In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

First Cohorts for Middle Earth

It's been a productive weekend. Of course taking 2 days before and 2 days after to take care of some things has helped.

Here are the first troops for my Dragon Rampant Middle Earth project.

The first company of elite heavy foot dwarves. These are dwarven huscarls with a mix of axes, hammers and two handed swords. I gave them white flowers because of the edelweiss and it's association with mountain troops.

Love the full face mask!

A company of elite heavy foot Elf warriors to support all those archers and protect the Queen as she casts her spells.

The elves get yellow flower tufts to accent the blue and yellow shields.

The Elven King, a hero and a certain wizard who has come from the West. The king came with a spear but I had a nice sword in my bits box.

The design on the king's cloak helped me decide upon the colours for the shields and banner to pull the force together visually. Gandalf is from the Old Glory pack of wizards. My daughter had painted him purple or something about 20 years ago, but a week in a tub of Simple Green fixed that.

The banner was a challenge. Using the Two Trees of Valinor as a starting point I needed a dark background for the white and yellow. Also replicating the intertwined twisting design of the cloak and shields was fun to free hand. 

It was also impossible to duplicate exactly on both sides, but I figure the elves would appreciate the organic nature of the design.

Side one

Side two

I'm undecided about which one turned out better.

And because I'm equal opportunity, the first company of goblins are ready too. A pack of small orcs charging with some archers. For their skin I started with black, highlighted with dark flesh and then given a brown wash. For their clothes I kept to a muted pallet of grey and brown and then gave everything a brown wash. Armour was GW bolt gun or pewter, brown washed and then highlighted again. I hemmed and hawed over the shields and finally copped out and gave them the Eye of Mordor since we have no canonical reference for Angmar except for the orcs having red and black banners at the Battle of the Five Armies.
I am quite taken with the helmets some of them have

I was initially going to base them three to a 40x40 stand, but my art board is thick like the GW slotta bases and I didn't want to make them appear taller than the elves, so individually on fender washers it is.

I covered the bases with a layer of fine sand and gravel. I then painted them burnt umber and dry brushed sable brown over top. I then saw them from above and at an angle (as you would when viewing them in a game) and saw all these specks of shining steel! The washers, being an afterthought, had missed getting primed and I didn't think it necessary to prepaint them before gluing on the grit. So the thinned out burnt umber didn't stick and pulled away, leaving specks of uncovered washer shining through! I tried stabbing at the specks with a stiff brush to poor effect! Finally I ended up using some brown ink to get at the clear steel hiding between the pieces of grit.

I also did half of my unit of trolls. The skin was Vallejo kahki grey and then given a thin brown wash. I based them on thicker bases to cheat the eyes and help them look bigger.

The armies of Angmar also get another wizard. He's from the same pack as Gandalf. The sinister cloak and the Eye on top of his staff settled him as an evil doer. After soaking in Simple Green he got a red robe with some mystic yellow sigils around the hem and a black cloak. He obviously hasn't been completely corrupted, since he's still visibly human.
So there are three more companies of goblins and three more companies of dwarf elite foot,  plus the Elf archers in the pipeline. At this rate I'll be able field a few decent sized warbands for each side.


  1. Currently embarking on painting some of these figures myself.Yours look fantastic,an inspiration to me. I can't wait to see them in action...

  2. Wonderful work... I've always been interested in the Tolkien-esque Sgt. Major Miniatures, but have rarely seen them painted up. They're grand. I love those dwarves. More please!