The last few months have been a blur of Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000 releases, so today we thought we'd show the denizens of Middle-earth a bit of love. Curiously, most of you seem to be painting and modelling Evil warriors, which means either Sauron's influence is getting stronger, or you lot just like the bad guys more right now. This collection of pictures was sent in to us by Chris Schmelke, who's taken some very atmospheric shots of his miniatures:
Chris' collection includes warriors from almost every faction in The Lord of the Rings, including Mordor, Isengard and Moria. Each miniature is painted beautifully, and every picture taken on impressive terrain with very moody lighting effects - darkness has truly spread across the lands of Middle-earth (or Chris' gaming table at the very least). The backdrop for many of the shots includes the Ruins of Osgiliath and the terrain from the Mines of Moria, combined with the warped and twisted Citadel Trees. There are even a few unhealthy grass tufts on the ground to represent the blasted vegetation of Mordor.
Chris has also painted up a few of the heroes of Middle-earth, including Théoden, Saruman and Gandalf. Chris has painted each of them very closely to how they appear in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy and Théoden's armour is virtually identical to when you see him wearing it at Helm's Deep. One of the great challenges of painting The Lord of the Rings miniatures is reproducing the colours, styles and overall image of the characters on such small miniatures - something that Chris has done exceptionally well in our opinion.
We also had this Easterling warrior sent in to us by David Arroba, which just blew our minds. The level of detail is superb and the non-metallic metal effect that he's painted on the armour and the shield is spot on. Sadly we don't know how David painted his model because he didn't send us any text to go with the pictures. The moral of the story? Always tell us how you painted you models when you send us pictures because then we can share your painting and modelling tips with everyone who reads the blog.
And in other news:
You may recall that earlier in the year both myself and Nick Bayton painted new armies for The Lord of the Rings edition of A Tale of Four Gamers in White Dwarf. Because White Dwarf only had a limited number of pages, neither my Great Beast of Gorgoroth nor Nick's Isengard Troll were able to fit in the article. Fortunately there's plenty of space left on the Internet.
Nick's army was based around the Uruk-hai Scouts that were sent from Isengard to intercept the Fellowhip at Amon-hen. Because the Uruk-hai were a scouting force, Nick wanted his Troll to blend in with them and sculpted the armour on the model to match the rest of the troops. He also reposed the beast by cutting its legs at the hips and tilting the body forwards to match the running stance of the rest of his army. The huge Uruk-hai style blade was made from plasticard cut to shape.
For my Great Beast I also wanted to make it very dynamic and my original thought was to have it pulverising some Warriors of Minas Tirith (more to antagonise Simon Grant than anything else, as he was building a new Gondor army for our Tale of Four Gamers saga). The problem was that the men of Gondor would get in the way of it's face - a focal part of the model, so I opted to have it smashing through a wall instead. There are some dead bodies on the floor to make up for it. I also painted the model in several sub-assemblies: the Great Beast, the howdah and the crew were all painted separately, allowing me to get in to all the nooks and crannies that would otherwise have been impossible to reach.
We've really enjoyed showing a few of the denizens of Middle-earth in today's blog post and we'd love to show plenty more in the future. If your models look great and you can take some suitably high quality pictures of them, then feel free to send some to us. Don't forget to write a few words about them too, such as how you painted them, how you converted them (if you did) and how you use them in your games.