Friday 10 March 2023

The 60-Minute Balrog (and other LoTR minis)

As a model I've procrastinated over for a while, I was amazed how easy this model was to paint. 

 The Balrog hides in the toy castle my daughter and I repainted a few weeks ago...

Black undercoat->Grey drybrush->Brown drybrush (wings)->red flames->orange flames->yellow flames->orange then red flames towards tips->re-do black then gray drybrush to get the shoulder plates/scales the flames are coming through.

Simultaneously did black-grey base, then red-orange-yellow lava river in between. He has no whip, but I'll make him one from wire sometime. Considering he was $10 on EBay, I'm OK with its absence.

Encouraged by this, I started my other procrastination model - Treebeard. The videos on Youtube show methods/paints/undercoats I don't have, so I went with a light brown-wash-Kharak stone overall, and used various green/brown washes to get the moss look on legs/beard. Then I did Merry and Pippin to look like my other on-foot models, and picked out any lichen and leaves. It took more than double the time of the Balrog, and I like it less...

Not keen on paying $22 for 3, I converted some spare/broken Gondor troops to Osgiliath veterans. I used the purse off a zombie nurse for a satchel for one...

I then found some metal Uruk crossbowmen. Given they are not cheap on EBay ($10ea), I bless Perry's Men at Arms kit, who donated arms/bows. 

Given Rohan Outriders are merely standard warriors in trenchcoats, I just matched Rohan troops to riders from my leftover box; and gave them bronze armour and extra swords and gear, so I can tell them apart on the battlefield from regulars. Again, I saved $60AUD by converting the spares. These conversions have saved me about $122 from buying them new...

I then speedpainted some Rangers (12), Men of the Last Alliance (6) and stock Orcs (16) to get some 'runs on the board'

That's 51 painted in the last few weeks. Added to the 73 already this year, 2023's "LoTR painted" count is 124! I've decided to reward myself by buying some new models as I've painted everything save some of my (excessive) horde of orcs, and some Knights of Dol Amroth (I wish I could afford the foot version). Oh, and we bought a new fairy castle for $3.

We hunt for toy buildings that fit when we are in secondhand shops. My daughter is nominated to carry them in the shop (she complains it is embarrassing) as the old ladies at the counter say "Oh, a nice dolls house for you"... I don't want to explain to them it will be converted to serve as a summer palace in Arnor, that is attacked and sacked by orcs....  However I just bought an Arwen model (one of her favourite characters in LoTR) so that has muted her complaints.


  1. Hahaha, the summer palace line has me cracking up. Beautiful work on the Balrog, and at $10 the price is unbeatable!

    1. I was started how well it came up with so little effort. It was a really basic paintjob compared to the ones I see on Youtube, and took 1/10th the time...

  2. I need to start trolling the 2nd hand stores in my area. That is a great find.

    1. The castle from the first pic is my favourite. It came with more castle walls my son is using... if he leaves them lying around on the floor I will reclaim them. I've been eyeing ?Sylvanian? houses but they are pretty pricey and I'm not sure they are the right scale. I'm hoping one will turn up, as they would be great multi-level Mordhiem-esque terrain if they work out...