Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Bilbo's Trolls

"Look Mr Frodo, its Mr Bilbo's trolls!"

In my never ending quest to collect all gaming material related to Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit, I came across this delightful set of petrified stone trolls...


They were originally produced by Thomarillion in Germany, but I believe they ran into copyright or licencing issues so had to stop producing them... However, a few emails later, I was put in touch with someone who was prepared to sell his own '2nd-hand' set... One Paypal payment later and a short nervous wait, and sure enough they turned up, carefully wrapped, in as new condition. They are made from a white resin/plaster(?) cast material, and came as three individual models.


I painted and varnished them, and based them up an a piece of 3mm MDF, and then added scenic materials...


A rolling stone gathers no moss, as the saying goes... so I decided to add some moss effect to these definitely stationary trolls! Then I added a sprinkling of DIY fallen leaf litter... I thought about adding more bushes and stuff to the base, but I wanted miniatures to move easily around the piece, so left it clear... though its easy to add some clump foliage or lichen clumps loosely as required... For similar reasons, I decided not to add the remnants of the central campfire... I figured after 60 years it would have been all over grown and dispersed any way...



I wanted them positioned just far enough apart to allow models to be placed in between them, so this little terrain feature can be fought over...


Here, a roving band of orcs are tracked through the Trollshaws and confronted by a patrol of rangers from Rivendell...

I really enjoyed this smaller terrain interlude, compared to my more recent and ongoing larger efforts, it was a nice easy distraction, and I look forward to seeing the piece in action on the tabletop soon :)

Thanks again to my German friends who helped me source this wonderful piece.

Cheers
Scott

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Stone, Fire and Wood!

Several bits of terrain progress going on at the moment...

The ongoing saga of the Causeway board... I have added several rocky ledges and levels to allow goblins to scale the walls in various scenarios...


And have 'dwarfed up' the goblins shooting gallery, with pillars and trim...


Up next will be adding the flame effects in the base of the board....

I have made some flame makers made from clear plastic sheet - the sort you get from the typical plastic clam/ blister packs many goods come in these days, or even using a sheet made from laminating sheet off cuts...

Cut out a circle with a wedge piece cut out then glued it up into a cone shape. Then added more cut spiky pieces as flames and glued these on top. Then covered the whole thing in Woodland Scenics Water Effect. And then painted using GW yellow ink and orange ink....


I then considered the lighting of these... I was going to use several LED bulbs wired together, but I don't think I will get enough intensity to light up the whole flame-effect piece sufficiently... so I went to the local electrical store, and had a chat there about what I needed. I came away with 4 of these LED light units.



They are small, compact and cool running, mains power plug-in type. So they will fit under the board and not cause any heat problems and have enough intensity to light up the flame-effect piece... I think I am still going to need to build up the thickness of the base board to fit these, but that should not be too difficult...

Reduced from NZ$75 each to NZ$25 each... not bad I thought...

So once positioned underneath the the flame effect piece, I am hoping they will look something like this:


This was done sitting the flame effect piece on top of the upturned energy bulb (equiv 60W) of my angle poise desk lamp... Quite nice I thought... I will glue on top lots of black sprayed 'filter floss medium' to effect black smoke rising above...

So that's the Causeway board progressing...

-----o0o-----

You may recall I moaned recently about my mini disaster using the Woodland scenics tree kits? Well I managed to salvage them and got them based up, gluing 4-5 trees per piece of MDF base... So they worked out OK in the end... though I must admit, the 'tree kit', to my mind did not come with enough clump foliage to cover all the tree armatures provided... In the picture below the darker trees were done using the kit... the lighter ones I had to finish with spare clump material that I had, even though it was a lighter shade.  Still it makes for a more pleasing effect I think with the varying colours together...

Woodland Scenics pine trees
Staying with trees I have been looking at other ways of making trees and came a cross a useful site detailing rubberised horsehair. I have seen trees made using this before, and they look rather good, so thought I'd give it a try... only problem was I couldn't find an NZ based supplier, so had to order online from a UK supplier...

Here's what I got...


So just need to break it up into pieces and glue it to some garden twigs to make the basic tree, then flock the horsehair...

Of course I couldn't resist playing about ... 'Instant Treebeard'... just add idiot! ;-)


Stay tuned for more, if I can regain my sanity!

-----o0o-----

PS I'm on holiday at the moment so haven't been perusing blogs as usual, I'll try and catch up next week... Cheers all,
Scott

Monday, July 14, 2014

Can we cook 'im?

Bill, Tom and Bert, the three trolls of Hobbit movie fame!

A lovely set of plastic kit figures, including their campfire. There are also differing hand options for the weapon hand.

I looked at some of the painted examples in the book, and on the web, and some of their how-to's...

I messed about a bit with colour washes/glazes using GW Lahmian medium mixes, but in the end came down to a simple heavy dry brush as being the most effective and quick way to produce decent results.

They are are not going to win and golden demon awards but they are table top standard playable in a reasonable time frame. ( I am trying to get through my LOTR lead mountain and may take a few short cuts here and there - I might even forgo eyes on rank and file troops! Shock horror!    EDIT: I couldn't do it! Busy working on WoMT and still had to try and get the eyes right inside their helmets - nowt like making life difficult for yourself!).

There's actually not much to them, more or less two colours; flesh tone and their brown leather clothing... A little bit of decorative detail on the base lifts the overall impression...

The trolls have come down from the Ettenmoors from up north, and that idea made me think of heather in the Scottish highlands so I added some colourful heather clumps from Tajima Tufts. Some cork sheet made simple rock effects.

One of my favourite scenes from the movies... just wonderful characterization by PJ and the guys at Weta, not to mention the actors voices - just wonderful stuff - always brings a smile :-)



Three monstrous trolls! As dear old Bilbo put it...

Bill (Aka William Huggins. Who'd have thought a troll would have a surname!?)

Tom

Bert

The above naming is as per the GW listings but I think they may have got them mixed up. If you compare some of the stats and special rules, they don't really match the on screen characters. And some of the online transcripts I have read ascribe the lines to differing named trolls...  But as far as I see, as per the naming above, Bill is in charge, Bert is number two and Tom is the weakest!

Roast Mutton Again? These is West Nags!


Campfire

A dwarf's eye view...





The trio once more...




And of course facing down the Dwarves of the Company of Thorin Oakenshield!


The dawn will take you all!

-----o0o-----

In game terms, the trolls are, as you would imagine, very tough characters, and two of them have F7. Crucially also, because they are 'characters' they have Might, Will and Fate points too, making them very handy in a scrap and with a fair chance of winning a fight, can then put those new Monster brutal power attacks into play... Might points also allowing for Heroic actions to be called... they each also have a characterful special rule, themed in to their movie actions...

However, in the movie scenario for the game; Roast Mutton, the trolls are up against 13 Hero dwarves, and a hobbit, all with Might, Will and Fate too... and in the SBG game, numbers count, so the trolls are really up against it to defeat the dwarves... but I guess in the movie they were too, and only came out on top when the dwarves were forced to surrender, to stop Bilbo having his arms pulled off!

Of course these movie events play out differently than the book, so there are various ways to play out this scenario...

And of course there's no reason you cant include them in your evil forces as allies, along side roving bands of orcs and goblins...

-----o0o-----

Brett and I had a quick run through of the scenario yesterday, with Brett commanding the trolls. Bert got surrounded and floored early on, but then Bill and Tom stood their ground and starting flinging dwarves around - poor Thorin getting flung through 3 of his compatriots, finally ending up in a pine forest... three other dwarves were Rent (Rended?) apart, Brett liked that ability! And one was stuffed in a sack! But that ended the game as the sun came up, turning the remaining trolls to stone. By scenario victory conditions, we ended in a draw!

Good fun. We'll have another go of it, and I'll put up a battle report... stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

SouthFarthing Hobbits Ale Cart

South Farthing Hobbit Ale Cart finished! 



















Time for a drink in celebration!







It comes in pints?







It's a minor conversion, based on a very old Bugmans Ale cart for the dwarf army for Warhammer Fantasy...from many years ago, probably late 80's I am guessing...

I took off the dwarf driver and disassembled the whole thing and striped it down with Simplegreen and Dettol... and started again...


"Oh you can search far and wide,
You can drink the whole town dry,
But you'll never find a beer so brown,
Oh you'll never find a beer so brown,
As the one we drink in our hometown,
As the one we drink in our hometown.
You can keep your fancy ales,
You can drink them by the flagon,
But the only brew for the brave and true.....
Comes from the Green Dragon!"

I used the seated pair of hobbits from the TreeBeard Mighty Ent set. I also filed down the Bugmans embossed name on the wagon top behind the hobbits, and trimmed the B to a S on the pony's rosette.
15amp fuse wire was added for the reigns.


I based it up on a DIY 60mm round  base from 3mm MDF and DAS clay...


Painting was fairly straight forward, the only tricky bit being the freehand 'Southfarthing' front and back of the barrel top header board. I glued the hobbits into place after I had done the front of the sign...The larger round circular base used in LOTR SBG, made for a rather nice little scenic base depicting a simple wagon way with grassy bushy boarders either side...




And the real Southfarthing Ale... as enjoyed at the Hobbiton Filmset at Matamata, indeed even at the Green Dragon pub!


Then bought afterwards and brought home with us too. Sadly the above is now empty but the bottle is charming and is rinsed and displayed :-)

-----o0o-----

In the game


This really was just a self indulgent build, as it has no stats in the game!



Really I made it as a scenic piece for my proposed Hobbiton build.

But I guess it could quickly be used as a scenario objective; to capture or rescue the wagon. No doubt Saruman's roving forces would be out looking to loot supplies for their growing army. Or maybe brigands around the borders from the Shire, or a raiding orc warband? There are many possibilities...

Or perhaps it could have a talismanic effect for Hobbit forces it is deployed alongside, giving them perhaps a boost to courage, and/or a bonus Standfast effect?

Looking forward to seeing it on the tabletop one way or another :-)

-----o0o----

OK, back to the trolls and Warriors of Minas Tirith! ;-) ....





Monday, July 07, 2014

Causeway saga continues...

The saga continues, but in a good way...Saturday I managed to make good progress on the Causeway board... in part, due to a slight change in 'tactics'...

To try and speed things up I have also been using hot-glue (via a hotglue gun), to tack into position the poly rock clumps, with PVA between, which will set later but stronger.  Same with the new rear back piece of MDF sheet for the side wall.


It all allowed me to get the whole side wall built up, and attached and skimmed in polyfilla over the course of one day...


So that really is the main construction finished now... though I need to add a couple of styrofoam carved pillars to the shooting gallery... might even 'dwarfy-fy' the outer surface of it with some polygons or strips of depron..


Next is going to be the fiddly bit; making and rigging up the LED lighting array for the flames coming up through the base board...

Once that's in place, I'll conceal the wires and 'rocky-up' the base with poly chunks again. Then skim with filla, and then paint... the end is in sight!

-----o0o-----

Other weekend activity included putting together a set of Woodland Scenics plastic conifer tree kits. Trimmed them and assembled the trunks, melted up spare sprue to conceal the joins, drybrushed the trunks, and 'hob-e-tac'-ed the trunks to attach the clump foliage... all well so far... then I had a brain wave, since these would be handled more than in a static display, I figured I would spray them as well with WS scenic cement (which is a bit like very thinned down PVA glue), to 'seal on' the foliage... all seem good to start ... then disaster! The water content of the scenic cement seem to lessen the adhesion of the hob-e-tac, as clumps of foliage started falling off all over :-( I left the remainder to dry over night... it seems now dry and OK, though considerably barer than before... I may get some ADOS F2 aerosol spray adhesive and see if I can get a bit more clump foliage attached that way... might be able to recover them I hope...

Other than the above woodland disaster, I pressed on with general paint work, varnished the Hobbit ale cart, and got the base half done. Got the trolls base painted, and continued ploughing my way through the Gondorians...

Busy as always...


Friday, July 04, 2014

Radagast the Brown

Radagast the Brown...


Found this fansite movie transcript, via TheOneRing.net... I love this scene... its the best put down one liner I have ever heard! ;-)

-----o0o-----


[The Company rides their ponies through a muddy forest as it rains. They all look cold, wet, and miserable.]


[Dori:] “Here, Mr. Gandalf, can’t you do something about this deluge?”


[Gandalf:] “It is raining, Master Dwarf, and it will continue to rain until the rain is done. If you wish to change the weather of the world, you should find yourself another wizard.”


[Bilbo:] “Are there any?”


[Gandalf:] “What?”


[Bilbo:] “Other wizards?”


[Gandalf:] “There are five of us. The greatest of our order is Saruman, the White. Then there are the two Blue Wizards; you know, I’ve quite forgotten their names.”


[Bilbo:] “And who is the fifth?”


[Gandalf:] “Well, that would be Radagast, the Brown.”


[Bilbo:] “Is he a great Wizard or is he...more like you?”


[Gandalf looks slightly offended.]

[Gandalf:] “I think he’s a very great wizard, in his own way. He’s a gentle soul who prefers the company of animals to others. He keeps a watchful eye over the vast forest lands to the East, and a good thing too, for always Evil will look to find a foothold in this world.”



-----o0o-----

So here may I present Radagast the Brown... the Limited Edition figure from the Starter Hobbit boxed set...

I never really knew how to imagine Radagast, but I think PJ has done a wonderful visualization of the character and the choice of Sylvestor McCoy for the role is inspired...

I loved the initial scenes as he tries to save Sebastian, as the spiders rampage over his home of Rosgobel...



As for the rabbit pulled sleigh, at first thought its utter nonsense, and yet it just works so well... about as far from the canon as you could get, but I love it, and have ordered the model... :-)


As for this model, its great to see what wonderful poses can be achieved using plastic - Yes its a plastic figure!



I used various references for colours choices, both painted versions I have seen in the Rulebook and websites and going off the movie companion book I have... I also kept the colour choices written down so when the sleigh arrives I can uses the same ones again!



In the game, Radagast plays much as he did before, under the new Hobbit rules, but can be upgraded to take both the sleigh and Sebastian - simply charming!

So, that marks the completion of the painting of all the figures from the Starter boxed set. It only leaves the Goblin town terrain, though I am not in a huge hurry to paint this, as I earlier made my own Goblin town setting...

So whats next? I am busy painting up the Trolls; Bert Tom and Bill, and have just about finished my Hobbit Ale Cart having added the reigns last night - fiddly but I got there in the end...

I am also trying to clear my painting table of a past partially completed project ; 34 Warriors of Minas Tirith... it was easy starting them off with a blast of silver from the airbrush but they have languished since - must get them finished for some scrapping in Osgiliath!

Stay tuned for more...

Thursday, July 03, 2014

The Dwarrowdelf - The great Dwarven city of Khazad Dum

The Fellowship continue on their quest...

Having evaded the attentions of the Watcher in the Water, they are forced into, and thus on through, the Mines of Moria... a four day crossing on foot, to the other side, through this dark and treacherous place...



Passing through the various passageways and corridors, and mine workings they finally come to the Dwarrowdelf, an imposing realm of high ceiling chambers, or mansions and massive supporting pillars...



Onward, ever onward, hoping beyond hope to pass unnoticed by the vile denizens of this subterranean lair...



Nearing the Eastgate, the Fellowship are nearly through this dark place, their luck has held, their passage gone unnoticed, other than being followed by the soft flap of feet behind... Gollum it seems, has picked up their trail...



And then, a shaft of light catches their eye, to the side of their way, shining down upon a stone tomb...




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