Today we have something that’s somewhat recent and still available. Six Black Númenórean Warriors from Citadel’s Lord of the Rings range. I don’t recall when these were released exactly, but the slotta says 07 so it would have been either 2007 or 2008 most likely. These models are exceptions to the “no starting anything new” rule I’ve got in place, as the “stuff I can paint 90% of at work” rules overrides the former rule.
As I’ve noted before, a limited palette and a simple job to do (usually highlighting black cloth or painting bone) works well for me at work, and keeps me interested in the hobby when I’d otherwise be tired and (more) burnt out.
I wanted to paint these in a slightly more interesting (to me) manner than the usual, which is essentially dirtied-up steel with black robes, but still retain the proper feel of these Morgul troops. I’ve seen some really nice looking Morgul Knights (these guys on horses, basically) painted with deep sea green robes, but I wanted to maintain stronger visual ties through their palette being in tune with both the Ringwraiths and also (and more importantly) The Mouth of Sauron figure.
I kept the dark robes, highlighted via blending rather than drybrushing which I’ve used in the past for similar models. Sadly the highlighting seems to be a bit washed out in these pictures, but something I absolutely wanted to avoid was over-highlighting the robes to light grey or white, which seems to be a common solution for many painters – because the robes are black. I used my usual black palette, of blends between Army Painter Black and VMC – Black Grey and Basalt Grey. Basalt Grey is plenty light enough for these guys.
For the metal areas, I tried a new technique. First I painted the armour and shields with Vallejo Chainmail undercoat with a little bit of VMA Bright Brass mixed in. Two glazes of Citadel Seaphim Sepia Shade, and then an edge highlight of VMA Gold. Sword blades were done with Army Painter Plate Mail, washed with AP Dark Tone, and then edge highlighted with Plate Mail again.
Faces were done with VMC Sand, shaded with a paint wash of Fire Dragon Crimson, which is a very old Citadel paint that’s actually a purple shade and then touched up with sand. A bit of black around their mouths and teeth picked out with VGC Elfic Flesh. Leather on the sword handles and shield straps were done with AP Chaotic Red (which is more of a deep red-brown) and washed with AP Strongtone. Done!
The reason I’ve documented exactly how I painted them here is because I’ve found that I have literally a dozen more of these guys, as well as a single pair of Castellans of Dol Guldur, who may well get the same paint scheme, given how similar they are in look and feel, and to add more variety to the scant three poses that the Black Númenóreans have.
As you can see, I attempted some minor conversion with these initial six when I got them years ago. I clipped some shoulder spikes from one of the models, and turned one of those spikes into a “rear” headspike on one of the other models. Without going into Chaos Warrior-style spikiness, I’m not sure how I can easily add any differentiation to the dozen others I have of these three sculpts. I’m not willing to go so far as to resculpt parts, and these models aren’t exactly conducive to headswaps, so there’s probably not a lot going to happen here.
The eventual Army of Mordor will find a home both in the various LotR games, as well as Kings of War. Plenty more to paint before I worry too much about that, though… Perhaps these guys will find their way onto the table alongside Marouda’s Undead army as Allied troops.