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.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

"Moria… You fear to go into those mines."

 “Fool of a Took!" he growled. "This is a serious journey, not a hobbit walking-party. Throw yourself in next time, and then you will be no further nuisance.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

I make no attempt to hid the fact that the Fellowship of the Ring is my favourite book/film of the three and one of the most iconic scenes for me is the journey through the mines in particular the fight in Balin's tomb. I think the drums echoing in the deep 
just as you think Pippin knocking the skeleton down the well hasn't attracted any attention is brilliant, It heralds the first big fight scene and it doesn't disappoint. The subsequent flight along Durin's causeway and Gandalf's Balrog block is some of PJ's best work in my opinion.

This scene of course would be incomplete without the Goblins of Moria and what self respecting wargamer doesn't have a handful of these little terrors laying around, myself I've got 36, small change to some people but enough for me.

Especially when 24 of them still aren't painted!

I love the style of these Goblins far more than the Goblin town Goblins from the Hobbit, yes I know they're from different areas and yest I know they might look quite similar without the armour but you can't beat the original in my eyes.

Any comments/critique or suggestions welcome as always

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?

Not much to say today other than to show Merry and Pippin, as promised.
I preferred painting these two to Frodo and Sam, they're much more colourful!

Work continues with the Galadhrim, base colours now applied and it's time for washing, should have those 12 done in no time.

SidTheSloth from the one-ring forums kindly nominated me for a liebster award (quest. thing.), I have yet to work out what it means (or is) but thanks for linking to my blog SidTheSloth, to repay the kindess you can check out SidTheSloth's blog here.

Sid's got some lovely examples of how to paint your Goblin Town dwarves so check out his page

I had my third AAT exam today, studying is what I do in my spare time at the moment (that is to say the time I am not spent painting or fixing up the house!) and I passed, as I have done with the other 2, still 2 more to go before Christmas though!

That's all for today folks, comments or critique welcome as usual.

Monday, 10 November 2014

"Sam, we're still in the Shire! What could possibly happen?"

“He used often to say there was only one Road; that it was like a great river: its springs were at every doorstep, and every path was its tributary. 'It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door,' he used to say. 'You step into the Road, and if you don't keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

Whilst I work on my Galadhrim It's time to show off a few more of my collection, today it's the hobbits turn.
 And where better to start than with the two ring bearers?
I paint all of my heroes with individual palettes and mixes of colour meaning no two greys are the same.
I loved painting the hobbits especially for this reason, they're still in their very colourful clothes from the Shire, except Frodo, his are muted (perhaps chosen to represent the burden he carried even from the outset) and I think some of Tolkien's best work is in his telling of the journey from Bag End to Bree.
If you look very closely at Sting you can see a very subtle glaze of pale blue, danger is close!

Sam was the second to be painted, the blue of his jacket is the first real splash of more vibrant colour and I like how well it contrasts with the grey of his travelling cloak and trousers and the beige bag.

I love the sculpting work that goes in to Sam, right down to the pots and pans on his pack, Sam always was the workhorse of the group.
I was disappointed that Peter Jackson changed the start of the journey, in the books I felt that the four hobbits had a much closer relationship than is portrayed, I can see that PJ wanted to create a bit more suspense (The book is a slow starter) but somethings are there for a reason!
Tomorrow I'll give you some close ups of the remaining two.

As usual if you have any comments/critique or suggests let me hear it.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

"My gift for you is a bow of the Galadhrim, worthy of the skill of our woodland kin."

 A successful Friday night saw me clear the painting desk of the wood elves I had on it, I think I'd like to keep a tally of how many models I complete as part of my blog, this takes me up to 10 (the mumak still only counts as one) since beginning to post on here at the start of the week but I'm pretty chuffed with that, it's the most opportunity I've had to paint for a long while.
What's on the table next? Well I'm waiting on a second mumak to paint for a client so in the meantime I'm going to get cracking on what GW calls 'Galadhrim' warriors, Galadhrim meaning tree people (or wood elves...) so I'm painting more wood elves, I mentioned I like elves didn't I?
These used to come in boxes of 24 sadly now only 12, these are more elves that I bought a long time ago, as you can see I toyed with green and grey capes but ended up with the more traditional red and blue.

this is one of the 4 spearmen I completed when I felt less old, It's the general finish i'm aiming for although I may need to repaint the old ones as they were done at a time before I wrote colour schemes down. D'oh!

I wanted to draw your attention to a blog I found at the weekend:

Warlord's War of the Ring

like mine his blog appears to be in it's infancy. The first few posts true to title have focused on the War of the Ring rules that games workshop bought out around 2009 when I was working for them.

At the time I thought it was a great set of rules, I was not a fan of Warhammer but I was glad of an opportunity to play lord of the rings, quickly, on a big scale. And I still do think it's a great set of rules. what spoilt the game for me somewhat was the ridiculously unflavourful magic. Matt Ward co-wrote the rules and as a 40k player looking back I should have seen it as the portent it was. However at it's core I felt it was, and still is, worth a punt.

The rules and the game are no longer supported (sound familiar?) by Games-Workshop but as usual, eBay is a great source and I recommend picking up the main book if nothing else (there is also an expansion), there are plenty of house rules out there to make the game better and lots of inspiration can be found on the one ring's WotR forum 

Friday, 7 November 2014

"In Dwimordene,in Lorien More fair than thoughts of Mortal Men.”

“On two chairs beneath the bole of the tree and canopied by a living bough there sat, side by side, Celeborn and Galadriel. Very tall they were, and the Lady no less tall than the Lord; and they were grave and beautiful. They were clad wholly in white; and the hair of the Lady was of deep gold, and the hair of the Lord Celeborn was of silver long and bright; but no sign of age was upon them, unless it were in the depths of their eyes; for these were keen as lances in the starlight, and yet profound, the wells of deep memory.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Fellowship of the Ring

 I thought these two models were fantastic when I first saw them and 2001/2 and I still do but I'd never owned them until this year when I picked up a job lot on eBay for an absolute bargain. I painted them both, as well as Galadriel's mirror, over a single afternoon, both models are a joy to paint, the detail is superb.
I haven't had the chance to use either in game yet but I hope to soon now they're painted up!

as usual let me hear your comments or critique, what should I paint next?

Check out my website here for some more pictures

Thursday, 6 November 2014

"The days have come down in the west, behind the hills... Into shadow."

 "Where is the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing? They have passed like rain on the mountain... Like wind in the meadow. The days have come down in the west, behind the hills... Into shadow."—Théoden to Gamling at Helm's Deep

I've been painting King Theoden on commission the last couple of evenings and I'll say that I found this one difficult to really get in to.
The face and hair was a breeze, it's well sculpted and the character, as based on Bernard Hill, is certainly well represented but I just found it a bit too busy. I guess it's as it should be, he is the king after all and the armour is well sculpted in line (as much as is possible in this scale) with the film. I'm also disappointed that much of the subtle highlights in places like the beard and face don't show up very well, time to buy a portable light box?

I think the imagery of Theoden is genius, Tolkien really gives me the sense of great kings of ancient Briton largely impotent, unable to prevent the barbarians nibbling at the boarders of a kingdom made great by long dead men.

Hill's acting certainly does Tolkiens vision justice, especially as the King reborn, reclaiming much that was once lost and atoning for allowing his rule to be subverted by the machinations of Grima and his masters.

What do you think about Theoden?