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

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.

Gondor Army Showcase – July 2016

This is essentially a “State of the Army” post, showing off all of the completed elements of my Gondor Army at present, which I’ve been properly working on over the last two or so years, with a bigger focus during the last 6 months and the painting challenge that I keep harping on about. Models that aren’t yet completed are missing from the photos, so things like the Cavalry units that are part-painted will have to wait for an update down the line. While I don’t intend to buy any more Gondor models, with the possible exception of any new heroes that GW might release or the odd figure to “clean up” and finalise a more difficult unit (Men at Arms of Dol Amroth, Warriors of Arnor etc) I’ve got all of the models for this army in my possession. I just need to paint them!

The army is nominally set up as a Kings of War force, but obviously can be used in LotR SBG, or with a few tweaks in War of the Ring (those bloody bases!) We’ve even used a small number of them in SAGA. Most Minas Tirith/Gondor models generally aren’t very exciting at all as individuals, even with a decent amount of work put into them, but they do have a nice effect ranked up en masse.

I’m not up for a lot of typing right now, so I think I’ll go with more of a “show, don’t tell” for the rest of this post.