Thursday, 18 December 2014

Showcase - Rangers

The Rangers of the North, also known as Watchers or simply Rangers, were the last remnant of the Dúnedain who had once populated the northern kingdom of Arnor.

The Rangers were described by the Bree-folk as taller and darker, with strange skills in sight and hearing.[1] They usually wore grey or dark green cloaks with no identifying ornaments except a six-pointed cloak-clasp in the shape of a star. Another identifying feature was that all of them wore a green longcoat. Equipped primarily with swords and bows, they were quick, versatile, and experienced riders.
I must confess I got half way through painting these when I decided that I really don't like these models at all! but I pushed through and, though they aren't some of my better works they are done to a good table top standard and so I'm happy to put them with the rest of the collection, I think they look especially good as a group and for the most part I really like the green of the cloaks.

I have a not insubstantial collection of Gondor and these will make a nice little warband for Faramir to lead in normal games however these were painted for the Fellowship of the Ring sourcebook along with the 3 Nazgul in my previous posts.

This is definitely going to happen (this time...)
What do you all think of these guys?

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Let's Paint - Ringwraiths

As requested by you, here is my video tutorial for painting ringwraiths using a technique and a colour pallet that you could apply to anything with dark grey/black armour, robes etc.

Please like, comment, share and subscribe if you like this video and would like to see more.

If you have any requests for what you'd like to see painted or unboxed next I'll do my best to make it happen.

Thanks for watching!

Monday, 15 December 2014

Showcase - Witchking

"Come not between the Nazgul and his prey! Or he will not slay thee in thy turn. He will bear thee away to the houses of lamentation, beyond all darkness, where thy flesh shall be devoured, and thy shriveled mind be left naked to the Lidless Eye."

-The Witchking

There's something about this original Witchking model that oozes power and malice. Even without the context of the character the model alone is quite powerful in the images it conjures.

I've said it before and I'll say it again that the original nine as sculpted by Games Workshop are so much better than their later 'named ringwraiths'. Perhaps it is their faceless, emotionless simpleness that gives a canvas to the imagination but what ever it is I think P.J.'s interpretation as well as the sculptors attention to detail that makes these sculpts what they are. And for the record what they are brilliant... 

As with the two ringwraiths I posted up last week I painted the witchking in the same limited pallet of colours and went for more of a dark grey than black and I think that serves to give a bit more depth to the model.

I received a number of requests for a painting tutorial for him which I have dutifully done and will be featuring on the blog tomorrow so make sure to come back for that.

Thanks for reading!
"Come back! Come back! To Mordor we will take you!"

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Uruk Hai Scouts Unboxing

Hi all,

Today it's time for another video and it's time for the Uruk Hai Scouts to be unboxed.

I've not got too much to say other than what I've already said in the video but if there's anything specific you'd like to see unboxed or painted why not leave a comment below and I'll do my best to make it happen!

Monday, 8 December 2014

Showcase - Ringwraiths

Those who used the Nine Rings became mighty in their day, kings, sorcerers, and warriors of old. They obtained glory and great wealth, yet it turned to their undoing. They had, as it seemed, unending life, yet life became unendurable to them. They could walk, if they would, unseen by all eyes in this world beneath the sun, and they could see things in worlds invisible to mortal men; but too often they beheld only the phantoms and delusions of Sauron. And one by one, sooner or later, according to their native strength and to the good or evil of their wills in the beginning, they fell under the thraldom of the ring that they bore and of the domination of the One which was Sauron's. And they became forever invisible save to him that wore the Ruling Ring, and they entered into the realm of shadows. The Nazgûl were they, the Ringwraiths, the Úlairi, the Enemy's most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death. — The Silmarillion, "Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age", 346

Well they're certainly not the most exciting models to show off, black is hard to get looking good regardless of how well painted that it is but I'm surprisingly pleased with how these came out and just how simple they were to paint!

In total (excluding the base) I used 5 paints and two washes and it took about 10 minutes worth of actual painting not including drying time so these really are a simple job, and I'm looking forward to having the nine completed in no time! I'm sure the three on horseback that I've got will be a bit more of a challenge, everyone loves painting mounts haha.

I painted the 2 required for the first scenario from the FotR journey book and I think I'll be painting the witchking once I've completed the rangers which are at the first wash stage, I imagine I'' have them done by the end of this week in between college and exams...

So I have a couple of questions for you all today;

First, do you prefer the named over the generic ringwraiths and if so why?

secondly, what recipe for black did you use for your ringwraiths, post pictures if you want :)

Is there anything specific you'd like me to do a video on, is there anything you'd like to see painted up?

Like, comment, share, subscribe and make suggestions and I'll do my best to help improve your hobby as well as mine.

Have a good week everyone!

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Blog of the Week

Bairchoro's War of the Ring Project
This weeks blog of the week is a day late but definitely not a buck short, It's not full of pretty pictures so much but it is one of the best blogs I've found for war of the Ring content, this guy goes in to some serious detail in analysing the rules of the game and proposing good alternatives, I'm pretty certain that if I get to do some WotR gaming any time soon we'll be taking advantage of some of his rules re-writes and points adjustments.

I highly recommend you check out Biarchoro's blog and take the time to read your way through his posts, it's well worth the time taken!

See you all next week.

Thursday, 4 December 2014

On the Table - "Ringwraiths, shadows under his great Shadow."

 It's an important 'on the table' today because it is the eve of the analogue hobbies painting challenge and so this will not only constitute my first submissions but also my first bonus round entry - Cold.

As if that weren't enough it's my first step on rounding out my fellowship journey book models because the 3 ringwraiths and nine rangers (dunedain) are the models required for scenario 1! Excited much!

And to complete my day it looks like Santa is running ahead of schedule because this turned up, It's my Christmas present to myself (some commission money came in right on time...) and I've been able to pick up a few more bits and bobs that I'll be painting over the next couple of months, to make it easy for you (because GW don't think we deserve pictures) It's the following;

6 (more) wargs
Haldir with bow (unarmoured)
2 (more) barrow wights
12 Uruk Hai Scouts

these are for the fellowship journey book

There's also Mauhur because I now have 12 scouts that need a leader (and also because why not haha) #supportyourhobbithobby

One question I have for anyone who owns this Haldir is; What is the face like, mine looks perfect from either side but when you look at it straight on it looks a bit squashed and I obviously would rather it were perfect but if that's the way its been sculpted I guess I'll have to suck it up.

Look out for more unboxings soon :D

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Lets Paint - Fell Wargs

I said I'd kept back two of the wargs, well, here's what I did with one of them.

I've uploaded a video for you guys showing how I paint my fell wargs, it's quite a long one but I wanted to show every stage of painting.

It's certainly not a perfect video but I think I've learned quite a lot from doing this and my next one will be much better (he says...)

hope you find some if not all of it useful!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Showcase - Fell Wargs

 Wargs are canine beasts of Middle-earth in the Misty Mountains, used especially by Orcs of Isengard and Mordor in the Third Age. They are used by orcs as a form of transportation, in the same manner that Men and Elves use horses. They appear first in The Hobbit, attacking Thorin and Company as they traveled east from the Misty Mountains. In theFellowship of the Ring Wargs attacked the Fellowship as they traveled to Moria. That they were Wargs and not ordinary wolves searching for food, Gandalf remarked, was evident from the fact that the carcasses of the dead Wargs were gone the next morning. Later, during Theoden's retreat to Helm's Deep in Rohan, a scout reported that wolf-riders were abroad in the valley, but Wargs were not mentioned.

Randy Blood's grey wargs were a huge source of inspiration for these, I wanted to paint my Wargs grey when I bought them and I'd been looking around for some inspiration when I saw his blog post.

I chose slightly warmer more earthy greys to paint my Wargs and I think that shows in some of the shots above where they look more brown at certain angles.

The Keen eyed will spot that I've only painted four whereas there are six in the box, which I covered in a video review and unboxing a couple of weeks ago, This is because I have something a bit more special planned for the other two but I'll be keeping you in suspense a bit longer before I reveal what's become of those little pooches!

Please comment, subscribe and share, Thanks for taking a look!

Friday, 28 November 2014

Blog of the Week

Scott's Wargaming

It's Friday again already! The weeks go so fast, time for another Blog of the Week and a healthy dose of peer effect.

This weeks choice has to be Scott's Wargaming, He's got over 400 posts and has been blogging for a lot longer than me so there's plenty of old posts to catch up on!
More recently he has painted some fantastic Rohan royal guard, converted a Grima Wormtongue on horse and a beautiful Boromir of Gondor. Scott's most recent post is a 1000 point aside battle report with so many well painted models it's enough to make one jealous!

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Knights of Minas Tirith Unboxing

Thought I'd treat you all to my lovely voice again today, this time unboxing the Knights of Minas Tirith.


Wednesday, 26 November 2014

On The Table - Send out your warg riders

Well not so much Warg riders as Wargs...just wargs. Last week I did a video unboxing of these, you can see that here, and I spent an hour or so putting these together.

These are such nice little kits, almost zero mold lines, no flashing, really good fit apart from some of the heads, the little bumps meant to help you line up the halves of the head are a bit too big meaning it's not always a perfect fit, a little scalpel work quickly fixes that and some liquid green stuff finishes it off.

To be totally honest with you these guys are really quick and easy to paint up too! I'll be showing you a bit more about that next week!

Also on the painting table is a Gamling which I've been commissioned to paint up, which is great because it means I've got a bit more money to spend on the remaining models I need to be able to do a full set of the fellowship of the ring journey book .

Question of the day; What greens do you use to paint Rohan cloaks? I've previously used the quite bright warpstone glow as the final highlight but I think I want to go a bit darker with this one, so what do you suggest?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

“Some of my kin look just like trees now,

last year I married my very lovely wife, I don't think I told her when we began to date that I played any table top games, I think she probably realised when she came over to visit and ended up sharing a room with a 6x4' gaming table. Fortunately by then I think she already loved me. Probably.
Imagine my surprise when it turns out she likes Ents! or Treebeard to be precise, and had one of the plastic models sold in places like woolworths (when it was still on the highstreet). Of course I had to show her my own Ent which I had bought and painted in 2009.

I think it's a great miniature because it shows that you can do a decent job with a handful of paints and a couple of washes in a very small amount of time, I think lord of the rings is so much more accessible to new painters and gamers alike than Fantasy or 40k that it's a shame GW don't push it more.

what's been your easiest model to paint and why?

Monday, 24 November 2014

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door."

"You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

As I've probably expressed, more times than is possibly reasonable, The Fellowship of the Ring is, without doubt, my favourite of the trilogy, I'd go as far to say it is my favorite book period.
It should come as no surprise that it's long been a consideration of mine to paint myself a complete colection forces in the Fellowship of the ring journeybook (the cover of which is below).
With the time ticking down on the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge blog (currently 10 days 22 hours, as a write, till kick off) It was whilst considering what on earth am I going to paint over the next few months that it dawned on me!

What a perfect opportunity to get this long thought about project not only started but finished too. With great trepidation I sat down and calculated the points I could gain for the remaining models I needed to paint, as luck would have it the total is around 520 points, my personal target is 500, super!

So what can you expect to see on my blog over the winter? The models highlighted are those that I have yet to buy (or have some but not all of), If anyone has any of these and would like to sell or trade with me please get in touch!

Gildor Inglorion 
Mounted Arwen and Frodo
Tom Bombadil
9 Dunedain
unarmoured Haldir
Witch King of Angmar
8 Ringwraiths
3 mounted Ringwraiths
18 Wargs
Warg Chieftain
2 Goblin Captains
a Cave Troll
a Balrog
4 Barrow wights
a representation of a Watcher in the Water
an Uruk Hai Captain
and 18 Uruk Hai Scouts

I think that's it, now I just have to persuade the wife to let me spend a few pennies on the bits I don't yet have...any ideas?!

Friday, 21 November 2014

Blog Of the Week (and other musings)

Recently I've found myself caught up in something of a flurry of hobby activity and I wasn't altogether sure why. It's not out of the ordinary, I have been involved in table top wargaming to various extents for the last 17 or so years. This thanks to a Father in need of someone to play D&D with. It's also not the first but the third time that lord of the rings has lured me back in to 'The Hobby'. But this time I really had thought I was packing up my brushes for good these last 2 years. I had, after all, moved away from my childhood home and my childhood (some might have called us childish...) friends many of whom had had an interest in wargaming and RPGing to some extent or another. I had married and whilst my dear wife and hobby widow is not anti-hobby she is much more in favour of me doing DIY and the washing up, I'm certainly unlikely to find her removing any mold lines any time soon in any case. I was also progressing rapidly through, what was, my chosen career, as the good book says;

"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

I truly had thought I'd put away my childish things, I had in fact sold most of them (for the second time!). So when you consider that I had no one to play against and nothing to play with and no time or impetus to work on either of those two things it's amazing that I'm even writing this blog at all.

When I look back across my long time as a hobbyist, there have been many (many!) peaks and troughs in my hobby activity, I know I'm not alone in this. There has however been one consistent thing in my activity though and that is what I think I shall call the 'peer effect', that is to say this is the effect of others attitudes and excitement for the hobby.

I worked for Games Workshop, though briefly, in 2009 and saw this to it's best effect when new but not necessarily inspiring releases came out, all it took was for one person to have an interest and express that interest for the whole group to pick it up and run with it, Games workshop tried to capitalise on this while I was there by encouraging us blue shirts to foster 'the vision' in our customers.

This 'peer effect' or lack thereof in my life is why I considered my hobby time to be up, I had no peers interested in the hobby and no oxygen to light the embers. I hadn't considered that the peer effect need not only be physical (ie face to face, playing games etc) but it could also be electronic.

GBHL, in particular James and Jamie, though I have never met them and do not know them, have a lot to answer for. 4 months ago their infectious love of the hobby was the peer effect, much to the woe of the woman in my life, that
I had been starved of and I immediately found the best way to spend every penny I had as well as a few of my wive's (shhhh don't tell!) on buying up what ever lord of the rings models I could reasonably justify.

It's this power, for lack of a better word, that people can have that surprised me because I'd never considered it before and I certainly hadn't considered that it could be communicated purely through the internet rather than face to face. I want to be a part of that, I want to ensure people feel encouraged to do what I love because in turn it keeps me involved.

What this rather long epic (almost as long as the Iliad and twice as epic) is getting to is that each week on Friday I'm going to be trawling through all the posts from the blogs I follow (which grows every week) and pick out one blog that I want to mention and encourage with a bit of peer effect, I'd love if you could join me in this, you never know when the person you encourage could be your next great gaming buddy, six degrees of separation style.

This week it is ;

Jimmy's Middle Earth Minis
He's just had post number 51 and it was his rendition of Galadriel, which is very good by the way, something I've enjoyed painting recently myself, but having gone back through time to his first post he's had a similar return to the hobby as my with a bulk purchase of DeAgostini magazines (they also have a lot to answer for!), His painting has come on fantastically from his earlier bits and bobs and is certainly worth a look, so go on, spread some peer effect and help support our 'Hobbit Hobby' (to quote some very wonderful people)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Many that live deserve death...

...And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them?

Wrapping up the Fellowship, these are two of the most well written and acted characters in literature or film.

I wont say much more than that today, but there are plenty of pictures. I hope you like them, comments and critique welcome as always!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

When Film Adaptations Go Right...

I'm not a fan of directors altering the story when not absolutely necessary (Harry Potter being a perfect example, I still haven't watched any of the later films!). Personally I was disappointed by Peter Jackson's omissions from The Fellowship of the Ring. Having said that I think the addition of Haldir and his elves, the Galadhrim, at Helms Deep helped make The Two Towers (film) my favourite of any of Peter Jackson's adaptations, it certainly helps that elves are my preferred race of middle earth.

A week and a half ago I made a start on another 12 of my Galadhrim. I'd previously painted four of the spearmen and on the left you can see a comparison of the old (left) and new (right). I think the new paint scheme is vastly improved, there's a lot more depth to the colours and a lot more definition between the armour plates and scales. The one downside is that it takes a lot longer.

I don't know about anyone else but I like to chop and change what I'm doing and I get a bit bored if anything takes longer than a week, to complete so I think 12 was a bit optimistic, of course now I still have 12 to do because the old ones are noticeably different to the new ones! oh well, I'll repaint and 4 spearmen and get the bowmen done at some point I'm sure!

Now a question, I currently don't have shields on any of them, what's your opinion on Galadhrim and shields? should I leave them at home and if not who should I equip with them, the swordsmen or spearmen?

Please comment below.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Fell Wargs Unboxing

So I've done something a little bit different for today. I've been finding myself quite disappointed by Games Workshops lackluster advertising of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings especially when it comes to showing you what you're getting for your purchase (no sprue shots!!!).

I want to give more people the opportunity to see what they're buying before they buy it so I'll be uploading unboxing videos for any The Hobbit miniatures I buy and it's my intention to follow them from unboxing through assembly to finished product.

I hope you enjoy the video.

In other news I've put my name down to take part in the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge, I've put my name down for 500 points but I'm hoping to take maximum advantage of the fortnightly bonus rounds, I'm looking forward to this a great deal, I'm hoping it will inspire me to get an awful lot painted over the winter and there will be plenty of opportunity to peruse a lot of other peoples work, check it out over at;

Thursday, 13 November 2014

"If by my life or death I can protect you, I will."

'You have my sword'

'And you have my bow'

'And my axe!'

three very iconic characters, during the release of the Lord of the Rings Games Workshop made an enormous variety of sculpts and variant poses, particularly for Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, these particular sculpts are the ones that were issued through the Deagostini part magazine (as well as in their shops) which I spent all my pocket money on a subscription to when I was much younger.

Of course these aren't my original trio but hopefully they look much better than my painting did when I was 11(!), I particularly like the sculpting of the faces, there's a lot of detail there and it's very true to the actors themselves, I like Legolas especially, he's very plain, no armour, no cape just his bow.

I have a lot of Aragorn and a couple more Legolas and Gimli sculpts which I hope to get painted and feature at some point but for now these are the ones I love and use. Hope you like.