Middle Earth Miscellany

Tony F shows the latest painting additions to his ever-growing collection of Middle-Earth miniatures.

I’ve once again been splashing some paint on a random selection of characters, mostly from Games Workshop’s range but with a few extras from other manufacturers to fill some gaps. One I painted just for fun is shown above – it’s a younger (Martin Freeman) version of Bilbo from The Hobbit, outside a really nice hobbit hole that I picked up on a Kickstarter. I don’t have an immediate use for him but he didn’t take too long to paint.

Phil and I have a game due soon based on a fictitious (as in not-mentioned-in-any-of-Tolkein’s-books-but-it-could-well-have happened) attack on the village of Bree. This is the village where the four hobbits were due to meet Gandalf soon after they left the Shire, but instead bumped into Aragorn and the Ringwraiths.

According to my Atlas of Middle Earth, the village is one of three that surround Bree-hill (the others being Combe and Staddle). Bree is sited on the west of the steep hill which serves to protect it from the north and east, and a large hedge and dike keeps marauders at bay from the south and west. The population is mostly Men, but a number of hobbits live in holes on the slopes of the hill.

My defenders will come from three sources – the inhabitants of the village (both men and hobbits), a small number of Grey Company rangers and Dunedain, and a few random travellers who might be staying in the Prancing Pony when the attackers arrive. There aren’t really any official GW figures that I could use to represent the villagers, so I had to look at other manufacturers and came up with this mean looking bunch from Gripping Beast. They’re arrayed before a Caliver Books butter market surrounded by plenty of Ainsty bits and pieces.

Leading the Grey Company is Halbarad, a Ranger who helps guard the borders of the Shire – he’s another minor character who has a bit part in the books (he carries Aragorn’s standard onto the Pelennor Fields where he meets his end) but is left out of the film adaptation.

Talking of the Battle of Pelennor Fields, and looking further ahead to a rather ambitious game we have planned for later in the year, I’ve also been painting Rohirrim – lots of them. For someone who has a rather irrational dislike of painting horses, an army made up entirely of cavalry seems like a bad move. I’ve made a start with the King of Rohan, Theoden, painting the superb new plastic model released late last year.

I’ve also painted the version on foot and at the same time painted Gamling, the King’s standard bearer (although he appears to have lost it in this version of the figure).

And finally, just for now, a few dwarves. This is a version of Balin from The Hobbit, along with a small retinue of dwarf rangers.

Thunderhead

Another Open Day game preview, this time from Marcus Wheeler

It’s Wellington Stock’s toughest mission yet! What is Project Thunderhead, and why has its chief scientist Dr. “Cat” Fisher disappeared? Wellington finds himself in deep trouble in the dangerous waters off Australia’s north coast.

The game is a “playable demo” (in other words, I am still working on it!) of underwater close quarters combat, with all the staples of the genre. From a stealthy starting mission, play builds to an action packed, frenetic big battle conclusion.

The Wars of the Roses

Stephen updates his progress on his Yorkists (or Lancastrians, I don’t think he’s made up his mind).

Along with Jeremey I have been popping away at some 15mm Wars of the Roses for games of Sword & Spear.
I made a good start at the beginning of the year then I lost my mojo for painting these. However, I’ve got my mojo back and now they find themselves back on the painting desk.

The majority of the figures are by Essex Miniatures. The plate armoured men-at-arms are Peter Pig, as are the cavalry (not painted yet). I chose to base mine on Sword & Spear size bases (which are multiples of WRG/DBA bases) rather than small elements because I don’t enjoy playing DBA or FoG so it made sense to base them on the necessary size bases to avoid fiddling about with lots of small bases. That means they are also compatible with Armati, which is another set of ancient rules I enjoy (though not played for yonks), and also Impetus.

The flags are generic and not specific to any noble families from the period. These are just for decoration. I decided to make them generic so it didn’t tie the army down to anything specific and would give more flexibility. My intention is to give the commanders the actual flags of the nobles who fought. I haven’t yet decided whether to make a command base for each of the noblemen or whether to do like Jeremey has done with his and make them removable.

Charlie Don’t Surf

Pete tells us all about his Open Day Game

“Charlie Don’t Surf” is a card driven Company level Vietnam game played with 10mm figures and models from club member Pete Smith’s collection.

This scenario will see three Platoons of US Infantry search for VC munition and rice caches in and around a small hamlet on the main highway from Saigon to Da Nang. Local VC are known to operate in this area. Also,Company HQ has advised that a company of NVA may have deployed to this area to interrupt any US operations.

The US forces may be inserted into the area by Huey Helicopters or may decide to go in on foot.
A Cobra gunship and spotter helicopter are in support,along with a mech.platoon of M113s and maybe a Phantom F4 could be available to assist.

The US have a lot of fire power at hand, but a couple of well placed ambushes by the VC and NVA can turn things around against the US very rapidly.

We’ve played several CDS games at the club and they’ve all been fast moving and exiting.

Why not not swing by and visit the ‘Nam and maybe command a squad of US Infantry or VC/NVA for a few turns?

Pillars of Society

Andy K goes from pillar to post…

I can’t remember where I got these, might have been Rochester Games and Models.

Four ruined pillars in resin, very simply painted by spraying with matt grey primer (Halfords) and then a very heavy application of Army Painter dark shade and matt varnish.

Height varies from 1.75” to 2.5”

Ravensclaw

Stephen tells a brief tale of valour and heroism … we think he’s boasting a little bit…

Behold, this is Jarl Uthbrok Thorgimsson, Lord of Ballicroney. On this day he slew both a Viking warlord and an Anglo-Dane warlord, and he did this with his mighty war axe RAVENSCLAW.

Pack it in Donkey!

Andy K tries to pin the tail on his donkey, and ends up pinning its leg instead !

I ran a game a Milton Hundred recently where I needed to give the players the option of taking some pack animals, I had 5 pack donkeys ready, but had another three in the metal mountain, so decided to paint them up. These will be part of my French in Mexico collection.

The figures are from Wargames Foundry, part of the Darkest Africa Range.

As I cleaned up the models prior to painting I found that one of the donkeys was a miscast, part of a rear leg was incomplete. I stuck a small length of wire between the remaining parts of the leg with superglue, and once dried added polystyrene filler to build up the leg. Once the filler had thoroughly dried off I filed it into shape before undercoating the donkeys and the packs matt black.

The donkeys were painted using Vallejo acrylics, some flock added to the bases and matt varnished.

Open Day 2019

Open Day Coordinator Dave Sime gives the low-down on this year’s games…

Open Day, 22nd June 2019

Below is the list of games for the 2019 Open Day – over the next few weeks each game sponsor will be giving us more details on their respective games.

  • Alan K – Tudor Ireland (28mm)
  • Jeremey – Return to the ’80s (all will be revealed on the day…)
  • Pete – Vietnam (10mm)
  • Stephen – Norman Invasion of Ireland (SAGA, 28mm)
  • Tony F – ‘Flying Musketeers’ – air combat over Suez, 1956 (1/600th)
  • Marcus – Scuba Dive
  • John Le – English Civil War (15mm FoG or MEG)
  • Miton Hundred Wargames Club – Napoleonics (15mm)

Just to whet your appetites, here are a selection of the games from last year’s event…

Dark Age Warriors

Andy K gets to grips with his inner beast…

I needed another eight figures for a Dux Bellorum game at the club recently, so dug into my boxes of Gripping Beast plastics for suitable figures. I decided to split them half and half, four armed with spears and the rest with sword or axe. These figures are made up of four parts: the body including left arm, right arm with a number of weapon options, head and shield.

They were assembled and painted these up in about a week; black undercoat, followed by shades of grey and brown for the tunics and trousers. A variety of hair colours were used. The paints are mostly Vallejo acrylics, with the odd bottle of Army Painter used. Once dry the figures were treated with appropriate shading paints from Army Painter.

The shields were painted white, and Little Big Man Studios transfers applied. All then given a coat of matt varnish

Strapping Jocks

John Lambert brings us up to date on his Scots SAGA warband

I’d bought a Gripping Beast 4 point Warband over a year ago. With the advent of Saga Version 2, I had the incentive to get them table top ready. I added one unit of Levy archers and a third unit of warriors to bulk it out to 6 points and out of 45 figures I only had 3 duplicates – well done Gripping Beast!. I replaced the Warlord with the Welsh Warlord on foot and used wire spears in place of the white metal ones supplied to ward off curious fingers.

I used Artist’s acrylic throughout ensuring that any intense pigments were dulled down to colour matches I had for Dark Age dyes and employed a three shade system that these figures suit. The figures themselves had plenty of flat surfaces on cloaks that would need the plaid treatment so once the basic figures were done, I sprayed with matt polyurethane to apply the plaid using a lining brush.

Levy Archers.
I decided that these would be the Warlord’s Estate workers so would have a shared colour palette – Brown, Yellow, Grey, Green, Blue.

Warriors
These would have a more varied palette and I decided to try wet blending on the shields to get a colour gradient which worked well. For shield designs, I chose simple crosses or Pictish designs.

Hearthguard
These would have more plaid cloth and more red on the clothing. I decided that they would have black shields with a white motif to match the Warlord.

Warlord
I seem to remember a doughty character in Macbeth called Lennox, well this would be my Warlord. Another trip to the Memory Bank reminded me of Bobby Lennox so he had to be kitted out in Green and White. For the cuirass, I used gunmetal/Silver and a thin coat of silver white to highlight. I added a dark purple cloak with yellow plaid. A black shield with Stags head motif completed the figure.

Basing
I added filler and stones to the base before undercoating the figures. When the figure was complete, I started the bases with black all over. I then drybrushed mid grey and then a light grey to pick out stones and boulders. I wanted a dark peaty soil with granite showing through and then the boulders. I then dry brushed the areas I was going to apply static grass in mid then light brown. I then applied Static grass in two shades.

Heather and grass tufts
To make the heather clumps, I used a piece of black pan scourer from B & Q, which I ripped open to make clumps which I attached to greaseproof paper with PVA. I drybrushed the surface with PVA and then sprinkled Heather flock lightly on the surface. Once dry and fixed with sealant spray, I could peel these off and attach to the bases. I bought some 6mm forest green static grass for the tufts. I dropped blobs of PVA onto Greaseproof and then dropped the Static grass on top. I pushed this into a clump as the PVA dried then fixed with sealant before peeling off and fixing to the base.