same techniques I used on Shagrat. However, one problem I ran into was the fact that Scorched Brown has been discontinued. Although Citadel’s Rhinox Hide is the new alternative the paints are not quote the same. When painted on neat the colours look similar enough but the pigments used in them are different, something which becomes very apparent when mixing the paints with lighter colours for highlights. Scorched Brown had a red tint to it which Rhinox Hide lacks. In order to solve this problem I mixed Rhinox Hide with Dark Flesh for the brown leather armour and highlighted this by adding Kommando Khaki to the mix. This has produced very similar results.

Mordor Uruk Hai Mordor Uruk Hai Mordor Uruk Hai Mordor Uruk Hai Mordor Uruk Hai Mordor Uruk Hai

I’ve also painted up a couple of Mordor orcs. Together with the Uruk Hai this adds a nice 100 points to my Mordor collection. I don’t know why that is important as I haven’t played a game in ages but it is a nice neat number.

Mordor Orcs

 

Mordor Orc

Mordor Orc

Mordor Uruk Hai

Just a quick update to share some Mordor uruk hai that I am currently working on. As you can see, they are all in various stages of painting. In the background are some Men of Gondor who I have also started.

And here are some other projects I have on the go as well. I never seem to be able to stick to one thing for long. Is anyone else a ‘hobby butterfly’?

Work in Progress

LotR Army of the Dead

“The Dead are following,” said Legolas. “I see shapes of men and of horses, and pale banners like shreds of cloud, and spears like winter thickets on a misty night. The Dead are following”.

Here are my ‘Army of the Dead’ models from The Return of the King. I’ve had these models since their original release so it’s about time I got some paint on them. The painting process was extremely fast, making these the quickest models I have ever painted. In fact, the drying time was considerably longer than the amount of time I actually spent with a paintbrush in hand. In real life they are a tad greener than in the pictures and closer to how they appear in the film.

My method was as follows:

1) Prime the models black.

2) Spray the models lightly with Skull White. The trick here is to leave the recessed areas black.

3) Wash the model with Nihilakh Oxide. You will probably need two washes to build up the colour (make sure wait until the first is completely dry before applying the second).

4) Lightly drybrush the model white. That’s it!

As you can see, this is a really quick method. These models are not going to win any competitions but the results are very pleasing considering the amount of time spent on them and they will look great on the tabletop.

LotR Army of the Dead

Currently painting some old LotR models and experimenting with Nihilakh Oxide.

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.

Orcs

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