Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Gondorian Archer Unit

We had some nice, bright weather for the early part of this afternoon here in the south-east of the UK today, so I was able to get the spray can out again in the garden and then put paint to brush on some of the figures already undercoated. I managed to get the rest of the Gondorian foot undercoated, as well as some of the metal command miniatures. I decided to start work on the Gondorian archers unit first.
A small part of the Gondorian archer unit

I sprayed the figures with Citadel Chaos Black from the old can that was still lying around in the man cave. I then got the old brushes out and managed to put some GW Dwarf Flesh onto the faces of the first eight warriors - a nice easy start to the painting campaign. I will try to get the next eight archers' faces painted tomorrow and then start on their armour. I will probably only go forward with the dozen required for the unit I am making though, plus a captain and banner bearer.

Tomorrow I will also try to pick up some plastic glue (my existing tubes have now either dried up or run out) and a pack of Plasticine (more on the reasoning for this with my next post) and get some of the cavalry undercoated too.

Once they have all been de-sprued and glued up, I will lay the army out again to see what I need to buy (EBay here I come!) to complete it. I am envisaging a sort-of equivalent to a Roman Century plus support units in the cavalry and artillery. I do not know what Tolkien himself thought of the Romans, but I am a great admirer of their technology and warfare nous.

Until next time...

Monday, 28 March 2016

Gondor Rampant

Soldiers of Gondor

I have to apologise again for the long hiatus on this blog. Ill health and lack of hobby time recently has led to not so many updates as I would have liked.

After it had been built and decorated around this time last year the man cave became a junk room again, just like it was when it was the garage. Lots of those superfluous items have now been either thrown away or passed onto the charity shops as appropriate. Also, I have now sorted out and collated all the gaming related stuff in the hobby room and it is now time to get to work on the figures that have been without paint for several years since purchase.

What with the advent of Dragon Rampant in my games library, I have decided to create warbands based upon that ruleset for larger sized skirmishes (50-60 figures per army) for Lord of the Rings. I will also continue to play at the smaller LotR:SBG scale (20-30 figures per side), as the unit sizes in each are around a dozen. I will be carefully crafting unit stats for my LotR miniatures bearing in mind that Gondor is supposed to have the best troops in the kingoms of men. I will present my workings here for all to comment and critique, but only when I have painted samples of each unit completed - this is to spur me into action so I can get onto the fun of spreadhseet number-crunching creativity.

My first troops to see paint are the Gondor footmen. I have four sprues worth of these giving a total of 48 warriors that will be divided up into four units of a dozen each; one of archers, one of swordsmen, one of spearmen and a mixed unit. I have managed to clip them all off the sprues, glue them up and undercoat eight of each troop type so far...
Gondorian Archers...
Gondorian Spearmen...
Gondorian Swordsmen...
Unfortunately, I did not think too carefully about what I was doing, so I think I have missed one or two combinations that would have led to more troop variety (especially with the spears).

However, I may add to this number so I can create an additional full unit of either swords- or spearmen. I have metal captains and banner bearers for each unit, as well as some named heroes. I also have four of the metal knights of Minas Tirith as well as a dozen of the newer plastic knights. I also have some mounted leaders for these. If I do pick up another couple of sprues of footmen then I will work out the combinations I missed and maybe replace some weapons to create further units - axes might do the trick as I have some spare axes from other plastic minitaures that could be used.

These warriors will form the bulk of the Gondor army along with a couple of units of Rangers (with metal leaders), some more realistic ballistae and catapults (borrowed from Warlord Games's Early Imperial Roman range) with metal crews, and a unit of Swan Knights of Dol Amroth (I still need to buy a few more blisters/boxes of these to make up what I want). I may also look at substitute miniatures for the more well-known fiefdoms like Blackroot Vale, Lebennin, Lossarnach, Lamedon etc.

I will try to run a weekly update on how this army comes together in a staged process. As the weather has been brighter recently, my focus can now be on painting rather than cutting and glueing. I really want to get the first unit together so I can get to work on the stats for them.

I am also yet to decide upon the colours for the warriors' tunics. My initial thoughts were to create a scheme that had each colour of the rainbow represent each of the seven levels of the city of Minas Tirith; Red for the lowest level and troops stationed in Ithilien and Osgiliath, Orange for the second level, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet for the rest. The three companies of Citadel Guard mentioned somewhere in the book (I don't remember where the reference is but it has stuck in my memory) could then be in Black as per the colour scheme presented by the films, and the Fountain Court Guard in White. I am not sure about the company of cavalry/knights. After much thought, I have been thinking of going for red for the scheme for the warriors and knights and green for auxilliary units like the ballista crews to juxtapose the standard warriors. If I get tempted to create more then I can paint them in the other rainbow colours. As I said though, I am still undecided. I will get the armour painted on and then see.