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Ride to ruin (February’s Snag a Normie Challenge)

Ride to ruin (February’s Snag a Normie Challenge)

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Project Blog by ninjilly

Recommendations: 49

About the Project

One of my 2019 goals is to convert my RPG friends onto miniatures games. Warren's call to arms on the XLBS for recruiting a friend in February pushed it forward by several months. 84 miniatures by the end of February... feck me

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T-minus 6 days - Riders and Walkers (?) of Rohan

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Progress has been stalled a bit this week as I spent the first half of the week fighting back the lurgey  and the second half of it mourning my pre-lurgey existence as I succumbed to darkness…

Still, you can paint with snot streaming down your face and minus the internal organs you coughed up days ago! I had fooled myself into thinking that painting the horse-lords would be a nice treat after the orcs but, though there were 12 fewer models, I used a couple more colours so it still turned into a conveyor belt.

T-minus 6 days - Riders and Walkers (?) of Rohan

Honestly, it was a pretty straight forward, no mess production line. The only mistake was priming in Army Painter Fur Brown which wasn’t really brown enough but I hadn’t managed to get any Leather Brown in time so I just had to make do. Other than that, base colours were simple:

Leatherwork, weapon shafts, etc Revell Leather Brown with a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade.

Cloth Vallejo Cavalry Brown with a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade.

Cloak and shields GW Waaagh Flesh with a wash of Biel-tan Green.

Mail, weapons, helmet details Army Painter Gun Metal with a wash of GW Nuln Oil.

Shield details were done in P3 Marrow White or GW Gehenna’s Gold (this was also used for tiny bits of detailing on some of the helmets).

A couple of models needed a few extra colours to break up fabric so I used GW Eshin grey and Steel Legion Drab which both got washed with Agrax Earthshade.

All the hair was done with GW Uriel Yellow mixed with differing amounts of Army Painter Fur Brown to give a mix of shades of blonde though most came out looking much the same 😂. Everyone got a wash of Agrax here too as well as over the skin tone which was GW Kislev Flesh.

T-minus 6 days - Riders and Walkers (?) of Rohan

Horses used most of the same colours so that they tied into their riders and so I didn’t need to think too much about horse genetics.

Hair/fur colours were Leather brown, Steel Legion Drab, and Stormvermin Grey (I’ll need to go check on this one cos I know that’s not the exact name). Manes were a mix of the matching colour (as horses tend to have in nature) and something a little darker. Saddles and reins etc were painted in Cavalry Brown, Leather Brown or Steel Legion Drab.

Riders got glued to horses and the washes were done at this point so most of the horses got a coat of Agrax though I was using Nuln Oil until I realised that I need the little I have left for the Witch King on his Fell Beast.

T-minus 6 days - Riders and Walkers (?) of Rohan

All in all, I’m happy with them all. They were nicer models than the orcs though some of the definition between hair and the fletching of the arrows was awful… I can only assume that when you have long hair and are riding a horse, it causes a huge amount of movement and your flowing locks tangle with your arrows and become like a King Rat on your back.

I’ve pretty much given up on tracking my time through this project but I did remember to start and stop a timer during the final six riders and their horses (they took about 7 hours start to finish).

Models painted: 81

Models remaining: 3

T-minus 6 days - Riders and Walkers (?) of Rohan

T-minus 12 days - Trololololololol

Tutoring 2
Skill 2
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Needing a bit of a break from little orcses, I spent all of yesterday working on the Mordor Troll model. He started the day without arms because when I was putting him together I didn’t have the rule book to hand to check weapon stats… which, it turns out, makes no difference so just went with what I thought looked best.

One of the things that is coming up as I work my way through this project is the difference between the beautiful new Theoden models and just how old the rest of the sprues are. The orc models were pretty ugly in places and They don’t hold up to much of a close inspection. This model had gaps at most of the joins and areas where it didn’t line up very well. Between liquid green stuff and scraping/filing I managed to get it to a reasonable stage before priming but it has made me deeply appreciative of modern GW models.

T-minus 12 days - Trololololololol
T-minus 12 days - Trololololololol

Primed in Zandri dust

Armour base Army Painter Gun Metal for the metal parts, Vallejo Russian Uniform for the fabric and Revell Leather Brown for the straps.

Skin tones GW Steel Legion Drab and AP Fur Brown

Hands and feet GW Eshin  Grey with GW Administratum Grey drybrush.

 

T-minus 12 days - Trololololololol
T-minus 12 days - Trololololololol

The next stage was to slap on some washes. For the metal parts, I went with GW Nuln Oil and then everything else on the model got a coat of GW Agrax Earthshade. On the highlighting front, I went back over the raised parts of the skin and the fabric on the armour. Like the orcs, I’d really like to go over all the metal with a couple more layers of wash (with some medium mixed in) to dirty it up a bit but that’s for a later date.

Some part of my brain also kicked in to remind me that I spill wash almost every time I sit down to do it 😁

Is there anything better in this world better than blu tack?Is there anything better in this world better than blu tack?

As the washes dried off, I drilled holes for the pinning, flocked the base and with a small amount of super glue, everything was done. I’ve put some tufts on after I took the final photo and at some point in the future I might go back to do some more work on the skin but I’m happy with it overall.

Models painted : 57

Models remaining: 27

T-minus 12 days - Trololololololol

T-minus 13 days - Morannon Orcs

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Skill 2
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The back that had to be broken. The hurdle that had to be leapt. The blight of Pelennor – Morannon orcs. Honestly the subtitle for this post could be “why I’ll never be a batch painter”. There’s nothing fun about the last week of painting – the scheme isn’t very interesting, the models aren’t very good and other than for demo games I don’t know I’ll use them as an army. All this sounds pretty bad…

But look how many got painted!!!

Orcs next to the Warriors of the dead from last weekOrcs next to the Warriors of the dead from last week

Just bashing away a little each day, an hour here, a couple of hours there, listening to podcasts and audiobooks, I, Ninjilly The Slow (Painter, thank you very much) to give my full title, painted 36 orcs in 5 days. I’m chuffed to bits.

T-minus 13 days - Morannon Orcs

I forgot to track time in terms of hours spent on them because I just fit them in before bed each night but I reckon it is in the region of 16 hours. Regardless, the sense of achievement in saying that 11 days into this project and I’ve completed 56 models. I didn’t finish 56 models in the whole of 2018.

Next up is a bit of a palette cleanser… The Mordor Troll.

Models painted : 56

Models remaining: 28

T-minus 13 days - Morannon Orcs

T-minus 19 days - Little and Often, Wherever

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I’ve been finding small ways to work on bits of the project in the gaps of my day. After the moaning at work about the smell of primer last week, I’ve stuck to building sprues.

High tech fastening systemHigh tech fastening system

Today the box has the two sprues for the Mordor troll and the two quarter sprues for Theoden. Still space for clippers, plastic glue, hobby knife and a lighter to clear the glue nozzle if need be.

T-minus 19 days - Little and Often, Wherever

At work, it’s easy to set up in our break room… So far no one has complained about the smell of plastic glue.

T-minus 19 days - Little and Often, Wherever

Over my 15 minute tea break and during my 35 minutes for lunch, I managed to get both Theoden models made up and made a start on the Troll. Realistically that’s just time I would have spent fannying around on social media so I’m happy to put it to better use. Win for productivity!

Theoden on horse and the important foot on rock power poseTheoden on horse and the important foot on rock power pose
'arry the Troll, he's 'armless 'arry the Troll, he's 'armless

T-minus 20 days

Tutoring 3
Skill 3
Idea 2
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To finish off the Warriors of the Dead, I drybrushed them with Flayed One Flesh but decided that it wasn’t pale enough so I went back over them with P3 Marrow White.

T-minus 20 days

Next up it was time to cover over the visible signs of the slotta framing with some more Stirland Mud.

T-minus 20 days
T-minus 20 days

Lastly I made up a flock mix. The base was Gale Force Nine Marsh Blend, added Jarvis Rough Pasture and some Army Painter Green Grass. I wanted to keep the green in the blend fairly tame given that it was meant to be the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.

And they are done.

Time elapsed: 5 hours

Models painted: 20

Models remaining: 64

T-minus 20 days

T-minus 23 days - Bring me your dead

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It is a cold and bitter day in the UK, though Edinburgh has gotten off lightly. Still, getting out of bed was tough so instead of priming before breakfast, I took the two sprues of Warriors of the Dead to work to prime on my break.

A quick blast of white, warmed through given the outer temperatures and left to dry in the break room… much to everyone’s chagrin. Turns out spray primer smell is deeply offensive to librarians

T-minus 23 days - Bring me your dead
T-minus 23 days - Bring me your dead

I was meeting a friend for coffee after work so I knew that I wasn’t going to get much done.

For starting the project I thought it would also be fun to relisten to the Lord of the Rings audiobooks as I paint. I know, I’m a special kind of nerd.

T-minus 23 days - Bring me your dead

On top of the white coat went a liberal coat of Games Workshop Biel-tan Green.

T-minus 23 days - Bring me your dead
T-minus 23 days - Bring me your dead

As for why I decided to paint on sprue… I don’t really know. I’ve never done it before so I thought I’d just give it a try. I’ll need to glue everything together to see how I feel about it but it certainly made holding the minis much easier.

Tomorrow I’ll finish these guys off with some highlights and try to get them on their bases.

Time elapsed: 3 hours

T-minus 24 days - Basic Base

Tutoring 4
Skill 3
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I tried to post this twice last night but my phone wasn’t playing ball so today there will be two posts.

As usual, Goblin Gaming managed to get the order out and at my door by the next day and DHL left the parcel in my safe place instead of giving it to a neighbour which leads to awkward stilted conversation eating into unboxing excitement.

Not going to lie, I was a bit concerned that the wall of plastic was going to be overwhelming but I had forgotten that LOTR minis are largely two or three pieces. Obviously this isn’t always ideal but given this project’s mantra is “think less, paint more”, it is perfect.

T-minus 24 days - Basic Base

After separating out the sprues, I set to bases. I wanted these done at the start mainly to get them out of the way. Normally I make up a basing mix, ova it on the bases and then prime the minis and bases as one piece but that takes more time and effort.

For this project I added a tub of Games Workshop’s Stirland Mud to my order and in less than two hours managed to bash through all 84 bases. It used up a little more than two thirds of the tub so there is plenty for blending in once the miniatures are in their slots.

T-minus 24 days - Basic Base
T-minus 24 days - Basic Base
T-minus 24 days - Basic Base

Stage one done. Next up I’ll be getting into the Warriors of the Dead

Time elapsed: 2 hours

T-minus 25 days - The Plan

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After the success of the structure of my DayKnight 30 day project, I decided to plan this one even further. Leave nothing to chance and more importantly don’t waste time thinking once I have models in my hands.

T-minus 25 days - The Plan

So I sat down last night and planned out my colour schemes, checking which paints I have and which I need to pick up so I can stick them onto my Goblin Gaming order

T-minus 25 days - The Plan

Step by step with washes listed in square brackets included. I don’t want to think about anything once I get started, just tick off the step and move onto the next one.

List in hand, the wonders of the modern era let me sit on the bus this morning and spend my hard earned pennies. It should arrive tomorrow and then Operation Paint All The Things begins in earnest.

T-minus 25 days - The Plan

T-minus 26 days - So it begins...

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I like my friends. A lot. They’re a good bunch – funny, smart and nerdy. We met through a pretty crappy company we all used to work for and bonded over superhero movies, Game of Thrones and most importantly Lord of the Rings. About 18 months ago several of them got into Dungeons and Dragons in a hard-core way and it has been great to have a bigger pool of people to play with.

Towards the end of 2018 I was giving serious thought to how little I gamed over the year and how I felt like I’d drifted from the miniatures hobby against my own will. Changes to my work pattern meant I’d had to leave my club and while I’ve been able to join one closer to my house, I’ve been having issues tied into my army choices that are too much for this blurb.

The relaunch of Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit as Middle-Earth Strategy Battle seemed like a good way to reinvigorate my hobby and possibly convert my RPG friends to miniatures.

I dove into Rangers of Shadow Deep and have lined up Frostgrave so I can get games faster with a close friend and so MESB took a backseat. Then @warzan issued a call to arms – recruit a gamer in February, even if it is with a GW product. Bring in new people, help build our hobby.

Challenge accepted.

Make it easy

I looked at finances for the month and it is possible to pick up the Battle of Pelennor Fields box and eat in February. Next I needed to check I had willing participants.

It’s a simple plan, take the hobby side out of the equation. Instead of introducing ideas piecemeal, have a one day event where we play through the scenarios, have fun learning the game, drink some beer and eat some food.

Hobby nights? Everyone building a Battle Company and having a campaign? These are dreams but it had to be about them having fun. Everything else can come later

Call...Call...
...and response ...and response

See here’s how it looks.

26 (ish) days, 84 miniatures plus a bit of terrain and learning the rules.

What have I done???

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