LotR: Work in Progress

The Wood Elf Warrior models are pretty great in my opinion...nearly all have great action poses.  But when you have a LOT of them they do start looking repetitious.  In preparation for my trip to a Games Workshop Games Day tournament in 2008, I wanted to have a little more pizzaz in my force.

Since some of the wargear options for the Wood Elves is to give them Throwing Daggers I thought that would be an interesting one. So I selected a couple of mine and did some carving, gluing and swapping. I also did a couple reposes for archers to break up their lines a little. 

I didn't get much for WiP pics at the time but here are a couple...

The Spider Queen is a very powerful and effective model in both Strategy Battle Game and War of the Ring.  But the model itself leaves a bit to be desired in my opinion.  It recalls some of PJ's terrifying Shelob but lacks any "action" in it's pose.  It's just standing there, basking in the sun. 

A while back though I came across an article online (I think it was on GW's own website shortly after the Fall of the Necromancer supplement was released) where someone did a chop job on the Spider Queen and Shelob models with cool results.  Naturally I stole the idea.  :-)

These pics were mostly taken with an old and dying camera that could not focus well in short distances so they are a lot more blurry than I'd like to post.  But as they are just Work-in-Progress images and can't be reproduced I don't have much choice. 

I started by deciding where the two models would best join.  I wanted as much of the legs of Shelob as possible but needed the Spider Queen's rear most segment to capture the "swarming children" on her body (part of her special rules).  I did a little adjusting of the legs from Shelob's default pose but not too much.  The pics with my old Blackberry are "proof of start" images for a competition.

Once I was happy with the pose I crafted a dead tree out of wire and GreenStuff, shaping it specifically to support her body, give her an even more aggressive position, and keep her playable by allowing other models into base contact (ok...maybe not Trolls but most foot or cavalry).

As part of my work I wanted to get some inspiration of PJ's Shelob...

...but mostly was looking to real spiders for my Queen as well as my Giant Spiders.  The Queen is based on the Huntsman Spiders that carry their young on their back.  These images not for those with a fear of spiders so click at your own risk...



The driver that comes with the War Mumuk model is interesting but doesn't really excite me.  Not to mention EVERYONE has one. They offer a Mahud Chieftain model which I also have that can be used as an upgrade, but I don't always want to spend those points and I wanted something more themed to my Harad tribe.

My solution was a custom Mumuk Chief based on a Serpent Guard model.  The spear was cut but I left part at each hand as grips.  As I finish this, those will have chain or rope coming down and attached to the Mumuk.  I may be looking to make this attachment in such a way that it's removable when I want to use a different model, or since I have three Mumukil, two of them still in the boxes, I may make this permanent on one of those.

The base is done to represent the flow of the howdah.

This Mumak is actually mostly done at this point and you can see him in a few of my battle pictures.

It was a challenge building a large scale model like this and I really enjoyed it.  I learned a lot that will help when I do my next two.

For this one I wanted to give it "Tusk Weapons" per the rules and there are some great examples of such additions in the Return of the King movie. I elected to go with the sweeper...a long tree trunk tied across the tusks and covered in spikes.  I created this by tying and gluing three dowel rods together, then drilling them out a little and inserting the tips of toothpicks cut with some variation.

As with my other Harad models I have painted it with purple rather than red highlights.

I have learned a bit more about painting since I finished this and I plan to do some additional work on the tusks and hide when I get a chance.  Also, rather than use the Pelennor base that came with the model I am mounting all three of my Mumks on custom bases. These are cut to the same dimensions as the official base but will be done up to look more like the desert-edge scrub I envision the army coming from.

On a side-note, the figures are some of my collection from Sideshow Collectibles.

All of GW's mounted versions of Gandalf the Gray are very static.  In addition to that, they are all on a standard horse with saddle. I like the option of having Gandalf the Gray (more cost-effective than Gandalf the White in most cases) on Shadofax for a period between his escape from Orthanc and his fall in Moria.

The base model is Gandalf on Shadowfax.  I sculpted over the straight staff to give it a texture of warped wood and replaced the tip with the tip "donated" by the plastic Mines of Moria set Gandalf model (rip).  From that same model I also took the hat since I failed several attempts to sculpt one myself.  Finally I added a pouch at his side as he's always shown with it in the films prior to his return as Gandalf the White.