The Fellowship of the Ring Scenario Project. Pt1: Planning.

So this afternoon I asked Marouda what miniatures games she’d like to play if she could choose anything that I (we) have – any force, any game, any scale or scale of conflict. I even used the example that if she decided that she wanted to play WW2 Finns or Hungarians or French (I don’t have any of those) then I’d just buy them. She came up with two answers:

Gaslands, and Lord of the Rings SBG scenarios. Since I’m still waiting on the Gaslands rulebook to arrive in order to have some idea on what things to chop up and add to the little Matchbox collection that we picked up last week, I’ve started to look through the scenarios to see what we (I) need to get painted to run through the scenarios from the Fellowship of the Ring book (plus Moria Starter)

So I’ve created a list of the figures needed for all of those scenarios, then subtracted those that I’ve already painted, leaving a list of things that I’ll need to paint up at the end. I’ll also no doubt need to scratchbuild some terrain, that should vary from pretty easy (Buckleberry Ferry & Docks) to really quite painful (Amon Hen, the internals of Moria).

So here we go! (feel free to skip this post if you’re already bored. I’ll pepper it with painted examples, but there ain’t anything new here if you’ve been reading for years.

Scenario 1: The Hunt Begins

9 Dunedain

The Witch King of Angmar

2 Ringwraiths

 

Scenario 2: The Trust of Arnor

9 Dunedain

The Witch King of Angmar

8 Ringwraiths (4 painted)

Aenur will be my Gildor.

Scenario 3: Short Cuts Make Long Delays

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Gildor (Subbed by Aenur)

3 Ringwraiths

 

Scenario 4: Buckleberry Ferry

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

3 Ringwraiths

Scenario 5: Fog on the Barrow-Downs

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Tom Bombadil

Goldberry

4 Barrow-Wights

 

Scenario 6: The Grey Pilgrim and the Black Riders

Gandalf the Grey

The Witch King of Angmar

8 Ringwraiths (4 painted)

 

Scenario 7: Pursuit Into The Wilds

Gandalf the Grey

6 Dunedain

4 Ringwraiths

 

Scenario 8: Amon Sul

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

The Witch King of Angmar

4 Ringwraiths

Scenario 9: Flight to the Ford

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Glorfindel Mounted or Arwen Mounted

Glorfindel Foot or Arwen Foot

 The Witch King of Angmar Foot

8 Ringwraiths (4 painted)

The Witch King of Angmar Mounted

8 Ringwraiths Mounted (3 painted)

 

Scenario 10: The Hounds of Sauron

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

Warg Chieftain

18 Wild Wargs

I had this exact use in mind when I painted these.

Scenario 11: The Watcher in the Water

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

6 Tentacles

 

Mines of Moria Scenario 1: Into the Dark

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

4 Moria Goblins with Bows

 

Mines of Moria Scenario 2: Ambush!

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

4 Moria Goblins with Shields

4 Moria Goblins with Spears

 

Mines of Moria Scenario 3: Surrounded!

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

8 Moria Goblins with Bows

8 Moria Goblins with Shields

8 Moria Goblins with Spears

Mines of Moria Scenario 4: Battle in Balin’s Tomb

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

8 Moria Goblins with Bows

8 Moria Goblins with Shields

8 Moria Goblins with Spears

Cave Troll

 

Scenario 12: Balin’s Tomb

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

2 Goblin Captains

8 Moria Goblins with Bows

8 Moria Goblins with Shields

8 Moria Goblins with Spears

Cave Troll

 

Scenario 13: The Escape from Dwarrowdelf

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

2 Goblin Captains

8 Moria Goblins with Bows

8 Moria Goblins with Shields

8 Moria Goblins with Spears

Cave Troll

Scenario 14: The Bridge of Khazad-Dum

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

Gandalf

*Moria Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

The Balrog

2 Goblin Captains

8 Moria Goblins with Bows

8 Moria Goblins with Shields

8 Moria Goblins with Spears

Cave Troll

 

Scenario 15: Lothlorien

Frodo

Sam

Pippin

Merry

Aragorn

??Gandalf

Boromir

Legolas

Gimli

2 Goblin Captains

8 Moria Goblins with Bows

8 Moria Goblins with Shields

8 Moria Goblins with Spears

Warg Chieftain

18 Wild Wargs

 

Scenario 16: Aragorn’s Stand

Frodo

Aragorn

Legolas

Gimli

Lurtz

1 Uruk-Hai Captain

6 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Orc bows

12 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Shields

 

Scenario 17: Borimir’s Redemption

Boromir

Merry

Pippin

1 Uruk-Hai Captain

6 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Orc bows

12 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Shields

 

Scenario 18: The Breaking of the Fellowship

Aragorn

Legolas

Gimli

Boromir

*Wounded Boromir

Lurtz

1 Uruk-Hai Captain

6 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Orc bows

12 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Shields

Painting List:

4 Ringwraiths on Foot.

Pippin

Merry

Tom Bombadil

Aragorn

Glorfindel Mounted or Arwen Mounted

Glorfindel Foot or Arwen Foot

Gimli

Boromir

*Wounded Boromir

Warg Chieftain

18 Wild Wargs

The Balrog

Lurtz

1 Uruk-Hai Captain

6 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Orc bows

12 Uruk-Hai Scouts with Shields

So… that’s “only” 48 figures (edit – 59 – apparently I can’t count when I have a headache!) needed to have the above ready to go. Unfortunately, a lot of them are essentially “hero” models, so they’ll need that extra amount of care and time to paint. I’ll probably also want/need to batch paint several of the heroes who have multiple alternative sculpts, to retain colour consistency across their many models.

I do have models I could sub in for quite a few of the “faceless” models there – for example I have about a bunch of wolves I could sub in for the Wargs for example, or use Uruk-Hai warriors/berserkers for the Uruk-Hai scouts – I’ve got the proper models for all of those, and so I’d much rather use this as motivation to actually paint those models instead. Gildor being the exception for that sort of thing as I don’t have the proper model, and Aenur makes a good proxy. Also, Goldberry, I guess as I don’t have the official model, but do have a RBG model that I specifically purchased to be Goldberry in LotR.

Shagrat, Mordor Black Uruk Commander and Mordor Uruk Banner – Lord of the Rings: SBG

Shagrat, Mordor Black Uruk Commander and Mordor Uruk Banner - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Convoluted enough post title for you? It should actually be worse, since the character of Shagrat should really be called Gorbag if we were going by their actions in the books, and then they should both be Black Uruks of Mordor, and – you know what? Never mind all that for now. Let’s just talk about the toy soldiers instead.

So, Shagrat is the one with the heavy armour, shield and sword. He’s also the one pointing, with Frodo’s Mithril shirt. Waitwat? Well, when GW initially released Gorbag and Shagrat (that sounds so dodgy, doesn’t it?) they were doing figures based very much off the films, and so Shagrat got the coat and a pointing pose – probably telling his underlings to kill Gorbag, come to think of it. Later on, when GW changed their focus from being more about the films to being more about selling wargames figures for wargaming, they decided that Shagrat didn’t look war-ish enough, and kitted him out with what they decided was Black Uruk Captain’s gear. No idea why their painted version of him is blonde, though. That’s just weird.

Shagrat, Mordor Black Uruk Commander and Mordor Uruk Banner - Lord of the Rings: SBG

The other model here is a regular Black Uruk, which I had too many dupes of and so converted into a banner bearer using one of the spare plastic banners from either the Chaos Beastmen or Marauders (I’ve got both in the same storage tub). The skulls are pretty oversized, but then I’d say they’re clearly not from humans, and must be from …Half-Trolls. Or something. Not human, though, right?

Shagrat, Mordor Black Uruk Commander, Mordor Black Uruk-Hai Banner, Mordor Uruk-Hai - Lord of the Rings: SBG

These three were painted pretty much alongside the rest of the Black Uruks for the most part, just separated out a little at the end and completed last so they could have their little extra bits picked out nicely enough. Two commanders and a banner is probably command overkill, and while I’d like to get that last figure from “Mordor Uruk-Hai 2” blister, I don’t know if I can face painting any more of these guys. Even though they’d be a good idea, thematically…

Mordor Black Uruk-Hai – Lord of the Rings: SBG (Squad: March ’18)

Mordor Black Uruk-Hai - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Another group of Uruks. This time, they’re of the Mordor variety. I’ve got a ton of Isengard Uruk-Hai, bu only a small number of Mordor’s Black Uruks. I guess that’s what happens when one type is available in an affordable plastic kit while the other is only available in metal with a very limited number of sculpts (3!) for the first several years.

Mordor Black Uruk-Hai - Lord of the Rings: SBG

I’ve seen some nice work online on these sculpts featuring a lot of browns, but I wanted to keep my own Black Uruks more literal and stick with black-greys, just using brown as a weathering colour and for the spots of fur on a couple of the models. It also lets the weathered, slightly rusted metal of their armour pieces stand out a little more and not look like they’re also made of leather. Their flesh is painted simply, using a bluish shade of grey inspired by the films and also to help distinguish their skin from their wargear. I wanted their eyes to look particularly dark, so just a glint of white reflection on a black base, rather than the usual outline-whites-pupils thing that we do.

Mordor Black Uruk-Hai - Lord of the Rings: SBG

I only gave three of the models shields, which are an option in SBG. In games we’ll either consider them uniformly equipped with or without the shields or play WSIWYG. More important to me was to make the duplicated models a little more unique where possible – not always easy when dealing with multiples of metal sculpts. The Mordor shields of the eye are pressmoulds of the shields from Citadel’s ME-44 Uruk-Hai models from their original Lord of the Rings range from the 1980’s. I painted the eye icons in the usual metallic way, then painted the red quite roughly on them, leaving some metal showing due to paint chips and indifferent paintwork by the Uruk troops.

Mordor Black Uruk-Hai - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Ten in total. One solid unit of Black Uruks for a Mordor force in Lord of the Rings games

Uruk-Hai Berserkers of Isengard – Lord of the Rings: SBG (Squad: March ’18)

Uruk-Hai Berserkers of Isengard - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Here’s a group of models that I’ve completed leading into last weekend. Some were finish-offs and a few were start-to-finish paintjobs, though the scheme for Uruk-Hai Bersekers is pretty simple.

Uruk-Hai Berserkers of Isengard - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Berserkers are mostly flesh-toned, so that’s pretty straightforward. Then dark metal for their helms and greatswords, a bit of chain and dark metal – and done!

Uruk-Hai Berserkers of Isengard - Lord of the Rings: SBG

Ah, and of course some Blood for the Blood God (aka Clear Red) after varnishing down the front of their torsos and a bit of mess on the helms.

Saruman the White and Gríma Wormtongue. Uruk-Hai Berserkers of Isengard - Lord of the Rings: SBG

The eight that I’ve just finished are enough to be considered a unit in their own right, but adding them to the previous six gives a pretty strong unit of 14 models (or two of seven, or…)

 

Saruman & Grima Wormtongue – Lord of the Rings: SBG

Saruman the White and Gríma Wormtongue. Lord of the Rings SBG

Today I have a pair of heroes (well, villains) from the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit/Middle Earth SBG series. They were both painted several years ago but for some reason they’ve never been photographed and shown here on the blog. We have of course Saruman the White and Gríma Wormtongue from Games Workshop’s range.

Saruman the White and Gríma Wormtongue. Lord of the Rings SBG

Pretty straightforward paintwork on both of these, simply influenced by the films. They make a nice pair of models.

I haven’t had much of a chance to play SBG in some time now, though Wargamer Eric has had several posts about the Battle Companies variant of the game that has gotten me interested in playing some “warbands”, so it might be something on the horizon for the near future as I’ve since picked up the book.

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

Harad Abrakhân Guard

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

“He wondered what the man’s name was and where he came from; and if he was really evil of heart, or what lies or threats had led him on the long march from his home; and if he would not really rather have stayed there in peace…”
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Book 4 Ch. 3 “Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit”

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

Amongst my many projects that are theoretically on the go at any given time are usually a bunch of “one at a time”-type things, where I have randomly gotten enthusiastic about a model or even a unit from an army that I haven’t really even begun on, and started painting them. These Harad Abrakhân Guard are an example of that. They took me about 6 months, on and off to get painted – mostly because I’m easily distracted and small amounts of indecision on how to paint an accoutrement can result in literally months of delay before getting back to a model.

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

Harad Abrakhân Guard, Harad Abrakhan Guard, Haradrim, Sounthrons, Lord of the Rings, Citadel

The colour scheme was pretty simple. I wanted to avoid the purple and turquoise seen in GW’s scheme entirely, and instead go for black with a splash of bright red on the sash. I think black keffiyeh/shemaghs always look sharp, so again, that was a no-brainer for me. A bit of gold retained for bling, and the clothing looks pretty good. I painted the flesh tones in a light brown tone, similar to people of Lebanese and Jordanian descent that I work with, since unlike GW until just a couple of years ago, I don’t think everyone in the world has caucasian skin pigmentation. My Tallarn (if I ever finish them) have similar skin colouration to my Haradrim. (I get the TE Lawrence/SAS reference, but I prefer the Bedouin one for them.)

As with a lot of the LotR metal range, these figures do suffer a bit from GW’s “three poses only!” policy, but mixed together in a unit they still manage to look decent.

Finally, the Kings of War-oriented unit shots. Until I get a lot more Haradrim painted – which won’t be anytime soon – these guys will get shoved into one KoW force or another as a unit of some sort of elite humans who hit hard but have light armour. I may also be able to use them as proxies for something in games of SAGA – Crescent and the Cross. Honestly, I haven’t looked hard at that since I’ve got very little Crusade-Era stuff painted right now.

But hey – these guys are done, and I think they turned out pretty well, so it’s all good!