Thursday, 30 January 2014

Mirkwood Rangers Part 1

Having finished the box of Warriors of Erebor I have rashly taken on another box of plastics for The Hobbit.  My daughter (it's her first pole dancing class tonight!) got me the Mirkwood Rangers for Christmas as a total surprise and she keeps demanding to see a painted one so I'd better get some done!  They are now assembled and based, ready for undercoating.  These figures are, for want of a better term, very 3D, moving away from the typical two plane approach to nearly all model soldiers necessitated by the moulding process.  These are two or three part models with, usually, a separate part for the coat tails which when fixed on the back takes them out of the two plane approach into something more dynamic.  I didn't like them when I first saw them as I thought they were too animated but now I am coming around to their very different look and wonder if the Perry twins will employ what they learned in the design process for these on some of their plastic historicals.

Tauriel has a particularly impressively sculpted posterior which is, sadly, hidden under her coat tails

For my birthday, two weeks after Christmas, my daughter the gave me the plastic Tauriel figure.  She is a five part model and literally stands out from the other elves because she is standing on a tree branch.  Now I can't stand scenic items on bases like this but, again, when assembled she looks rather fine.  It is, however, a staggeringly expensive plastic kit (more expensive than the Airfix 1/48 Hawker Hurricane, for example).  It makes you wonder what the future is for Finecast if they are going to make more characters as plastic kits, especially given the recent rumour that Games Workshop are shipping out all their old metal figures for scrap.  It's going to send the cost of second hand old metal figures sky high.  I just sold a set of metal Warhammer figures on eBay for more than I paid for them.

Now usually I undercoat my Lord of the Rings figures in black because it provides a good base for the very muted palette that Peter Jackson's designers use but my recent experience with the Warriors of Erebor was that I struggled to see some of the detail with black undercoat; especially given the bad light that persists in wind and rain riven Britain at present.  Given that these figures have no armour, however, I am going to take a risk and undercoat them in white.  My other issue with them is that I have no visual reference for them.  I haven't bought the two Desolation of Smaug Chronicles books yet, which always give a lot of costume details.  I don't trust the Games Workshop colour schemes.

More fundamentally, I haven't managed to watch the film itself as everyone I know who would have seen it with me has already seen it.  I think I've missed it at the cinema now, which means it's the first of Peter Jackson's Tolkien films I haven't watched on the big screen.  It's staggering to think that I first watched The Fellowship of the Ring on New Year's Eve in 2001 - more than twelve years ago.   I saw it with friends in a cinema in Bath and they switched off the heating about half way through.  The scenes in the mines of Moria still make me shiver as by this point in the cinema we were all frozen, as it was a bitterly cold night.

No date for the release of the DVD yet so I need to do some more research on the costumes.  I think I will start with Tauriel as there are a few pictures on the internet of her, although she seems to have several different costumes in the film.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

New White Dwarf dumps The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings?

Games Workshop have officially announced their two new magazines to replace White Dwarf today.  White Dwarf becomes a very short 32 page weekly (stunted, indeed) and the monthly magazine is now called Warhammer Visions. From my point of view the interesting thing is that they have removed mention of The  Hobbit (and, therefore, by implication, the whole Lord of the Rings game) from the cover.  This means, I can only assume that only Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 are now core games for Games Workshop.

I will have a look at them when they come out next Saturday.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Grim Hammer bases re-done

When I first painted my Grim Hammers I gave them bases to match my Moria dwarves.  Now, however, I want to build the forces for the battle of Dimril Dale which means a normal base.  I have, therefore, redone the bases to match my warriors of Erebor.  This is now starting to look like a force, as it's twenty five figures!  Positively an army, by my standards!  I've now painted over 90 Good figures for the Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit!

Next up are the Rangers of Mirkwood and the Tauriel my daughter got me for my birthday this month.

I think I better get some orcs next!

Monday, 20 January 2014

Warriors of Erebor

I got these done comparatively quickly for me.  I bought them on December 12th so to get them finished on January 19th was very rapid.  I painted them in a very muted colour scheme, largely black, as that's the way they appear in the film.  

I also didn't highlight the metal parts (of which there are quite a lot as many of them are basically wearing the same armour as the Grim Hammers) as, again, I didn't want them to be too shiny.  I used Boltgun Metal for the armour and then gave it a black wash to dull it down.

The box contains 12 warriors but there are not instructions on how to assemble them so I just followed the poses on the box.  With historical plastic sets I have got used to there being a lot of options as around interchangeability of heads, arms etc.  I am not sure to what extent swapping around some of the arms is possible with this set (heads are attached to torsos so no options there) but when I get the next set I will look at this.

Here are the sprues from the set.  Half the figures have, for want of a better word, polearms, and the others have axes and shields.  Although there are no optional parts in the box there are 12 shields so if you don't attach shields to the figures with two handed weapons then you do end up with some spare ones.  I am contemplating buying some of the normal Lord of the Rings dwarves and giving them the Erebor eight sided shields to add a bit of variety.

That said, the troops in the film have the polearms and shields but I think I prefer them as I have done them, which is the way they are done on the box cover.  Incidentally, this behind the scenes shot gave me the only picture I have seen of the reverse of the shields: reddish brown wood with black radial bands going into the centre of the shields from each apex. 

There have been lots of anti Games Workshop comments as a result of their poor profit announcement recently and although I did buy a few Warhammer and 40K figures I could never get into either the rules or the figures.  The Lord of the Rings figures (despite their ridiculous prices) are very nice, though, (better proportions help) so I will continue to pick these up (not that I am short of LotR figures to paint. I can see at least 12 boxed from where I am sitting and I have many more that that).

Next I need to get some orcs but, because of the non uniformed nature of these they will take longer to paint.