Simple Orc Conversions

Banner bearers. The original banner bearer I made five years ago didn't age well, so I took a Nurgle Plague Bearer banner (most of that kit was exchanged last year, I do not own any of these well sculpted but disgusting models) and swapped the crappy banner made of PVA+paper with this one. A new banner will be given to the Morannan Orc in the middle of the pack. The old one was just bad.

I am also repainting the whole command group (as you can tell on account of the drummer's weird colouring) and am looking into repositioning the drummer's arms, though he looks okay, I mean, it is not a masterpiece, but I think the model conveys the idea of smashing sticks onto a drumskin...
      Games Wok-shop released a new miniature that is riding santa's sleigh.

Games Wok shop, producing the finest red curry woks since 1986.

Of course, this Llama will buy this stupid kit because he is in love with howdahs and chariots and the like:

We can all just take for granted that the sleigh is as big as your liver, but hey, hey, with some work I think I might be able to replace my Swan Sky Chariot's vessel with this one. The wolves could be modified into some huge Lord of the Rings beasts of some kind... The rider will go either left or right, so to speak (extermination via the bin or for spare parts).

It can go either way...

I have been looking at old paintings from sieges and medieval military installations as well as chariots and howdahs to get some ideas for the Rhûn Automatons, and I found this famous picture from the siege of Orleans (yes, I missed an axang grave or cursive there - it is the same thing with the pointless use of roof-axang (acutes) and other little signs that no one cares about when GW named their different LotR models, like Amdûr and Khârna - it is a hassle to press those two extra buttons and I never use those signs) and these three guys just cracks me up; it is like "yeah, sieges aren't that bad actually - I kind of like this... ".


Birch leaves plus Rhûn Automaton and Crew.

But first, a little show and tell on the Edheldu project. I have officially put it on hold for a few weeks since I no longer have a place to work on with this project.

I did come a bit down the road with fixing it up but there are so much stuff left to do and fix - especially the paint on the Wood Elves themselves! I even coloured birch leaves for this project so it is still on my radar to get fixed within the end of 2015.

Miniature birch leaves
The usual business: When autumn falls, pun intended, I have been known to collect the seed pod holders for birch, not the actual leaves mind you... but, again, the little thingies that gives the seed a structural strength. As always is with flock and similar tiny things, you put a small amount of colour in a little container, perhaps even diluting it a bit, and then you add a much greater amount of the things you want to get coloured and just mix it and mix it. The flock or, in this case, the birch seed pod holders (let's just call them BSPH) distributes the pigment well enough and the whole mixture is quite dry but coloured in the way you like it after steering it around a bit. After these orange-brown (the look of getting close to decay) leaves were done, I made some angry yellow ones to spread on top of the decaying ones that I will put on strategic places in my Edheldu army.

Rhûn Automaton and Crew have I been tinkering a bit more with and will turn the tusks around and let them act as support to the howdah. Some green stuff was also added to the statue to the right, the Andraug (will get a better name soon), to his bum to be precise... which in turn will be decorated like the Kataphrakt horses' behinds with those little fabric-thingies that looks like dusting thingies. If someone adept at the English language could enlighten me on what these things are called I would be a happier man than I am now, and I am pretty happy already, so... you know...

Not sure if the crew should be integrated into the base or if removable by base or magnetized. Probably magnetized, there's a first for everything, as the maid said to the priest...

Bye, have a beautiful time!


Easterling War Priest for War Automaton

This guy consists of an Easterling kataphrakt weapons arm, a left arm from Perry Miniatures Bows and Bills (IIRC), head from Perry Miniatures Mahdist Ansar and the body of a crew-member from a weird WHFB Empire Solar-thingie-vehicle. I was surprised to see that the parts all matched sufficiently well...

Short update today, should probably just add that he is got a tiny humpback not shown here which I think suits my intentions of this model: A slightly older war priest. 
       Sorry about the clichée headscarf - this is such a typical idiot thing to do when modeling something for a fantasy setting: Using cultural arcetypes from our world and apply them on the fantasy setting in question, just due to lack of creativity and lack of understanding how to facet and broaden an imagined culture. For this project though, it felt alright to take a shortcut.


Review of Games Workshop's Easterling Kataphrakts

Games Workshop released the plastic Easterling Kataphrakts a few years ago but I didn't bother buying any of the plastics since I already had more than normal an amount of the old metal ones. Perusing figurspel.se I found a box at a very reasonable price and decided to take action.

I did not regret this buy. This is a nice box of cavalry and a better buy than most plastic kits from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings-line, mainly because of the amount of bits - of course not as abundant as a Warhammer Fantasy plastic kit, but very good for the standard set in the LotR-range (R.I.P in pieces LotR-range). The 28 mm models are just barely larger than their metal cousins, which are bigger than the old standard, but the proportions are better. Comparing these to older models from the line will make the new ones look large. Size creep is a thing.
If you have any form of talent for sculpting or conversions, the pieces above can be used to make up to four new models. The figures depicted below are the necessary pieces to make the 6 mounted models you actually pay for, so to speak. You get pieces for a full command (banner, drummer, captain, that is) and then some.

Sadly, even this box that was bought years after the initial release didn't have any noticable mouldlines except on some of the horses' legs. Sadly (?), you say, yes because this leads me to the conclusion that LotR aren't selling very well since the moulds have not been worn down. Not that I know how they actually go about producing their stock, if it is on demand or if they just made a billion boxes and left them in a warehouse someplace... maybe I was just lucky...
    Anyways, if you like LotR and the design from the movies, this box is a must! I kid you not, it is worth it, especially when you are comparing the price to the incredibly stupid prices established for the models from The Hobbit.

5 llamas out 5 llamas. Go and buy it now!


Easterling War Statues, phase 1...

... is still going strong, but phase 2 is closing in.
    I started with one Khemrian Warsphynx and was happy to see that it would be possible to make two models out of it!

Keeping this in mind, I always remind me that I am not trying to make something like the model below... (which is why I am excusing myself for totally destroying the original model in all its grandeur).

... but rather a more "realistic" model suited for the fluff I have written (inspired by the M.E.R.P-module about Andraug and his controller) and also, more suitable for the overall less shiny world of Middle-Earth, rather than the Warhammer world.

But that doesn't mean it should be done in a shaky and overly amateurish way - most of us in this bloggosphere are amateurs, there's nothing wrong with that, on the contrary... but why leave thumbprints or cut-marks everywhere, or simply make the models look shitty because I am too lazy to make a serious plan? Why not instead take this opportunity to make something really suiting my ideas about the Easterling War Priest controlling these two [hopefully] beautiful war statues?

... some dry-fitting later, I settled on not using a mûmak-howdah and instead trying my best to make something suitably Rhûnish-looking...

I still wanted to have something from Harad, so I "borrowed" tusks from the same mûmak and have now been tinkering with them... either to use as decorations or as structural/supportive parts.

The tusks looks a bit like engine exhaust. Is that good or bad? The war priest will be made specifically for this project and look older and slightly more bent and experienced than the fully armoured official version. He will, naturally, be placed on the little balcony furthest back on the howdah.

Here we can see that there are a lot of skulls left to remove. In the M.E.R.P. rulebooks (my LotR-bible) I read that Easterlings are infatuated with golden animals and totems, so it seems like a decent thing to replace the skulls with such things. Raiding the bitsbox in five, four, three...

The basic structure can be seen here from above.
     I have a few variations on this howdah, but it looks I am going with the wooden structure above... Suggestions on decorations (besides totems) are appreciated, as well as ideas on the design of the howdah itself (I should add that I have not decided on fabric or metal between the rods on the howdah - I have read somewhere that the Easterlings used a lot of heavy wood... ?).


Building a vacuum chamber...

... and hopefully make a vacuum machine. The chamber comes first, though:

Where did I find this magnificent metal barrel? In a rather old basement in the form of a too heavy-to-lift washing machine of unknown brand. So, whilst stripping it as best I could, I slowly started to see that the pieces could be used for a vacuum chamber. As you can see in the images here, I am trying to get it sort of air-tight, which of course is being helped greatly by the fact the parts are made to keep water in. Keeps air in, as well, one could hope.

The lid of the old washing machine will probably serve as lid on the vacuum chamber. I have sealed it with silicone rubber.
     Vacuum puts a whole lot of stress on the materials and sealings, I am rather sceptical this will work - even for a test! What speaks for this particular setup is that the washing machine was such a heavy flokker that the containment barell (which this project uses as the chamber) had 1 mm thick steel instead of the 0,5 or 0,7 steel used in pots of the larger size. I think...

A great view into the chamber. When it is airtight (a rubber sealing is left to be fixed on both the lid and the rim of the chamber) and the hole in the bottom has been somehow fixed, I will get me some metal plumbing and hook it up to the old vacuum cleaner.
    Silicone moulds will be better, but even better yet: The crappy casts I've made these six or seven years will now be replaced with something more professional, finally. As parting words I should add that this project is just a test - I have a small budget, but there's still left for better parts.


Edheldu and Rhûn update...

This project is mainly a project consisting of static grass and the klichée kind of fantasy mushrooms which one can find in most Wood Elf-settings, regardless of which gaming system or medium presented on.

I am trying to replace the little Warhawk (Warhammer-mode) with one of the eagles from the Great Eagle-box from The Hobbit-line. Not entirely sure how to fix it to the base, but I'll figure something out - the thing is, though, that it is quite a big little bird, so storing might be a problem... This whole army demands special treatment when it comes to storage, by the way.

Being annoyed every single time I have seen this Ent on his flat 60 mm base I decided to remove the old trunk from his base. In doing so I accidently amputated his heel, it was his Achilles heel, you could say. It has since been fixed with the help of superglue and he is now mounted on a 64 mm base, as the rest of the monsters in this army are and should be.

A crappy homemade bird that acted as a unit-filler/dynamic awesomeness-giver on the main formation of Wood Elves was in turn replaced with the Warhawk that was removed from his role as a single monster-model on a 64 mm base. I think this will look better. The DIY-bird was moved to a dark drawer to await his verdict: The bin or as spare-part model (the wings are nice polyurethane-copies).

 The birds in question...

To mix things up I once again pulled these flockers out of their dark drawer. Inspiration on automatons can be found here (The Sultan's Elephant, a large elephant that holds up to 50 tourists). The Rhûn Automatons are being controlled by a certain War Priest, whose name shall remain unknown at the moment. The left one is just a single monster and the right one will get himself a howdah and some kewl Easterling crew. It seems I will concentrate on these guys in the nearest two or three days. Mainly because I really want to paint these models, I litterary start to salivate when I think of painting them, for some reason...


Best of 2011

It is now Friday and I will have to deal with bullshit. So, without further ado, here is, totally unwarranted, a list of what I think was done quite well in the meh-year of 2011. The list contains not only hobby projects but one or the other article or thingie related to wargaming. I intend to make another "Best of"-list of years 2012 and 2013, to motivate myself and hopefully inspire someone to further their LotR-wargaming hobby with stupid and non-canon projects.

Púkelman. For my Edheldu Wood Elf army.
Mushroom Factory, for the intelligence-impaired. There are many other ways to do mushrooms, I have since learned.
A beautiful Christmas song and me bragging about being back from an equally beautiful vaycay. The irony should be obvious.
When I stole slates for the sake of my hobby!
Huorn/Tree Spirit sculpting project (with some parts from WHFB).
Emerging Dryads. Using bits of jam and corrugated iron as well as parts from the Dryad kit for WHFB, I made "emerging dryads", which more correctly should have been called "Emerging Huorns".
Image of Plague Cart, more Plague Cart and last Plague Cart. It seems I focked up with the pictures, so they are probably all the same but with three different links. That's life, a gingerly beast...
Art of Manliness. Just a little link to an article that still holds true.
Abrakhan Guard with Golden King. I remember being a bit proud of the conversions.
Dabbling in making modular walls for mr FoB.
The humble beginning or end of the Wood Elf Edheldu army. Those homemade movement trays were a nuisance to make.
Valentine's Love. It's sad, really. But also funny.
My first themed formation. It has been improved since, but I think it was a nice try.
This is the single most interesting project done in 2011. All that work for those small little models... Which I even forgot in the update below this one... they belong to my Mordor Army.

Lasty, the single most traffic making post of all times: Where is Waldo. Of the around 125 000 H.I.T.S I have gotten over these 6 years, approximately 225 000 have been because of this single post that doesn't even contain a Where is Waldo-poster. One can only assume this post will garner an equal amount of traffic over the years since it contains the magic words: Where is Waldo?!

'Tis a good thing to rest on old laurels sometimes, it allows me to take a sort-of well deserved rest:


Edheldu renovation!

It has finally come to it, the grand renovation of Edheldu, the forest of all forests, the grand pimsleur of imitation and uncreativity: I give you to you, Mushrooms and Static Grass, by Llama:

Woops, wrong pic... here it is:

My food-box accidently got photographed and my image editing skills allow me only to draw fat lines with the drawing tool, not cutting out baby blue food boxes from behind an Ent...
    More blurry pictures, depicting green stuff mushrooms and animals, sculpted with varying degree of professionalism.

When I am done with Edheldu, I will have to deal with this magic drawer... I cannot say I look forward to this. Three companies of High Elves needs to be painted, two aren't even filed or placed upon their bases... I have one project that might be interesting here, and that is the White Council-project, which leads me into my next project:
    Ordering new polyurethane and buying a new filter to the half-mask (NIOSH-approved, because I do not want to die because of my hobby) as well as single use rubber gloves. With the help of these fantastic products new movement trays will be made. And when that's done, I can finish a few of these projects.
   The most difficult one is to remake the chariot for the Swan Sky Chariot.
   You may notice a "soon-to-be" finished Troll Loader. He has looked like that for nearly five years now. Everyone once or twice a year a add a little leftover blob of green stuff to assure me I am still working on this project.

This project is not stored in my drawer, naturally, but is nevertheless of equal importance. Building a vaccum-machine-thing. Great video. Made by mr Marvin Flop. Thank you Marvin.

With all this being sad, and very little being done, I shall take this moment to assure you that I am still chipping away at my grandest project of all my grand projects: The project of renovating the War of the Rings-rules. It's a project that I'm working on.
   Also, thanks to mr Legatus Headlius, I have been typing up some pages on Battle Hosts... I have been branching out too much in that particular project and added a strategic-phase which just made the game into a boardgame, so I am not entirely sure how to go from there. Besides, I need to learn better English grammar if I am to publish it here, even if it is just a simple hobby project. Don't expect anything before end of 2015.

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Before we end this post, I would like you to waste a few seconds to see what reddit, fourch@n and other webplaces have to offer in the form of mildly humorous images:

 Turkish firestarter... No one were seriously hurt, 
though you can't fault him for really trying.


Mordor renovation done...

Skipped phases two and three it seems and just posted the finale of this project with the laconic "done". I just stayed up late and did my thing and suddenly it was all done.

 Looking for hobbits...
This is how I treated all the bases and trays. Before this painting-fest I had only placed some random static grass here and there which now turned out to be just in the way and got painted over. Looks fine when the models are placed on the trays though.

Forgot to list the contingent of Mournedain - Morgul Knights and Black Numenorean Regiment - in the last update, but here are the cavalry. Shown before, but they are such nice models so they deserve to be shown again. My paint scheme is plain and it would be interesting to see some serious conversions done with these as well as a happier colour scheme, if the models can take the paint well, which I assume.

These guys are some of my earlier works, 2009-2010, IIRC, which you can tell from the barely acceptable sculpting of their cloaks, but they still hold up, I think. Except for Tiny Traitor Tim, the greenish guy made from a plastic Warrior of the Last Alliance - you know, from when Games Workshop made Lord of the Rings-models in 25 mm.

Yellow, yellow on the wall...

An interesting little thing happened when I had finished most of this project and was getting a bit stiff in the old neck and back. To ease the cracking of my back I took a late night stroll inside the vast company compound where I do my stuff. Merely sixty or seventy meters from my station I found a door on a hill - just like a certain hobbit's place! This interested me greatly, of course - who could withstand the alluring look of a smial that suddenly appears before you, especially after renovating the bases of 200 Mordor Orcs. 
      The door was so anonymous that I just had to knock it, despite the time being 2400 hours. No one answered, so I felt the handle, but it was locked. So, this Llama thought: "I wonder what's in there... ".

To be continued...


Renovation of Mordor, part 1

This is going to be the second largest renovation. Gondor will be the biggest, but since I have some special plans for that army, inspired by mr FoB, I will wait with that particular renovation.

Bleached Bone basecoat and then some highlights in pure white on the pebbles, and after that I wash it with a mixture of brown and black. This army will get a slightly darker wash, I think. The contrast is nonexistant, not that I don't find contrasting colours on armies to look nice, it's just not my way of doing things.
    My Mordor army consists of the following:

- 6 companies of Mordor Orcs with full command. With a bunch of badly done conversions.
- 3 companies of Mordor Orc Archers. Lots of crappy conversions.
- 6 companies of Morannon Orcs, typically split into two formations. Has a Banner Bearer.
- 1 company Morgul Stalkers.
- 6 companies of Warg Riders.
- 3 companies of Hunter Orcs -> will be used as Mordor Orcs, probably.
- 2 Mordor Siege Bows with crew. All homemade. Except the crew.
- 5 Mordor Trolls. Four of them are DIY-projects.
- 1 Mordor Troll Drummer. Homemade.
- 1 Mordor Troll Chieftain. Homemade.
- The Nine (are) Abroad. Not sure if they are called ... "are Abroad" or just "Abroad". All DIY on a nice little special movement tray I had tonnes of fun making.
- 1 Great Beast of Gorgoroth. Homemade, as well as the crew of 9 or something.
- Sauron. In metal, if anyone wondered.

All the models are badly painted. Which leads me into my next phase in this hobby: After I have fixed all the bases and trays on all the armies, I will start fixing up the painting on the worst models. Knowing myself, this will make the ones I today think looks well enough will be needing some paint-love after the first wave of painting-renovation. But I will trick myself into this project, otherwise I will never get it done.

Had I done this Mordor army today, I would have concentrated on it looking good rather than being fixated with the quantity. Still, it looks well enough from a distance, so all is well and so forth.

Lastly, I have been a bit slow on updates and games, in particular, so I think I'll do a Highlights of 2011-2013 blogpost to motivate myself and hopefully offer some eye-candy to you good readers.

Ninja-edit: Welcome new followers! You are loved and appriciated (if that's how you spell it, I have been typing away only in my native language these latest five or six days, so I am already losing the English, that or it may be something serious, he... ).

Ninje-edit 2: After this one, a project that I am anticipating very much will feature, the renovation of the never finished Edheldu army!


Electrical Allergy™

This is not a post relevent to our common wargaming hobby, it is just a little bit on "electrical allergy". Despite numerous tests where these fakers have been exposed as just the lazy hypocondriacs they are, these people still claim their fantasy is true.

Allergy against 12 volts? Yep, that's a thing here in Sweden. Just like going home sick because your cat died or "my boyfriend broke up with me" (these two things actually happened and was not only allowed but almost given a blessing, so to speak, from the bosses at my old job).

Read and weep/laugh. Homepage of their state-funded bullshit with as much intellectual heft as homeopathy.

What these fibromyalgi-people doesn't seem to understand is that heat from electrical appliances is something normal - but not only do they not know this, they take this super-small little inconvenience as something painful! How pampered are not this population?! Get out and live, you idiots, of course you will feel pain if all you do is sit at home and let your husband do everything, or stay in bed all day. Do something, idiot!

What is depicted below might be a hazard to your well-being, but not because you have electrical allergy, but rather you being an idiot. Oh, wait, it is the same thing!

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