Frodo and Sam (Mount Doom) (Jewel of July ’18)

Citadel Miniatures Frodo and Sam (Mount Doom)

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).

Citadel Miniatures Frodo and Sam (Mount Doom)

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!

Citadel Miniatures Frodo and Sam (Mount Doom)

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!

War Machines of Minas Tirith II

Citadel Gondor Battlecry Trebuchet.

Gondor Battlecry Trebuchet with Crew.

My final model for the first 6-month Tale of Painters challenge, a second Gondor Battlecry Trebuchet for the collection. In an obverse situation to the Balefire Catapult, the crew were painted ages ago, alongside some batch or another of Warriors of Minas Tirith, while the Trebuchet itself languished for at least a year.

Citadel Gondor Battlecry Trebuchet Crew

Trebuchet Crew in Dance-off.

This one, like the first, was an eBay rescue job. The metal was assembled, but coming apart and sprayed black. I assumed that I’d be able to knock it together in just a couple of days like I did with the first one, and in the same style. I took apart a few of the bits (stone, counterweight, cranks), cleaned them up from the glue residue, then started to set up a base on a large GW oval, and then… meh for the better part of another year. Until I finally got it done on the last day of the challenge. So there’s that as far as motivation goes.

Citadel Gondor Battlecry Trebuchet.

Oh-so-exciting reverse angle of the Trebuchet.

I’ll showcase what I managed to paint within the 6-months next up.

The Madness of Denethor (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

Even as Gandalf and Pippin ran forward, they heard from within the house of the dead the voice of Denethor crying : ‘Haste, haste! Do as I have bidden! Slay me this renegade! Or must I do so myself?’ Thereupon the door which Beregond held shut with his left hand was wrenched open, and there behind him stood the Lord of the City, tall and fell; a light like flame was in his eyes, and he held a drawn sword.

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings Denethor

Denethor, Steward of Gondor and Lord of the City.

This model is of course a likeness of John Noble as Denethor, Steward of Gondor. Sculpted by one of the Perrys from memory, this figure was released shortly after Return of the King was released, and is now sadly discontinued. It’s quite a good likeness, especially given the truescale nature of the model.

John Noble as Denethor

As Denethor is a rather understated model despite being fairly important in the story of LotR, I wanted to make him stand out in some way – even if he’s far from a must-have combat machine like his sons. I attempted to do so by mounting him on a back-to-base-ix resin base to raise his stature a little above the rank and file of Gondor. I painted the base as stained white stone – perhaps some of the ruins of Osgilliath? A little bit of ivy and a couple of tufts add the little colour to what is otherwise a very monochromatic model.

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings Denethor

Denethor. On his way to the loo.

I started painting Denethor sometime years ago, but never really got far beyond the black. Last year, I started working on him and got his cloak to a point where I was quite happy with it. I then gave it a black wash to bring it back down and unify it, which just fucking wrecked the whole thing. You know when you hear about people having a bad mistake happen to a model and then throwing it in the bin? That kind of thing. More recently, I worked on him a little again, this time stalling out due to still being frustrated by the wash wrecking it last time, but it’s been sitting on my painting desk, and is one of the models I had specifically in mind when starting this challenge. Given the month that it’s been, I decided to work on Denethor this last weekend so I’d have something “legal” finished for the painting challenge in the Gondor category..

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings Denethor

Denethor, gliding across the battlefield.

I’ve tried to replicate Howe’s 5 o’clock shadow and also distinguish the shades of black/grey/white between his cloak, the fur lining and his hair. Howe can look quite pale and gaunt in colour in some stills from the film, though in others his face is much closer to normal. I tried replicating that, but I felt that he was already monochrome enough, so I added a subtle amount of colour back into his face.

Citadel Miniatures Lord of the Rings Denethor

Denethor! Grimly surveying the dead and dying.

Aside from obvious scenario-based uses in LotR games, Denethor can also make an appearance with my Army of Gondor on the Kings of War battlefield. Possibly as a “Wizard”, where the Fireball spell could represent Denethor directing artillery fire onto his chosen target, Bane-Chant representing his oratory driving his troops to greater valour on the field of battle, and so forth…

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Osgiliath Veterans, led by Faramir.

I needed to paint something different to plastic WoMT this month, so I looked through the Gondor figure box, and pulled out something both similar but different to the usual grind. My small collection of Osgiliath Veterans. Originally, when they were released, I didn’t much like the models and got just a few to use as alternative sword captains, but more recently, I managed to pick up a few more so that I could make a small but functional unit.

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Osgilliath Veteran Swordsmen

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Rear view of the Swordsmen

I know they’re pretty good in SBG when led by Faramir, but I don’t want to purchase more of them, as they’re not cheap in metal from GW or eBay – nor do I especially want to convert a bunch of the plastic WoMT into additional OVs. I figure this single unit will do me for general gaming, and if I ever need more to use in scenario, I can use regular WoMT as proxies.

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Osgiliath Veteran Spearmen

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Rear view of the Spearman

Since these Veterans have been in the field for some time, I approached painting them in a slightly different way to how I typically paint WoMT, while keeping to a similar palette. Instead of starting with black and highlighting with AP Wolf Grey, which is a blue-grey; I started with VMC Dark Grey and added a small amount of AP uniform grey for the highlights, which is much more of a neutral grey. The leather straps were done in the usual WoMT way, but all of the extra cloth parts, such as cloaks, bedrolls, satchels and shoulder bags and extra belt pouch bags were painted in a mixture of colours taken from the palette that I used for my Rangers of Gondor, since those guys will at times be used for Faramir’s rangers (along with those of Blackroot Vale and of course, the Grey Company!)

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Osgiliath Veteran Archers

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Rear View of the Archers

The metal of their armour was painted differently as well. I started with VGA 72.754 Gunmetal, highlighted with VMA 71.072 Gun and a very subtle highlight of Citadel Ironbreaker. After I completed my highlighting and shading of the entire model, I gave them a wash of 1:1:2 AP Dark Tone (black), AP Strong Tone (dark brown) and Windex as my thinning medium. This added a touch of grime to the models, to represent them having been out in the field for some time. The final touch (aside from flesh and hair) was a very subtle highlight of the wings embossed on the helm with Ironbreaker, to help reinforce the faces of the models as their focal point.

Archers of Gondor, Minas Tirith, Dol Amroth, Blackroot Vale, Osgiliath Veteran, Faramir's Ranger, Grey Company

Archers of Gondor, showing their different armour finishes.

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veteran Standard, Faramir

Converted Osgiliath Veteran Standard and Faramir.

It turned out that I only had 10 Osgiliath Veterans, so when I spent some time late last year trying to sort out my unpainted Gondor models, I decided to give them a couple of models to act as command, rather than buy more models. I threw a Gondor standard bearer and a spare Faramir into a baggie, and job done! I’ve got another of the same Faramir model, which I’d painted several years ago, after I’d started this blog but before I started really updating it with any frequency. He was of course painted to fit in as a commander of the Gondor army, and occasionally managed to take the field. It can be seen here. This time, I wanted the Faramir model to be very much part of the Veteran unit, and so he was painted with the same palette of greys, with just a touch of AP Wolf Grey mixed into the top highlights. I also added some gold trim on his armour and the white trim to his skirts to help distinguish him as the unit commander on the tabletop. While the Faramir is a nicely understated model, it’s not really a stand-out model for someone as important as Faramir.

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veteran Standard, Faramir

Reverse angle of Faramir and the Standard

I found the Standard much more interesting as a model. Once again, greys are the base, and browns the additive colour rather than blue-grey. I added a bread bag from a Warlord German to his hip to help him fit in with the troops, and also took his metal head off and replaced it with a Warlord Roman Veteran head, to which I added a touch of bloodstain on his bandanna. I also painted him with blonde hair and attempted to create a stark, greasy look with a dark wash. (As we know, greasy, dirty blonde hair just ends up looking brown, but this is miniature painting.) And yeah, I know Osgiliath Veterans can’t technically have a standard bearer, but he can easily be used as a Spearman, given the pointy end on that banner pole!

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Spear-based Osgiliath Veterans

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Sword-based Osgiliath Veterans

Citadel LotR Osgiliath Veterans

Bow-based Osgiliath Veterans

The “Kings of War” style unit photos this time show off the different configurations that these guys can be set up in, in order to bring one type of weapon or another to the fore, should I decide to vary the unit profile.

Warriors of Minas Tirith – Spearmen (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

Another unit completed for the Gondor army as part of the Jan-June painting challenge. I’m finding these guys pretty tedious at this point, so I’ll certainly be doing something to mix it all up a bit for the July-December challenge.

Citadel Miniatures Warriors of Minas Tirith Captain and Standard

Warriors of Minas Tirith Captain and Standard

These guys are another unit that had models shuffled around when KoW went to a second edition. I only noticed the other day when playing SAGA that a unit of spearmen had a couple of holes in their front rank, just waiting for a command pair. So I pulled out an appropriate pair of models and got them painted up pretty quickly.

Citadel Miniatures Warriors of Minas Tirith Captain and Standard

And the rear view. Shading these banners so they look decent is never fun.

I find it amusing that the needs of wargaming result in the Captains of Gondor having armour with more bling than Faramir did in the films. Then again, the other option is either to not have them stand out at all, or have them all standing on big piles of rubble.

Citadel Miniatures Warriors of Minas Tirith Spearmen

The finished unit of Minas Tirith Spearmen

Result: Another completed unit of Minas Tirith/Gondor/Kingdoms of Men Spearmen. I should have something more interesting for the next update!

Warriors of Minas Tirith – Archers (again!) (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)


A pretty inconsequential update today. I haven’t spent much time online over the last week or so, as I’ve been making some changes to the War Room which involved a lot of cleanup and turfing old stuff, and a sizable donation of old hardware and software to a local retrogamers’ group. I’ll show the room changes off later on. Probably. This update is simply about documenting another unit completed for the monthly challenge – this one finished at the end of March (see, I’ve been slow at updating!)

I didn’t actually paint all of these guys this last month, but due to the rules of the painting challenge – it’s about completing units – which can be finishing off a whole unit of models that only need 2 more hours work on them, or (as in this case) painting two models needed to complete a unit where all of the mother models are already done.

More Warriors of Minas Tirith Archers

I noticed yesterday while learning to play SAGA that I have another unit that only needs either two more spearmen or a command pair added to complete it as well. That one’s getting bumped to the front of the queue for April!

A lone Moria Goblin

This guy is just here since he’s a repair and complete job, and I wanted to document him and forget about him. It’s either a Foundry or Warlord metal spear in place of his broken plastic one. I’ll sort him out into a unit later. Perhaps in the second half of 2016? I’ve got 12 or 13 sprues of Moria goblins to paint, plus a few metals – so reasonably achievable to complete with a concerted effort. Oh yeah. Plus trolls.

Warriors of Dol Amroth – Archers (6-Month Tale of Gamers Challenge)

Citadel Warriors of Minas Tirith, eBob Alternative Heads for Knights

Warriors of Dol Amroth Archers

These models are very simple conversions. Simply Warriors of Minas Tirith models with the heads sawn off and replaced by metal heads from eBob miniatures – “Alternative heads for Knights” – or to those in the know – Not-Swan Knight heads. I originally bought a bunch of them years ago with the intent to replace the rather un-LotR heads on my various metal Swan Knights of Dol Amroth – both on Foot and Mounted. The actual GW models have these huge helms that look much more like they’d fit properly on Warhammer High Elves. With the passing of several years, and the passing of metal models, I’ve decided to leave the metals be, and simply use the eBob heads on a variety of other models to “Dol Amroth” them up. I had a little accident when sawing one of the WoMT heads off and took his bow with it, and simply could not find it to repair. I found another guy to replace him, and took his head off and caught him up to the rest of the gang.

I’d originally planned (again, years ago) to file off the white trees on the plastic WoMT breastplates and shields. I’ve decided to leave the breastplates be, as Dol Amroth is of course a Fiefdom of Gondor, so I’ll leave them on the breastplates but remove them from shields when I get to the swordsmen. Unlike the single units of troops and hero from Lossarnach and (yet to be painted) Lamedon, the Dol Amroth contingent will number a reasonable number of units. At least one each of Archers, Shield Wall, Spearmen plus Swan Knights mounted and on foot, plus of course Prince Imrahil. I may expand it further using more eBob heads on Perry Miniatures Foot Knight bodies, but I’ll worry about that once I’ve got all the official models painted. In fact, I’m using the first batch of heads I ordered from eBob, and having placed another order (literally 5 years to the day later) on Feb 5th this year, for 6 more sets of heads, a trio of spiders and the lovely “Lady Greensleeves” sculpt. I thought it reasonable just now, at the time of writing (March 6th) to send a followup email since I’ve not had anything arrive nor have I heard anything since placing my order. Usually stuff takes 1-2 weeks to arrive from the UK, with 3 weeks being for outlier cases. Hm….

UPDATE – I received the two word reply to my query on 8th March. “sent today”. So a month and three days after payment I had to prompt him to send my stuff. He even quoted the “your payment has been received” email from PayPal that reminds him to send product within 7 days. I guess caveat emptor applies here, and that’s the kind of shitty service we can expect from eBob. I might order a few more head sprues from him and make sure they get posted before I publish this post.

UPDATE II – I ordered a few more head sprues and followed up by immediately emailing him to say I expected that they’d be sent out a lot quicker than a month. He sent them the following day. I guess the lesson there is if you choose to order anything from him, email him within a few days to ensure that your stuff actually gets sent.

Citadel Warriors of Minas Tirith, eBob Alternative Heads for Knights

Warriors of Dol Amroth Archers – Rear

The paint scheme is the usual base metal – Army Painter Silver(?) (it’s an unlabelled metal paint from the first KoW KS), highlighted with VMA Steel. I then vary the usual by washing with a 1:1 mix of AP Dark Tone and Blue Tone wash to give a subtle Blue Steel look.

Not THAT one.

P3 Cygnar Blue Highlight as the base for the cloth parts, highlighted with P3 Arcane Blue and shaded with a wash of VMC Dark Prussian Blue (I think – the label is unmarked). Leather straps and Boots – and Leggings are painted as a dyed blue, so VMC Dark Prussian Blue with a touch of old-Citadel Ultramarine Blue for highlight, and slightly-thinned AP Dark Tone wash. And yes, I’ve written down all the paints here so I can easily replicate the scheme with later units. A lot of people paint their Dol Amroth models with white cloth and blue accents. I may do so for the SkoDA and other nobles, but for the common troops of Dol Amroth, I wanted their livery to be Blue with white accents, and the dark, almost black blue to tie in more strongly with their brethren from Minas Tirith as well as the blue to keep them close to their own noble-born elites. The swan crests on their helms were painted in VMA Steel and washed with thinned down AP Blue wash.

Citadel Warriors of Minas Tirith, eBob Alternative Heads for Knights

Blued Steel of Dol Amroth vs Grey Steel of Minas Tirith.

You can see just how well the eBob heads fit onto the plastic WoMT models.

So these eight make a small unit for SBG, that can simply use the WoMT profiles, and in KoW they make for a troop of Archers, again using the KoM profiles. I’ll use different statlines for some other Dol Amroth troops, but not these guys.

Edit – So after reorganising my KoW Gondor Archers from Regiments (“20” models – I use 12) to Troops (“10” models – I use 8) because there’s not much point in Regiments of Archers as both have 10 attacks and only a difference in Nerve, it transpired that I needed only 4 more archers to make another unit of Troops. I found a painted pair that I must have been using as war machine crew before I finished painting the war machine crewmen, so I went looking for 2 more models. I found one, and it turns out that the model I used to replace the broken one was my only other spare one. Just fantastic, eh?

Citadel Warriors of Minas Tirith, eBob Alternative Heads for Knights

In “Archer Troop” formation for Kings of War. I need to follow up on getting some custom MDF bases cut.

I did some more poking through my Gondor boxes and just found three more unclipped sprues. Or another 36 models. That gives me another 12 each of Archers, Swordsmen and Spearmen to paint, or another unit of each. I guess I can throw three archers into the spares box and finish that other unit now, unless I really want to have one regiment…

Now do I paint up these newbies as more Dol Amroth troops, or more Minas Tirith troops? I’ve got a unit or so worth of Arnor figures – which, yes, would be anachronistic outside of scenarios, but they can work for another fiefdom in Third Age games – should I paint a unit or three (ie, one of each WoMT type) in the green livery of Arnor? And does anyone know a cheap/easy source of “turbaned”/wrapped helms similar to the GW ones?

Helmets similar to these ones… (Image GW)

A final note – I wrote up most of this blog post as I was painting the figures 2 weeks ago. This was due to wanting to write down the colours and such as I went along, and also as I was discovering just how bloody long ago I ordered the additional heads from eBob. (43 days ago now). I painted the majority of the models in a single day 2 weeks ago, but due to lots of work and buying The Division, I didn’t complete them until yesterday. I took the photos and wrote up the last of the text today.