Balin’s grand day out

I've taken a break from painting the Death Guard this week to concentrate on assembling a 500 point force for a Middle Earth Strategy Battle one-day event, which has been an immense amount of fun. I've not played SBG or painted any Lord of the Rings/Hobbit miniatures for many a year and had fogotten how delightfully charming they are, particulary many of the really old sculpts. Having not played in an age I needed to select an army I could put on the table quickly, there being literally only a few weeks until the event. I settled on a force of Durin's folk, led by the stalwart Balin, son of Fundin and hero of Erebor reclaimed. Representing a time after the Battle of Five Armies when Dain [...]

By | 2017-09-13T09:35:52+00:00 May 14th, 2017|Middle Earth|0 Comments

Return to Middle Earth

Interesting news broke from the Throne of Skulls event at Warhammer World which would appear to breath some life into the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit range once again. Spillforeningen the Fellowship kindly covers the details in his YouTube channel  and I highly recommend watching and giving a thumbs-up for what has to be good news for fans of the miniatures range. https://youtu.be/xo02byEiQ0w The broad strokes are Games Workshop will be extending the licence and handing over the support to Specialist Games and Forge World who will be re-releasing the previous out of print source books as well as new miniatures. The game will be re-branded as 'Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game' (which is hilarious as I have been calling it that for years, [...]

By | 2017-09-13T11:04:05+00:00 April 3rd, 2016|News|0 Comments

Dwarves and other short updates

The last couple of weeks has been a bit of a frenzy of hobby comings and goings as I wind down various projects and fire new ones up at the same time. Starting with what's been happening on the painting front, I've been reviewing my Lord of the Rings Dwarf warbands and looking at how the newer and older miniatures compare. It's been well over a decade since the first Games Workshop plastic Dwarf Warriors were released for Lord of the Rings and it would be unrealistic to expect the newer 'Hobbit' era Erebor Dwarves to integrate without obvious differences. The miniatures themselves haven't just moved on, clearly my painting isn't the same as it was ten years ago, my eyesight certainly isn't for one! Regardless of [...]

By | 2017-09-13T12:22:05+00:00 August 22nd, 2014|Mantic Games, Middle Earth|10 Comments

More Middle Earth

If you recall earlier in the year I looked at how Gale Force Nine's Battlefield in a Box ruins could be enhanced with a few extra painting steps and techniques to create something equally appropriate for a Middle Earth table. Well, I've been at it again with the remaining three pieces, only this time I decided to try and capture some of the process on video at the same time. The details and photos are also included below for those who would rather not listen to my soporific rambling, for the rest take it away, err me. The stages I used are broadly the same as those I described in the original post: Battlefield in a Box Repainted but I will quickly summarise them again below:- Airbrush [...]

By | 2017-09-13T12:27:21+00:00 June 7th, 2014|Middle Earth, Tutorial|7 Comments

Battlefield in a Box re-painted

If like me you are something of a mature hobby grognard, you may have found you’re obsessing more about hobby efficiency these days. By that I refer to extracting the maximum out of the time spent preparing armies and environments for battle in order to proportionally spend more time gaming. I love assembling and painting miniatures and terrain; it’s still the greater part of the hobby for me. But as I have gotten older I’ve found I’m keen to explore more efficient ways of bringing my armies to the table fully painted. I’m not talking about cutting corners, but about finding balance between what satisfies me as a painter and techniques that speeds up the process. A good example of this is my increased use [...]

By | 2017-09-13T12:39:22+00:00 March 21st, 2014|Middle Earth, Tutorial|5 Comments

The Eagles have landed

Well, mostly. Back beavering away with the brush on a trio of Great Eagles and a Grim Hammer Captain for Middle Earth. The Eagles consisted of a pair of the newer (and larger) plastic versions and the old metal Gwaihir from some years back. An impressive bird, he is sadly now somewhat dwarfed (no pun intended!) by the newer all-plastic kits. I'm not complaining as the latest incarnation of the Great Eagles are I think some of Games Workshop's best, featuring stunning detail and a kit that goes together virtually seamlessly. I might have quibbles about their pricing, but there is no argument from me that they still know how to make a quality plastic kit. I say 'mostly' done because although the miniatures themselves are [...]

By | 2017-02-10T13:34:49+00:00 March 11th, 2014|Middle Earth|2 Comments

Mordor Warband vs Panzers

Just a quick update this evening to include a picture of the completed Mordor Orc warband (sans Orc Captain) with armoured Troll in tow. If you were quick you would have already noticed I added this to the Flickr gallery last night, however I have also included a close up of the Trolls blade here as I used it to try out some of the new Citadel paint effects to see if they were any good. I have to admit I think they are actually pretty decent overall and although they don't add anything you can't already achieve with existing paint effects, they do make it easy for painters who don't have perhaps as big a horde of weathering materials as old Grognards such as [...]

By | 2017-09-13T12:43:52+00:00 February 13th, 2014|Flames of War, Middle Earth|3 Comments

Grim Hammers and Great Goblin

Dwarves seem to be the flavour of the month GW wise with new releases for Warhammer Fantasy popping up all over the interwebs. Nice though that is, it’s Dwarves of Middle Earth that have been of interest to me this week as I have been finishing up some Erebor warriors and Grim Hammers to bolster the older Lord of the Rings Erebor Dwarves I painted a few years back. The years separating the original LotR plastics to the latest Hobbit sets have clearly opened up something of a design and detail gap sadly, especially in the beard and stature department. It’s not surprising really considering how long about the original warrior set was made so mixing the two ranges is never going to look seamless.  [...]

By | 2017-09-13T12:44:09+00:00 February 12th, 2014|Middle Earth|2 Comments

WIP: King of Goblin Town

I thought I had better post this as I have just uploaded the photo to Google+ so it would have been churlish not to include it here. Currently on the painting station to wrap up January is the Goblin king from The Hobbit boxed set. I purposely left him until last to force me to paint all of his minions first. Been of a larger 'girth' I followed a similar approach to that I did with the three Trolls and airbrushed the flesh tones to achieve a softer effect. Starting with Rakarth for the base colour I added Ratskin Flesh to the folds and shadows of the skin and Pallid Wych for the highlights and musculature. To emphasise the unhealthy pallor a thin wash of [...]

By | 2017-09-13T12:45:18+00:00 February 1st, 2014|Middle Earth|2 Comments