Monday, July 30, 2012

Devlan to the rescue

Thank goodness for washes!

I think this is "Stage 7" of my alternative mumak paint scheme. It's not really very alternative, but all the pics I could see on the google search were red and/or brown (and most of them a lot better than mine!)

Still, the washes have really helped tone the greeny/yellow edge of the snakebite leather. It's still not my favorite colour, but I might do a slight highlight of bleached bone on the ropy bits and darker brown on the woody bits. 

The brown part of the howdah I might give another wash and then lightly highlight again for some extra contrast.

The blue part was washed with blue and is just about ready for the next phase too. The wickerwork dulled down nicely to a mix of reddish/dark brown with the lighter tops. Not sure how I'll progress with that yet, will sleep on it (not the Mumak, obviously).

You can see some of the wrecked bits on the howdah, don't know what they're from. Glue splashes or things that were stuck that became unstuck, not sure. I continue to find some parts of this model really challenging to paint while it's assembled and had blobbly paint and glue splodges all over it. I think it would be much easier if I'd had the whole thing from scratch, but then I would have had to pay a lot more money - and I'm pretty cheap!

As always, I tell myself every time I paint to reserve judgement until after the wash (and final highlight) but still always stress about it pre-wash!

Thanks for all the ongoing comments and support. The washes were so quick and easy (nice big swathes) that I got them done today even though I only had about an hour off.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Ugly Drybrush

Well, I drybrushed the ropes, wood and blue part of the howdah but I'm not happy with it.
I used my very old Snakebite Leather but it seems to have acquired a greenish tint and doesn't cover well at all, so I'm a bit disappointed in that. I also just don't have a good brush to use for such relatively large areas.

Anyway, I might go over it again to see if I like a thicker colour with another coat. In any case it'll be getting a good coat of brown wash, so maybe that will help too.

Maybe it's not so bad, looking at the photos. Sometimes the light right under my lamp makes things a bit more garish.

I like the bluer colour than the purple too.

Next time I have a chance to work on it, there will be a LOT of brown wash going down! Here's hoping I actually have enough!

I found doing the straps and ropes really tedious and not at all fun. Partly because I didn't have the right tool for the job, partly because I'm not sure I like the colour, mainly because it's just boring!

Still, it's gotta be done and hopefully won't be super noticeable compared to the rest of the monster anyway!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Fiddly Brown Bits

Well, I've spent hours painting the stupid brown straps everywhere and covering the red bits on the howdah.

So fiddly to try and keep it all neat. Finally got a good coverage now. There was so much "splash damage" from the previous paint job, blobs of red all over the place, splashes of brown where there shouldn't have been, globs of glue, still bare plastic in some places a real sloppy job. 

Just a note to those of you wanting things from eBay - be sure to look carefully at the picture even if it says "well painted"! By some definitions of "well painted" on eBay, mine are White Dwarf standard! (And believe you me - mine are nowhere NEAR White Dwarf standard!)

Anyhow, it's been long and tedious, but now I can start on the highlights and washes, which always goes much more quickly. Of course, I still have two layers of howdah to go, but they're much smaller so shouldn't be anywhere near as painful!

The big section of howdah is midnight blue, the lower section graveyard earth, all the rest of the new painting is scorched brown.

Here's a view looking down from the top. Looks very flat and boring, but hopefully the washes and highlights will take care of that!

For those of you who have a Mumak ready to paint, so far my advice is to use one of the excellent guides out there on the net for construction and painting. That way you'll get paint in the right places and put it together correctly! Also, have some podcasts or TV for the background as it's quite long and tedious if you want to do a nice job, and by nice I mean just neat and tidy.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Don't say that you love me, just tell me that you want me

Well, here's Stage 4 of the Mumak re-paint - the tusks and toenails.
Sure, minor job, but it took a bit of doing still, this monster is really BIG!

Firstly I hit up the internet...

So some have very white tusks, some more browny, in both cases quite blotchy. So that was the look I was going for. Pretty much what I normally do for bone, but on a much, MUCH larger scale!

Firstly a few layers of bleached bone to cover the old blotchy brown.

And same for the toes.

Next some heavy drybrushing of white.

Then a sepia wash, with a concentration near the top where the tusk joins the head.

Then it's more white, heavy again as I kind of like white tusks. 

Toenails are the same, but smaller scale!

Finally there's a brown wash just in streaks near the very end of the tusk to help with the delineation and because I like the effect =)

So far so good (I think!) and now on to the tedious browns and blues that will be on all the straps. Tedious because you have to use a small brush to avoid too much splash damage!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

So Much Baggy Skin, Blue Mumak and Blue Harad

Well, my lovely wife gave me literally hours to work on the Mumak today!

I was concerned that I wouldn't actually have enough paint to get the skin done as there is an awful lot of it!

Before setting out I wanted to make sure I didn't make it too camoflaged. Since the base is mostly grey, the Mumak couldn't be too identical. To that end I took a punt and went with a Shadow Grey main layer (blue-grey).

A bit of a google search found me a couple of pics of elephants that are kind of bluey underneath the grey.

So off I went! Here's a blue mumak!

I'm sure there's a joke about a blue mumak, but I'll leave that to you =)

Never fear, a heavy drybrush of Fortress Grey eliminates most of the actual blue colour!

Note how it's still grey, but not the same type as the ground.

Next an all over wash of Badab Black sinks into the cracks and all over the skin to further tone down the blue tones.

It took ages to do the whole mumak - it really is a big job and I'm only doing a really simple job on it!

And here he is after a final lighter drybrush of Fortress Grey, hardly blue at all now!

So there you go, that's how you turn a blue mumak into a grey one. It's still a different grey to the base, but the blue-ness is more shadowy rather than blue now. I've lost some detail due to this being a paint-over a previous pretty heavy paint-job, but it's still pretty cool =)

And here's my test-warrior for my colour scheme. I wanted to do something a little different (lol, how unlike me) hopefully I'll cop less flak for this than for my dwarves! I figured that although we saw some Harad in the movies, they had to represent a part of the total, given how nomadic and spread out over such a huge area the Haradrim are. So these guys are dark skinned and wear mostly desert sort of colours, but with blue cloaks. 

I have a design for them worked out too, but have only sketched it so far so you'll have to wait for that one. A blue harad warrior to go with a previously blue mumak =)

The mumak howdah will also be blue, working out how to paint that behind all the already assembled bits is going to be fun =( Anyway, I'll keep you posted, but the next few days will be pretty busy and what time I have for miniatures will be gluing the mumak down properly and fixing up the ground around its feet - hardly exciting I'm afraid!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Hotfoot Mumak

Finished the base over the last couple of days and have done a little greenstuff work on the Mumak.

The first coat is the yellow foundation paint, then Golden Yellow, then a bit of Blazing Orange. I use an old brush with frayed bristles and sort of drybrush-dab the paint around, keeping the brightest yellow on the middle parts. There's also a little bit of bright yellow on the bubbles. I'm being vague about the colours because they're in previous posts and I don't know the name of the new colours!

Next blood red is applied in the same way, towards the edges mainly.

Then some Scorched Brown around that. Lastly some black and grey touchups around the edges (not shown in this picture).

So here's the Mumak mounted on the base. At the moment I've got some greenstuff under his feet. There was such a mess of glue and stuff down there! Once it's set I'll add some more glue, then fill any gaps with sand/rocks to match the base.

Here's one example of how poorly it was put together. Look at all those messy splits in there, nothing matches up where it should. Unfortunately there is SO much glue in there that I'd really kill things if I tried to take it apart and put it back together again =(

So instead I've just shoved some greenstuff in there and shaped it to match the surroundings. When I re-paint it it will hardly be noticeable (I hope!)

And you probably noticed I've also put some greenstuff along the more prominent and easy to get to seams. On the back I've used actual greenstuff, on the back of the front leg you can see I've used some liquid greenstuff. I still can't get this stuff to work at hiding gaps/seams. As you can see the seam down the middle is still plenty obvious, just now it's green! The two sides don't match up so one side is a little higher than the other. I'm just not sure how to use the liquid stuff properly I guess. I brush it on like people say, but it pretty much just sinks in and adds a layer. I've done four coats at this stage and it still looks like that. I think I'll just blob it on now, wait for it to dry a bit, then smooth/file it back. Or just leave it as when painted it will hopefully not be so big a deal down there.

I think the mumak tail doesn't look half bad given the quick and easy job I did on it. =)

So there you go, not much progress, and sorry for the super-bright shots, but some progress is better than no progress!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stampy McStamper

I don't know if I said ages ago or not that I scored an ultra cheap Mumak on eBay. Well, I finally took some time to do a bit of work on it today.

It was in several pieces and the howdah is a bit busted and it was missing a tail and was broken from the base. 

My plan is to put together a small force of maybe two or three warbands. I've already decided on a bit of a colour scheme and idea for tying them together but keeping them distinguishable from my brother's army. More on that later though I guess.

For now I've covered the base like my board as it will have some lava etc.

Here the base is all covered up and painted in codex grey. There are a couple of green-stuff pools that will become lava and some small ball bearings that will be bubbles.

A drybrush of fortress grey over the top, which in the glaring light of this photo you may not be able to distinguish from the previous!

The tail is just a bit of paper-clip with greenstuff covering it. At the moment I'm waiting for it to set a bit before I try and sculpt a few lines on the tufty bit at the end. Hopefully the paper clip will give it enough firmness to hold it! I'm not much into sculpting (as you all know by now!). In any case, at least it now has a tail.

I plan on doing a pretty heavy re-paint on the Mumak and howdah itself, so far I haven't even touched it, so don't think that this is what it will look like!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

To the Death! Dwarves and Eagles vs Haradrim

Welcome to another lord of the rings strategy battle game battle report!

Today my brother chose the points total (600 points) and then we put together our forces. Lastly we rolled for a random scenario. We got "To the death!" Pretty self explanatory really.

Good news for me! I had a very small force, but a fun one! Two warbands of dwarves and one of giant eagles. Finally a chance to get my three painted eagles into battle! Just to keep the minimalist theme going I also took Etako and four Khazad bodyguards and Brynmor with three Vault Warden teams. 

Can't remember the exact forces my brother took, but he had almost twice the number of troops!

We divided the map diagonally instead of horizontally so that the water didn't disadvantage anyone.

Again, the new warband system made for a great deployment phase, with both of us trying to get in close nice and early!

Lets run through the participants... here's The Betrayer with some Watchers of Karna.

And facing the Nazgul is Brynmor with three Vault Warden teams. The watchers may have two attacks each, but so do my teams and they have the added bonus of defence 9!

The Harad Chieftain here had a small bodyguard, including a serpent guard with a poisoned weapon. 

The three eagles deployed to take advantage of the woods, outside of cavalry charge range, but within their own flight range... nice =)

Etako took position in the central ruins with a screen of bodyguards.

The evil Hasharin deployed to the side of the ruins, nastily near Etako's flank.

And Suladan came charging on with some raiders, including a very important banner. If I don't kill the banner, he'll net free victory points as I don't have one at all!

The first turn begins in earnest, the dwarves win priority (my special skill apparently) so The Betrayer uses a precious might point to call a heroic move and then transfixes Brynmor who is immediately surrounded by black-clad Watchers!

Although he is knocked down and beaten by the many flashing blades, none of them pierce his strong dwarven mail and he suffers no wounds! The nearby vault wardens press up to attack the watchers, but the spinning robes are impossible to hit with their spears, in return, however, the swords of the evil men cannot penetrate the huge shields.

One of the great eagles soars over the battlefield to engage the Nazgul, the great beak flashes and The Betrayer's sword swings upwards, but neither combatant can do any real damage to the other.

Another of the giant eagles dives down low, tail feathers actually scraping the ground as the mighty claws flash down and rip the throats from a horse and rider.

Barukshathur himself flies eagerly into battle with two raiders. Suladan puts spurs to his horse, which balks at riding towards the flying leader of the eagles. Using his iron will, Suladan manages to urge his horse forward!

Through the maze of spears and swords, the eagle flies, although they manage to beat it back, their weapons cannot draw any blood.

Etako charges forward to engage the Serpent Chieftain and uses a mighty uppercut with his Ironfist Gauntlet. Fate intervenes on the behalf of the purple-cloaked man and he narrowly avoids losing all of his teeth. Two of Etako's bodyguards swing their mighty axes at a spearman and cleave him apart, red blood soaked by his red clothing.

At the end of the turn the battle is already well and truly met by all combatants.

Turn 2 sees priority going to the dwarves again.

The Betrayer uses four might to try and transfix Brynmor again... and fails?!?! This was one of the first of VERY MANY horrible die rolls from my brother. The black-clad Nazgul then trots around the ruins to distance himself from the eagles.

Feeling very confident, Brynmor throws his hammer, Lemya and a Watcher falls dead to the ground, hammer embedded in his skull. Charging swiftly on, Gjel-grava, the mighty mithril shovel, bisects another Watcher - payback for the previous turn and the dents the men caused in the dwarf's armour.

The banner-bearer, dodging and weaving through the scenery is confronted by a giant eagle, who swoops down, tearing a hole in the banner, but not causing any lasting damage.

Another great eagle attack sees yet another eviscerated raider.

Barukshathur and Suladan clash again, the eagle tears shreds of flesh from the human and horse, causing one wound as fate intervenes and the flashing beak clangs off a precious stone instead of causing yet more damage.

In the ruins, the Hasharin and Chieftain both spring into action, spear support behind them. Even the well built, solid armour of the Khazad guard cannot save them from the onslaught and two of them fall beneath poisonous blades.

Etako flings himself forward, gauntlet sending brains and teeth splattering against the wall as a Khazad bodyguard stands behind him, deflecting an incoming spear and returning the attack with a mighty swing of his axe, slaying the human.

At the end of turn 2 it looks like outside the ruins the dwarven team is winning, but inside the ruins the Haradrim are killing dwarves all too quickly!

Turn 3 - yet another priority win for the dwarves.

The banner bearer falls and the great eagle's bloody claws swing skyward, ready to strike again now that its mission is completed. Phew, that banner bearer could have been free victory points for my brother, so I really needed to take him out. Fortunately my priority winning prowess (ie. luck) didn't let him get away.

Brynmor slays the final of his original three assailants, while the deadlock between the vault wardens and watchers of karna is broken in the dwarves favour as two black-clad men fall with spears in their chests.

Etako fails to kill a spearman, much to his disgust, while behind him another of his guard falls to the Hasharin's flashing daggers.

Barukshathur goes to attack The Betrayer, but even his courageous heart cannot bear the evil miasma of the Nazgul and so Suladan charges into the giant eagle. Suladan's luck has passed him by this time as Barukshathur dispatches the human king, embarrassed about his failing courage and taking out his rage on the Serpent King.

The swooping eagle is faced by two raiders, and this time their horsemanship saves them from the flashing claws and beak.

At the end of the turn the dwarves look to well and truly control the outside, while there are almost no dwarves left inside the ruins!

In turn 4, the priority goes to the dwarves AGAIN!

Brynmor charges towards the ruins, a Vault Warden team backing him up as the last watcher of Karna falls to the ground, face smashed in by a massive shovel.

Etako, almost surrounded by Haradrim, escapes through a side door, while his last remaining trusty, loyal bodyguard hurls himself into battle, falling beneath a myriad of swords and spears. A vault warden team blocks the door behind Etako. With victory points given for wounding/killing your team's leader (The Betrayer and Etako) it was important to not let the dwarf be surrounded, especially with the Hasharin's nasty special rules!

With only three raiders left, the giant eagle swoops down to kill two in a flurry of claws and wings.

Circling above the ruins, the other great eagles kill a spearman, keeping the exit to the ruins blocked with the evil humans trapped within.

Here's a shot from the outside showing Etako's narrow escape.

Here you can see the last raider heading towards the dwarven king, hoping to keep some of the dwarves engaged outside the ruins.

At the end of the turn, four turns of priority going the dwarves way has led to an imbalance. Still there are no victory points yet!

Turn 5 - priority to Harad (for once! and even then it was on a tie!)

With eagles in play, an aerial view was on order =)

The Betrayer spurs his horse onward and transfixes the giant eagle at the top of the ruins. Finally the Harad force has a chance! The Hasharin turns towards the great eagle, but his courage fails him and he cannot seem to move his feet! The Chieftain next to him laughs, raises his weapon, looks at the massive beak and bloodied claws and also fails to charge, too frightened by the huge winged eagle. In the end only a few spearmen charge the transfixed eagle and fail to wound it. I think my brother needs new dice.

Meanwhile, the raider has charged Etako in a death or glory mission. Unfortunately for him it results in death rather than glory, the Ironfist gauntlet sends the man flying through the air, where he is caught by the claws of a giant eagle and torn asunder.

The Harad force is broken, but the game is not over yet! You know how our games often end in a huge turn-around!

Not so much of a turn-around this time, turn 6 sees the dwarves winning priority again.

The three eagles all pass their courage tests and assault the Nazgul! They win on a tie and cause three wounds... the evil servant of Sauron is not that easily dispelled and fate is on his side... twice... Barukshathur dives - claws outstretched to rip through the wraith... only to find himself holding dirty rags as an evil cackle is heard rippling outward from the battle. 

3 victory points to the dwarven side for defeating the enemy leader!

Brynmor and Barukshathur had both called heroic combats. Brynmor threw Lemya again and killed a spearman before charging into another. With spear support on the dwarven side for a change he shoveled another spearman six feet under and due to the heroic combat charged further into the ruins to face the Serpent Chieftain!

The human, beset upon by a dwarven hero on one side and a vault warden team on the other could not save himself and hell with a spear in the back as he desperately parried Gjel-grava.

Etako, meanwhile, had to be restrained by his own troops as he tried to join the fight.

The Hasharin now faced an angry giant eagle and a vault warden team. Using all of his skills and luck he dodged all but one attack... Barukshathur claws down and thinks he's killed the evil assassin, but moments later realises that he's just holding the empty robes - much like The Betrayer! The Hasharin has disappeared in the melee!?

Although the battle goes well and truly to the dwarves, they are left wondering what happened to the Hasharin and why The Betrayer cackled so viciously as he departed the field. 

The victors! Unbroken, unfazed and unbeaten! Great first battle for the three great eagles!

Well, I may have won, but honestly it was more about the dice than strategy this game! Still, the best thing about playing against my brother is that we both enjoy ourselves, even when the dice are clearly against us. We were still laughing and having fun even when there were double 1s left, right and center.

So there you go, the three eagles are victorious in their first battle. Thank goodness it was a fight to the death and not a hold the objectives type of battle!

I still need to get my hands on some Ents and a Radagast to get my eagles having a rocking good time to face my evil creature army, but I can't see that happening any time soon!

Hope you enjoyed the battle - we sure did!