I was having some trouble getting back into painting, so I took the advice some gave on The Miniatures Page – begin with a project that was fun and would not take forever to accomplish.
The models when finished – mounted on dowels in their flying position
A couple years back, I created a Pelennor Fields scenario. At the time, I only had one mounted Nazgul figure, so I used it as the Lord of the Nazgul and did not bother to simulate the rest. After all, I only had a ping pong table sized playing field, and one flying Nazgul was enough. Still, I wished that I had more figures so that each Sauron (evil side) player could have one. In order to create this battle, I had purchased 3 sets of Zvezda’s fantasy fortress play set. This was an outstanding bargain at the time; it was on sale for ~ $25 a set, with each set having enough parts to make a small 25 mm castle. I used all 3 sets to make the outer two walls of Minas Tirith. The extra bonus was all the spare parts that came in the set. Just the walls, gates and towers alone were an incredible bargain. The extra siege equipment was VERY useful as well. I built several of the catapults, cauldrons, & ladders. The set also came with lots of figures you could glue together to make plastic minis. These are very small, however, and come in a zillion pieces. Way too much work for me, especially when I still have tons of classic lead to still paint. The Dragons that came with the set were another story, however. I thought these had a lot of potential, and one of the first things I did was to build one and paint it as a Nazgul’s flying mount.
I did not have any good mounted wraith figures except for the Heritage Elan Merch figures, one of which, the Lord of the Nazgul, was separate from his horse. Since I had never even painted this figure up, I decided to paint one Zevezda dragon as the Lord’s flying mount. This was fun and worked well for the scenario. But I still had 2 dragons, and was never able to find anything on ebay to use as the other riders.
Witch King of Angmar – Lord of the Nazguls on his flying mount (Heritage Elan Merch wraith figure, originally was sitting on a horse)
Two weeks ago, I went to the NOVAG winter game day at the Game Parlour in Chantilly VA (a really nice store with a great selection of games and minis), and found what I thought could work – a RAFM mounted ghost figure and a Harlequin standing ghost figure. I had a couple of non-descript human armored rider figures I picked up on the cheap from a Historicon a few years back, and the Harlequin figure looked to be right in scale. So I took a risk and bought these two figures. I chopped off the legs of the Harlequin slotta based ghost, glued on the legs of one of these human riders, and used Green Stuff to continue the ghost’s robes as a cloak on his back. I also cut the hand and sword from the same human rider figure, and replaced the weaponless hand of the harlequin ghost figure. I like my wraiths to always have a weapon in hand!
Modified Harlequin staning ghost figure – now in a mounted position with a flowing robe and cape, and a sword in hand
I had never before purchased Green Stuff before, and it was amazingly easy to work with, dried just the way I had set it, and it created a nice paining surface. I really like the way you can mold it around a figures’ existing robes to get just the look of flowing clothes you want.
The RAFM Ghost, had a very long and distorted face, like in the artwork “The Scream.” It also had no cloak or hood. So again I used the Green Stuff to create the hooded cloak. This gave the Ghost a real wraith like look, to match the other 2 figures I was using.
The RAFM wraith figure – came with a horse and a long face, added the hooded cloak
One huge advantage of the plastic dragons is that they are so light, they can be mounted on thin dowels so they look to be in a flying position, even with a pewter rider. I drilled holes into the belly of all three of these models, so they can be mounted on a stick or stand on the table top. The Zvezda dragons have two tail positions, and you can glue their wings on at any angle you choose, so the mounts all look different as well as the Nazgul.
Nazgul models in ground combat mode
Since the dragons (now flying beasts) were “free” to me, that is, included in sets that I would have bought in any case, the whole project cost me nine bucks,
discounting the few extra bits I was not using anyway. I also really like the way each of the 3 has its own look. There is no reason that these former Kings of Men
(wraiths) should all look the same except their Lord. I also like the way each of my models is totally unique.
Here are the parts not used – The RAFM ghost’s mount, the Harlequin figure’s legs and right hand
Finally, its worth noting that the excellent new GW LotR wraiths that just came out cost 58 bucks a pop, plus tax (or shipping). So I figure these unique models saved me about $180 opportunity cost, if you will.
GW figure is cool but PRICEY… Also he needs a longer stand and it looks as if he needs different parts to be on the ground
So as to not be a GW basher, I will state for the record that I used GW Green Stuff and base flock on my models, and I was very impressed with the quality of these products. I had previously picked up a can of the GW dull coat spray, and found it to be defective – it sort of ruined a few of my figures. But I returned it without any problem to the GW store I purchased it at. When I re-sprayed the figures with a can of Testors, most of the solid junk that was stuck to my freshly painted minis melted away, so it was not that bad.