Monday, July 11, 2016

Creating 'Soldier' Orcs through Conversion

 Here is a great tip for anyone creating large Orc armies and want huge numbers of soldier Orcs, not the huge out of proportion 'hero' giant Orcs of GW but LOTR Uruks.

 I had the idea to mix two plastic box sets the other day,Wargames Factory Orcs and Perry Miniatures Medieval French Agincout Infantry.
The WGF Orcs have always been criticised for having play mobile style hands with weapon options, and this really lets the set down. I like the actual bodies of the figures because they have been styled on Angus Mc Bride's MERP illustrations from the Eighties, which I have a soft spot for.
So, with the Perrys excellent sculpted arms and weapons added to the WGF torsos, they work a treat and the figures are greatly improved. Also it's possible to create large blocks of pike armed Orcs, a must for any gamer trying to recreate Gundabad Orcs from the Hobbit films.

There is a sneak peek above but I am yet to complete a unit, so far I am very happy with the results, more on this to come. I just need to find some time to get paint'n.


Reference photo's








Thursday, June 16, 2016

Iron Hills Dwarf

Here is an dwarf warrior from the Iron Hills, a tough veteran of many battles .

This drawing is based on the description in the Hobbit book. He wields a two handed heavy war mattock and carries a round shield on his back. Also on his back he carries a large bag of food and supplies. His beard is tucked into his belt and he wears a long mail hauberk down to his knees. On his back under his shield he carries a short board bladed sword. I have also given him a small axe for close work.



The Asgard Dwarf figures match this look to a tee, even the bags of supplies and the round shields on the back. I have given my Dwarf a helmet like the Asgard miniatures and I think it still looks in character.

 LOTR is set in an alternative Dark Ages so lots of chain mail, scale mail and leather work, even Peter Jackson couldn't resist the look of plate armour in his films. Still great films though and so I forgive him.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Elf vs Wolf

  Wolves attacking their hated elven foe.
 Most of these wolves are from Ral partha and are a good size. I have put 5 on a base ( each of my bases regardless of rule system I want to have 6 wounds and attacks. Dragon Rampant actually matches this nicely...lucky for me) So the extra attack I have put down to the lightning reactions of the snapping wolves.
Again the extra wound can be put down to a savage leader with two wounds on the base.  So a unit is made out of two of these bases together making a unit of ten wolves. In the book they say six beasts per unit but I like my packs to actually look like packs. Once the six wounds have been used the other four wolves will just melt away into the darkness again. This I think feels right and gives a nice flavour to the wolf units.
What the hell happened here? This was all tidy last week... I'm out of time tonight more on this later. Bye for now.

Wolf Auxilaries

 The White Warg listens to a scout under a full moon.
 Here is a Warg leading a small wolf pack. I plan to dot these 'extra' Wargs around in the wolf ranks as if they are officers keeping the packs in order.
 The paint job on these figures is very quick and simple, dry brushing heaven in fact. I undercoated them grey first and then dry brushed them in darker colours and white for the underparts and legs. The grey undercoat shows through the dark greys on the upper coat and the wolf pelt effect is achieved. I also added brown washes to the coats and faces of the wolves, Reference books are a must when painting these critters. I also gave them bright yellow eyes that shine out of black eye sockets to help give them a chilling stare.

The Wargs and wolves have the ability to cross rough ground without compromising their movement rate in Dragon Rampant. This in mind, I made their bases really overgrown and tangled with plants and rocks, hinting at the wolves using broken ground to gain advantage on their enemies.

Warg Army

 The wolves of the mountains have been brought to bay by the Warg packs. They now stream down the mountain paths into the lowlands to join the gathering army of Bolg.
 An eagles eye view as he keeps track of the merging packs.
Here the White Warg leads from the front, the smaller she wolf next to her is a scout reporting the latest enemy movements. She is separated from the others by her grey wolf pelt, the others all being Wargs have black coats. Some of the older ones have grey muzzles.

The Warg pack. The figures are from all over the place, most of the large Wargs are from Reaper Miniatures. The smaller wolves are made from a collection of Ral Partha, Reaper and various other unknown makes found on ebay.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Trouble with Painting Goblins



Painting Goblins is a very tricky business, It's best to get the right tools for the job way in advance. Always try to paint your Goblins in twos and threes, any more than that in one go will be a struggle and is not advised.


Found these old pictures while clearing out my computer, may they serve as a warning to fellow painters who don't research their subject thoroughly.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Nick Lund Hobgoblin


This is a quick sketch of one of Nick Lund's 'Hobgoblins' from the late Eighties. They are simple and quite crude in design, but I have found they do make great Uruk Hai within the lesser Orc ranks.

 Their large square frames with apish long arms lends them very well to the descriptions in Tolkien's books. I find the ones with covered heads work the best, not a big fan of Orcs with Mahicans.

These are early sculpts and you can see the progression in Nick's work as the years went on. I have a bunch that will be mixed into the Uruk Hai ranks to lend some weight to the army.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Black Uruk

This Picture shows the the size difference between the soldier orcs and Black Uruk beserkers. They will truly terrify the enemy, Mind you, Dwarves are tough buggers and don't scare that easily. I can't wait to get on to Dain and his Iron Hills Army.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Black Uruk Beserkers

 Finally got some of these huge Black Uruks based up. My idea for these is that they will be the bridge takers and shield wall smashers that run before the army of Sauron. They are large Reaper Miniatures 'polymer' models again and tower above the other Orc figure ranges.
 These beserkers needed some kind of face paint to make them look totally crazed. I chose some very crude white marking harking back to the LOTR films. I think It helped, some of them have also gorged on blood to work themselves into a frenzy.
 The paint used was Tamiya Field grey (FX-50) with a black ink wash over it to darken it down. A highlight of  the same Field grey was then added again followed by another slightly lighter one after that ( tiny bit of flesh colour mixed in to Field grey). The rest of the model was just given a quick base colour, washed with black then highlighted once.
 Size guide with the Elven host, These large figures will have two hit points each in Dragon Rampant with six in a unit. To help with their unstoppable look, I have peppered them with arrows, many have been snapped off in contempt. These frenzied butchers stop at nothing and feel no pain, handy when fighting Elves and their constant hail of arrows.
The Elf lord is not impressed as he gives the signal for another volley.

The White Warg and her Retinue


Here is the finished base of the White Warg, she leads a small group of wargs and large wolves into battle. Just one look and a snarl from her keeps the pack in line. This group of Wargs will lead the huge wolf army, consisting of many packs.

Using the Dragon Rampant rules, her unit will be classed as 'Greater Warbeast 'with six wounds, one for each hound of Sauron.

 Her wolf units will be classed as 'lesser Warbeast'. The units will have six wounds each, although I have created the units using ten models as It looked more like a wolf pack than just six figures.

 I figure that wolves are quite wily and even though they number many they won't hang around too long If the fighting gets too fierce and turns against them. So a group of ten wolves will slink away once four or five of their number have been slain.

The White Warg is a Reaper Bones 'polymer' model, so was a bargain price for such a large figure. I found the secret with these Reaper Bones models is to give them a grey undercoat first, this goes some way to stop the paints 'sweating' and going shiny, as I have found with the others.

 A really good matt varnish is strong recommended with these 'polymer' models. I have just bought some Testors matt cote from eBay and It seems to do the trick. Windsor and Newton do another good matt spray varnish.