The other day we featured a host of models from Escape from Goblin Town painted by Chris Matthews. Well, Chris has certainly been busy, because he’s also painted loads of other warriors from Middle-earth, including Warriors of Dale, Dwarves from Erebor and a warband of Hunter Orcs.
The commanders of Chris’s Dwarf force are Thrain and his father, Thror, The Last King Under the Mountain. Chris has painted them in their traditional colours as shown in the first movie, and has given them rocky bases to represent their mountainous home. He has also painted a throng of Dwarf warriors to fight alongside them, including Warriors of Erebor and Grim Hammers, plus a contingent of Warriors of Dale led by a Captain.
Pitted against them are Azog and his Hunter Orcs, a motley collection of experienced killers. Just like the films, Chris has painted his Orcs in a range of grungy skin tones to suit their filthy nature. Unsurprisingly, their leader, Azog, is pale-skinned and rides a white Warg into battle, which makes him stand out from the Orcs around him.
Christmas Shipping Update: Midnight tonight is the last opportunity for those of you in the UK, Belgium, Ireland and the Netherlands to place an order with express shipping and have it sent to your home in time for Christmas. Tonight is also the last chance for those of you throughout Europe, Canada and some Australian territories to place an order with priority express shipping. Other shipping offers are still available, but running out fast. For more Christmas shipping dates, click here: Christmas Shipping Information (here if you’re in North America and here if you’re in Australia).
The number one topic of conversation in the office this week is The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which we all went to see last Friday. Don’t worry, there are no spoilers in this post. But we do have something you’ll never have seen before. Adam Brown, who plays Ori the Dwarf, is a huge fan (even if he is a Dwarf) of our miniatures and when he saw the model of himself in a barrel, he got a picture of himself with it. He even got some of the other actors to pose with their models.
All of these models, plus many, many more, are available to order through the Games Workshop website. Those marked with a little present icon in the top right corner are brand new kits, too, so if you’re looking for a great Christmas present for a hobbyist then you can’t go wrong with these models.
Last month I said that my Sunday post featuring the Great Eagles would be a one-off, but clearly I was wrong as today I'm back to talk about more new miniatures for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
There are two new plastic kits on advance order this weekend - the Grim Hammer Dwarves and the Knights of Rivendell. For those of you that have seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, you'll recognise the Grim Hammer Dwarves from the very start of the film as they defend the walls of Erebor. Michael and Alan Perry have captured their look perfectly and each of the 12 models in the kit has a unique pose - some stand at ease, their pick-hammers held casually in their armoured gauntlets, while other are in mid-swing, ready to smash apart their foes. The Knights of Rivendell are similarly dynamic, their capes billowing in the wind as they charge into battle. You even get parts to make a Captain and a Banner Bearer in the set. Painting guides for both the Elves and the Dwarves can be found in February's White Dwarf.
There are also four character models available to advance order, including an armoured Elrond on horse and foot; Yazneg mounted on his fearsome Fell Warg (and also on foot); a dishevelled-looking Radagast and his faithful companion, Sebastian; and the Goblin King midway through chucking a terrified Goblin.
About Advance Orders: If you place your advance order before midnight on Sunday 27th of January and choose to have it sent to your local Games Workshop Hobby Centre then it will be sitting there waiting for you on Saturday 2nd February - the day of release. Choose to have it sent to another address and it will arrive with you in the week commencing the 4th February.
If you haven't seen The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey movie yet then where have you been? Since it hit the cinema screens almost three weeks ago the White Dwarf inbox has been filled with emails from keen hobbyists who have been adding to their collection of miniatures for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Strategy Battle Game.
The characters of Thorin's Company that you can see above were sent in by Geoffrey Foloppe. The level of detail that he has achieved is exceptional - he's even gone so far as to paint in the patterns on the characters' clothing. Geoffrey also has a useful piece of advice when painting the Dwarves of Thorin's Company: use the 360º images on the website to see the backs of the models - it'll help you get the right colours in the right places.
Meanwhile, Ash Barker has set to work revamping his existing collection of Dwarves from The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. Using the rules from The Free Peoples Sourcebook, Ash has organised his Dwarves into warbands, which include both the heavily armoured Khazâd Guard and the aggressive Iron Guard.
All of the models and heroes from The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game can make use of the new rules presented in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Rules Manual. Combined with the five Sourcebooks for the different factions of Middle-earth you have everything you need to make use of your existing armies alongside the new miniatures.
A known follower of the Dark Lord Sauron, Giuseppe Bitetto has opted not to paint any Dwarves yet in favour of working on his Mahûd warband. Giuseppe wanted to give his Warriors a dark, heavily tanned skin tone, which he achieved by applying several washes of Agrax Earthshade over a Skull White undercoat. He then used small amounts of Carroburg Crimson, Druchii Violet and Drakenhof Nightshade to shade them and create slightly different skin tones on each model.
The Mahûd King's armour was painted using a mix of Warboss Green and Auric Gold. Giuseppe then added in more Auric Gold to highlight it, working up to a final edge highlight of Runefang Steel. This gives the King's armour a tarnished appearance, but clearly makes it stand out from the wicker armour of his followers.
Some of you may well have seen the picture above of the Battle of the Last Alliance, which we featured on Facebook a little while ago. Martin Weber, the man behind this stunning diorama got in touch with us to tell us a little more about it and share a few pictures of his other dioramas based on scenes from The Lord of the Rings.
"Ever since I was a little boy I've loved creating battle scenes with toy soldiers," says Martin."After reading The Lord of the Rings I knew that I wanted to do the same thing with the battlefields of Middle-earth. This is the result of my work."
"The board for the Battle of the Last Alliance was constructed using styrofoam board with rocks made from tree bark. I then covered most of the ground in a heavy layer of glue and sand before spraying it with Chaos Black Undercoat. I then used pretty much every grey paint in my collection to give the blasted earth a varied, realistic appearance. I also used this diorama as an opportunity to experiment with the poses of models. Many of them have been repositioned at the shoulders and wrists to imply interaction with each other."
This diorama shows the Rohirrim ambushing the Uruk-hai near Fangorn Forest as they make their way back to Isengard with Merry and Pippin. Of particular note are the leaves on the trees, which are actual plants that have been dried out and painted with a Spray Gun. Similarly all the tree trunks are twigs taken from real trees.
In the gallery above you can see the charge of the Rohirrim lead by Éomer, while in the background Grishnakh pursues Merry and Pippin into the depths of Fangorn Forest.
"With regards to painting, I honestly can't remember what colours I used," comments Martin. "There are so many models on my dioramas that it's hard to keep track of them all. I do recall that I used a lot of drybrushing and Shades in order to get the dark, dingy tone of the Orcs right."
In Balin's Last Stand the backdrop of the board was again constructed from styrofoam, but this time combined with parts from The Lord of the Rings scenery set. Curiously the doors and the wooden chests are all made of cardboard, but with the wood grain scored into it.
Martin is now hard at work on his next two dioramas - the ambitious Helm's Deep and the ultra-ambitious Battle of the Pelennor Fields featuring the arrival of Aragornand the Army of the Dead at the port of Harlond. We're certainly waiting with anticipation to see them.