After more than 8 years, I finally got motivated to finish The Mouth of Sauron on his mount, and while I was at it, I properly finished off the foot version as well. Finding the mounted model in a figure case was what got this show back on the road. (The same one I found The Tainted in, actually).
Despite a very similar dress sense, The Mouth of Sauron is not a Nazgûl, but a Black Númenórean. In the film his mount is depicted with rusty, aged barding – though decent shots of him or his mount are few and far between. I used a couple of different Vallejo Model Washes, which I haven’t done a lot with, with paint mixed in as well as some stippling to try and get the right kind of rusty effect, followed by a re-highlight of the metal edges. The final outcome isn’t perfect, but I feel like it’s still come up pretty well.
As a Black Númenórean, The Mouth of Sauron was the design cue that GW used to create their Black Númenórean Warriors, and by extension, their Castellans of Dol Guldur. The rusty effect of his armour isn’t quite the same as the brassy look that I gave those troops, but it’s a slight bridge in that direction. I might have done the same with his armour, but keeping it close to the film-canon was more important in this case.
He’s not much use in the Fellowship of the Ring Scenario Project that I started on a couple of months ago, but he’ll certainly have a place when I eventually get to Return of the King.
Like The Tainted and the other “Named” Nazgûl that Games Workshop created in the post-RotK space, this model of Sauron is aesthetically based on the look of the characters and villains from Peter Jackson’s LotR films as well as the snippets of information gleaned from The Hobbit.
As such, this figure was designed and released many years before The Hobbit Trilogy of films was fully conceived, so Games Workshop went with a mode spectral and – in a sense – Warhammer type of design for Sauron as opposed to the “skinny pupil” design that the films went in the end, which was much more reminiscent of the Last Alliance appearance of Sauron taken from the Beginning of The Fellowship of the Ring film.
I could certainly see using this model in a Nighthaunt army alongside the new Age of Sigmar stuff, as the “ghostly” design aesthetic is still actually pretty close between this model from the early 2000s and today’s newest 2018 releases. Some of the paint here is a little bit rough – I used drybrushing for the first couple of layers before blending the later ones. It just wasn’t going to be a model where the amount of that extra effort was going to especially pay off, at least in my opinion. As is often the case, though – larger photos serve to amplify less obvious flaws and rough spots.
Here’s this iteration of Sauron alongside his fellow speculative models. I do have another of this particular sculpt, so perhaps down the line I’ll paint the other in a black-to-red scheme. Lots of other stuff to get done before that’s an active consideration, though. So for now we have another July model done!
Today we have another duo for the Jewel of July Challenge – indeed – another pair of Lord of the Rings models. Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee – with the particular sculpts that GW released for the final part of their quest to cast the ring into the Fires of Mount Doom. I’m.. not entirely sure why I bought these two. I think they may have been secondhand, where I’ve been much more likely to pick up models that I wouldn’t get at retail. I mean, they’re nice enough sculpts. They’re just very, very limited in their use beyond display models, even if you’re playing a LotR narrative campaign (which we will be doing soon).
I painted the pair of them really grubby. Much more than GW’s example models, which are mucky yet a lot cleaner. Given Frodo’s pose here, we’re really talking about the point of the film where it reaches the climax of The Ring’s tale – the first of about five endings – and both hobbits are both filthy and sweaty and covered in muck on their clothes, faces and everywhere else by this point.
And so then, are these figures as well! In the photos they look a bit roughly washed, especially in some of the clothing folds – and they are, with washes, powders turned into muck, and more – though the satin spray I hit them with gives them a sweaty sheen – again, to represent their look when the ring is cast into the fires, and it does a lot to reduce the roughly-washed look. Also, the figures are bloody tiny!
Here’s a shot of them alongside the Ral Partha Giant Spider from the other day. It might have been a useful scale shot for the spider …except it’s with LotR range Hobbit figures.
Still, GW’s Shelob model isn’t a lot bigger, so perhaps this may end up being a proxy once we get to playing through TTT/RotK? It could pass for a Child of Ungoliant in my book!
Where the other Nazgûl were slowly swallowed by the taint of their rings, the Tainted gave himself wholly and willingly to Sauron. Now all natural things rebel in his presence, vegetation withers, animals sicken and bold warriors cower. He is an abomination whose merest presence is poison to life, honour and hope.
The Tainted is a “Named” Nazgûl, created by Games Workshop in the period following the marketing period for Return of the King. With The Witch King and Khamûl the Easterling being named in the books (however brief for Khamûl), they saw an opportunity to expand the lore in the same way that videogames and other properties tend to do with licenced IP.
The Tainted appears to have been inspired (at least in part) by the scene in The Fellowship of the Ring where a Nazgûl (The Witch-King, I believe) bends down and “sniffs” for The Ring and the Hobbits, and insects and creatures seem to retreat from it (across the hobbits, natch).
I tried to represent its written background by brushing the tufts away from the Nazgûl in both it’s incarnations, and also brushed them with a dark grey and brown, to represent the corruption of this particular Ringwraith blackening the grasses merely by being in its direct presence. I also avoided the dirty and dusty effect that I’ve given the “regular” versions of The Nine, because I wanted the sickly effect on the robes to stand out. I’ve already got 2×9 “realistic” Ringwraiths, after all.
I haven’t looked at the rules for it in many years, and while it’s very unlikely that it will feature in the Fellowship campaign that we’re going to play through, I’m sure it can find a place on the tabletop down the line. In the meantime, it’s a nice enough completed model for display. And let’s face it, that’s the fate of a LOT of my models…
Tom Bombadil is probably my least-favourite Tolkien character. He was omitted from the films, which was a net gain in some ways, but also a loss in terms of the Barrow-Wight scenes with the hobbits not being included at all. I also never liked the official Citadel figure, but ended up with it when buying out someone’s LotR models, quite a few years ago. I’ve now painted him, since he’s a needed character for the Fellowship of the Ring Scenario Project that I’m doing a bit for lately, and also because he nicely fit into Jewel of July as a character, being probably the oldest and possibly even the most powerful being in all of Middle-Earth, despite his unassuming exterior.
His partner of course, is Goldberry. As I’ve never had any intention at all of paying way too much for a model of her that comes with another of Tom, I had to figure something else out. That was something I did a few years ago, in fact – picking out a Red Box Games model that I already had – Lady Geneve of the Council of Seven, Speaker of the Far Stars. While Tre’s model is clearly meant to be an elf, she looked the part well enough for me to use her as Goldberry, and so with a minor bit of updating to what was a “completed” model already (and painted as Goldberry originally), we have a completed pair.
I’ve got a bunch of catch-up posts still to do – I took photos for my June monthly round-up the other day, but messed up and so have to set everything out again and retake the photos! So in the meantime, I’m going to press on with sharing Jewels of July models.
“Nine Lords there were, and after the return of their Master, which they aided and prepared in secret, they grew strong again. Then the Nine Riders issued forth from the gates of horror, and we could not withstand them. Do not approach their citadel. You will be espied. It is a place of sleepless malice, full of lidless eyes. Do not go that way!” – Faramir, The Forbidden Pool, The Two Towers
In a case almost exactly like the previous post, this one is a rehash of another super-recent post about Nazgûl. A few days ago I finished seven of The Nine, and then managed to find two more mounted models. In the last couple of days, I’ve raced against time to complete the final pair, so I’m showing them here alongside their dark brethren as a completed set of Nine mounted Nazgûl, which have use in a variety of games, but I’ve been working on specifically for The Fellowship of the Ring Scenario Project.
The final pair.
With only 3+1 sculpts for “standard” mounted Nazgûl from GW, these last two were always going to be duplicate sculpts. Unfortunately, they’re both the same sculpt – so now I have four of the same base rider in a set of Nine, which is a little unfortunate. I mean, it is my favourite of the non-Witch King sculpts, but I’d still much rather have had 3-3-2-1 than 4-2-2-1. Even with some arm variation, it’s become quite repetitive.
Finally, here they all are – multibased for Kings of War. In their present form of “basic” Nazgûl, I’ll likely use the Vampiric Cavalry rules for them. When I next get around to playing. Ha!
“The Nazgûl were they, the Ringwraiths, the Enemy’s most terrible servants; darkness went with them, and they cried with the voices of death.” – Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age, The Silmarillion
I know, I know. The last few posts have been more than a little repetitive now. The fact of the matter is that I’ve managed to complete the last four of the Nazgûl on Foot, so I’m posting up the Nine of them now. I’m attempting to also get the last two mounted Nazgûl done today. I need to finish the paint in the next couple of hours in order to be able to varnish them so that the varnish is (mostly) cured by tomorrow, so I can then photograph them for the blog and “final” photo of them.
These models do at least provide the first newly-completed unit for The Fellowship of the Ring Scenario Project. They also count as a completed unit for this month’s June-It Unit challenge. Now I’ve got to go and try to finish those mounted ones, as well as 7 additional, unrelated figures that will give me two more completed units for the month.