Wednesday, March 4, 2015

A "Shade-y" Subject

Good morning gamers,

I've been working recently on a Mordor-Angmar army (more on them in the coming weeks), and one of the pieces I'm working on in earnest is a Shade conversion. The model is completely from scratch, using up some of my odd models that I've either decided I'm not using anymore or model swaps for Ringwraiths (more on them in the coming weeks too).

Let's give credit where it's due, though: the following is not an original thought. I've always liked the rules for Shades and thought them to be more effective than Barrow-Wights as support players for your army, but I don't like the GW model (sorry). A while back, though, I read a post by Chef of War who did a conversion very similar to the one you're about to see - even to the point of using Ringwraiths and Barrow-Wights. I liked the idea so much, that I stored it on a back-burner in case I ever decided to collect Orcs. For a number of reasons (not least is my love for Ringwraiths), I'm not creating a Mordor-Angmar list and so a Shade is justified (or necessary?).

1) Creating the Base

Basing has become one of my favorite parts of the hobby - as I get more and more models, I try to get more and more creative with my bases. For figurehead models (like a Shade or a Dragon), this is even more important, since people will want to see what you did before they work on one of their own (that and the base is HUGE for a Dragon). As such, before we even begin thinking about the models to be placed on our custom base, we need to make sure that our base is great.

So we start with a cavalry-sized base and trace a circle on it. I choose my Bat Swarm model and will use that as the basis for comparison as we go through. By the way, the polystyrene you see there is set at an incline thanks to my Weathertop project...walkways make for GREAT scrap pieces.
I cut out a square from the scrap piece and after cutting out the circle, I got a few other "flash" pieces too. These we'll use to jazz up the base. You may not be able to see it here, but the new base kept its incline, so there will be a slope in which our models will be placed.

A little glue later, and we have a base with a small wall ruin on it. It won't count as in-the-way, but it will allow us to get three models on the base.

2) Model Configuration

As the paint goes on, the models are configured. To mimic the original GW model, I've got one guy up high and two guys lower. You would not BELIEVE how hard it is to keep one of these guys up on the mounting sometimes...
From the other side, the slope of the model is a bit more visible. I'm going to add a bit to the base to cover the 25mm base of my twilight ringwraith, but that will happen once I get a real 40mm base to put this on (thanks Glenstorm!)
3) Painting

Not much changed from the gray you saw earlier, but a black wash and a little light blue can really make things look better!
View from the other side, some final basing still needs to be done, but this guy should be ready for testing after the tournament!
Hope you enjoyed this short travel through the creation of a custom model. You'll see other cool projects like this one in our "Projects" labeled posts, but please share links to conversions you've done!

The TMAT GT 2015 is this weekend, so hopefully the next write-up will summarize the tournament results (go Uruks)! Until next time, happy hobbying!



  1. Niiiice, :) Glad the conversion is coming together! I've never been sold on the shade, though Barrow Wights have been letting me down recently and I may find myself persuadable, :) Looking forward to helping you test them - perhaps it would give me a chance to test out my new dwarves in a full dwarf army?


  2. I have certainly found a Shade a very useful addition to an Angmar force usually anchoring the centre of a battleline in larger games... helped me take down Celeborn once...