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!

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

War Machines of Minas Tirith II

Citadel Gondor Battlecry Trebuchet with Crew

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.

Citadel LotR Uruk-Hai Pikemen (Lot 1)

These figures were found in their half-finished state – and finished off about a month ago. They were pretty much the last things I finished before stopping/changing over to the December project. Two of them had broken pikes, but I was unfortunately only able to find one. I re-glued it with plastic cement, and as you can see, the repair is a little rough. The other guy is pretty much sitting out for an indeterminate time until I can either find his pike or care enough to drill it out and replace it with wire. Not anytime soon, then!

Games Workshop Citadel Miniatures Uruk-Hai Pikemen

Uruk-Hai Pikemen – the first of many!

No matter – later on when there are many more, the broken-pike guys will just blend into the masses. I’ll probably do 15 in the next batch of these for a total of 24, so I can set up either 2 regiments – or more likely – a horde of Pikemen for KoW. Not sure which rules to use for them yet. I’m thinking that their not-Chaos-Warriors list might be more appropriate for filmic LotR Uruks, though the pikes are going to be an issue. I’ll figure it out later, I guess. Might have to be a customised unit profile, though I prefer to avoid those.

I’ve just checked, and the completion of those guys brings my YTD total to 385 figures, which is more than I’ve ever finished before in a calendar year. It seems rather small compared to the amount I’ve bought this year, so that’s a bit of an issue. I’ll look into that a bit more in a couple of weeks when we all start doing our painting resolutions for 2016…

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Standard Bearers

Standard Bearers, you ask? Yeah. GW Never made any, but that’s not important. They only produced three sculpts of Black Númenórean Warriors, and that was it. As fate would have it, I had two Warriors of the same sculpt who both had their swords broken off. I really wasn’t sure what to do with them for awhile. Repairing those swords was right out since drilling into sword blades is a fool’s errand. Make a polearm? Drop an axe in there? Bin both and just replace the models entirely? Ah, maybe it’d work to try and put a standard in there?

So I did. It worked.

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

Originally, I’d hoped to freehand an inscription into the flag, but it was just too small and ragged to do so. I spent a couple of hours working out an appropriate inscription, translating it into a bastardised mixture of Adûnaic and Black Speech (to stand in for Black Adûnaic, and because the available vocabulary of both are very limited) and even worked out how to write them in Adunaroth, thanks to another speculative page online. Then it was too big for the bloody banner, and so I just painted in the Eye of Sauron instead. Blah. Yes, the angle of the drapery and skulls look a little odd. at first. That is until you realise that he’s in the midst of thrusting that banner skywards at an angle, and that’s why it’s all trailing behind at such an angle. You see? Reasons!

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standard Bearer

But what to add? What to use? Whatever it was, it needed to be spiky and unpleasant. After rejecting the Dark Elven banners that I had, I settled on these two, from the GW Chaos Marauders sprue. Both looked spiky and evil enough to pass for the fallen men of Númenór – and fit in well enough with the GW models. Sure, the skulls are a little big, but they must be from non-humans. Olog-Hai or something, right?

Citadel LotR Black Númenórean Warrior Standards

A clearer shot of the banner and standard device.

In the end, I managed to turn two junk models into what will become the centrepieces of their unit(s). As with the Wildmen, Golgfag’s Ogres and quite a few other models from the last year or so, models I disliked for whatever reason have become models I’m really pleased with – which is always especially satisfying! I’ll get some full unit shots of these guys and their cohorts up soon. First I have to finalise their leaders, and GW Mail order sent me the wrong blister, so I need to get that sorted out first. GWAU’s customer service is really hard to get hold of these days for some reason – I’ve been trying to get the guy on the phone for three weeks and only succeeded once, just before he went home on a Friday night over a week ago…