Friday, 17 March 2023

The death of Gothmog

  • 1955: Tolkien publishes The Return of the King, and does not specify Gothmog's fate
  • 2003: Jackson releases The Return of the King, which also doesn't show Gothmog's end
  • 2004: Jackson releases The Return of the King Extended Edition*, which includes the blink-and-you'll-miss-it Death of Gothmog:

  • 2008: GW releases a vignette 'The Death of Gothmog'. I like to think this is a Perry.
  • 2023: I paint said vignette.
The death of Gothmog

I got this off eBay, partially painted and broken. I had thoughts of making this into a piece with sabots for the figures, like my Sauron piece, but ultimately decided against it. I've got plenty of Éowyns and recently a plastic Gothmog. I stripped the pieces and reassembled it. I decided to place it on a nice oval MDF base from Knights of Dice. I bulked out a little bit of the groundwork with Milliput so that Éowyn and Gothmog are on solid ground.

Stripped and ready to go

Test fit on MDF base. Note the narrower metal
base before bulking it out with Milliput

I'd thought of doing the miniatures separately, but during a test fitting they got stuck in place so I painted them all together. It wasn't too hard. I started from black and then drybrushed browns and creams in the grisaille fashion, which the French call Le Slapchop.

My favourite part was painting the cloaks. The rohirrim cloaks are built up from Vallejo Russian Uniform, and the elven ones are built up from German Feldgrau.

The reverse of the scene

Gimli dual-wielding and has a two-handed axe
strapped to his back

Dying orc #738 is really dynamic with his helmet flying off
and sword leaping from open grasp.

Aragorn and Andúril


Éowyn desperately grasps for a sword from her dead comrade

I was slightly disappointed with it, but then I flocked it. I used some pretty dry colours to match the film- the Pelennor fields have been somewhat abused by hordes of orcs and stampeding mûmakil- and it really came to life. I haven't varnished it and am somewhat afraid to.

*251 glorious minutes!

Friday, 17 February 2023

The time of the orc has come

I've painted sixty orcs. These are a bit better equipped than your usual rabble, but still aren't elite troops.

I have also painted their leader, Gothmog. Tolkien never described Gothmog as orc, man or wraith, but Peter Jackson portrayed him as a memorable and charismatic orc. There is an engaging rumour that the prosthetics were based on Harvey Weinstein.

Friday, 10 February 2023


Last millennium, I had a small 2nd edition Tyranid force. I gave them away about 15 years ago, and only have a few terrible photos to remember them by.

I hope they've had a good life

Tyranid Warriors

Hive Tyrant

Nicely converted weapons, IMNSHO.

This was a pain to assemble

Love my Screamer Killer.

Hunter Slayers. Came in blisters of three and units of five.
Never change, GW.

Last year, I painted some Termagants I got off eBay for potential Stargrave/ Five Parsecs use, and quite enjoyed doing so. I used Contrasts Gryph-Hound Orange and Skeleton Horde, which were a massive time-saver.


I thought I would get some melee bugs, and then a Xenos Rampant slippery slope occurred which I threw myself down...

Bugs, Mr Rico! Forty-eight of them!

Free hugs!


I got some MDF movement trays from Knights of Dice, which are great.

Weighted base for infamously unstable figures

And now I need some balance with more Termagants. And apparently there's a big brood-mother bug that spawns these critters...

Friday, 3 February 2023

Warriors of Minas Tirith

These sculpts are from 2003, but somehow I've never painted any Gondorians before. I started with a Gunmetal spray base with some lighter drybrushing, then used a grey wash (Contrast Basilicanum Grey). I find this dulls the armour without being too dark. I used a pale grey on the shields.

Friday, 27 January 2023

Starship Troopers: Brain Bug

I wasn't a fan initially of Starship Troopers (1997) as I felt it veered wildly from the tone of Heinlein's 1959 novel, but I grew to appreciate it as satire.

The authoritative Goonhammer history of the Starship Troopers Miniatures Game says "... anyone who has assembled the brain bug is truly a hero of the federation."

This miniature was an absolute nightmare and has been an albatross around my neck for at least fifteen years. The brain bug is five solid hunks of metal which don't remotely fit together. Mine is more Milliput than metal. It is carried by an entourage of chariot bugs. There is no clean fit of them to the brain bug, and I used two-part epoxy to try and get them to fit. The epoxy wasn't well mixed and turned into this frustrating tacky mess that has followed me on multiple house moves.

Picture from a keen eBay seller. Look at the flashing...

As I've found previously, however, AHPC theme rounds to the rescue! A bit of impetus has seen this bug finished. I was able to strip the tacky epoxy and used a MDF base to keep the chariot bugs in place. I drilled out a few holes in the bottom of the brain bug for pinning with nails into the base. Painting was the easiest part, using Army Painter Speedpaints Crusader Skin, Pallid Bone, Slaughter Red, and Grim Black.

Anvil Digital Forge troopers for scale.

Gloss to the eyes

Chariot bugs. Note the nails for pinning.

Friday, 20 January 2023

Greyscale Gangster

Angels with Filthy Souls is a highly-quotable 80 second metafilm, created for and shown within the classic Home Alone (1990). Starring Ralph Foody as Johnny and Michael Guido as Snakes, it is an homage to the gangster classic Angels with Dirty Faces (1938). There is a good Vanity Fair article about it here.

This is a free digital figure from Wargames Atlantic. The barrel is a bit delicate, but it was a fun figure to paint. I like the shirt garters! I was heavily influenced by Carmen 'Fun Painty Time' Cerra as I learned about greyscale and value painting. I was lucky to have a black and white source to refer to!

This was a technical task from the Analogue Hobbies Challenge. I started with a black undercoat, drybrushed white. I used a dark grey highlighted with a mid grey, the mid grey highlighted with a light grey, and the light grey highlighted with white. There's room for improvement with the tommy gun and maybe I could pick out the tie pattern, but that was enough for now. I'm not going to start a whole greyscale project- but it would be fun...