Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Forest Terrain Project

One of the things I've felt like my game table has been missing is a good set of trees. I've attempted to make some individual ones with varying results, but they seem to be unstable and tend to get knocked over during play. I decided to try out putting multiple trees on one large terrain stand, in an effort to keep them upright as well as quickly mobile as a unit.

This was my first attempt at making trees from wire, and I'm not especially pleased with the results. They seem too thin, and it's a bit difficult to hide some of the branches in the foilage. As such, these aren't quite finished...I still need to trim some of the excess wire, and paint some of it gray to match the trunks.

The forest was built on a 1/8" piece of hard board, with foam cuttings for elevation and rock. Rubble was done with kitty litter, and grass was a mixture of fine flock and static grass. I lightly sprayed a darker green on the tree foilage to break up the color.

Pictured are two of my son's (unfinished) Warriors of Minas Tirith.

I quickly discovered that clump foilage is a pain to deal with, as it tends to fall apart while you're working with it. I had enough branches formed from wire that I was able to kind of clamp large chunks in place until I could get the spray to dry and the foilage to harden.

A closeup of the boulder in the middle of the wood. I've found I really like making these with my hot wire foam cutter, and they're really easy to do!

More work to be done on this one, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Ranger322 out!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

First scratch terrain piece...a rocky hill

This past week I got out my new hot wire foam cutter and decided to give terrain building a try. Here's the result of my first attempt...a four layer rocky hillside with dirt path. It's made of 1" pink foam board and kitty litter for rubble.

A couple of pictures with Legolas for scale...

All in all, I was very satisfied with the end result. There are some things I would do differently next time, but oh well...

Now I have a long list of foam terrain I want to many ideas, so little time.

Ranger322 out!

LOTR River Village Battle

Well, it's been a while since we last got together to play some LOTR SBG, but this last Friday night we had a 'big boys' night! The kids were not in attendance, so it was just one of my older nephews, my friend Joel, and myself. Joel had been working on a Hirst Arts bridge and some Fat Dragon cardstock houses, so we decided to have a bridge battle. I threw together a quick posterboard river, lined it with some rocks, and away we went! My nephew and I pitted 24 rangers and 16 wood elves against a force of orcs, Haradrim warriors, and a Mordor troll.

The setup:

Our rangers and elves charge toward the bridge. We split off archers on the flanks...some rangers to the left and some elves to the right.

Somehow the orcs managed to beat us to the bridge and took first control...they split out archers on the flanks as well, some orcs and Haradrim warriors on each side.

The two armies met and fought for purchase on the bridge.

The orcs called in their Mordor troll, whose huge bulk and control zone spanned the width of the bridge. He actually killed two or three of his own men just to get to my front line of rangers!

Archers on each side began to take their toll. Our rangers and elves quickly turned their sights on the troll, but only managed to get in one wound before he engaged our front line. They continued to pick off orcs and Haradrim warriors crowding behind the troll.

At last, due to the backup provided by our spearmen, our rangers and elves were able to dispatch the troll...although he exacted a heavy toll before we were able to do so. We lost about a third of our force on the bridge.

With the troll out of the picture, and with continued archer support, our force charged across the bridge and crashed into what remained of the orcs. Thankfully, there was considerably less opposition at this point, as our Elven archers had cut down a good portion of their main force.

The last of the orcs died on the far side of the bridge under an onslaught of arrows, steel, and spears. Without their troll, they didn't stand a chance.

In the end, we had lost about a third of our force, but had soundly defeated the enemy.

Key lessons learned:

1. Using the backup rule in close quarters is highly effective.
2. Facing a troll in close quarters gets you killed.
3. Well placed archers with enough lucky rolls can win the battle.
4. Joel can build some really cool Hirst Arts stuff!

Until next time...Ranger322 out!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Legolas and Gandalf the Gray

I recently opened up my Fellowship of the Ring set and started working on some of the individual characters. I decided to try a different priming method that I've read about on TMP...a black sprayed undercoat with a drybrushed white coat on top. The idea is to get brighter color results while keeping the dark recesses that come from the black undercoat. So far, I've been pleased with the results...

The first two are Legolas and Gandalf the Gray...While they're not masterpieces, I'm happy with them.

The pictures are a little dark...I dipped Gandalf after painting him, but wiped most of it off. He looks suitably musty, I think. Legolas is my favorite so far...I tried to do his hair pretty light, more like the movie version. His green stands out pretty good, thanks to that white drybrushing primer.

Thanks for looking! Next up: Aragorn and some Mordor Orcs!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Ruins from the Two Towers boxed set

I bought the Two Towers boxed set a while back and didn't even realize it came with a little ruins set. I pulled it out the other day to see what I could do with it. It's not a great piece, but with a little kitty litter and a decent base, it's usable. Kind of small, but it was fun to practice on!

The front entrance is almost big enough to squeeze in a mounted soldier. I cut out a base from some 1/4 inch wood and kind of jigged out a contoured edge instead of straight sides.

After gluing the ruins on, I covered the entire thing with sand and kitty litter. Then I undersprayed the entire piece with cheap Walmart flat black spray paint.

I drybrushed the entire piece with three layers: Medium gray, light gray, and faint highlights of white. These rocks were made from foamboard scraps.

I added a few tufts of static grass mixed with flock, and added some straight flock for ivy on one wall. You can see the approximate size from the 28mm Legolas inside...

All in all, a cool piece...especially since I didn't even realize I was getting it! I liked the results of multi-layer drybrushing as well.

Next up: Legolas, Gandalf, and progress on Aragorn!

Monday, April 25, 2011

LOTR game and project updates

Easter Sunday LOTR Game

My son and two nephews and I had a little time to play some more Strategy Battle Game on Easter Sunday. We had roughly 50 combatants on either side, Orcs, Warg Riders, and Uruk hai against Elves and Dwarves, plus Gandalf, Gimli, and Frodo...My son and I played the Forces of Evil, while my two nephews controlled the short and the pointy-eared. I didn't get to stay with the game the entire time due to family obligations, so things didn't progress the way I'd have liked them to...

Basically, the Elven and Dwarven archers ate us up on our left flank, while Gandalf ripped apart our right flank. My son had set up our evil forces a little too spread out, so by the time I got them formed into ranks they were already being decimated. Our Warg riders ran into trouble from the archers as well, and we apparently lost half of them when I wasn't around...

Thankfully, we didn't get to finish the game and see the rest of our army obliterated...

I didn't get to take any pictures, sorry...

Some projects

I recently remembered that I had 6 metal orcs I had gotten in a deal to go along with my 24 Mordor orcs. I got all 30 out the other day and got them as far as black primer. I hope to start painting those this week. We had to play with them yesterday as "Dark Orcs" in their black primered stage because we didn't have enough Evil...

I also remembered that Lurtz was a part of that deal, so I primered him as well...hope to get him finished before our next game. I really want some of the Uruk Hai scouts...

I ordered the Warriors of Minas Tirith for my son for Easter, but they didn't make it in time...should see those sometime this week. And while I was ordering, I went ahead and got myself some Warriors of Rohan!


Both my Nephews have been working hard on their LOTR stuff. One has repainted his elves, and significantly improved them...the other has been trying his hand at making some buildings and terrain. He made a great Hobbit Shire hut, a Wizard's Tower, some ruins, and a variety of trees...some very nice work from two young gamers!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Huge LOTR SBG Battle!

Well, this is the night we'd been waiting for all of last week. My son and I got together with our father/son friends, and two of my nephews joined us for a massive Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game session! Without further ado, I give you...

The forces of Good: 32 High Elves, 32 Wood Elves, 24 Dwarf Warriors, Balin, and Balin's Guard.

Balin and Balin's Guard..tough little guys that held their own for Good...

The forces of Evil, minus an Orc unit we forgot to put out until right after we started...Tons of Uruk Hai, Colton's newly completed Warg Riders, some Goblins, a Mordor Troll, and one Ring Wraith...

 My nephews, Connor and Levi, advancing our forces of Good...

My son, Colton, being very serious about how he wanted the goblin and orc archers to move...

Colton's Warg Riders lead the charge!!

The objective was to occupy and defend the Elven Shrine in the middle of the table...The narrow passages it created on either side made for a lot of close combat...

Some of the dwarves and elves head for the shrine, while the archers wait patiently for the enemy to come into range...

The Wargs attempt what was almost a suicidal charge...

Three of the Wargs were cut down by the archers almost immediately...

The Uruk Hai forming up their battle line...

On the other side of the battle, my Wood Elves and High Elves dash for the back entrance to the shrine, and the archers prepare for the onslaught of orcs and Uruk Hai...

Back on the far side, the battle is in full heat, with the Wargs attacking the closest forces of Good..

My High Elves began a barrage of arrows that turned out to be almost completely ineffective. Apparently my elves have been taking archery practice with Gimli instead of Legolas...

The boys have their best game faces on!!

The Uruk Hai come crashing into the elves and dwarves for some fierce hand to hand...

On my side, the orcs and that fierce Mordor Troll clash with my front line of High Elves...

The troll was a monster, twice killing three of my elves at once! Before the end of the game, though, they had inflicted 2 of the necessary 3 wounds to kill him...

One decent shot of the battle in it's entirety..

Unfortunately, after 3 1/2 hours we had to call it quits. Looking at the casualties piles (which were large) we judged it a draw. However, as far as the objective went, the forces of Good were definitely in control of the shrine...

A great time for everybody! Really excited to see my two young nephews very into the game with a good working knowledge of the rule system already!