Wednesday 25 April 2012

WotR Day 13- Here at the end of all things

You'll have to excuse me being a little self-indulgent today, but it is over. From this:
The horror, the horror
to this:
War of the Ring!
in less than two weeks, including several days of prep. I owe a lot to this:
Liquid gold...
Today I painted the base edges in faction colours based on the board, and then I varnished with Micador Mat Spray:
Should be labelled 'Satin'
which is not 'mat', unfortunately (the other option was 'gloss'). I half expected this, but am not too fussed with a slight sheen on these boardgame pieces. They may be slightly less sheeny (is that a word?) than they were after the satin dip, but it's only gone from ~50% to 40% sheeniness. The Testors Dullcote I trialled a week or so ago (it feels longer...) dropped it down to 5%, but I wasn't going to waste a can or more of that good stuff on these boys. They feel plastic-y and durable now.

Then I flocked, and this really brought the figures to life. I used a green blend for the good guys, and wasn't going to flock the baddies, but I did a trial orc (they put up with a lot for me) with some yellow-brown stuff and it looked just right.

And here they are!
The North!
Mouth of Sauron, Witch King (with extra flocking...), Saruman
The Fellowship of the Ring, and friend
There we are. Two hundred and five figures, and, if I may say so myself, they look wonderful on the board. It has been worthwhile getting them painted.

This blog has been a real aid in getting this done. I'll put my thoughts on my first dip experience up in a later post.

Thank you to all those who have offered advice and encouragement, and I hope I can encourage one or two people who have been thinking about maybe getting this project done as well to do so.

Now, who wants a game?
Board set up to go!
UPDATE: Pics of the Lords of Middle Earth expansion here

Tuesday 24 April 2012

WotR Day 12- Dwarves AND Fellowship!

I was enthusiastic today- I got into the dwarves, which were fairly straightforwards to paint. No horses, for one. Hussar Blue, Lighthorse Brown hair, and Khaki bases are the main differences from the other units. Thinned Walnut dip.
Dwarf Elite
Dwarf Regular
Only the Fellowship to go- I'm getting sick of this project and would like to turn my attentions elsewhere, so I just got into these guys. I painted them a tad lighter than usual, but also with a degree of neatness and minor shading I haven't given to the rank and file. I have given them a dip- after the last few days I'm more confident it's not going to ruin them. Pre-dip photos:
Tomorrow I'm going to paint the base edges, matt varnish, and flock. Then that's it!

Monday 23 April 2012

WotR Day 11- Elves

Well, I finally got around to the elves. Not my favourite figures, and a lot of horses- but at least there's no bridles or reins! Recall my first attempt:
The mud monster!
That scared me away from the elves for a while. So now I went back with a lighter dip and less of it. I should say that all my trial dips have been darker because I'm not spreading the dip across several figures. I went for Unbleached Cloth and Battledress Brown for the horse. Other colours included Silver, GI Green, RAF Blue, Confederate Grey, and Afrika Brown for the skin. Walnut dip.
Ahh, that's better
Only dwarves, Fellowship, and basing to go!

Sunday 22 April 2012

WotR Day 10- Gondor

Gondor was a struggle. I didn't dip these; in hindsight maybe some black dip would have been useful. I sloshed Woodland Scenics Raw Umber over the horses and bases, then picked out everything in black. This got a drybrush in dark grey. I did the footsoldiers' faces in Flesh with a watered-down wash of Lighthorse Brown, then picked out all the metal in Silver. I was irritable and sloppy here, but just wanted to get them finished. Finally, emblems in White and a coat of polyurethane gloss varnish.
Gondor Leaders and elite
Gondor regulars
You can see the drying varnish above. They're not my best paintjobs, but the simple striking scheme is handy, and black always hides your faults.
Elves tomorrow, to get them out of the way? Or dwarves? Or the Fellowship for some variety? I'm nearly there...

Saturday 21 April 2012

WotR Day 9- Rohan

Rohan are my favourite good guys from Lord of the Rings. I was worried that I had painted them too bright (especially the green) but I'm really happy with the outcome. Plus, I think I've worked out how to get more out my camera.

Rohan Elite and Regular
Horses dark grey hooves, Black mane/ tail/ eyes. Gunmetal, Light Chestnut, Afrika Brown (flesh), Battledress Brown (hair and spear binding), Gold, Celtic Green, White. Walnut dip. I'm pleased with how these guys came out.

I'm really making headway now. After the Rohan success, I can see myself dipping the Elves.

Friday 20 April 2012

WotR Day 8- The North

Onto the forces of good! Today, I tackled The North- reminiscent of A Song of Ice & Fire, but not. These are a mix of the Dunedain and the men of Lake-Town and Dale. I started with a bit of a Robin Hood vibe, but then went for the grey cloaks of the Grey Company. They're not quite dour and po-faced enough for my liking (I think it's the pale green), but they're done.

Colours used: my dark grey mix; GI Green; Battledress Brown; Smoke Grey (for the banner details); Gunmetal; Dark Chestnut; Burnt Brown; Forrest Green; Afrika Brown (skin); Unbleached Cloth (for the arrow fletchings); Battleship Grey for the warrior base. Walnut dip.

The North- Leader and Elite

The North- regular chap
I'm happy with the way the colour scheme is consistent between the elites and normals, it ties them together. I made up the banner colour scheme of light-on-dark grey- I don't know if it's kosher, someone let me know if not.

I also did a bit of base-work today towards Gondor. I've decided not to dip Gondor, because they should be a quick black/ dark grey/ silver job. If I do Rohan tomorrow, I can put in some more work towards Gondor when I'm bored of greens and browns. I'm on the fence as to dipping the elves.

Thursday 19 April 2012

WotR Day 7- Isengard and more!

7 days? Feels like more...

First- a picture of yesterday's efforts:

Mumaks and trolls
Had a good day today- I got going with the Isengard force. They're simpler to paint (especially the six Wargs) and I knocked them off quicker than I expected.

The Warg is painted in Militia Brown, with the rider in GI Green and sword in Gunmetal. Dark Chocolate dip, and teeth and eyes picked out with Unbleached Cloth and Roman Red respectively.

Warg Rider
The Uruk's skin is Light Chestnut. Gunmetal to the armour, and the shield and loincloth in my dark grey and the white hand in, well, White. The base was speckled in Battleship Grey. I forgot to paint the hand on the trial mini, and went back after I had Chocolate dipped it.

Pleased by this effort, I got carried away and pushed onto Saruman. I painted him up quickly (without dipping) from Boer Brown through Khaki to Unbleached Cloth. I gave him a gloss varnish.

Still on a painting high, I got all eight wraiths, Witch King and the Mouth of Sauron done as well!

The wraiths were a real pain. These are the new sculpts (old ones were top-heavy, I believe). The wraiths are perching on a rock. There's a lot of grey here... I did a trial version with a lighter fell beast and a dark grey wraith and Dark Chocolate dip, but it didn't look right. So I painted over it: the rock is Khaki, the Fell Beast is my dark grey mix with Battleship Grey wings and Unbleached Cloth claws. The Wraith is Black, with Gunmetal. I used the Walnut dip. These will definitely look better after a dullcote. I'll see whether or not I need to highlight bits of the wraith's robe. I also mean to paint the Eye of Sauron on the Fell Beasts' eye-coverings.

Wraith with Walnut dip
All the wraiths
 At this point I only needed to do the Witch King and Mouth of Sauron to finish all the Shadow forces! Again, I wimped out of dipping them, but sloshed on a flat black. The horse got some highlights in Paynes Grey, a dark grey-blue I love for highlighting black horses. The armour was painted in Gunmetal with a pinch of black, and the cloaks etc were highlighted with my dark grey. The minis were then gloss coated. Still need to work on my photography, sorry...

Witch King
Mouth of Sauron
So now I've finished all the Shadow forces! Five factions and the Fellowship to go. On the one hand, I'll wimp out of dipping the Fellowship, but I've got increased confidence in the Walnut dip which will be making more an outing now. Expect lots of brown horses.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

WotR Day 6- trolls and oliphaunts

Progress continues, a bit slower today because I had other things to do. But I forced myself (this blog helps) and pushed on.

First, however, terminology housekeeping. From now on, when I say 'dip' or 'dipped' or 'dipping' etc, what I will mean is 'brushed-on wood stain'.  That just saves me from having to use too many words!

I should note at this point that I'm very glad I took the time to stick sand to the bases- it looks good and was worth the effort.

Today: Trolls and Oliphaunts as promised (Mumaks? Mumakil? How do I put accents on letters here anyway?) Only six of each, and since I'd already done a trial I only had to do ten minis today.

I painted the troll with GI Green, Gunmetal, my dark grey, Unbleached Cloth, and a quick eye-of-Sauron in Roman Red on the pauldron. I painted the eyes in red, but it couldn't be seen beneath the dip, so I repainted it after the dip had dried. This Chocolate Brown dip is liberally sloshed on.

Troll before and after Cabot's Dark Chocolate dip
The Mumak is painted in Confederate Grey, Roman Red, Gold, and Unbleached Cloth, with black to the eye. I didn't realise there was a little mahout until I started painting! I like the gold/ red/ black thing the Easterlings have going, I must remember to use it elsewhere. I also like how the gold turns out with the walnut dip, I'll see if I can get some gold on the dwarves or elves.

Mumak before and after Cabot's Walnut dip
No group shot today; the dip is drying as I type. But I've now done 72 minis (bar dullcote and basing)! Tomorrow I'm going to smash into Isengard.

Tuesday 17 April 2012

WotR- Day 5, back on the job

After I had to quickly paint up that 15mm Russkie, I girded my loins and got back to My WotR Challenge.

I painted the Orcs' belts with Roman Red to get a splash of colour, and brushed on the 'Dark Chocolate' stain. I slightly thinned it from the previous trial, where I had heavily sloshed it about. When the dip dried, I dotted in their eyes with Roman Red. I'm satisfied with the result:

Painted and dipped orcs.
The Orcs at the front have been hit with Testors Dullcote. Note my original trial darker-dipped orc with the red base in the second row. I'm looking at painting the bases in faction colours based on the board as shown. I'm also looking into my options for flocking or static grass.

After the disappointing effect of the Dark Chocolate stain on the Elf, I did some soul-searching. I went back to the hardware store and got a tin of 'Walnut' pre-mixed stain. It's a warmer brown without the black.

Cabot's Stains- 'Walnut' circled
I painted a trial Easterling with Roman Red, Tobruk Brown (for the skin), Black, and Gold. After the photo below I painted a very simple 'S' serpent glyph on his shield. I was satisfied with a trial of the Walnut stain and painted and stained the rest of his fellows.

Trial before dip
Trial before dip
Painted and dipped Easterlings
So far, so good. I have now painted the two largest batches of single-pose miniatures. I think I'll do the Trolls and Oliphaunts next to get these factions completed. I'm still leery of going near the characters or lighter-toned paintjobs. I'll have a massive Dullcote Session at project completion.

Monday 16 April 2012

Eureka's new 15mm modern Russians!

I've just been in Melbourne and made time to go to Eureka's storefront, and had the usual enjoyable time chatting with Nic Robson. Amongst other new and upcoming stuff, he showed me his new 15mm modern Russians- they're just lovely. Impulse buy!

These are a joint effort between Kosta Heristanidis and Alan Marsh, based on a 300 Club request.
The figures have a mix of Sphera ('Spaceball') and 'normal' helmets. They are wearing fur-collared jackets and simple webbing. They do not appear to be wearing body armour. Most of the AKs have a solid stock, but some of the RPG-22 firers have slung AKs with folding stocks. The figures are crisply cast, animated in a variety of poses, and have textured bases.

Edit- new, better pictures.
AKs with Sphera helmets
AKs with 'traditional' helmets
Marksman rifles
PK MGs, prone
AKs with underslung GL
AGL, HMG, Mortar team
I don't know if there are any command/ NCO figures to come. Do the Russians have a SAW/ LMG equivalent like the RPK in their squads anymore? There's a delightful plethora of GPMGs in this release.

I understand there are still half a dozen more figures to be produced, which I understand will have face covers. It may be a balaclava, or...
Sphera helmet with Maska face guard

Nic tells me that there will be Chechens in 2-3 months. Based on the quality of these Russians, the Chechens should be similarly excellent.

Please let me know if I've made any errors in weapon identification! Similarly, I'm in no position to comment on units (Alfa, Spetsnaz, Vympel, OMON etc.), precise period/ location, or camouflage, and look forwards to being enlightened!