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!
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.
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.
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?
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…
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.
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.
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 press–moulds 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.
Ten in total. One solid unit of Black Uruks for a Mordor force in Lord of the Rings games
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.
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!
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.
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…)
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.
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.