Thursday, December 25, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Orcs and their Masters.

I drew this picture months ago to help me work out my Mordor army and the figures I would use for all the different breeds of Orc.

The small Moria goblins would be made from the early Citadel goblins and Gnolls.These are lightly armoured but many in number.
 Slightly better armoured Goblins would be made up of Citadel Giaks from the 'Lone Wolf 'figure range.
Then comes the masses of Orc troops, these are made up of the fantasy tribes Orcs again from Citadel along with other makes.
The Uruk-hai will be formed from the LOTR range from Citadel with other armoured Orcs to make up the numbers.
 Finally huge Black Uruks will be created from Black Tree's great Orc range and will make up the large orc bodyguards of Bolg. They are huge and the reason why they gave Thorin such a hard time can be clearly seen.

The based army so far

 Another base and another leader figure with a repaired weapon.
 Here is the based army so far, I have another four stands to base up before this lot can be called finished.

 Next up for the Orc army will be the heavily armoured uruks and Uruk-hai. These will form the better equipped and disciplined ranks in the army of Mordor.
This block of Orcs will be split into about three warbands. I plan to have around three lots of forty Orcs to form the main battle line. next to these will be one or two units of Uruk-hai and swarms of Wargs and wolves on the flanks, but thats a while away at the moment as I flit back and forth between this and my ever going ACW project.

My dream of playing Regimental Fire and Fury is stronger than ever now with their release of their second scenario book.

Orc Leaders and tribes

 I had to do a lot of repair work on some of these old ebay figures as most of them were broken. These old sculpts go for quite a lot on ebay so I bought all the cheap broken or badly painted ones and nursed them back to life. The Orc above has had his sword filed down to a more realistic size, he is from a time when GW went crazy with their weapon sizes.

I have bought three of the leader sculpts below and each one had a missing weapon, so repair had to be done using a pack of old spare weapons I bought from eBay. I think he looks better now with his giant mace than he did with his original sword. He is still a leader in his own right and has been given a standard and bodyguards to prove it.

I have tried to put different tribes into the massed army of Mordor. This white face paint on this leader represents Mount Gundabad and there a a few of these bases in the army.
 Most of the other bases have red paint either down their face or across one eye to show they are from Mordor.


 Metal magic Orcs from eBay proved to be one of the best buys of my collecting career, they were cheap but very nice models.
 More Orcs from my childhood given a freshen up and whipping back into service.
 Plastic Wargames factory Orcs also found their way onto the bases. I had looked at these with a little distain at first but they proved to be really good once made up. They are also very handy when It comes to spare weapons and shields. After the success of these I tried the plastic Mantic Orcs, but they proved less effective. These Wargames Factory figures would also make great half orcs too, something I have in mind for the future.
The guy at the front is my first Orc I ever bought way back in 1984. I called him Kracken and I thought he looked a natural leader. He is in fact listed as a bodyguard in the old Citadel catalogues.

Grishnakh, captain of Mordor.

 This is Grishakh, the squat, ape armed captain of Mordor who was with the party that captured Merry and Pippin. He is surrounded with large armoured Uruks and a small evil looking Orc, no doubt whispering no good in his ear all the time.

I have used the Jackson Movies as a guide again for this character and painted him with a red skin tone.
 I chose this figure because of his long arms and the fact he has a curved scimitar too. I put a standard on the base to mark it out as a command base amongst the Orc rabble.

Twigs from the garden have proved to be really effect on these bases, I will be using the idea on my ACW for sure when I do the next batch.

And now for something completely different...

 A little side project that has slipped through the net...Elves. Well you can't paint all that evil stuff without a little goodness creeping back through. This come about after I started to work out how I would paint Elf armour.  The next thing I know I have twenty of them stuck on paint pots and the Mordor army has been put on hold.

I want my Elves to follow the Movie versions with their Bronze/green armour. So after painting them with Vallejo 70998 BRONZE, I gave them quite a thick wash of Woodland scenics green.

Although they aren't finished yet I think the effect has worked.
 The figures are from Militon Miniatures and are the old Mark Copplestone sculpts from the early 90's. In my opinion they are the best elves around at the moment and I prefer them to the GW High Elves.

Here are two colour test models i painted up. I think I will lost the fancy swirls as It will take up too much time when painting large numbers. The Surcoat is painted using Foundry's 'Night Sky' A and B paint pots. To give them a slightly more armoured look, I painted the legs and arms with leather colours rather than flesh tones, again matching the Jackson movies.

Mordor Troll

 Here he is again, the Mordor Troll. I was pleased to see the size of these new GW figures and the fact they were so big. They fitted in very well with the old 80's sculpts very well.

I have two of them and they were both bought from eBay, which is why one of them has lost his cheek guards. I don't really mind this as It gives you a chance to see his face and skin tones better.

 The troll's armour was given an undercoat of black, then drybrushed with GW 'Lead Belcher'. I also gave it a wash (in places) of Warlock Bronze, which had a great ageing effect.

 A red brown wash was then added to make the armour look rusted. After all this I gave the edges a very light brushing with the 'Lead Belcher' paint again.The leather work was painted with different browns then given a black wash, no highlights were added.

Mordor Masses

 Here we have the main army, smaller Orcs and Goblins. Rather than make separate units of archers and spears etc I mixed all the troop types together into mini warbands. I think Orcs look better this way, one big out of control rabble.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Great Unwashed

 I created the army from my collection of figures from back in the early Eighties. Mind you saying that a lot were bought off eBay amongst other places and some were even given to me by friends. They make quite a random bunch of misfits and villains, perfect for the army of Mordor.
 A whole variety of figures and manufacturers were collected together to fill the bases. All the time I tried to use a bit of imagination with them and give each base a story and character. This large 'Kevin Adams' orc from Foundry was turned into a Black Uruk because of his size. Either that or some kind of half troll. The Citadel Chaos warrior above becomes a evil squint eyed, sallow faced goblin man like the one from Bree. That's the thing I'm enjoying the most about painting fantasy, its the imagination that goes with it.

 Here you can see the dried herbs I sprinkled on to act as dry undergrowth. I think they work well and to the naked eye they look just like dead leaves and braken.
These guys were painted many years ago back in 1987, a quick black wash and shield change and they're back working for the big eye in the sky.

That's it for now , more to come tomorrow.

Orc Warlords

 Bolg again from another angle. I experimented for a while trying to match the skin tones with that of the Movie for the Black Uruks. German uniform grey worked the best washed with black. It had a wierd kind of warmth to it which was great for skin tone.
 Another high ranking Orc here, clearly marked out by his two battle standards. He has obviously conquered two tribes in his time. He is another large 'Bob Olley' Reaper miniature and towers over the lesser orcs under his command.

I still wanted this guy to be a Black Uruk but tried a warmer tone of brown for his skin tone.
 To tie the army together I used red as the main tunic colour. This was again just blocked in then washed with black paint. Dirt, mud and rust were added all over the figures with the help of more washes to give them that Orcy feel.
This Warlord is surrounded by seasoned veterans of many battles in heavy armour.

The mighty Bolg of the North

 Well here he is...Bolg son of Azog the defiler. It took a while to find a suitable figure to represent such a fierce character, but after I saw the size and pose of this old Grenadier orc, the choice became easy. The hands on the hips is a great pose for a leader of legions. I didn't go down the film route and paint him pale/white, but tried to stick to the book more. To make sense of his size and strength I made him a Black Uruk with dark grey skin. His command are also painted as Black Uruks and are considerably bigger than the lesser Orcs on the other bases.
 The other command figures are from Reaper miniatures and are lovely Bob Olley sculpts. The Warlord pointing is not one of Bob's but still a brilliant figure, he would of made a great Bolg himself If he hadn't been so over shadowed.

All the figures were painted quickly using the ink wash method. Colours were blocked in then given a wash of black, then highlighted again with the same base colour. This black wash technique worked well for the dark skin tones.

The New Hobbit (3) is out tonight...I'm looking forward to seeing it but at the same time a little worried. You know how it is with the new Hobbit films...anyway enough of that back to the painting.

Lets Talk About Orcs Baby...

 It's been a while since I blogged anything, but that doesn't mean I haven't been busy brushing away.

 After bashing out a small army of dirty Orcs I finally got arund to basing them. I went for the classic wood glue and rough sand approach, covered in flock and twigs. I also added a few dry herbs to the bases to act as dead leaves and I was pleased with the result. So much so in fact, that I dug out my recent ACW units and gave them a tinkle with the herbs as well.
 Orc Beserkers wearing the red eye of Sauron..
After painting figures for months I have to really get my head into 'basing' mode and It takes me ages to get motivated to start. However, with all the new flocks and grass tufts etc, I really enjoyed basing this Fantasy army, which is good news for the future.
I used Foundry's paint system to colour the base, first using the sand 'A' 'B' and 'C' pots, then the Granite greys to colour the rocks. I also gave the sand a wash with brown ink and the large rocks a wash with green. Silfor grass tufts were then added and various flocks and scatter materials. Twigs from the garden made great logs and didn't need to be painted, just left as they were.