The long road back into Mirkwood.

So the weekend has not been as productive as I had hoped and while I was able to get the first highlight layer onto the cloaks of the 24 armoured Mirkwood Elves I am currently painting but on a plus note I spend some time and cleared my hobby desk and got it all organised as it was starting to look very messy.

I started by packing away any model that I was not currently painting and given how many projects I am working on, I had a lot of models out.

I had ordered a new paint rack as I had outgrown my current racks and needed to add to them, I built this on Saturday morning and spent most of Saturday organising paints, I am still waiting for a corner rack and another base for them that should be here this week.

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I had no idea how many browns and greens I had! Once that was done I went through boxing up all the basing supplies and got them organised onto the shelves above so i had a clean area to work with everything in arms reach.

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I didn’t finish getting it all organised until Sunday and so then because of it being Mothers Day and having other plans I didn’t get a chance to sit down and paint until almost 10pm and then painted the first highlight onto the 24 cloaks of the Armoured Mirkwood Warriors.

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They still have a long way to go but I am really pleased with the progress so far, I have updated the post on my Mirkwood Army to include the latest step.

The next two posts I have planned that will be early this coming week will be one about basing miniatures and the other will be some more of the armies for our clubs Tales of Middle Earth Army slow grow.

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Tales of Middle Earth Part 2 (Month 1)

As I said in Tales of Middle Earth our local Wargaming Club are doing a Tale of Warlord/ Slow Grow for Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game and I thought I should show you what some of the others are doing, this will be done in two posts as I dont have photos yet for everyone but will start with the ones that i do have photos of.

Phil is going to be painting the White Council for his next army.

Phil won best painted Army at Warhammer Worlds 2017 Grand Tournament with his Umbar Evil army and Ent Good army, Photos can be found here.

Phil runs Fable Creative a commission painting and conversion service.

For Month 1 Phil is going to be painting Armoured Glorfindel and Arwen.

Phil

Andy is doing to be painting his Dunlending army for his next army.

Andy won the best painted Army at Warhammer Worlds 2018 Grand Tournament with his Angmar Evil army and Lothlórien Good army, Photos can be found here.

Andy runs his own Facebook painting page to showcase his work.

For Andy’s month 1 200 points he will have: A Dunlending Chieftain with a 2 Handed Weapon and 14 Dunlending Warriors. of the 14, 5 will have 2 handed weapons, 5 with shields, 3 with bows and one with a banner.

As a hero can only lead a warband of up to 12 models it will mean that when we play some games with our month 1 armies that Andy will be slightly down on points as he will have 2 warriors that will not be able to take part as there is no hero to lead them, though as its only a bit of fun to get more armies painted I dont think he will mind.

Donks

we have at least 4 others at the club that will be taking part in the Tales of Middle Earth and as soon as they send me some photos I will put a post up to show what they will be working on.

The other 4 that have confirmed they are taking part are:

Charlie who will be doing a hero army focused around Beorn.

James who will be doing an Iron Hills army.

Dave who will be doing a Mordor army.

Paul who will be doing it slightly different as he will be painting 200 points a month but a mix of Mordor and Durin’s Folk to add to his armies.

As we have a lot of Good armies, I will be trying to paint an Evil one as well but it will be much less of a priority as my good army as I currently have a reasonable size Azogs Legion, Azogs hunters, Dol Guldur and Isengard army. I do have a Harad army that I have built and sprayed so I will be trying to get that done if time allows.

Olaf’s Adventures in Middle Earth (Part 2)

On Wednesday the 7th of March our local gaming club played our monthly session of Adventures in Middle Earth, this was to be the first time we were let loose in the Wilderlands and we were all excited to do so. After the last session I think we all felt that we hadn’t done that well against the wargs and so all had something to prove going forward!

Part 1 of the story can be found here.

The Story from this session:

Having barely passed Saruman’s test the group were not feeling practically pleased with themselves as the wargs had proved to be much tougher than expected, Saruman invited them back into Isengard to discuss some final details of the quest and provide them with some equipment to help the party out on their long journey.

Olaf was gifted a collection of books on languages that he could study to help him communicate with others they are likely to meet along the way.

Duilin was gifted a Ring, Though it was said to be for use of anyone in the party that felt the need of it, the was the Ring of the white hand, something Saruman had created himself.  .

The last item given to the party was a cage containing a Crebain, this gift did not give the party much confidence as Saruman explained that the bird was a messenger bird trained to fly back to Isengard, the idea being that our quest was so important that if it looked like we were not going to make it then the last surviving member of the party was to release the bird and he would return to Isengard and Saruman would know we had failed.

The party rested for the night, Olaf was able to make some healing salve using some Athelas he had found in the stores that he believed would help them on their journey. The nights rest had helped the party to feel a little better and knowing that the first leg of the journey would take them to Lothlórien was actually somewhat of an exciting prospect to Olaf, to his knowledge no man of the lake had even been there before and so this would make for an excellent write up on his journal that he one day hoped to write into a book.

The Party set off bright and early, the road was not easy, they made their way North East around the borders of Fangorn Forest, The conditions were tough, the two hunters of the group Olaf and Ted Took had not been very successful in finding food for the group and so after travelling for 40 days the group were starting to feel the effects of the hunger and they all began to feel exhausted (They each gain one level of exhaustion.)

The date was now the 15th of February in the 2955 year of the 3rd age, the party had made it as far as the north side of Fangorn Forest on the borders of the Grey Meadows and Nain the Dwarf who was tasked as being a lookout went on a little ahead to look out and confirmed that the coast looked clear,  The party made their way North following the river as they were heading to Lothlórien to rest and replenish their supplies.

They had not travelled far into the Grey Meadows before they were attacked by a raiding party of Orcs and Goblins. A large orc captain came running out of the forest towards them as a number of goblins sprang out of the reeds along the river and began to attack, caught completely off guard the party were attacked and though Duilin, Edrahil and Olaf were rendered unconscious during the fight the rest of the party were able to kill the orc captain and force the last remaining goblin to run away.

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The party was then able to stabilise Olaf and using a healing salve found in Olaf’s pack Nain was able to wake Olaf and then in turn he tended to the wounds of Duilin and Edrahil and the group took some time to rest and eat some of the supplies, Olaf took a short amount of time to take some notes of the events in his journal before encouraging the group to look for herbs with him to help him replenish his stock that was looking very low. The Snow was thick on the ground and Olaf was not able to find any herbs but the group did find a lot of orc tracks, it was clear the orcs were in these parts in numbers and very active.

the party has barely regrouped before they heard an orc cry coming from the woods as a large number of orcs came running out of the treeline towards them, They were clearly outnumbered and in no position to fight, the party only had one option and that was to run, they would run in the rough direction they wanted to go but all the while they were perused by the orc’s poisoned arrows whistled past the party’s ears until they were able to get out of range of the arrows.

Duilin led the group towards a small ravine, by now they were even more exhausted as they continued to flee from the orcs that seemed to be ever-growing in numbers, as they passed though the ravine they were very fortunate that their movement through it caused a rock slide that blocked the way behind them and stopped the orcs in their tracks.

Though the party had managed to escape from the orcs it had taken its toll on the party and they were now even more exhausted (Each party member took another level of Exhaustion) they were now moving slowly and feeling very lost, they were not able to make very good sense of the map and were starting to feel very out of their depth.

Always moving though at a slow pace they came across a river and knowing they needed to be on the other side of the river the decided it was best to cross it now given that it was very narrow at the point they had found it and that it did not look deep. As they crossed the river Ted Took paused for a second as he began to notice some distinctive rock features and recognized the place from one of Bilbo Baggins stories that were at times told in the Southfarthing of the shire and more specifically in the local tavern – The Wonky Horse Shoe. Ted Took told the party the story about an elf named Nimrodel.

“Nimrodel was an elf that lived by the river near Lorien. She loved Amroth, king of the golden wood. Together, they journeyed to the haven at Belfalas to travel to the undying lands. Separated, Amroth arrived first, and took refuge on a ship. In storm, the ship broke loose. Amroth dove overboard to swim back to shore and await Nimrodel, but drowned. When she arrived, finding him and the ship gone, she wept. She went home to the river that now bears her name, and poured her sorrow into it. The river washes away her tears, as it washes the weariness of travellers now.”
As Ted Took told the story the party started to take comfort in the words and the wash of the water against their feet began to make the party feel better and oddly gave them a boost as they felt even more determined to get to Lothlórien (The party lost 1 level of exhaustion) Belegorn was acting as the lookout and was able to make sure the coast was clear as they made there was across the river to the boarders of Lothlórien. Olaf felt a real sense of achievement as he looked upon the forest of Lothlórien, he was proud of himself for making it this far as he believed that he was not cut out for going on adventures and that it was only something in Sarumans voice had compelled him to take this journey though deep in his heart he feared it would be a journey he would not return from.
Olaf took comfort in the fact that spending time in Lothlórien would help to regain his strength. Olaf was not a young man and was really feeling the effects of the journey so far, he would use the time in Lothlórien to update his journal and spend some time studying the books that Saruman had given him.

Below is a copy of the journal kept by Olaf to record his journey.

Saturday February 10th 2955 Diary of Olaf 

part 3 can be found here:

The Fiefdoms I put off for too long!

I was always a big fan of Prince Imrahil in the Return of the King and was very disappointed not to see him named in the Lord of the Rings movies though I do understand that with a limited amount of screen time that a lot was not possible.

When i got into the Lord of the Rings/ Hobbit Strategy Battle Game in 2012 I had already missed the boat for a lot of the Fiefdoms models and they had already gone out of production and so I picked up those I could: That being Prince Imrahil and a couple of boxes of Dol Amroth Knights on Horses, Though it would be a number of years before i would do anything with them.

Over the next few years I would trawl the trade pages and sites to buy all the Dol Amroth and Fiefdoms models that I wanted to build the army I wanted.

My painting ability has never been much more than to get models painted to a tabletop standard and then get them on the table to use them, my Fiefdoms however would not be like that, I put off painting them for years because I was worried that I would not be able to do them justice and i am still not sure I will be able to but have decided that since i seem to be really lacking in Good armies that 2018 would be spent focusing on getting as many good armies painted as I can.

Some of the other armies I will be working on in 2018 are the Mirkwood army that I have already spoken about, an Erebor Reclaimed army that is currently built and Primed, this will be Dain on his pig, Thorin and Dwalin on Goats and Balin on foot, leading a mix of Goat Riders and Iron Hill’s warriors, in the not to distant future I will put a post up to show where the army is to at the moment and the conversions I have done for Thorin and Dwalin on goats. I will also be working on a Grey Company army, Well actually 2 though they will be variations of the same army, The main army will be made up of Aragorn and Halbarad leading Rangers of Middle Earth and as many Rangers of the North as I need to allow me to take 100% bows. The other variation of the army will be Arathorn II with Elladan and Elrohir leading warbands of Rangers of Middle Earth and as many Dúnedain and Rangers of the North I would need for the 100% bows.

At the moment the above are my planned armies for 2018 though I will almost certainly add to this and add to existing armies that I already have.

I have made a small amount of Progress with my Fiefdoms, I decided to start simple and paint a mix of models. I opted to begin by painting:

1 Captain of Dol Amorth on foot

5 Knights of Dol Amroth mounted

5 Knights of Dol Amroth on foot

4 Dol Amroth men at arms

3 Axemen of Lossarnach

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My Instructions for painting so far:

Base Layers

  1. Sprayed the models with Leadbelcher spray
  2. I washed the whole model with Nuln Oil
  3. Drybrushed all the armour areas with Necron Compound
  4. Painted all the flesh areas with Bugmans’s glow
  5. Painted all the blue cloth areas of the models with Macragge Blue
  6. Painted the inside of the cloth areas and any area that I want to be white with Zandri dust
  7. Painted all wooden shafts of weapons with mournfang brown
  8. Painted leather gloves with Steel legion drab
  9. painted the solid metal parts of weapons (swords and spear tips) with Leadbelcher
  10. at this stage I did the base of the hair on one or two models but left it on others to do later
  11. Washed the metal areas with Nuln oil
  12. Washed the Blue areas with Drakenhof Nightshade
  13. Washed the browns with Agrax Earthshade
  14. washed the flesh areas with Reikland Fleshshade

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Highlights

  1. I started by highlighting the browns with the colour they were originally painted with.
  2. I then went over all the flesh areas with Cadian Fleshtone and then Kislev Flesh leaving only the deepest recesses not covered.
  3. I then went over the blue first with Macragge Blue leaving only the deepest recesses uncovered and then over that with Caledor Blue and then the top highlight was done done with Hoeth Blue
  4. for the White areas i started with a thinned down Zandri dust in 2 or 3 thin layers and then the final highlight of White Scar.

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The Shields I did a little different.

Shields

  1. I used my 3D printer (we will talk about that later) to Print something I was able to fix the shields to, so it would be easier to paint them.
  2. I sprayed them blue using Macragge blue spray
  3. I then painted on the base layer for the white using White Scar (The reason for this was that I didn’t want it to look like cloth, It needed to look like it was painted on and so a more solid colour.
  4. I then Washed the shields with Drakenhof Nightshade
  5. I then went over the blue first with Macragge Blue leaving only the deepest recesses uncovered and then over that with Caledor Blue
  6. I then went over the white with White Scar

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This is the point I am at with my Fiefdoms at the moment, I felt like I should be doing better with them so I decided that i would benefit from taking a break from them.

A model that I am really looking forward to painting and using is Forlong the Fat, during my time or searching for the out of production models i was able to get myself 2 of this model as I wanted to do a conversion of him mounted.

I used the Warg Attack Theoden mounted model as the base of the conversion and then cut Forlong in half and fixed him to the model, I must admit I am not 100% Happy with it and I do plan to extend his spear at the bottom before I paint him, but this is what he looks like currently.

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As I said this is my progress so far and I will come back to this and update it when the models are finished or when I have made more progress.

Tales of Middle Earth (Month 1)

At our Local Wargaming club we have just started (1st of March) a Tale of Middle Earth that is a variation of the White Dwarf’s Tale of Warlords, in that we are going to start by painting a 200 point Middle Earth SBG army in month 1 and then adding 200 points per month.

I have decided that I am going to do a 2nd Age Last Alliance Army and so for month 1 so I have gone for Gil-galad leading 5 High Elf warriors with a mix of weapons.

My intention is to follow the events that took place in the 2nd age as best I can, this will be done by starting with Gil-galad as above and then month 2 I will be adding Elendil with some warriors of Númenor, the idea being that Gil-Galad and Elendil meet at Weathertop, for this reason I will then add Isildir and some more warriors of Númenor for month 3 and they will then set off to Rivendell to meet with Elrond, that will then form my month 4: Elrond with as many high elf warriors as I can, then like in the story they will spend time in Rivendell preparing for the battle and so I will then add Warriors of Númenor and High Elf Warriors until I have the army to a point where I am Happy.

Below are some working progress photos for my first month

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my method for these was:

step 1: Spray them with Games Workshops Retributor Armour.

step 2: Wash them with Reikland Fleshshade Gloss.

step 3: Base the blue areas with Macragge Blue.

Step 4: Paint the flesh with Flayed one flesh.

step 5: Paint chain mail and blade with Leadbelcher.

TBC

 

I am hoping to be able to paint a few armies at the same time as 200 points is not too taxing, though at the moment I want to get as much of my Mirkwood Army as possible painted.

Olaf’s Adventures in Middle Earth (Part 1)

At our local gaming club we have recently started playing Adventures in Middle Earth, a roleplay game created by Cubicle 7. The game uses Dungeons and Dragons 5th editions open gaming licence to allow players to play Characters in Middle Earth in the years between the events of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings with some very clever mechanics and a very authentic feel.

We are very fortunate that our Lore Master (Dungeon Master) Phil is very passionate about Middle Earth and so provides a really great experience.

I didn’t really know where to start with my character but assumed that the others would likely go for combat character and so i opted for the Scholar class that is a form of healer, though unlike D&D it is a medical healer rather than magical, The Middle Earth RPG has little to no magic to give it a better Middle Earth feel, I had always wanted to paint a lake town model but had no interest in painting a whole army so I went for the Captain model and converted him to fit the purpose and that was how I picked my race, purely on a model I wanted to paint. I am however still working on the glow effect from his lamp as its not something ive done before. Photo 06-03-2018, 6 04 51 pm

The backstory for Olaf is:

Olaf was a well known and well respected man around Lake-Town, he was a skilled fisherman and Honorable trader, That was until the company of Thorin entered the lonely mountain and awoke the dragon Smaug, Like most of the people of Lake Town Olaf would lose almost everything when Smaug destroyed the town.

Olaf’s wife, two children and home were all destroyed in the dragon fire. Olaf was only saved as he was near the south shore night fishing on his boat when Smaug attacked. he returned to find his family and home gone, it was something he would never really recover from, though he did the best he could to rebuild his life under king bard.

Olaf was not a young man and was not able to help with the hard manual work that came with the rebuild of lake-town and feeling very broken from the loss of his family and home he retired from fishing and had planned to leave lake-town until King Bard whom he had known well when he was a fisherman had asked him to stay and had suggested he study and become a scholar as new lake-town would need to make allies and would need help to reestablish itself, as this was very uncommon in lake town he took some time to get settled into the role though found he had a real drive for knowledge and to learn more about the world, this was a good distraction for him that at times  would take him away from his grief.

Olaf  spends a lot of time alone smoking his pipe and reading to better himself. He is a troubled man, though does well to hide it, not a day goes by that he does not think about his family and how he was not there for them even though he is wise enough to understand that there was nothing he could have done to help.

Olaf wears a necklace with a large tooth shaped object hanging from it as a reminder of his family and though he does not talk about it, he believes that it is a tooth of Smaug.

The Story so far:

The year is: 2955 of the 3rd age, 14 years after the death of Smaug, New Lake Town is ruled by King Bard and the people of the lake are starting to rebuild their lives.

Olaf was sent by King Bard to Isengard to speak with Saruman who was currently busy fortifying Isengard, Olaf had been sent to seek aid from Saruman against the packs of Orcs that had been coming down from the mountains and attacking new Lake Town and the people of lake town just dont have the man power of weapons to hold off these attacks.

It has taken Olaf many weeks to get to Isengard and so he was surprised when he was brought in to meet Saruman with a group of other people and then even more surprised to learn that he had been lured here under false pretence and that Saruman spoke of the enemy gathering forces and said that he believe that there would be information that could help put and end to him for once and for all in Angmar and that we were to go to Angmar and find any evidence and information we could, anything that would help stop the Sauron who had openly declared himself and began to gather power in Mordor.

At the meeting with Saruman he was introduced to the party that Olaf would be travelling with:

Edrahil a Mirkwood Elf wanderer – Played by Donk

Duilin a Dúnedain Wanderer – Played by Barney

Belegorn a Warrior of Minas Tirith – Played by Dave

Nain a Dwarf Warrior – Played by Charlie

They took some time to pack supplies in the kitchen and also met a hobbit that would be joining the party.

Ted Took a hobbit Treasure Hunter – Played by James

The group discussed the roles and decided that Edrahil would be the guide for the group and they discussed the route to travel, knowing it would take a long a time to get to Angmar and how dangerous it would be, they planned to stop as often as they could at as many friendly settlements they could along the way, Olaf was able to take a small amount of time to write some notes in his book, as he was currently documenting all he could of the world and a journey like this should be logged in as much detail as was safe to do so without mentioning where they were going or what they would be doing.

The group ate a large meal and got a good night rest and set out an hour before sunrise, they had loaded a wagon and made way out the gates of Isengard and not 30 steps into the quest they were attacked by pack of Wild Wargs and almost lost a member of the party, Olaf was able to tend to the wounds and the Wargs were defeated, only to find that it was a test from Saruman to make sure that the group were up to the task, they were invited back inside of Isengard where the session ended.

Below is a copy of the journal kept by Olaf to record his journey.

Wednesday January 4th 2955 Diary of Olaf

part 2 can be found here:

A Journey into the Mirkwood Forest.

This weekend I decided it was time to get my Mirkwood Elves painted as I plan on using them for Battle Companies and they have sat idle for too long! I decided that almost everything that was build should get batch painted in one hit and so I am currently painting: 10 Mirkwood Rangers, 2 Mirkwood Ranger Captains and 24 Armoured Mirkwood Elves with a mix of weapons.

This is my progress so far with all the base layers applied.

I started the Mirkwood Rangers some time ago but from memory:

  1. sprayed with Caliban Green Spray
  2. painted cloth parts and some hoods with Mechanicus Standard Grey
  3. painted cloth parts and some hoods and all the bows and quivers with Mournfang Brown
  4. painted all the flesh with Flayed one Flesh
  5. painted all the metal parts with Leadbelcher
  6. painted arrow shafts with Gorthor Brown.
  7. Painted hair on some with Zandri Dust for the base of Blonde hair and Steel Legion Drab for brown hair. (I would have liked to have used Rhinox Hide or Dryad Bark but couldn’t find it, I might use one of those in future as the hair doesn’t need to be uniform)
  8. Washed all over except skin areas with Agrax Earthshade (Liquid Talent)
  9. I then painted over the flesh with Kislev flesh
  10. I washed the flesh with Reikland Fleshtone
  11. I then went back over most of the flesh areas with Kislev flesh, trying to avoid the deepest areas that had the wash in them.
  12. I then drybrushed Niblet Green
  13. I then drybrushed the brown with Verminlord Hide
  14. I then started to highlight the edges of all the brown areas of cloth with Gorthor Brown
  15. I then highlighted some of the green areas with Warboss Green.
  16. I then painted the bases with Rhinox Hide
  17. I then drybrushed the metal with Necron Compound
  18.  and daggers.

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This is my progress so far with the Mirkwood Rangers and I will edit this post as i go to keep it updated.

The Armoured Mirkwood Warriors were only started this weekend and so are still fresh in my memory, I started by watching GBHL Damion’s vlog for painting Mirkwood Elves and decided to do mine in a similar way but with some small variations.

  1. I sprayed the models with Corax White Spray
  2. I Painted all the cloaks with Doombull Brown
  3. I painted the flesh parts with Flayed One Flesh
  4. I painted the base cloth/leader skirt part of the models with Gorthor brown and then that dried i painted the parts inside the lines with Mournfang brown.
  5. I then painted the cloth parts of the models on the legs and arms with Gorthor brown.
  6. I painted the bows, quivers, boots and shafts of the Glaives with Mournfang brown
  7. I painted all of the armour on the model with Balthasar Gold
  8. I painted the metal parts of the weapons with Leadbelcher
  9. At this stage I decided to go back over some parts of the models to touch up some areas where I was a little careless and this was mostly touching up the cloak with Doombull Brown as well as adding it around the bottom of the skirt.
  10. I now washed all of the models with Agrax Earthshade, being careful to avoid the skin parts though i was not too worried if some did go onto the skin as it would be easy to touch up before I add a wash of Reikland Fleshshade.
  11. Once the wash had dried I decided to go over all the flesh again to tidy it up but this time to use Kislev flesh so that I could then add some highlights with Flayed One Flesh at a later stage.
  12. I washed the flesh areas with Reikland Fleshshade.
  13. I started to highlight the cloak by going over all but the deepest recesses with Doombull Brown.
  14. The next step was to put a highlight onto all the gold areas with Balthasar Gold.
  15. I went over the brown cloth areas of the skirt with Mournfang Brown and Gorthor brown.
  16. I then drybrushed the gold and metal areas with Necron compound very carefully to only hit the highest edges.
  17. I then used liberator gold to paint the hilts of all the swords
  18. I then painted the whole base with Rhinox Hide
  19. I then added pva glue and sand to the base, it was a little early to do this step but I really like how they look at this point so I tend to do it early.

This is my progress so far as of 19th of March 2018, I will come back and edit this when i have progressed further.

I have been looking at all the Mirwood stuff i have and if i can get it all painted it will give me a 1505 point army so i should have plenty of options.

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I’m going on an adventure!

I decided it was time to keep better track of my current projects and so decided to start a blog to help me keep track.

I have been a fan of J. R. R. Tolkien for as long as I can remember and I had built and painted miniatures on and off since i was around 12 years old, so when in 2012 I decided to get back into the hobby I was over the moon to find the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings range and dove right in! I bought the escape from goblin town set and I was away, I decided that as I was a fan of Thorin I would build an army around him and so began with the Army of Thror and expanded from there.

Since that time I have started many armies and also recently started playing Adventures in Middle Earth at my local wargaming club: Wargaming @ Radstock and so i will be using this Blog to document those adventures as well as keep records of my painting and armies for Middle Earth SBG.

If there is anyone else reading this and interested in playing Middle Earth SBG I highly recommend the Great British Hobbit League Facebook group as being a really helpful and friendly group.

I dont actually expect anyone to read the blog the purpose is more really for me to be able to look back at how I painted models and the bases so I am able to reproduce it again when I expand on that army.

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