Sunday, 11 November 2018

“The wolves of Isengard will return...”

Another group of miniatures ‘repossessed’ from my WFB armies, Wargs.

For the past dozen years or so, these five have been masquerading as Dire Wolves in my Vampire Counts army. Since the demise of WFB, they haven’t seen much action, so it was tom to bring them home.

In their former life, these Wargs were simply dark grey all over and then dry brushed with a light grey.

Rather than strip them, I worked up from that simple base, adding the brown on the hairier bits and going back to improve the detail on the mouth and face.

Obviously, there was also a base to do as well.

All in all it’s a job that didn’t take me long and I’m more than happy with the results. 

The only downside is that the models themselves have massive lines on one side where the joins are. I’ve tried to reduce this with green stuff, but they’re still very noticeable. However, it’s not so bad on models that, if things go well, won’t actually get on to the table.

As I’ve said before, cavalry in LotR need a separate dismounted model for the rider. However, in the case of Warg Riders, and one or two other cavalry types, there’s also a chance that the mount will stick around after the rider has gone.

Therefore, these five should be plenty cover for a box of six Warg Riders being dismounted. They can also operate independently if I decide to field an Angmar or Mordor army led by my Ringwraiths.

Unfortunately, Isengard cannot field Wargs on their own, and so I am going to need to get hold of some Warg Riders. I already have a dozen Orcs to use as dismounts that came in one of my eBay bundles, but for the Warg Riders, I shall be picking up a new box from Outpost in the not to distant future. At less than £15 for six cavalry models, I’d be hard pressed to find them cheaper elsewhere.

As ever, if you’re tempted to do the same, follow the link below:

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

“The eagles are coming!”

Today I present Tolkein’s deus ex machina and definitely not a metaphor of divine grace swooping in to save souls from the fires of hell, the eagles of the Misty Mountains.

The smaller of the eagles is one of the survivors of the regrettable cull of my LotR collection and was drafted into my Wood Elf army for WFB, where it performed stirling service redirecting, march-blocking and generally annoying my opponents.

In fact, during 7th edition, eagles were so good at frustrating enemy movement and buying time and space to set up devastating flank attacks, that I thought I’d get another.

Although this one has the same pose as the original Gwahir model, it’s not the same size. However, for now I’ll be using this one as the King of the Eagles.

After WFB 8th edition made positional play, terrain and Wood Elves in general totally irrelevant, the Eagles went into hibernation until Kings of War allowed them to take to the skies again under the guise of a unit of Dracon Riders.

Again, they have done excellent work and have functioned effectively as part of my probably somewhat bent army.

However, my return to Middle-Earth has called them home. For the original eagle this has meant the fourth base of its existence and a heavier dry-brush to bring out more detail from the feathers.

‘Gwahir’ was given similar treatment but I’m not overly pleased with the white feathers. However this is mainly due t the fact that I’ve never been happy with them and have retouched them so much that some of the detail has been lost.

In game, the Misty Mountains is a separate army, but I’m not sure if I’ll expand it. Importantly, the eagles can ally with the Fellowship with no penalties, and so I am likely to experiment with putting an eagle or two with Aragon, Legolas and Gimli, justfor research purposes, obviously.

The eagles aren’t the only creatures of the wild that are being recalled to Middle-Earth from other games, however, the others are less than likely to be as noble as Gwahir’s clan.

Sunday, 4 November 2018

“Death! Death take us all!”

Well, Let’s not follow Eomer’s pls and all die. To this end, I’ve given the model of Eomer I painted last week a shield.

It seems a wise decision as Eomer is the most expensive model in the Rohan army list, therefore, giving him a bit more protection it a bit of a no brainer.

The shield itself is one I had left over from a long time ago when I did my Saga Vikings. Actually, I had a couple left over, which was fortunate as it allowed me to also give the same shield to the dismounted version of Eomer I’ve just painted.

I followed exactly the same painting process as for the mounted model, but this time it felta lot quicker. I bought the model off eBay and had lost the blade of its sword in the post (it was in the same bundle as the horses whose ankles had snapped).

However, I’m fortunate that the mounted version of Eomer is ten a penny on eBay (due to being an early freebie with the LotR Battle Games magazine) and every Rohan eBay bundle I’ve bought has had at least one mounted Eomer in. Therefore, a hand swap was easy to organise.

That’s it for now. I hit a bit of a painting rut this week because I’d come to the end of a large batch of models and not got anything else underway whilst I was I was doing them. I always find starting a batch from scratch a bit daunting and so it’s easier to get the batch moving whilst I’m finishing off other stuff.

However, Eomer and the 80’s BBC radio play of Lord of the Rings came to my rescue and gave me something to focus on whilst undercoating and base coating all manner of birds, beasts and baddies for the coming weeks.

I’ll forego my usual shameless plug as I believe the character models for Lord of the Rings at currently only available direct from Games Workshop, and are not actually badly priced for the Evil Empire. However, the second hand market should allow you to track down a foot Eomer for significantly less than you’d pay new, and you’ll have a job to not find a mounted Eomer or five going for a song.

Happy hunting!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

“Now for wrath! Now for ruin!”

I’ve been plugging away at a bunch of Rohirrim for some time. I’ve been batch painting, which never goes that well fir me, but I’ve finally finished to batch.

First up is Eomer, one of my favourite characters from the books, who gets the raw end of the deal in terms of having his role reduced in film adaptations, mainly because it saves explaining who Erkenbrand is.

The model is one I’d never liked when I saw it painted by GW, but I think that was because they went for a red that was too bright. Actually I really liked painting this one, and I think the more subtle red not only looks better, but is also more true to the look from the movies.

Next up is a Royal Guard banner bearer which turned up as a nice surprise in a second hand batch of Riders I bought off eBay. The model actually looks better in the flesh, I think I’ve zoomed in too much.

Having this model provides me options, as he can operate as a banner bearer, a regular Royal Guard, a captain or even Gamling (more on that later). I haven’t added a banner yet asi haven’t decided whether I want to add one or shorten the spear to make it a regular throwing spear.

Four more regular riders. These arrived already painted, and I intended to just tidy them up a bit to match my other Riders. 

However, not only did I need to essentially repaint the whole models (hence the time it’s taken), but also several of the horses’ ankles had snapped in transit.

Broken ankles on the horses has actually been a fairly regular occurrence with my purchases of second hand Riders of Rohan. So much so that I’ve become fairly proficient at equine ankle surgery.

In future, I’ll stick to buying them new.

The Rider with the throwing spear also had a fairly mangled shield, and as these are currently in short supply, I needed something to explain the damage and draw focus from the ugly boss.

Therefore, I made use of another arrow and placed it in the crack in the shield. I actually like this enough that I might do more arrows in shields to add a bit of variety to the force.

I’ve also painted a few more foot troops. One of the (many) down sides of cavalry in this game is that you also need dismounted models, adding significantly to the amount of painting that needs doing.

This is also true of characters, and so despite not having a mounted version yet, I’ve painted Eowyn on foot. Despite being a hero, the fact that she was in disguise at the battle of the Pelennor Fields means that there’s nothing particularly interesting about the model. However, I’ve given her a tiny bit of red in her armour to tie her to the colours I used for her brother.

I’ve also painted a foot version of Gamling, which was a really nice model to paint. The sculpt did a lot of the work for me.

I do have a mounted version of Gamling in the paint queue, but until that’s done I can either use this as a dismounted Eomer or use the Royal Guard as Gamling.

So that’s my full contingent of Rohirrim, and I should be able to put together a 300 point force without too much trouble. I have a few more Riders, a mounted Gamling and an Eomer on foot still to do.

If you’re tempted to start your own Eored, I’d avoid the ankle surgery and skip buying second hand horses (seriously, I’ve had more broken horses than complete ones) and get new Riders of Rohan from Outpost. Follow the link below:

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Zomtober: “Oh dear...”

This Zomtober hasn’t exactly been a roaring success for me. The combined factors of work pressures, family commitments and my motivation lying elsewhere has meant that my zombie output hasn’t been what I would have hoped.

And on this final weekend of Zomtober, I found myself with nothing started at about 2 o’clock today. Therefore, with a deadline to meet, I selected the zombie with least amount of base area exposed (simply because I didn’t have time to wait for Agrellan Earth to dry) and set about a quick and dirty, deadline meeting, largely all the same colour palette, final zombie for Zomtober.

This is a zombie that comes in the show exclusive Lee & Clementine booster for Mantic’s Walking Dead: All Out War Game, and he’s a call back to a specific moment on the Telltale Games adventure where Lee stumbles on the zombie out in the woods.

Sat down eating the remains of a deer, it’s more of a diorama than a game piece, however it does have potential as a lurker in rural games.

The fact that it’s eating half a deer does raise a number of questions too. Did it kill the deer or find it? If it found it, why do other zombies regularly ignore the dead? How did the deer get ripped in half? Was it roadkill or the actions of a zombie horde? If it was a zombie horde, where are they now and why did they leave?

So many questions we’ll never know the answer to.

However, one thing we can be certain of is that this is the fastest I’ve ever painted a zombie (deploying a hairdryer after the final wash helped), and it means I’ve at least completed Zomtober with my dignity intact.

Yes, of course the Nazgul count.

As ever, if my offerings have tickled your fancy, The Walking Dead: All Out War can be bought at 20% off rrp at the Outpost. Just follow the link below:

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

“And now...perfected.”

Work continues on trying to add to my Isengard force to give me some options. Although Saruman is a powerful leader, he’s not a front line fighter. So up steps Lurtz!

Lurtz is one of the better additions that were made to Lord of the Rings for the movies and in game he adds some much needed combat power. 

The model is actually second hand, and cam painted. It just needed a bit of touching up on some chipped extremities, a wash and a bit of detailing, such as the teeth, eyes and white hand - this was something I couldn’t avoid for Lurtz as it’s very much part of his look.

Seeing as I was going to have to paint one white hand, I decided to inquest my fears as add some to my berserkers (the one on the left had one on his helmet). They could be better, but they look okay.

Whilst I was tidying things up, I decided to cut up one of my unpainted Uruk-Hai to add a shield to my banner bearer (for added defence) and switch my captain’s axe for a sword. As an axe is not actually an option for an Uruk-Hai captain, leaving it as it was would cost me five points for no massive gain.

This isn’t all I’ve been painting, my other work will be along in a few days, and if you listen closely, you might just hear hoofbeats in the distance.

As ever, if you’re interesting in starting an Isengard army, pop along to Outpost Miniatures to pick yourself up a box:

Sunday, 21 October 2018

Zomtober: The Gang’s All Here

Zomtober has been a bit of a struggle this week. I’ve not been in a painty mood, I’ve been quite busy and the little motivation I have had is coming mainly from Lord of the Rings.

However, I have managed to get a single model done, as per the rules.

Not my best work, but job done.

This is Carlos, one of Derek’s scavengers in the Walking Dead comics. He also adds to the gang that came in the Walking Dead: All Out War starter set.

Here they are as they appear in the comics:

And here’s my version of them:

If you look carefully you’ll see that Liam isn’t in the picture from the comic as he’s dead by then. I’d say it’s a spoiler but the others last about three more pages.

That means there’s one more Scavenger to get at some point.

As ever, if my ropey painting has inspired you to buy the game, it can be found here:

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

The Apocalypse Will Be Televised

Just a quick post to give a little more publicity to Crooked Dice’s latest Kickstarter project: 7TV Apocalypse.

Regular readers know how much I am enamoured of the simplicity of the 7TV ruleset. However, the Apocalypse version adds in customisable vehicles, vehicle combat, mutations and all manner of cult movie inspired madness.

I’ve been a playtester for the new rules and I can testify that they are fun and action packed. There’s even funky dice!

The Kickstarter is already funded so get yourself along and join in for all kinds of goodies. What’s more, there are early bird deals available for the next 48 hours.

What are you waiting for?

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Zomtober: Proper Zombies

After last week’s controversy surrounding whether the Nazgul qualify as zombies (hint: they do), I’ve returned to safer groun this week with three zombies from The Walking Dead: All Out War.

I’m now moving on to Wave 2 of the range, which actually feature proportionally less zombies and more new survivors, as the story heads out of Atlanta and culminates at the Greene family farm.

First up is a bike, who appears to have sustained injuries more consistent with coming off his bike rather than being mauled by the undead. Perhaps he crashed as he was fleeing the apocalypse and then was unable to escape pursuit.

The wound on his arm isn’t actually sculpted on the model, but is there to cover an ugly mould line that I somehow didn’t notice until the flesh was painted.

Next up is a chap who has had something rather horrific happen to him whilst at the beach, and has had the flesh torn off half of his body.

What I don’t understand is how he managed to keep flip-flops on his feet whilst his arm was ripped off, when for me, keeping the damn things on my feet whilst simply walking is tricky enough.

Last up is a child zombie. There should be more of these in the genre, especially as almost all survivors we encounter are adults. Where are the children during the apocalypse?

I’ve painted this one to match my Sophia model. Although Sophia doesn’t meet the same fate in the comics as in the TV show, I still like the idea of having her shamble out of Herschel’s barn.

That’s it for this week, but if The Walking Dead has tickled your fancy, it’s at its most affordable from Outpost Miniatures, where I’ve picked up most of my boosters from after my initial Salute binge. Follow the link below...

Saturday, 13 October 2018

An Army Worthy of Mordor?

The breeding of my Isengard army continues to outstrip the muster of Rohan by some way and my Army of the White Hand has now reached the vicinity of 500 points.

Admittedly, pretty much half those points come from Saruman and the Captain, and it’s a somewhat one-dimensional force which lacks cavalry, missile fire or a notable monster or fighter. However, it’s still a very playable force.

There have been a few new additions in the last week, including nine Uruk-Hai with swords and shields which lend a bit of defensive backbone to my lines and give the squishier pikemen something to hide behind.

Also joining the host are three Berserkers, which have the potential to use those massive swords to hack chunks out of the opponent’s line. I have found out that they work best when paired with regular Uruk-Hai to get the most out of their berserker blades.

I’m still toying with adding some white hands to the Beserkers, but I need to work up the courage to do that.

Now being the intelligent, astute readers I know you to be, I’m sure you’ll have noticed the Outpost banner that’s popped up on the website version of this page.

This is because I’ve entered into an affiliate scheme with them, and yes, in the spirit of full disclosure, there is something in it for me.

However, I’m not a complete sell out,  Outpost are one of my local stores, and I’m very comfortable promoting them as a happy customer. In fact, their very competitive pricing policy dovetails neatly with the Cheaphammer ideology.

On that topic, if my army building has somehow inspired you to raise your own horde of Uruk-Hai, you could save yourself a lot of scrubbing second hand miniatures,  just go straight to Outpost and still feel like you’ve got yourself a bargain. The box of 24 plastic miniatures will get you pretty much everything for £20 except Saruman and the Berserkers (if you’re willing to convert banners and captains).

If you follow the link below, it will take you straight there...

Saturday, 6 October 2018

Zomtober: Six of the Nine

It’s that time of year again when I and several other inhabitants of the blogosphere partake in a bit of zombie themed painting and collective motivation to shift stuff out out of our painting queues.

So here’s my first offering for Zomtober:

What do you mean they’re not zombies?

Let me refer to Aragorn, son of Arathorn, a.k.a. Strider, King Elessar the Elfstone of The reunited kingdoms of Gondor and Arnor - who, I think we can agree, knows more about this than either of us - “They are neither living nor dead.”

Do you know what that means? They’re undead. What else is undead? Zombies! Exactly!

Okay, they’re not ‘exactly’ zombies, but they’re in the same ballpark, and frankly, I’m in the middle of a Lord of the Rings fixation at the moment, so it’s as zombie-like as you’re going to get from me this week.

They’ll do. Especially when you consider some of the crap I’ve tried to explain as zombie related over the past few years - Anna and Elsa from Frozen, I’m looking at you...

I’ve had these six Nazgûl for a long time. They were amongst the first Lord of the Rings miniatures I bought, and when I sold off most of my collection, they got drafted into my WFB Vampire Counts army as wraiths (or ‘Banshee delivery system’).

In more recent times they’ve taken the field as a remarkably bent unit in Kings of War, where their resistance to damage and ability to hop over units and charge their rear in the same turn (with the aid of a spell) felt a little cheaty...I still did it though!

Therefore, they are the LotR miniatures that have seen most action for me and as such had become a bit chipped and needed a repaint (and a rebase).

Fortunately, Nazgûl are probably the easiest models in the world to paint, and so the process took me no time at all.

The only one of them that needed any extra detail was the Witch King of Angmar (as he appears on Weathertop). However, this was only a bit of gold on his sword and Morgul Blade to pick him out.

This does technically mean that in addition to my Fellowship of the Ring, Rohan and Isengard armies, I’ve now started a fourth force. In fact it could technically be three more forces as the Nazgûl appear in this form in the Mordor, Barad-Dur and Angmar armies.

I think I might have an illness.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will have noticed that I have two of the same sculpt of Ringwraiths. I don’t know why.

If I get to use all of them together, I will need a way of distinguishing them as they will have separate profiles that need tracking. I’m going to see if I can find an armoured hand holding a knife to replace the left hand of one of them.

I also want to track down another three to complete the set, as it were. I’d also like to get mounted versions and a couple of Fell Beasts in time so I have options.

So that’s my Zomtober entry for this month. If you’d like to take part here are...

The Rules

The Zomtober rules are simple.

To take part you just need to paint or finish painting one Zombie or Survivor (or more!) each week, in any scale you like, posting it to your blog by that week's Sunday (we use Sunday's as the end of each Zomtober week). These can be minis you started and abandoned, or a brand new project - that is up to you!

What that means posting one or more newly painted/finally finished Zombie or Survivor minis each week on or before the 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th of October 2018.

To sign up, head over to this post - - and post in the comments section.

More Lord of the Rings and proper zombie stuff to come...