A couple of weeks ago we released a host of new Sourcebooks for The Lord of the Rings. Curious about how it all worked, I had a good read through them and came up with a couple of army lists - including a 700-point Easterling force. Seeing as I already have the Betrayer and a fair number of Raiders in my Haradrim army, I already own the allied contingent of this army. It seemed a shame not to get the rest...
One box of Kataphrakts, Amdûr Lord of Blades, several pots of paint, and two weeks later, and I am now several steps closer to owning an Easterling army.
So why did I choose Easterlings? Well, there are two reasons actually. Firstly, they are the most regimented troops under Sauron's command - they're heavily armoured, good at fighting and, unusually for the Dark Lord's servants, not prone to running away at the first sign of danger. Secondly, they just look awesome, and that's a good enough reason for me to get a few.
Rather than paint them in their traditional red clothing, I decided to paint them in the same colours as my Haradrim army - black and khaki. That way, when I use all my Haradrim, Khand and Easterlings together, the army will have a unified colour scheme. I did add a few spots of red though to denote rank, so the more red that appears on the model, the higher in rank they are, hence the captain has a red cloak and Amdûr is mostly red save for his black hood and khaki tabard.
The armour was painted using several layers of paint and several washes to get a bronzed, weathered effect. I started with a solid layer of Tin Bitz on each model and then gradually added in Dwarf Bronze to the mix, which was then drybrushed on. Mithril Silver was added to the Dwarf Bronze and Tin Bitz mix, but sadly I ended up making the models far too bright. A heavy wash of Gryphonne Sepia really helped to tone them down again, which was followed by a watered-down wash of Ogryn Flesh to get the reddish hue to the armour. The armour was finally finished off with a very light drybrush of Burnished Gold.
It seems I was not the only person in the office to get excited by the new models for The Lord of the Rings, because a quick look around at the desks nearby turned up these beauties:
Bek Hawkby painted the living battering ram, known by its more regular name of the Great Beast of Gorgoroth; Jim Lister got his hands on the Dweller in the Dark (check out the lava-like glowing innards), Dave Cundy painted up the Watcher in the Water, who recently ate one of Dom's Men of Gondor; and Rik Turner joined me in the East by painting up the new War Priest and the Dragon Knight - both very fearsome heroes for the Eastern Realms.