Friday, 25 September 2020

Journeys in Middle-earth- more heroes

These are the heroes from the Shadowed Paths expansion. They took me many more weeks to get done than I had anticipated.

Shadowed Paths heroes

You've seen Gandalf before:

Gandalf the Grey

Arwen Undómiel, the Evenstar. A beautiful name that rolls off the tongue. I always try to emulate the breathy way Hugo Weaving says "Ahhhhr-when".


Dís is a character named in Tolkien's legendarium. She's the sister of Thorin Oakenshield and the mother of Fíli and Kíli. I don't really like her sculpt; it doesn't fit my vision of Middle-earth. I still don't know how to pronounce her name- I think it rhymes with 'geese', but I suspect it may rhyme with 'this'.


Eleanor is a made-up character; a Gondorian noble.


Balin is the famous Balin from The Hobbit and the ill-fated expedition to reconquer Moria. I think he's my favourite of this bunch. He has his iconic red hood and white beard, and is accompanied by a raven. I painted this dark blue (like Arwen's hair) as I think blue looks better than shades of dark grey.


Friday, 18 September 2020

40K Biophagus and field surgery

This chap is a Biophagus, a Genestealer Cultist who dispenses injections of elixir and concoctions to make the brood stronger, faster, and even more aggressive. He comes with a familiar. I really did not enjoy painting all the smoke and glass- it was quite frustrating and unsatisfying, but looks better in the photos than it does in person!

Genestealer Cult Biophagus

"Qualifications? They must be in my other lab coat."

I also painted a Field Medicarium. I based it on 60mm MDF and added some limbs. I am quite happy with the shade of green- it gives that mid-twentieth century antiseptic establishment vibe. I understand Uhu glue gives compelling stringy blood- I may need to try this, but don't want to overdo the gore.

Field Medicarium

"I promise, I won't feel a thing."

These bits would make for a Rogue Doc in Necromunda as well.

Skull-o-meter™: 3

Friday, 11 September 2020

Batman Season 2 heroes

I picked up some more Batman: Gotham City Chronicles heroes:


The post-2016 'Rebirth'-era Batman has a distinctive purple lining to his cape. I wasn't a huge fan at first, but it has grown on me with time and it was fun to paint.

 Detective Comics #981 (2018)

Red Hood

Red Hood is Jason Todd, a former Robin who is an edgy bad boy anti-hero and uses guns. For more on the various Robins, see my post here.

Red Hood and the Outlaws: Rebirth #1 (2016)

Gang of Robins

The Gang of Robins are teenagers inspired by Robin to become inner-city vigilantes. 

We are Robin #11 (2016)

Friday, 4 September 2020

Some Necromunda bits

The Muse struck me, and I finished off a few pieces for Necromunda. There are also some scenery bits here which haven’t shown up on WwB previously.

Some ammo crates and boobytrap markers

This shrine was an experiment using transfers from Forgotten Chapters, which I am pretty happy with. I have a convoluted process, but the end result is satisfying:
  • Gloss varnish
  • Vallejo 73.213 Decal Fix
  • Apply decal
  • Vallejo 73.212 Decal Medium
  • Army Painter Anti-Shine


Beast lair

Priority marker

Control panels

Barricades and obstacles

Skull-o-meter™: 8

Friday, 28 August 2020

Battle of Five Armies- photo battle report!

I dusted off The Battle of Five Armies after a six year gap. This is a boardgame from Ares Games about the climactic battle of The Hobbit. The Shadow forces are sweeping down onto an alliance of Men, Elves, and Dwarves at the foot of the Lonely Mountain. There are a number of key areas to be controlled, but they are too far apart to support each other. If the Free Peoples can hold on, more help will arrive. Bolg, the leader of the Shadow force, must press the attack in a battle of attrition...

Read on, and click to embiggen! The vantage point is from over the Eastern Spur looking south across the valley, as the Shadow (played by yours truly) sets its eyes on the Front Gate to the west...

The Shadow vanguard pours towards the Running River from the broken lands.

Warg riders sweep towards the lightly-held fords.

The Lakemen are pushed back towards the ruins of Dale.

Dale is captured but a force including Dain counterattacks.

The counterattack is successful but costly as Dain falls.

Dale falls to the orc vanguard a second time.
Gandalf and Thranduil attack from the south and retake Dale.

The next orc wave threatens Bard's position on the Eastern Spur.

Can Gandalf's blast of magic save Bard and Bilbo?

Bard dies at his post after inflicting heavy casualties. Bilbo escapes using his Ring.

The Free people regroup at the Camp, and Dale is threatened again.

The ruins of Dale fall to the Shadow a third time.

Gandalf and Thranduil sally forth to save Dale again.

A desperate new wave of orcs approach.

Bolg himself attacks Dale as a splinter group take the Lower Slopes.

The southernmost orcs take Ravenhill.

The strong elf counterattack is temporarily repulsed.

Bold manoeuvers on the Eastern Spur as Gandalf
retakes the position and the Camp is threatened.
Dale has fallen to the Shadow a fourth time!

Thranduil dies but saves the Camp.

Gandalf retakes Dale as the last orc assault runs out of steam. The Shadow loses!

Having not played this for many years, I was impressed with how much fun we had. The clashes are many and mostly predictable with enough room for chance, while cards and action dice add thematic events and uncertainty as to your opponent's options. Combined arms attacks and choice of terrain give you a slight advantage. Meanwhile, reinforcing an area or pressing an attack leaves other areas denuded and inviting for counterattacks. The ruins of Dale exchanged hands so many times!

As the Shadow player, I was hoping to get goblins pouring out of hidden mountain passes in a bold flanking manoeuvre, but this never eventuated. I was keenly aware that if I dilly-dallied, powerful allies like the Lord of the Eagles, Beorn and Thorin Oakenshield would absolutely ruin my day. This meant that I had to press the attack rather than build up my forces. The outcome was never certain, and we both thought the other would prevail at different times in this desperate battle.

The Shadow's brief high-water mark was at 12 Victory Points after the taking of Ravenhill, but this was reduced to 4VPs at game's end. Holding 10VPs at the end of a turn will win the Shadow the game.

I hope you can appreciate what a fun story this refight told!


My opponent, Amnese, has published a 20 minute comparison of Battle of Five Armies and War of the Ring on his YouTube channel:

Check it out!

Friday, 21 August 2020

3D printed Mirkwood

Spider attack!

I've been dabbling with 3D printing some scenery for Journeys in Middle-earth. I printed these gnarly trees from Printable Scenery and based them on 80mm bases. I was going to add Woodland Scenics clump foliage, but I wasn't super-impressed with the appearance after doing one. I thought the bare branches are actually pretty atmospheric and menacing. What do you think? Should I add greenery or not? Maybe a darker green?

Gnarly trees

Fallen trees

Friday, 14 August 2020

Journeys in Middle-earth: Shadowed Paths monsters

I've finished off the assorted monsters from JiME: Shadowed Paths. I rebased the bigger figures on 40mm MDF.


The Balrog was featured last month, and I'm still really happy with him.

A Balrog of Morgoth

Cave Trolls

I used a dark blue-grey for the scaly bits, which I quite like.

I have two Cave Trolls

Orc Taskmasters

"Where there's a whip, there's a way!" Orc Taskmasters

Pit Goblins

Pit Goblins


I think they've named these after a throwaway line in Return of the King about the oathbreaking Dead of Dunharrow:

None of the people of the valley dared to approach [the Stone of Erech],

nor would they dwell near;

for they said that it was a trysting-place of the Shadow-men...


Nameless Things

Similarly, from The Two Towers:

Far, far below the deepest delving of the Dwarves, the world is gnawed by nameless things.

Whilst painting the Nameless Things, I thought they looked like an a cappella trio, and now I cannot un-see this.

Nameless Things

I'm not inspired by the concept, but I think they're handy generic monster models for other scales and settings. May their painting cleanse the world.

Giant Spiders

I was inspired by Mr Hunt's spiders. All the lines on the legs were more frustrating to paint than I expected!

Giant Spiders

Spawn of Ungoliant

Another oddly fiddly model to paint. Pretty satisfied with the final outcome.

Spawn of Ungoliant

Not a huge fan of the egg sacs