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 is King under the mountain but before Balin leads the Dwarves on the ill-fated expedition to reclaim Khazad-dûm, I didn’t want the warbands to look too uniform in their wargear, it being a time when they are ranging once again outside of the mountain in the years of ‘relative’ calm before the war of the ring and the forming of the Fellowship.

Balin's warband wip

The majority of the Warriors were painted over a decade ago, so needed some love and attention, not to mention a fair amount of re-painting and repair. A delve into the bits box (but not so deep I disturbed the Balrog, that’s for another day) found me metal versions of the Khazad Guard, Balin and a Shieldbearer which was all I really needed to complete three straight forward warbands. Nothing fancy, just good old dwarf resilience and lots of nice bold colours.

At the time of writing I’m on the final stretch adding the finishing touches to Balin and Shieldbearer which has given me a bit more time to add a few flourishes. I’ve never really bothered with a movement tray in the past as they really weren’t a ‘thing’ back when I last played and by that I don’t mean the old War of the Ring bases but a literal tray for moving the army from one table to the next. As it happens I found an old unused wooden tea tray in the shed during the week and one thing led to another, questionable decisions were made and well, see for yourself.

SBG display tray

I figured if i’m going to take a tray all the way to the event I might as well make it a feature and something interesting or fun to look at. It was also a good excuse to put a lot of the junk I have around the workshop to good use, including a pile of Hirst Arts slabs that were left overs from a previous project. At this stage the path has been fixed in place along with the ruins and some of the underpinning and rocks for the groundwork. Once the glue has cured I will add the groundwork filler, textures and talus ready for priming and painting. That will be this weeks hobby project along with re-doing the bases on Balin’s warband to bring them up to date.

Now, where did I put that rulebook?