Friday, August 7, 2015

Cold Dead Fingers and a Little Fun

Lucky for the readers, my fingers aren't cold and dead

Ah, another several months, another hiatus. Not so much as a hiatus as a roadblock. I've had a busy summer! I am a middle school teacher so I stopped working on June 12. After that I spent 3 weeks in various states of vacation/relaxation, so not much painting was done. After that I've basically been spending time with my son and fishing, with a bit of painting in the evenings. I'll be doing two posts, this one, and one immediately following, which will cover what I've finished and a rough outline of whats on my desk, primed, waiting to be painted.

Barrow Wights

One of the scenarios in the Fellowship Journeybook involves the adventures of the four hobbits in the Barrow Downs. The scenario essentially just uses the contents of the Fog on the Barrow Downs box set, which I was lucky enough to get a copy of last year. I was looking for a quick, easy-ish set of models to paint so I chose the 4 wights from that box.

From a lore perspective, the Barrow Wights are evil spirits, sent by the Witch King of Angmar to inhabit the ancient tombs and barrows of the Northern Kingdom, resting places of Dunedain and other Edain from ages past. Our 4 heroes from the Shire run into trouble in the Downs after their visit with Tom Bombadil in the Old Forest while on their way to Bree, and require rescue by the enigmatic Bombadil. (In fact, you can read a rather intriguing, and convincing fan theory of what exactly Tom Bombadil is by clicking here)

The Painting

I think these models turned out great, despite using relatively simple techniques. I generally followed the gist of the journeybook schemes, building up the clothes and bodies of the wights from a dark grey, all the way to a white drybrush, heaviest on the faces. I don't remember exactly the colors but I think it was Codex Grey, Astronomicon Grey, and then Skull White.

The armor and weapons were a bit different. I did basecoast of chainmail for the armor, and shining gold for the embellishments. Next came a series of washes. The chainmail got a mixed wash of badab black, p3 flesh wash (for a brown tint), and a small dab of thraka green, watered down. The gold just received the thraka green mixed with a touch of brown to give the embellishments and aged brass look. Regardless, I think these models demonstrate how effective basic techniques can be. They were also a lot of fun to paint as they are so much different than most things (I don't think I'll be painting anything ghostly until I paint the Marsh Spectres in the Two Towers book.)

One quick note before you see the pictures: I recently took some time to figure out the settings on my camera (Nikon D3100), therefore I am able to take much sharper and brighter close ups. For this post I'm including several sets of pictures with different lighting. Please let me know which you prefer in the comments so I can cater to my readers and give you the best shots I can. Now then:

A little bit of fun, and a glimpse of the future

A few days after I finished the wights, I realized I didn't have anything I needed to paint actually primed, and its been a very hot summer where I live, making it hard to do so. Therefore I picked up the closest thing to me, which happened to be two Uruk-Hai berserkers I received in a trade via the One-Ring. They were primed black so I figured I go ahead and paint them as test models, knowing full well I will be needing to paint an army of them at some point in the future.

Uruk-Hai were actually the first models I ever painted in my entire life. I bought the Two Towers box set and actually painted all of them, the first few were atrocious, the rest were very "meh". I mean they aren't particularly difficult to paint, being dark armor and a little brown for the skin. Regardless I painted them by drybrushing Boltgun Metal over a black undercoat, and while adequate, I really hate tons of drybrushing unless its for a purpose. So for these berserkers I wanted to do something different. Therefore I turned to the infamous Badab black wash, which I'm becoming quite fond of (just wait till you see my next post). I did this over a chainmail basecoat, barely watering down the wash to give them that grim, soot-blackened, Isengard butcher look. Next was the skin, which I think came out great. I started with a Doombull Brown base (formerly Dark Flesh), then added highlights per the journeybook of the base with some Ushabti (bleached) bone. I think they look very body builder-ish, but I can't complain as they are kind of supposed to look that way, being berserkers and all. As test models I think they served their purpose, and I intend to paint my further Uruks just the same. Now for pictures!

The road goes ever on and on......

To give readers a sense of whats to come, I am going to wait until after the next post, which I will start immediately after finishing this one. If you want to guess, it took me forever, stressed me out, made me procrastinate, but ultimately turned out ok, and now I don't have to think about them for a looooooong time.

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