Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pikes, & Pikes & Elves & Hill Trolls (& Pikes!)

so lest you think the craft halls of Karningul have been idle of late, whilst my compatriots are busy churning out batreps and epic game boards, I have been trying to catch up on the backlog of models that have been languishing on the shelf.

First off, I spent a solid week or so getting my mountain of Uruk pikes all spiffed up - all 20+ of them.

as you can see, I toyed with the idea of painted rims. still undecided so I stopped after 5-6 of them

at least 3 feature films and the extended version of FotR were killed during the making of this project. Not to mention another 10-15 hours of silent painting. Please dear god, no. more. pikes.

I made the mistake of getting a group shot - thus leading to the thought of "hmm... that battle line would look far more epic if I could extend it by about 1.5-2x" I promptly took that thought out back and shot it - with prejudice.

Next I pulled out the sundry elves that did not get addressed during my painting and converting flurry before this past March's TMAT tourney. I still have some greenstuffing to do to finish up the last 4-5 shield elves, but the rest of the archers, converted spears and two-handers got painted up. at the very least, it was nice to get a change from the pikes!

it's official. I no longer have a stock high elf warrior in my force. w00t! 

The other thing that is currently in my backlog is the pile of heroes that need to be properly based. I like to add a little extra something to their bases compared to the rank and file. Visually, it helps them stand out from the masses and tactically, it never hurts to be a head taller than your followers when a standfast is needed - albiet at the risk of a few extra stray arrows or an ill-timed immobilize  Typically, I just grab a small pine bark wood chip, cover with super glue to seal it, and voila! Instant rock of epicness! However with dozens of heroes across 4 different armies, I was starting to feel like it was time to branch out a little. One of the bloggers  I follow recently did a series of posts on making bases from apoxy and sculpy so I figured I'd give that a shot. Some rocks, some larger pieces that can later be broken for slate, mostly just some low rises that can be covered with basing grit and still give that 1/8"-ish boost to the figure. For a first attempt, I was rather pleased with the results.

sundry rock-ish shapes, sculpy & bark combos and a larger piece to break/cut up later

Finally, I managed to squeeze in some fun. For our anniversary a couple months ago, my LOTR-nerd wife gave me the most epicly-cool-gift-ever in the form of Buhrdur, Troll Chieftain (yes, I responded in kind with a Tree-of-Gondor t-shirt).  I don't currently have an army that can actually field him, but I have long wished for an excuse to do so (considering the 2-3 cave-trolls-to-hill-troll conversions that are in the pending backlog, you can bet that an Angmar army is probably not too far down the road). First of all, I just love the model - the massive, wicked-looking sword, the spikes and fur adornment. . . it really is just an awesome sculpt. So now that I had some new basing fodder, I just had to paint him up. Some minor converting on the sword and I filed the spikes a bit to make it look more like they were barbarically hacked into shape rather than perfect casts from the forge. Still pending some final highlights, but here is the 80-90% complete view:

kinda hard to make out with this lighting, but I went with a green/brown "hill troll"
paint scheme rather than the typical grey cave troll look. 

As tempting as it was to slap one of Tavros's warg pelts on his back, I decided to go with grey fur rather than brown. Besides, this will help differentiate him from the 2-3 other hill trolls that Tavros's wargs will not be so lucky to escape ;) 
 pebble and rope added to create a warhammer on the reverse of blade, metal plate "welded"on
with plasticard and a few pieces of plastic tubing

and as a bonus feature: between coats of wash, I managed to get an initial base coat on my elven twins. They proved their worth in a recent game against Centaur, so I figured they should get something for their trouble (okay, "proved their worth" might be a bit much considering how many chances to wound they flubbed. Really guys? how hard is it to roll a 4 on three dice?)

Elladan and Elrohir on the new bases

So all told for 3 weeks of effort? about 30 models removed from the backlog of 90ish. Not too shabby.

oh right... then there is the box of orcs I just bought (what? I couldn't believe my eyes when the store still had some of the old 24-troop boxes for 10% off the oooold GW price. You don't pass that up!) and another 15-20ish models in the mail. So make that 130+. One step forward, two steps back. Such is the plight of the miniatures collector. But at least there are no more pikes!

Uruk pikes that is. I still have a half dozen Easterlings to contend with. le sigh.


  1. Good progress and nice work.
    I tend to do my based edges in GW scorched brown - it seems to blend better with most terrain base cloths I use.

    1. I like the Scorched Brown too - Mournfang brown works pretty well too for base work.

    2. yeah, I'm not so concerned with matching the terrain if I should proceed. With 4 uruk armies in our gaming group, it would help with sorting mine from the others should we decide to do a massive 2 v 2 game with all uruks on one side or something (which would be epic).

      and it harkens back to the old Battle for Middle Earth days, when your units had a dab of color added. I was always partial to blue for Isengard

    3. Ah I see, yes helping sort a mixed bunch of figure, it will help.
      Big fan of BfME series... though mostly proxied via my son, I have little time for PC games - too much to paint! ;-)

  2. Awesome work, Zorro - those Twins are coming a long way from where I saw them in our fight last week, :)

    Also love what you did with Burduhr - I've thought about trolls, but haven't fielded an army yet that uses them. We'll see if that changes, :)

    1. Thanks bro. The twins aren't even remotely finished - and I am pleased with how Burduhr has turned out thusfar.

      Trolls are just super fun (says the guy who shortly will have 5 in his collection). They are part of the Angmar army in addition to Moria. So you can readily tuck a couple with your barrow wights and orcs - not that I am eager to face that...

  3. It is inevitable that we must pool our troll bands into a militia and terrorize some poor people of this world, El Zorro. Can my wargs come too? or are you likely to snatch one up when no one's looking? Wargs have feelings too, barbarian!

    Undoubtedly, foolish beings that believe in preservation of the peace (like the grey company, human weaklings) will make a valiant, yet pointless attempt to hinder our rampage. We must be prepared for the drawn out skirmish. Bring your toothbrush.