Sunday, November 10, 2019

Morannon Orcs Completed



Yay, I finally finished painting some miniatures...


Morannon Orcs


Morannon Orcs are made up by GW for their Lord of the Rings game.  I'm not sure if in the actual books there is a huge difference between Orcs from the Morannon and Orcs from elsewhere, maybe they have something like a southern drawl when they speak.  In game terms Morannon Orcs have slightly better stats and armor to satisfy the power gamers, and are supposed to represent the bad ass orcs that broke through the garrison in Osgiliath and sieged Minas Tirith.





I painted these guys for use in upcoming LOTR scenarios from the Gondor at War supplement.  It took me awhile to paint these 36 miniatures but what can you do?  I'm glad their done though, as these 36 figures (or some portion of them) are used in many of the scenarios, so the heavy lifting is done to get those scenarios playable.

These are GW plastic miniatures, a little less than 2 boxes worth that I got for cheap from a guy selling them on TMP. 










Where is all the flock Stew?
I'll tell ya.  These guys will mostly be fighting inside Osgiliath and  Minas Tirith, on my stone mat that doesn't have any grass on it, so they don't need no flocking flock.


Tried to Paint like Kuribo, and failed, by varnish


I also painted up these two special Morannon Orc characters; in the game they have special abilities and act as leaders for the rest of the mush for brains Morannon Orcs.    These miniatures are from Forgeworld and are resin.  They're also very detailed and more than anything else... expensive. 
Because of these traits, I decided that I wanted to put some extra effort into these two miniatures and try to paint them, you know, well.   with highlights and stuff, even used a magnifier to see the details.  Hot stuff. 

The Two characters are:
 'Guritz', the guy in the middle with the attractive skull on top of helmet which is probably
in no way unbalancing to have an 8 pound dead weight on top of your head and a bad idea in real life...
'Gothmog's Enforcer' is the orc on the left.  I guess no one could think of a cool orc-y name, maybe Mr. Piggles?

The guy on the right is a red shirt orc.  A  nobody


I summoned my inner Kuribo and set about the task.  Kuribo is one of my online best blogger buddies who paints his LOTR figures and terrain REALLY well.  You can find his LOTR themed blog HERE.  Check it out why not?  When I think of well painted LOTR figures, I think of Kuribo.


I've said before on this blog that in my core I am a 'paint to play' gamer, and I don't especially enjoy painting for it's own sake.  However, I enjoyed putting in the extra time and effort on these miniatures.  Maybe just because it was change of pace and using different skills, or more appropriately, using all my meager painting skills.  In any case, I was quite pleased on how they came out which was a good enough reward.  Other LOTR leaders will likely get the same treatment. 

That is I enjoyed it because it was all going so smoothly until I varnished them, which for some reason went a little cloudly.  I tried my tried and true solution of putting on a second coat of varnish and it helped aaaaaa liiiitle, but overall these did not come out as good as they first looked.
oh well, what are you gonna do?  luckily for me these are bad guys who obviously don't have parents who love them so no one really cares. 

Side Topic: Miniature photography is Hard.
taking pics of miniatures so that one can actually see the paint job is hard to get right.  I have yet to master it.  So instead of super close ups you get regular pics.  Even the regular pics are trash. 



Good enuff.  


does the red make my butt look like it kill everyone in Minas Tirith? 


38 and Clear!

With  36 Orcs + 2 Orc leaders for the LOTR project complete, the hobbydesk is now clear to focus on something else.  And I really gotta try and get some games on the table before the year turns. 

Hope to see you again soon. 

30 comments:

  1. Good job Stew and with your excellent buildings and stone mat, should make for an excellent treat. I may have this wrong, but I thought I read somewhere that so save a varnish problem, re-varnish in gloss and then again back to mat - you would need to double (triple!) check that, but the figs are showing up nice in photographs anyway.

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    1. Exactly right, Norm! Hitting them with gloss, allowing to completely dry, and then hitting them again with your topcoat of choice has worked for me. Humidity may have been the culprit in the original cloudiness.

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    2. Thanks guys. The more I think on it the more I am convinced that it’s not the usual humidity problem. I used a vellalo paint on mat varnish so that would be strange getting humidity inside my ac home. Plus, it’s less the cloudy sparkles you get with that but more just a general muddy look. I used a Secret Weapon black wash and I seem to recall this happening before when those two are combined.
      Oh well. The look alright for gaming so I doubt I’ll try to fix em again. But they looked much better before the varnish. πŸ˜€

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  2. Awesome Orcs...and buildings Stew, great job on them!

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  3. Nice work on the Orcs , a good horde completed. As for photos of miniatures it seems to be all about the lighting for me but I can’t sort it out.πŸ€”

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    1. Thanks Matt! I could probably used a better background like I’ve done before but for some reason it slipped my mind. πŸ˜€

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  4. Fine looking Orcs! Fielding three dozen of them is a BIG task. I have my own troubles with photography too but looks like your camera has focused on the stone building rather than on the figures. Try taking the photo from a greater distance so that the figures and building are near the same focal length. Snap the photo and then zoom in on the figures during editing.

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    1. Thanks Jon! I was just thinking I should of used more of a light box set up which I have but for some reason just slipped my mind. I’ll remember next time. πŸ˜€

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  5. Nice work Stew they look great as a horde!

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    1. Thanks Simon. I think Orcs only come in hordes. Lol πŸ˜€

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  6. Look great Stew, don't tell anyone by I have some fan.. cough! fantasy figures on the paint desk. Mantic Games for their Vanguard skirmish game.

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    1. Thanks Tony. And it’s ALL fantasy when it comes to miniatures, whether historical or not. πŸ˜€

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  7. Love the Orc horde AND the specialty figs--they really ARE those two baddies out of the film, aren't they (hard to imagine a coincidence with that skull-head).

    Mini photography can be challenging. I think it's a bit better to pull away a bit than to go too close. The hyper-detail that can come with a closeup digital image can be brutal and actually can misrepresent the look of the figure compared to what you see when you look at it with the eye, particularly at "table distance."

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    1. Thanks Ed. The miniatures are dead ringers for the characters in the movie, GW did a really good job.

      I feel like I was taking better pictures at the beginning of my blogging career (can as n you call blogging a career ?). Thanks for the advice and I’ll keep it in mind for next time. πŸ˜€

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  8. Fantasy isn’t my thing (though it used to be many many moons ago) but I think you did a great job on the horde Stew. Collectively they look awesome. Well done!

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    1. Thanks Mike. My fantasy is exclusively Star Wars, Star Trek, or Lord of the Rings. πŸ˜€

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  9. Lovely orcs mate. Looking forward to seeing what these new scenarios are like!

    I can't photo minis for crap either btw. If I take good pics, it's usually a fluke. LOL

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    1. Thanks Dai. Next time I paint something with effort I’ll use a backdrop that helps. I just didn’t think of it this time and the end result wasn’t that great anyway due to varnish problems. πŸ˜€

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  10. Wonderful! Very inspiring as I have a couple of rough necks in the basement filled with unpainted LoTR stuff.

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    1. Thanks CS. I appreciate the comment. You’re ACW stuff is also inspirational. πŸ˜€

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  11. Great stuff Stew! Nothing more satisfying than looking at a completed mass horde like what you have there. And for what it's worth, I think your photos are pretty good πŸ™‚

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    1. Thanks Ivor. It does feel good to get the horde and leadership done. The photos that you post on your blog are amazing and something I’ll have to try an emulate...next time. πŸ˜€

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  12. Judging from the picture you are going to need a few more orcs... ;)

    Anyway, I think these turned out nicely for a bunch of guys who are going to get slaughtered by Eomer and company later in the film. (in the book I think they are the ones who hold out until the bitter end, and are mostly "killed" by morale and flight losses)

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    1. Thanks Laz, one always needs more orcs, by nature they tend to get slaughtered. πŸ˜€
      I haven’t read Tolkien in a long time, maybe it’s time for a refresher.

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  13. Nasty looking orks! Bad news about the varnish, photos are alright I think, I've just taken some pretty poor ones( I've taken better!) that I'll post anyway, they're good enough I think!
    Best Iain

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    1. Thanks Iain. I am disappointed about the varnish but at least it happened to bad guys and I’m pretty sure how to avoid it in the future. πŸ˜€

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  14. Congratulations on getting your orcs done! That is a real accomplishment and should set you up nicely for Gondor At War scenarios. I really like the basing scheme you used. It contrasts nicely with the miniatures themselves which is always nice too.

    Thank you for the shout-out, you are too kind, my friend! It is an honor to inspire others and to hear that they like my painting.

    I can provide a few potential tips for you on photography. These are all things I've learned the hard way so I'm happy to share. One of the best things I ever did was make a lightbox for taking miniature pictures. I don't do mine exactly like this, but this will give you an idea of how easy it is to make one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpUehEdWlZ8. I can provide more info or photos of mine if you're interested as I would do things a bit differently than in the video but it will work in a pinch.

    The reason I suggest a lightbox too is that I think your camera is having trouble focusing on the minis and not the terrain behind them. Using a lightbox can help with that though there are some other good options too. If you can pick where your camera focuses like on a touch screen before you take a photo, that can often help. You may also need to play around with your zoom to see where your camera starts to focus on the miniatures and not the terrain behind them. Taking pictures in the lightbox can also help you figure out your camera's range which will give you greater control as well.

    As far as varnishing goes, do you have an airbrush? I basically use mine for varnishing only and it makes it so much easier and safer than a rattlecan or using a brush. It is faster too. I'm not great with an airbrush overall but I wouldn't varnish my minis any other way! I started using one because I had bad frosting on some of my Goblin Town terrain and the amount of time I wasted fixing it was substantial. It was really frustrating and I could relate to what you said about varnish hurting your paint job!

    Also, if you ever would like any feedback on stuff you're painting, just drop me a line and I'll be happy to help :)

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    1. Thanks Kuribo. No problem on the shout-out, it was a fun bit to write, I just wish the miniatures came out better. Maybe when I get around to painting some of the FW Gondorian heroes I’ll try doing the extra effort into painting again.

      I don’t have a light box or an airbrush and I’m not likely to invest in them. I have taken better pictures before using a light box ish set up with better lighting and curved paper as a background; I just seem to have forgotten about all of it. I must be out of practice from not painting anything for so long. πŸ˜€

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