Saturday, April 04, 2015

Painting LOTR Trolls

 As well as dabbling with my Elven folk today I got the chance to do a bit more on one of these great troll figures. Unlike the GW sculpts, this troll is large enough to show the actual 'rhino' like skin cracks. This should be fun because It's one of the features of these beasts but very hard to do with the GW range.
 I started by painting the troll in a light sandy colour, this will form the base for the thick hide. After this I wet brushed on layers of darker paint being careful not to get any in the cracks of the hide.
 Above is a more up to date scale guide to the LOTR trolls I have been talking about. Only the one in the middle is an actual war gaming piece, the others are collectors items. However, they still make great gaming pieces in their own right.
 After I had played around with the darker shades I started to focus on the difference between the light coloured chest and belly and the thick hide of the back. This model is so detailed that I decided to give the back a light dry brush to pick out the details of the skin. The armour is yet to be done. Also this model has brilliant eyes, must better than I could paint, so I made sure to leave them alone and Is the reason I didn't undercoat the model.
   

                                  


 Elrond chances his luck against a giant mountain troll, I just don't know where you would start do you?

Fill It full of arrows from a distance I hear you cry.

 Another scale shot showing the GW battle troll and the larger Eaglemoss lead chess piece. It's a great model well worth tracking down on eBay.

Under the stary banners

 Elven lords arrayed for battle under their fluttering banners.

 Looking at these Macro close ups I keep thinking maybe I should have painted their eyes...maybe something I go back to later If the mood takes me. I plan to be quite hard on myself and skip little details like this and concentrate on getting the numbers painted first.

Also I don't know if my eyes are up to a task like that any more...




 I do like how the varnished armour stands out on this figure, my new rule is any plate or scale armour will be given a lick of Klear floor varnish to make it shine. Also all elf weapons will be treated the same way.

Elf Heros and their commands

 Managed to paint some more today and got to finish off a few more bases of Elves. The guy above is a very heroic looking chap and so will be given a command. In my mind he could be Glorfindel in the time of Gondolin before its fall, with his high looking armour. On all of these new Elves I have given their blades a wash of blue and purple ink to make them look a little more magical.
 I loved this guy the moment I saw him on eBay, as It turns out the seller was a bit of a tw@t and It took a long time to secure him. So after all the fuss and bother I was glad to see him in the flesh. I think he is a Kevin Adams sculpt and certainly looks very middle earth with his curved sword. In my mind I have him down as Elrond Half Elven.
 I do enjoy making up these Elven standards. I have taken off the thick lead flags that came with the figures and decided to make my own with paper. This allows me to have long swirling banners which I think looks better with these fancy fair folk. It was painted to reflect the stars and the light of a Silmaril. It will go on Glorfindel's base and be his banner.

 Elrond in place with his standard and selected banner guards. I released when I was varnishing these Elves, that their armour and weapons looked better when they were gloss varnished. The Windsor and Newton Matt varnish is very, very matt and so I went back a painted the armour and blades again with' Klear' floor varnish. This varnish isn't too gloss and just gives a nice sheen to things. The blades of the weapons looked better for it too. I like the idea of my Elves being brighter and a bit more sparkly than my drab, dull Orc hordes.
Lovely clean blue Elven magical blades compared to crude, rusty weapons of the Orcs.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Big figures...small prices

 Originally It was HOTT and It's ideas that got me back into painting Fantasy, although I am yet to play a game, I was struck by the idea of using other sources of miniatures to form armies. I loved this form of imagination and the ideas and bargains you could find to create armies from novels and films. This idea of using what ever you can get your hands on has found me using plastic Eagles from Schleich. Unfortunately the brown bear was just too big to use as Beorn...sigh.

Keeping this novel way of creating armies in mind I found myself buying two huge armoured trolls off eBay for a very cheap price. A gaming figure this size would cost an arm and a leg.

The figures are huge and unlike the GW trolls which are slightly undersized for my 28/30mm forces, these guys are slightly over sized. However, better over than under as the third  armoured troll below demonstrates. He still makes a good model but he is smaller than the GW figures which is no good.  The two in the background are a good head and shoulders bigger than the GW sculpts. Originally I just bought one, the character is meant to be a chieftain so I thought great, he fits being that size. When the figure arrived I was so taken with the it I quickly bought another one before they sold out. I plan to use them as giant armoured mountain trolls and paint them slightly differently from each other.

 The first step with painting these trolls is to paint the skin a light colour. This will form the undercoat in between the cracks on the thick 'Rhino' skin. The figure on the right is how they came ready painted, quite usable at a pinch.
 Quite recently I have been listening...and learning the Simirilion.

 The Father of all dragons, Glaurung has caught my imagination. So I started to look around for a suitable figure for him. This one again from Schleigh caught my eye. He is defiantly a dragon with all of his horns and spikes. My only worry is that his legs are slightly too long! Turin kills Glaurung as the great worm heaves his body across a ravine in the ground. There are many illustrations of the great worm and most have him with short crocadile type legs.
  I also bought a Dinosaur that I thought matched the description of the great old worm, but I still think the dragon figure is stronger. He also has a good size to him which ties in better to the stories of Glaurung in battle. Again a figure this size in lead would cost me a mortgage! I'm really enjoying looking out at garden centers etc for cheap kids toys with a gamers eye, It's very enjoyable and addictive!
"Go back foul drake of Morgoth...go baaacckk...CHOMP!

More Elves




The Arkenstone of Thrain

Thorin and his party are still looking for that elusive ArkenStone...It's all he can think about!

Well It's been a while since I found time to Blog, so I thought I would give a little up date as to what I have been doing. I'm still entrenched in the Fantasy side of things and still really enjoying painting again. My Battle of the Five Armies project is still slowly coming along.

 As you can see I have been painting up a few Elves, these are old Grenadier (now Mirilton) figures. I still think they are the best sculpts on the market even though they are getting old now (1992). There are three main troop types, archers, blades and spear men but this is enough I think to portray a highly disciplined army.
 The Elf command base minus a captain. These guys form a kind of colour party surrounding the standard. I based the design of the standard on an image from the internet. It comes from the LOTR film and so was perfect. After a little experiments I painted my army using bronze armour, washed with green. The surcoats were painted with Foundry's 'Night Sky' A, B and C paints. So a blue/grey over green bronze look. This was taken again from the films and a little bit of imagination. The lovely Elven clothes were then covered in mud and dust, well you've got to really, These guys have had a long march to get here.
 Unlike my Orc bases which are miniature war bands really, I wanted to put a little more discipline and organisation into my Elven army.
Again taking inspiration from the films I formed my archer bases into two ranks. This I hope will give them a better look on their large bases and should add a little drama to them too. Although each figure on the base is counted as an archer for game purposes, the front rank is infact two handed blades. The second rank has been positioned so they can fire through the first. Also when the figures come into hand to hand combat, the base should look good with the front rank fighting with weapons.

Another nice touch which was unseen when planning is that on the march, the Elven companies can be clearly made out. On the command to form line, the bases turn to form one continuous unbroken unit. Very Elven I thought.
 I found a great Orcy blade whilst helping out a friend, very Orcy and great for making maggot holes in your enemies.
While I was painting up my Elven host, I dabbled around with this Reaper Bones Orc. The Reaper Bones range has taken my interest and I just wanted to see how they paint up.I wondered how much detail would be lost changing from metal to plastic...
 Well this is just the rust layer for the armour but I found my black spray paint really didn't like the plastic. I have since read that the figures should be washed in soapy warm water to remove any release agent still left on the figures. I plan to paint more in the future as It could be a cheap way to get some great sculpts into the armies.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Back to Basics


I love doing these kiddy pictures, such a  joy to do.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Excitment Overload...Foam Boards!!!

 Well after years of thinking about It I have finally found a place where I can get terrain boards. After reading a piece in a magazine about making rivers, I was moved to follow the link and order some. £10 each from TSS I think they are good value for money. I have always loved the idea of rivers etc being sunken into the terrain and after seeing the piece in Wargames and strategy I intend to follow the tutorial on how to do it.

However this is a project I intend to shelve at the moment and start up again in the summer. I have quite enough to be getting on with at the moment with baby James absorbing all of my time.

 I imagine it will be quite a big project and a very messy one too, but I love the idea of sunken rivers so I know it will be worth it.
An Orc host runs across the endless grassland of Rohan...

28mm ACW Scale Guide

 I often try to find scale guides for 28mm ACW on the net and although they are on there,  they don't include everything that is on the market. So frustrated with this and with new releases popping up at an alarming rate, I thought I would create my own.

I have included every range I have for 28mm ACW and to my knowledge haven't missed anything out. I have tried to line them up from smallest to biggest so gamers can see the scale.

To be honest most are very similar with just one (Renegade) being maybe too big to mix with other makes. I have also included some of the more recent ACW releases, these include Crusader, Steve Barber and Forgotten and Glorious all of which are relatively new to the scene.

Anyway I hope this simple chart helps.




Steve Barber model Review

 Over Christmas I was lured back into ACW by my ever going obsession with Regimental Fire and Fury. While in the 'zone' I ordered some models from Steve Barber as well as another set of RFAF.

Well, they arrived and I was very pleased with them. Steve has come up with a clever way to give maximum variety into units. Redoubt went some of the way with their separate heads, but Steve Barber has taken it to another level by having multiple legs , torso, arms and heads. The heads also work really well on Redoubt models, some might even say an improvement to the limited ones from Redoubt.

I did order some Redoubt 'Kepi,firing line, sack coat' last year and much to my surprise they all arrived with the head already molded on. I wonder If this is because other companies (like Steve's) are doing separate heads now...just a thought as I did think it at the time.

Anyway, I was impressed with the amount of character I was able to achieve from the pack of 24 models.
 After collecting ACW for many, many years I have come to the conclusion that most ACW units look better advancing on the double with right shoulder shift. The pose is one of the strongest and lends itself to static or advancing troops.
 I had great fun adjusting the figures as I put them together to make subtle differences, I found this part as entertaining as the painting process If the truth is told, in the same way I enjoyed messing around with the Warlord plastic Romans. It's nice to have a feeling that you are creating unique characters that may not exist anywhere else.

Here we can see the parts that go to make up a Union Infantryman.

If I did have to gripe about anything It would be that I wished the arm had a 'tag' that would fit inside a hole on the torso, just to make that fix easier and quicker to do and maybe more secure. That said once glued the arms seemed fine, but still a 'tag' would have been nice, must like the ones Foundry use on their ACW ranges.

Apart from that though a great pack of figures with loads of possibilities to add character and unique personalities.
Size wise they came in at the bigger end of the scale, but not enough to make them unusable with many of the big figure brands.

Death by Decal, An old favourite of mine.


 



 
 
Decals can be a god send but man; they can make your life HELL!