Monday, May 31, 2010

printable gondor buildings part 2

Still working on the tower model. I made the archways bigger so that people fit better in the tower, and added a small border around some of the arches to try and make the archways stand out a bit more (hard with grey walls and grey interior). I'm probably going to change the stonework texture on the walls of the bottom three levels, as it is very low resolution and when viewing it life-size, its a bit blurry and undefined. Anyway, here's the current edition of the tower-in-progress.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

building gondor scenery part 1

I'm working on making more paper/cardstock scenery. Today I've been working on a Gondor style tower. I still have to work out the correct size and shape for the archways, and I might add other details such as brickwork shaped around the sides of the archways, and that sort of thing. Anyway, here's some photos of the tower as I was building it, and how it looks at the moment.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

current evil army

And here's my current Haradrim and Nazgul force!

more gondor forces

My brother has lent me gondor forces he painted, so if I field a gondor/rohan army, there's now lots more gondor soldiers. Even more if I paint the rest of the soldiers in my box sets! Anyway, here's some photos of the Good force all together. It also means I can do some solitaire scenarios from time to time now with Gondor/Rohan vs Haradrim!

downloadable harad buildings

I've made a downloadable pdf of my harad buildings, to print out, cut out, fold and tape together, for anyone who's interested.

(EDIT: SORRY! Download is no longer available)

Visit the One Ring Forums or The Last Alliance Forums and post there if you have questions about assembly.


Friday, May 28, 2010

rocks by shoreline

I sprayed my map sheets and coast sheets with a matte finish spray to try and lessen the sheen and reflectiveness of them. The coastline sheets curved slightly after drying, so I've grabbed some sandstone looking rocks out of the garden path and put them along the edge of the sheets to weigh them down. Both scenery and serving a function!

Today's Battle

Played a fantastically fun battle with my brother today. The scenario had us both trying to hold a hill in the middle of the map, and if we ever rolled tie for priority, a fierce wind blew atop the hill and knocked everyone over!

Here's some cropped photos from today's battle. For more photos and a battle report, you'll have to check out my brother's LOTR blog report:

So here's some cropped photos from today's scenario!

Some photos of my Boromir led force:

My brother's Dwarven force for this scenario:
A pic showing some of the Stat cards I made for quick reference. They will eventually have photos of their appropriate miniature in the white space on the left of each card:
Some cropped photos from today's battle showing some of my forces:

Some of my brother's heavily armoured dwarves:

Thursday, May 27, 2010

semi-arid Terrain Mat: Coastline Strip

This morning I made an addition to my semi-arid print-out battle mat, a strip of coastline! It's an overlay about one and a third A4 sheets wide, by three A4 sheets long.

Basically, I loaded up my map image in a graphics program, and placed an enlarged top-down coastline photo on top of it, then used a fading/erasing tool to remove the land from the coastline and blend the water into my own terrain image. Then I cropped just the end of the map (where the coastline was) and saved it as a new image.

Printing it out, it can be laid on top of the end of the map, to create a seamless coastline addition! Or it could be used as the shoreline of a lake or wide river. I might make a second backdrop, so that if I place the water against my wall-end of the table, the backdrop has water leading off to the horizon with some blue sky and clouds, for an endless-ocean look.

Showing how it just lays on top of the map:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

action photo of Rohan warriors with backdrop!

Last photo for tonight!

Playing around with the camera and my minis, with the battle mat, scenery and backdrop. Because the mat is so gloss, any photo taken at ground level looks like things are floating on water, because the entire surface is reflective when looked at from so low, but a little cropping and close-up focus, and I love how this photo turned out!

War Mumak on battle mat and Haradrim Spirits

Can't stop taking photos! I should probably wait until the end of the day, and make one post, instead of making so many entries in this blog :)

Here's the War Mumak! Followed by some glowing Haradrim Spirits! They look even glowier in real life.

photo backdrop for battle mat

I searched the net for desert landscape photos, and came across this fantastic image! Similar colours and great angle. I enlarge it to the width of my table, then applied a medium Gaussian Blur to the image to take away all of the pixellation.

It's a bit blurry right up close from the enlargement, but great for standing back and looking at! Adds heaps of immersian to a tabletop game :)

semi arid landscape and Haradrim Raiders

Had to have a photo with my Haradrim of course!

more photographic battle mat

Just a extra quick pic with some more scenery objects on it. I've got lots more walls coming in the mail, and I'm thinking I might leave half of them in the grey stone, for playing on my brother's rocky realm of battle board, or for putting on my grassy citedal battle mat, but the other half of walls I'm thinking I'll drybrush in a sandstone sort of colour, to create desert ruins for playing with on this semi-arid battle board. The grey seems to stick out a bit on this semi-arid landscape.

photographic battle mat

I made my own glossy print-out battle mat using textures from middle-eastern satellite photography, and some other ground/grass textures, blending together to form a mat that almost covers my 3' x 5' table.

Again, I wish the camera I'm using could capture the colours exactly as I'm seeing them, but I've tried to adjust some of the photos slightly to get them closer to the actual thing. The odd thing is, when I took the shot showing the whole table, and when I take zoomed in photos, it has different colours/tones in the photos, even though in real life they are the same colours/tones!

The upside of the glossy paper is that the quality of the printing is amazing, and the colours and light/dark in the printing is strong and clear. When printing on plain paper or cardstock, its very faded and muted.

The downside is that there are shadowy reflections of any scenery object or miniature that is placed on the map, because of the coating on the paper. However, this only becomes very visible when taking photos from down low, and most of the time, it's just not all that noticeable or jarring while moving around and playing on it.

Anyway, here's some photos with my two 15mm miniatures (yes, I have to do more of my army!!! Still waiting for plastic bases to arrive so I can actually base them)

Some LOTR minis on the board (haven't finished working on their bases yet)

this shot has two scales of minis in it

End of table view of the battle mat.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

LOTR SBG Historical Scale Comparison

For anyone who hasn't glanced yet, I'm building two 15mm historical armies, and making custom rules and stats to go with the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, to play Crusades era battles. I just thought I'd post a pic of a Lord of the Rings size cavalry miniature, next to the two 15mm Crusaders riders I've painted now. It's quite a difference in scale!

My historical blog tracking my progress in army making and stat/rules supplement making, is at:

some rohan miniatures

Yesterday I tried something different, and painted three Rohan figures: a captain of Rohan (warrior painted in captain paint scheme) and two warriors of Rohan. Today I thought I'd make a mounted captain of Rohan to match the foot figure. The only problem was, my Rider of Rohan models didn't have a figure that looked the same as the warrior of Rohan model I used.

So, a little bit of customisation. I selected a Rider of Rohan figure that had a similar body and helmet - but there was no crest on the helmet, and the figure was made to attach a spear arm to. So I made a simple crest out of green stuff and stuck it on his head, and I cut an axe arm off another rider, so that I could use the axe arm on this 'captain', and attach the spear arm to the figure the axe came from at some later date.

Anyway, the result is a captain foot and mounted, and two warriors with swords and shields! (the shield in the warrior on the right looks better since taking this photo. I touched it up and tried to use washes to define the circle of three horses heads a bit better)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Mounted Betrayer revealed

I changed my mind, and am revealing the mini I painted today, as I decided I won't be using him in this weeks battle, but probably the following one. So here's my Betrayer, mounted. I decided that since the nazgul are all black, one way of trying to show some detail on him would be to water down black paint, just a bit, and cover the miniature in it - and like a wash settles into recesses, the slightly thinned black paint left all of the sharp raised edges visible, automatically highlighting the entire model, giving it a ghostly ethereal appearance that I really like :)

mystery miniature

I'm playing a match with my brother later this week. We're deciding on a point value, and then bringing any of our forces to the match - without telling each other what sort of army or force composition we will be using.

Will he pit me against dwarves or goblins? Will there be a troll? Or giant spiders and wargs? Will I stomp across the battlefield with my Mumak? Who knows what will happen.

As a result, I can't post a photo of the latest miniature I've painted, because it is a 'mystery miniature' that I will be pitting against my brother later this week! After the match, I will post a photo, because I like it :)

I tried painting it a different way to how I normally paint things, and it was interesting how it came out. So stay tuned to see what it looks like!

more warrior of minas tirith

I managed to get the tone and contrast levels a bit more like reality in these photos. I thought the figure needed a tiny bit of highlighting, as the black wash darkens the entire figure, so I drybrushed some of the grey I had coated the figure with, back onto some of the upper and raised surfaces. I've never been good at drybrushing, so I'm not sure if I should have left it as it was, but anyway, these photos are closer to how it actually looks (at least, on my monitor).

And lastly, a photo using my paint package's Auto Adjust. I love using it, because it really brings out the light and dark in any photo, making any miniature look awesome!

warrior of minas tirith

Last night I tried a warrior of minas tirith, but not my usual approach, which was basecoat of black, drybrush of metal paint. Instead I painted the whole figure in a medium grey paint, with brown for belt-scabbard, and flesh for face, then applied two wash coats of black wash (waiting to dry in between). I like the result - it's not as contrasty as it appears in these photos, it's a bit duller in real life, but it still looks good, and the ink wash over the top of the grey paint gives a look like metal, which I quite like.

Here are 'before and after' photos.

Monday, May 17, 2010

citedal washes

Finally got a box of citedal washes! Touching up numerous minis with them now. Here's a pic showing Boromir's cloak. I had previously painted it all a medium blue, and highlighted the raised areas in a light blue-grey. Now with the blue wash applied, it blends dark shadows into the folds of the cloth, for an even better 3D effect to the model! Very pleased :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

15mm Historical Crusades blog and what's next with LOTR

For anyone interested in historical miniatures, as an addition to my miniatures gaming hobby, I am collecting First Crusades era 15mm miniatures armies and designing historical scenarios, at my other blog:

My first scenario is about the first real battle, the Siege of Nicaea, including table-top layout map and forces that can be used to portray the battle. I'll also be writing up about miniatures painting as I collect historical armies, and talking about my scenery building projects, with photos.

I'll be alternating now between doing historical and fantasy things, while battling it out with my brother's dwarves and goblins as well, and the occassional historical battle once I get starter armies in a playable state.

As for LOTR miniatures, I am planning in a couple weeks to get another box of Warriors of Harad, and another box of Haradrim Raiders, so I will be able to field more cavalry, more warriors, and also to make some more Spirits of the Haradrim (see older posts about them if interested).

Here's a photo of one of Nicaea's round-towers at 15mm scale, compared with one of the 28mm scale Haradrim towers I printed out last week. The stonework on the 15mm tower was taken from a photo of a wall in Jerusalem's Old City area, for added authenticity to the region :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Haradrim Rebellion

I battled my brother's dwarfs in an Uprising based scenario. It was a huge battle, as he tried to escape to a waiting ship! Check out the mammoth battle report with photos my brother took, at his blog!

Monday, May 10, 2010

more washing, haradrim raider

trying it out on one of my Haradrim raiders. Really brings out the details in things like fingers, and folds in cloth. Adds some shading to the horse's muscles too!