Journeys in Middle-Earth (or preparing for 7TV Fantasy)

A couple of years back my long standing gaming buddies bought me a copy of the Lord of the Rings Journeys In Middle-Earth by Fantasy Flight Games for my birthday. I have since been (very occasionally) working through painting the miniatures in this app-driven board game. My aim was always to have a fully painted set of miniatures before giving the game a go, however the pandemic has rather extended that timescale.

Journeys in Middle-Earth.

So I have not actually dived into the rules much, but as you have probably guessed the minis caught my attention. The nature of the games publisher’s licence agreement means that rather being based on the movie likenesses the miniatures are based on original art. This gives them in my opinion a more generic feel and opens up more possibilities outside the boxed game.

With 7TV Fantasy coming soon, I decided to look at painting up some of the character miniatures for use in a ‘high fantasy’ setting. Most of the following figures were painted with a mix of tranditional acrylics alongside contrast paints.

First up we have the main Hobbit himeself – Bilbo Baggins. I decided to add a splash of colour here giving him a deep red waistcoat, but to tie together with the rest of the band I went for a green cloak (see the other pictures below).

Bilbo – where it all began!

Next, the King returns, it is Aragorn in his ‘Strider’ guise. Again I have concentrated on greens here to tie him in with the other characters. I’ve gone for a darker more weathered skin colour to reflect his time out in the wilderness as a ranger.

Strider.

I’ve gone for more earthy and warm tones for Gimli. A lot of use of my favourite contrast paint, Snakebite Leather, for the armour.

Gimli.

Again I have tied the group togehter using green for the cloak.

Next up is Legolas…

Legolas.

And finally we have a new character introduced for the game, Beravor, a Dunedain ranger.

Beravor.

I appear to have missed out one character from the core game that I need to find out and finish, Elena the Elven bard.

The miniatures are all approximately in the standard 28 to 32mm scale and are going to mix well with other models which bodes well for using them in 7TV Fantasy. As one piece miniatures they were easy to prepare and paint (all the minis above were undercoated in white). There was very little clean up required and for board game miniatures very few cases of ‘bendy sword syndrome’.

I’m looking forward to painting up the rest of the miniatures from the box and who knows (7TV Fantasy aside) I might even get to field them in a game of Journeys in Middle Earth at some point in the future.

Warhammer 40k 9th Edition – first play

A couple of weeks back, prior to the latest pandemic restrictions kicking in in our particular area of England I actually managed to play a game of something. In this case Warhammer 40k, which I have not played for over a year.

The battleground!

This was the first time playing 9th edition and having sold most of my 40k miniatures I was able to borrow a force and be guided through a game by my good friend Jamie.

We played the new ‘combat patrol‘ rules which allows you to play smaller quicker games, but without skimping on the big units (and in my case as a dyed in the wool Imperial Guard player….TANKS!).

Ork on tank action.

Now I am not brilliant at remembering rules and am never paricularly scientific about analysing games, but my main conclusion here is that 9th was a lot, lot more fun than 8th.

The commander of my borrowed Astra Militarum forces.

I played Guard facing off against Orks. Extra narrative was added by using the new set of ‘Open War‘ cards. These allow you to setup and play fun games really quickly and include things like deployment, objectives, twists, ruses and sudden death!

Example of the new Open War cards.

The game started off well for me with an initiative win and proceeded fairly positively from then on. It was back and forth and most importantly based on my previous more negative experiences was fast! Even though the turn sequence followed the standard IGOUGO format that Warhammer has been using for decades it felt fluid and interesting. This was helped significantly by some of the new rules (in particular the ability for vehicles to fire in close combat and not get bogged down), but also by the open war cards and the smaller force and table sizes enabled by the combat patrol rules.

The game lasted about two and half hours (yes we actually played a game to a five turn conclusion) – thank you again combat patrol! Apparently this was one of the longer games Jamie has played in the format. This bodes well for evening games once we are able to meet face-to-face again.

And, although it is never my reason for playing any game, I actually got a victory under my belt. Yup, I actually won something! The MVPs in my borrowed Cadian force were my mortar team and my off table support. Nuking the site from orbit – it is always the only way to be sure.

My star players!

I might just start up another Imperial Guard force of my own now, quite possibly using some of the excellent proxy models I have got from the Anvil Industries 3D print file Patreon.

Return of the Argonauts – Enter the Spartoi

I’ve started on the first batch of miniatures from the Crooked Dice 7TV Argonauts Kickstarter.

Enter the Spartoi – deadly regenerating robots created by evil genius Ulysses Argo!

These metal miniatures are lovely sculpts and required next to no clean up. After a quick wash in warm soapy water these were dried off and given a black undercoat from a can.

I decided on a dark metallic look so used a basecoat of Humbrol Bronze, followed by a light zenith of the Gold from the same range (both in spray cans). To add some depth I highlighted with a silver drybrush and an all over wash of Army Painter soft tone wash. Certain highlights were then re-picked out in silver.

My original plan was to use a set of old tank number decals on the shields to emphasise their autonomous robotic nature, however having completed the painting and with the shields having the same metallic look as the bodies I thought I’d try something different.

Constrast paints applied quite thinly over the metallic base gave a glass/gem like appearence to the shields. The addition of Humbrol gloss cote as a finishing touch further emphasises this. I like the idea that these are some form of energy absorbing device.

The skulls were painted in a yellow sand and then given a soft tone wash.

Plenty more to come soon (by your command…..)

The Time of the Machines

Dipping back into some post-apocalypse themed modelling and painting, I have recently been concentrating on a variety of robots and mechanoids.

Inspired in part by the classic Rifts roleplaying game by Palladium Books I have painted up a Tehnolog ‘cyber skeleton’ miniature as a ‘coalition robot’.

Inspiration – from the Rifts Sourcebook – Coalition Robots

I have purchased a large number of these models over the years and have used them for a variety of projects, however the original box art just screams Rifts to me.

Tehnolog packaging showing (in my mind) a clear Rifts influence

Quite a simple paint job on this using black contrast paint with a light dry brush of silver to bring out some edge highlighting and to give him that solid metallic look.

Next up we have a pair of tracked robots with more than a little nod to Skynet. These were from the recent Bombshell Miniatures Bikes and Bots Kickstarter and were printed on my AnyCubic Photon resin printer.

Printed in parts, I assembled with super glue and gave them a once over of a metallic grey car spray paint I picked up in a sale at Halfords. As an aside I would highly recommend Halfords for good quality, relatively inexpensive rattle cans. I’d particularly recommend their grey primer as a really effective undercoat.

Any how, these ‘drones’ were then detailed with some hightlights of gold and a dot of colour here and there. The tracks were done using my usual approach of a silver dry brush over a very dark brown base coat, followed by a ‘strong tone’ wash.

Finally how about a wasteland survivor to face down the machines? Another 3D print, again from Bombshell Miniatures, but this time from one of their monthly Pateon releases from earlier in the year.

Primarily painted with contrast paints, I’m not sure how much use those revolvers are going to be against the machines though.

It’s even more robots next as I have just received my Kickstarter rewards from the recent 7TV Argonauts campaign by Crooked Dice Game Design Studio.

Plenty to go at there, but I’m also working on another of the Bombshell models from Bikes and Bots as well…

The Martians are here!