Saturday, March 28, 2015

and now for some baddies....

I am still in a LotR frame of mind and I am impressed with myself as this is the 3rd week of painting Tolkien based figures.  I feel that this project (whatever that may end up being!) will thrive, or not, based upon how I feel about painting the box sets of plastic figures.  The first set I tried were warg riders.  Below is the results....

 They went together very easily and quickly, with a good variety of poses.
 I decided to paint this box with  'white' flesh colouration as I feel that i will need more than 6 riders and the plan is to change flesh tone of each box to give a more chaotic overall appearance.
 I think next time I will do greater variety of colours on the wargs as well.
 I was quite pleased with the variety of weapon options and think if i get a few more boxes of them they will look quite effective en mass.
 They will certainly add a bit of punch to the infantry forces of both Mordor and Orthanc.
 The faces of the wargs are quite nice and characterful, more so maybe than some of the riders....

 Here is the group shot.  I need to get something better to use as a backdrop for my LotR stuff.  Hopefully in time for next photo shoot.......
That's it for this post, and it looks like more Tolkien stuff next time as well!!!
Have a good few days and thanks for looking  :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A stride of aragorns

So I am still working on my LotR stuff and after a glamdring of Gandalfs I present a stride of Aragorns, but this time just three!   As with the Gandalf figures, these were painted a while ago just for the fun of painting them.
The first figure is the Aragorn figure out of the fellowship of the ring box set and he looks very much a ranger type figure, dressed for a life in the wilds.

 After painting the first figure, I bought a pack that container a mounted and foot version of the character.  Strangely, this version is clean shaven and so is not based on the film version (I cannot recall him clean shaven at any part of the film(s) )
 I think that if it was being true to the book then he would be carrying the broken shard of narsil instead of the whole sword he is brandishing but that does not spoil the figure.
 The mounted version is a nicely animated figure and fun to paint.

 And finally a group shot.  I'm not sure why I have this need to collect more than one version of the same character except that each is slightly different to paint and I enjoy them, being a bit of a fan boy :)
I have to confess at this point that I am watching auctions on trade-me ( the nz version of ebay only much!!!!! smaller) of alternate versions of both gandalf and aragorn, so whatever the fascination is, it is still going strong.
However, there are a few non gandalfs or aragorns also going through so we shall have to see what I finally decide on.  It's just unfair that I cannot just buy them all....:(

Saturday, March 21, 2015

What is the collective noun for a group of Gandalfs?

I have to confess that in my youth I was a bit of a Tolkien fanatic, and although I am not as bad as I was, I have still read the lord of the rings about 70 times and the Silmarillion is still my favourite book.  It is then, with great wonder, that I have never really bought into the games workshop figures of the same name.  I feel that it has something to do with the fact that they seem to be trying to rip me off at every turn with their pricing policy and so figures that I should in all honesty own thousands of, I own very few of!!  It may also be because, on some level, Peter Jackson pisses me off with his desire to try and improve on what is an awesome story.  I enjoy the films most when I try and remember that they are "based on" the books and not the books themselves.  I still own all of the extended versions of the films and at least one per year I watch them back to back in a 10+ hour marathon of elves and orc goodness.
However, this is starting to change as I have this building urge to collect and game middle earth.  I already have a few figures that I am painting for friends and have bought a few more to start my own collection and I can feel the start of a fanboy addiction......
I've had a go at painting the GW figures before and was quite pleased with how they turned out and so felt that this would be a good place to start recording this collection.  What better place to start then than with Gandalf.  For a small, starting collection I seem to have more of him than I should!!
Gandalf the Grey is an iconic figure and this figure really does him justice.  I painted him in grey (duh!!!) and earthy, homespun colours.
 He clutches his staff and orchrist, a sword made in gondolin by the elves
 A nice, simple figure to paint, and I enjoyed him so much that I felt that I would like the mounted version.  For that I needed to buy a new set!
This time I painted him more blue than grey but I like the effect just as much

 Push comes to shove, I could always use him as one of the blue wizards.....

You cannot fault the sculpting on some of these figures,  they really are top quality.  I love the pose of the mounted version.

 The horse is well animated and the wizard's robes fall very naturally.

The Last version of Gandalf  I have is as Gandalf the White, after he has been set back having died defeating the Balrog of Moria.

 I found the all white colour scheme a little intimidating and if I could do it again, I think that I would have varied the base colours of the white for a little more variety.
 The mounted version suffers more so from the monotone colour scheme but I feel it turned out as well as I am able to do it.  The model suffered from having a horse that only has one foot on the floor.  A dynamic pose but an unstable one and so I had to support the model with a pin from its belly.  This goes into the rock it is jumping over.

And here we have a final group Gandalf shot.  A good start to my addiction......
Thanks for looking :)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Empire of the dead monks

I have had a bit of a slow week painting this week.  In the wake of my cowboy game I started to paint some more empire of the dead figures as I had enjoyed the ones I did for the game.  However, I soon got a bit bogged down in them and so had nothing finished and therefore nothing to show on a new post.  Since then I have persevered with them and have managed to get them done, even if a little later than I was hoping for!
The first one is a monk carrying a shotgun.  He has a nice, characterful face.  I tried to keep the colour palate natural tones in keeping with their calling.

 Sorry that this one is a bit blurry!  This monk carries a blunderbus and sports a nice set of whiskers.

 This is the first of two monks carrying a xbow.

 This monk sports a large beard and a multi barreled rifle.
 The second of the xbow armed monks.  Again, a nice face to paint.

 A rather conventional armed monk and the only one with his hood up.

 A group shot of the monks.  I was quite pleased with how they turned out.
 I'm not sure what I will end up doing with them as I don't intend to play empire of the dead rules.  There are a few other options, such as in his majesties name among others.  I suppose that I don't need to make any decisions until I get other figures painted and that may take a while!!
An irritating after event was that as these were being based, I looked in my box of westwind kickstarter figures and found another monk!!!  He has been started and will appear on a later post.
Anyway, hopefully I will be back on track in terms of posting again so will be back in a few days!!
Have a good week everyone :)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

A game of cowboys......mostly

on saturday a few friends got together and played a game of cowboys.  I offered to do the donkey work and organise a (thin!) plot and provide figures and buildings.  I already had in mind an idea but with 9 people opting to join in I had to be a little creative in the gangs and their reasons for joining in the madness!
I waa worried that I wouldn't have enough terrain for such a big game but it seemed to fill more than I thought.  The excellent base cloth was bought along by another player and I will have to get one of my own at some point.
 The game revolved (or should have!) around an exhibition of the grave goods of Pharaoh Suq mahtoof the first that was travelling around the big cities of north america.  The train had stopped over night in a small western town, ably  guarded by the great British detective Sherlock Holmes and his companion Dr. Watson.  The next morning the train had disappeared and a glowing mist rolled around the area of the train station.  Chests and crates could be seen in the mist but so too could the animated corpses of the two famous guards.
 So everyone should have made a bee line for the treasure, but to add another level of complexity into it I also devised about 30 mission cards that would generate extra points for their completion.  Everyone drew 2 of these at random. These could be simply gaining extra points for killing the leader of another group or for robbing the local bank in the confusion of the day.
We used a simple version of legends of the old west as most of us had some background in a games workshop type game and so mechanisms would be comfortable, and I also made a set of cards that could be used to interrupt people's turn, boost your own figures or just sow general mayhem in shooting matches that had none of your figures in...
Below, my posse move up the table at the start of the game.  Their two secret missions were to sleep with the famous town whore and to rob their own bank!!!  dream big boys, dream big.......
 Darren, the player on the left wears the initiative hat :)  I felt it was easier to roll dice and highest went first, then clockwise from there.  The initiative hat marked the start of the round.
Groups of figures can be seen moving towards the centre of the table.
 The Sons of Horus, dedicated to thwarting the return of the Pharaoh, move towards the mist.
 Queen Victoria, here to collect a few choice artifacts for the British museum, decides to make a detour and warily passes the Red Brotherhood, who are quickly rushing to their masters aid.
 Comment about the British forming square were made....
 reinforcements arrive for one of the groups.
 And charge into the mist to try and steal some treasure. All of the chests contain golden items but some contain guardians.  The secret Cabal of the Chinese government felt that they were the only civilisation with the culture to appreciate the history of the items, and they got to ask the Pharaoh in person as they managed to summon him by opening a treasure chest.  The brave tiger warrior ran off!
 The Sons of Horus, seeing all the monster emerge from the mist, jumped onto a wagon that contained a fully loaded Gatlin gun and set about shooting Dr watson
 The British revealed a secret agent hidden in the ranks of Uncle Thulu's band of madmen. (Uncle Thulu was here as he had a 4000 yr old grudge to settle with the Pharaoh).  However, the secret agent proved to be particularly inept as he tried to shoot the Thulu in the back of the head from point blank and he missed!
 The Pharaoh sets about retrieving his treasure.
 The Gatlin gun shoots down some cowboys...just for fun.
 Reinforcements arrive for Uncle Thulu, which was just as well as he was going through his men at a spectacular rate.  One of the players (Rhys) had bought his own cowboy figures to use.  These happened to be cowboy teddybears. Now, having shoehorned chinese, mexicans, queen victoria, the sons or Horus, the red brotherhood, Egyptian undead, a zombified Sherlock Holmes and Watson and Uncle Thulu into a plot, I felt no moral ground from which to say that he couldn't use them and so the scene was set for an afternoon long fight between a great old one and cowboy teddybears....
 Sherlock fights a Tigerman
 The Red brotherhood still moving towards the Pharaoh.
 Teddybears and Thulu shoot it out.  Many stick of dynamite were thrown.
 Queen Victoria and servant on their own having sent off the boys to do and die.
 My towns folk prepare to storm the unguarded saloon in order to sleep with the town good time girl.
 Rhys did smile more than this during the day...honest.  maybe his bears were dying to fast at this point.
 The British storm a wagon to use as a strong point.  Great tactic until Uncle Thulu threw some dynamite in..,,
Surprisingly most of the british survived and Thulu managed to blow himself up.  Not what we were expecting.  But then, probably not most of the participants were expecting when I said "fancy a game of cowboys next week?"
I think at the end of the game the Son of Horus had just managed to pip the British in the end due to shooting the Pharaohs wife with the gatlin gun and stealing the contents of Watson's bag.
I am now looking through my collection of figures for ideas for my next 'cowboy' game....