The Black Rider – Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar

Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl

The Black Rider flung back his hood, and behold! he had a kingly crown; and yet upon no head visible was it set. The red fires shone between it and the mantled shoulders vast and dark. From a mouth unseen there came a deadly laughter.
Old fool!” he said. “Old fool! This is my hour. Do you not know Death when you see it? Die now and curse in vain!” And with that he lifted high his sword and flames ran down the blade.
– Gandalf’s encounter with The Witch-King of Angmar in The Return of the King, The Siege of Gondor
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
This model of The Witch King was one of the many that sat around half-painted for a measure of years before finally seeing completion at the end of one of my occasional bouts of focused “Just finish that effing thing!” a couple of months ago. With the chaos that has been happening lately, it took sometime to be photographed, and time again before being cropped, and now, finally posted. These were actually the photos I was working on when I noticed the hard drive beginning to fail a couple of weeks ago, as they weren’t saving first time and easily.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
 As with the others that I’ve painted previously, I’ve taken some liberties – the Witch-King’s steed here is dark brown rather than black, and I’ve also added the beaten copper to the horse’s icon, both in an attempt to add some visual interest to what could have been a more accurate, but far more boring paint job. Similarly, I’ve used weathering powders mixed with matte varnish to add a dirty effect to the bottom hem of his robes.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
This leaves me with 5 more “basic” mounted Nazgûl to paint in order to represent The Nine in games of SBG and whatnot, though naturally, I have a couple of mounted extras – because that happens when you buy large collections on eBay, plus the foot versions, and a fell beast or two, and also most (all?) of the “Named Character” versions of the Nazgûl that Games Workshop came out with late in the SBG’s pre-Hobbit life, because BUY THESE MODELS. To be fair, though, they’re overall a nice batch of models and as any regular reader of this blog knows by now, owning unnecessary models is kinda my thing.
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl
 Obviously, this rather proud king has uses in any official LotR games, particularly the Strategy Battle Game, but he’ll also serve in the Undead Army for Kings of War (as a Vampire Lord) until such a time as my Mordor Army has sufficient figures painted to be up and running independently of the rather generic Undead force. (His not-quite-finished self can be seen in those pics, too!)
Citadel Miniatures Mounted Witch King of Angmar, Nazgul, Nazgûl

Three of Nine – Citadel Miniatures Mounted Nazgûl

Dark Riders, Black Riders, Citadel Nazgul, Nazgûl

These three models were painted some time ago, around 2005 – give or take a few years, and long before blogging was a thing to me. They’ve recently been drafted into Marouda’s Kings of War Undead force as Soul Reaver Cavalry – that is to say Vampiric Cavalry, which seems about as reasonable an approximation of Nazgûl as you can get within the Army list. These three represent a “troop” of Vampire Knights, which would ordinarily be made of 5 models. Works well enough for me!

Dark Riders, Black Riders, Citadel Nazgul, Nazgûl

So while the models are old, and their paint is old, what’s new is that I’ve gotten some custom-cut MDF and been able to make a unit base for them, in much the same way as I did with the Swarms that I painted recently. I think it makes them look quite nice, and certainly looks better than having them blu-taced down to a bare piece of MDF. I don’t believe I’ve shown these models before, so it’s all good.

Dark Riders, Black Riders, Citadel Nazgul, Nazgûl

For now, the Nazgûl will reside in the Undead Army, but at some stage they’ll be split off into their own Mordor force – When I have enough Mordor models painted to field them as a smallish army in their own right.

Citadel LotR: Castellans of Dol Guldur (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

Citadel Lord of the Rings - Castellans of Dol Guldur

The original pair painted in late 2015. Not shown here before.

The story behind these models joining the painting challenge is simple. I had 2 of these models from ages ago, and always planned to have them lead the Black Númenóreans. I only had two of them, though – and I wanted the third sculpt because a) collector, and b) aesthetics. With all of the changes that GW has been making in the last couple of years, I thought they might be discontinued, especially given the ridiculous prices people are asking for them on eBay. But no – they’re still for sale, and indeed – the model I’m after (Sword and Dagger) is specifically still available. It’s right there on the picture. A shame, going by the webpage, it seemed that the third one may have been discontinued as it’s not pictured with the “models will be supplied at random” disclaimer that the GW pages used to have.

So I ordered it and received a blister with 2 duplicate sculpts. As in, not only a sculpt that I already had, but two of the same one in the blister. I tried to contact GWAU’s mail order number a couple of times a week (when I remembered, after work when I got home early enough) for over a month and could not get an answer or even a callback. I eventually got onto someone, after well over a month and the guy had a bit of attitude, telling me that he’d been moving. Which.. doesn’t really explain why nobody answered their customer service line, or made callbacks. Anyway, I explained my issue, and as it was close to 5pm on a Friday, he said that it’d be hard for him to get down to the warehouse to check, because they were finishing up for the week. So call back next week.

The new guys that Sam managed to get to me.

So back to the same, and a couple of weeks later I managed to have the phone answer there again, and it was a different guy who was much more helpful. I explained my issue again and he suggested that I could look on a swap group on facebook, or similar. When I pressed him and also let him know that the blister was still unopened (we’re a couple of months after receiving it at this stage) and told him that I really wasn’t keen on paying more postage to get the figures that are pictured on the website, he gave me the details to return them and said that he’d have a look with the warehouse guys.

Though by now we’re into the start of December, and the craziness that happens at that time of year, so I actually mailed them back in the quiet time between Christmas and New Year’s. A couple of weeks later (completely understandable given the time of year and what it does to the post) I received a little box in the post with a blister containing the correct model. So thank you to Sam at GWAU for sorting it out in the end. I do wonder what’s happening there though – as on the rare occasions I’ve had issues I needed to contact mail order for in the past they answered the phone pretty quickly, and things were sorted with lightning speed (and maybe a photo emailed to show the exact issue). Hopefully they can get it back together.

All four Castellans of Dol Guldur

So now we roll around to February, and the 6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge over on Dakka that I’ve been coordinating. My “pledges” are to complete a unit/hero/warmachine/monster/etc each month for both Undead and Gondor. Now complete means just that – and it means I can motivate myself to finish off figures that have been part-painted for ages, or the last couple of models from a unit and so forth. While painting their robes on my lunch break at work the other day I realised that these guys finish off the two units of Castellans/Black Númenóreans that I started months ago, and so they count – since they’ll be used in Marouda’s Undead army with the Soul Reaver Infantry statline – essentially Vampiric infantry. I think they work well as Medieval-Fantasy Vampiric types who will drain your soul rather than just your blood. Not all vampires have to be 19th century aristocrats, after all….

Citadel Lord of the Rings, Castellans of Dol Guldur, Black Númenórean Warriors

Castellans of Dol Guldur & Black Númenórean Warriors in loose “SBG” Skirmish formation.

I painted the Númenóreans some time ago last year over a period of time. I shared the first few on the blog, as well as the standard bearer conversions (not much of a conversion, but hey). Later on I finished even more of the warriors but didn’t feel a need to write another post showing off identical models to the ones I’d already shown.

Citadel Lord of the Rings, Castellans of Dol Guldur, Black Númenórean Warriors

A KoW regiment of rather evil infantry.

Citadel Lord of the Rings, Castellans of Dol Guldur, Black Númenórean Warriors

And the second unit. Fitting these into a game will be a challenge, points-wise!

The eagle-eyed amongst you will note that there’s one guy missing from the back rank in the second regiment. I appear to have misplaced one of my Black Númenórean Warriors. Not a worry here, but on forums whenever I point out some minor thing like that, there’s always some socially-inept person that feels a need to post “I saw that”. Well, between the Reaper forums and the LotR ones, anyway. Yeah, thanks. Well done you. 😉  So I’ll have to either find the little bastard, or failing that – locate another Black Númenórean and paint him to finish the unit. Again.

Citadel Lord of the Rings, Castellans of Dol Guldur, Black Númenórean Warriors

The new recruits, ready for the table!

Let’s face it though, even I think that painting 2 non-character models in a month for half of a painting challenge is a bit pissweak, so I’ll be trying to paint that RPE Skeleton Ballista I showed the other day as well for the Undead component.

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Standard Bearers

Standard Bearers, you ask? Yeah. GW Never made any, but that’s not important. They only produced three sculpts of Black Númenórean Warriors, and that was it. As fate would have it, I had two Warriors of the same sculpt who both had their swords broken off. I really wasn’t sure what to do with them for awhile. Repairing those swords was right out since drilling into sword blades is a fool’s errand. Make a polearm? Drop an axe in there? Bin both and just replace the models entirely? Ah, maybe it’d work to try and put a standard in there?

So I did. It worked.

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

Originally, I’d hoped to freehand an inscription into the flag, but it was just too small and ragged to do so. I spent a couple of hours working out an appropriate inscription, translating it into a bastardised mixture of Adûnaic and Black Speech (to stand in for Black Adûnaic, and because the available vocabulary of both are very limited) and even worked out how to write them in Adunaroth, thanks to another speculative page online. Then it was too big for the bloody banner, and so I just painted in the Eye of Sauron instead. Blah. Yes, the angle of the drapery and skulls look a little odd. at first. That is until you realise that he’s in the midst of thrusting that banner skywards at an angle, and that’s why it’s all trailing behind at such an angle. You see? Reasons!

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

But what to add? What to use? Whatever it was, it needed to be spiky and unpleasant. After rejecting the Dark Elven banners that I had, I settled on these two, from the GW Chaos Marauders sprue. Both looked spiky and evil enough to pass for the fallen men of Númenór – and fit in well enough with the GW models. Sure, the skulls are a little big, but they must be from non-humans. Olog-Hai or something, right?

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standards

A clearer shot of the banner and standard device.

In the end, I managed to turn two junk models into what will become the centrepieces of their unit(s). As with the Wildmen, Golgfag’s Ogres and quite a few other models from the last year or so, models I disliked for whatever reason have become models I’m really pleased with – which is always especially satisfying! I’ll get some full unit shots of these guys and their cohorts up soon. First I have to finalise their leaders, and GW Mail order sent me the wrong blister, so I need to get that sorted out first. GWAU’s customer service is really hard to get hold of these days for some reason – I’ve been trying to get the guy on the phone for three weeks and only succeeded once, just before he went home on a Friday night over a week ago…

 

More Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warriors

Does what it says on the tin!

Citadel Black Númenórean Warriors

These guys are queue-jumpers, via the “stuff I can paint at work” clause – as opposed to stuff I’ve been working on for ages. That’s pretty much it for these ones. I mean, there’s not a lot interesting that you can write about more of the same three sculpts you’ve shown before, all painted more or less identically. These are all new, though. None of the first batch are shown in the mob above. I’ll make the lot of them more interesting soon, but for now. this bunch is done!

 

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warriors

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.

Citadel Black Númenórean Warrior

Citadel Black Númenórean Warrior

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.

Citadel Black Númenórean Warrior

Citadel Black Númenórean Warrior

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.

Citadel Black Númenórean Warrior

Citadel Black Númenórean Warrior

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.

Citadel Black Númenórean Warriors

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.

Mass Production

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings SBG Mordor Orcs

So over the Easter break, I resolved to finish off some of the figures that have been sitting around for the last forever or so. Since I’ve been focusing on LOTR stuff, I decided to try and get the first batch of Mordor Orcs finished. As they’re plastics, I’ve not spent an immense amount of time on them, and taken individually they’re nothing special at all, but as a faceless horde, they work quite decently.

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings SBG Mordor Orcs

I tried for a mix of the flesh tones found in the films, rather than the GW-over-reliance on greens, but having said that there’s probably more human-flesh-toned figures here than I’d like. Luckily (!?) I have another batch of these little dears to paint up which I picked up recently on the cheap, so I’ll make up for it there. I’ve got a couple of Captains and Standard Bearers I should paint up to lead them. I’ll probably save them as a reward to do after I finish the drudge work of the plastics.

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings SBG Mordor Orcs

The most fun I’ve had on them was trying out a nice variety of my new P3 paints, and Coat D’Arms WW2 colours. Both paint ranges are of course made by HMG paints, who were the original makers of Citadel Paint. After using them, I have to say they are smooth, the pigment is dense, the coverage is great. I’ll never buy another one of GW’s current paint range unless it’s an emergency and I have no other immediate choice. I’ll be spending a fair bit of cash on replacing some of my current GW colours with these soon enough, but first I want to get a bunch more of their realistic and earthy tones – colours I used to have to buy in Tamiya or Gunze, sometimes Vallejo (and sorry, I know Vallejo are the paints du jour at the moment, but CDA in my opinion are noticably better.) Don’t get me wrong, Vallejo are still very good, and I won’t be replacing them until they’re used, but when that happens I’ll rep them with CDA.

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings SBG Mordor Orcs