Middle Earth SBG – Ancient Ruins Basing Tutorial

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I absolutely love going to town on the basing of my miniatures. It’s just another excuse to add some character, variety and unification to your armies. It’s all about adding that story that really brings your miniatures to life.

The most recent basing I have been doing is for my Azog’s Legion force and today I’m going to show you what you need and how to go about making them.

I’ll be doing a series of tutorials on basing, both the modelling and the painting, so look out for future articles.

What you will need:

  • Cork Roll. I use a 2.5mm thickness, like this. This is readily available from most hobby stores, so if you do have a model train store nearby pop in and take a look. Just one of these rolls will easily last you the whole army.
  • Plasticard. I have so far been using a fairly thin, 1mm, variety. This does make it a bit easier to cut and model, but doesn’t look quite as good as a thocker variety.
  • Sand. I used Fine Sand from Basecrafts.
  • Mixed cork. Used for detailing. Can be found here, or like the cork roll can be found in hhobby stores.
  • PVA
  • Super Glue
  • Clippers
  • Modelling Knife

Building the Bases

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Begin by breaking the cork roll down into smaller, circular sections. I used the base as a template and broke the cork off around the edge. Always make more than required as these can be used for extra levels and details.

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Glue one of the circles to the top of the base with superglue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once dry this will give you your first layer.

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Due to some of the drying times involved I’ll always build a few bases at a time, usually enough for a warband.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cut the plasticard down into small rectangular and square shapes. They don’t need to be uniform as the ruins are quite, well…ruined.

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Using super glue attach each segment at a time to build up the paving on top of the cork.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Clip off the excess plasticard around the edge of the base. The aim is to keep to the circle but still retain an angular look.

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That’s the second layer done. Normally I would attach figures at this point. It can limit your ability to paint the base but does ensure the mini will be a good fit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Next up is weathering the plasticard. Using the modelling knife make scratches across the surface. The more you add the more beaten up the ruins will look.

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Also use the knife to shave down the edges and add some bigger cuts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Use super glue to add a few peices of the mixed cork across the bases.

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Use PVA to add some of the fine sand onto small areas of the bases. I focussed on any cork visible on the top, around the mixed corks and in the cracks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Once the pva was dry I added a layer to seal in the sand. This was acheived with a mix of 1 part PVA to 6 parts water. I add this to all my bases that include sand as it really secures everything and cuts down on wear and tear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The beauty of the cork is it’s quite an easy material to cut and craft into unique features.

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A simple slice like this and both parts can be used to make a staircase.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Glued one on top of the other they add that extra dimension and retain the circle shape.

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You can utilise this to make some pretty funky and diverse ruins. Just remember to test fit your miniatures so you know they will fit and loook good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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you will need to cut the plasticard to fit the middle step, but the bottom and top can overhang to be cut down.

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From there it’s just finishing them up just like the others by adding mixed cork, sand and a seal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And there you have it. This is how I built and will continue to build all the bases for my Azog’s Legion force. I hope you all find it usual and I would love to see some of the bases you make using it, pop me an email at deathwatchstudios@gmail.com, find me on Facebook or Instagram.

Join me soon to find out just how I painted them as well.

All of my guides will continue to be free and open for use by anyone, but if you did find this guide helpful please support me with a donation, so I can continue to make great tutorials like this one!

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Middle Earth SBG – Choosing My Army!

Jumping back into Lord of the Rings meant once again picking an army to collect. I should point out before I continue that evil is my bag. It didnt even cross my mind that my main force would be a good one. I like my monsters and gribblies too much.

Back in the day I had a fairly sizable Dol Guldur army with a Necromancer led contingent and a Spider Queen force and before that a large Mordor force. I wasn’t looking to revisit any of these and wanted to try something new. I painted a lot for those armies and wanted to get a completely fresh start, although I may revisit these forces in a few months.

All this meant looking away from the Lord of the Rings forces and adventuring into the fairly unfamiliar territory of The Hobbit. I had not kept up with model or rules releases for this, so really had no idea what was out there for it. I had seen the films when they were released, but needed a refresher alongside a read of the Hobbit armies PDF. So got the extended editions out and got my geek on.

Following this epic viewing (I really enjoyed the trilogy. Flawed films but still an awesome adventure)and reading session, I knew exactly what I wanted to collect, both good and evil forces.

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I knew I wanted a hoard of orcs, gribblies and massive trolls, led by the big bad himself, Azog. Even though he doesn’t really stick to the Tolkein lore I loved this character. Just a good and proper villain. It really helped that he also came with a great selection of gribblies of all shapes and sizes. As I said earlier this is is right up my street.

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I also loved the Dol Guldur fight between the White Council and the Necromancer and fell in love with the White Council. I love this whole story line and the characters involved. It also meant a small collection of key characters, so not much to collect and a great opportunity to really give them some painting love.

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Not to mention a mate has a 1000pt army consisting of the Necromancer, the Nine and the Dungeon Master. It’s going to be an epic and beautifully themed game when we get a chance to play it.

I did expect it to take longer for me to get stuck into both forces, but I’ve already painted 800pts of Azog’s Legion alongside 2 members of the White Council. Check them out below…

Middle Earth SBG – A Return to Where it All Started!

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15 years ago I was sucked into the hobby vortex from whence I have yet to return. 15 years ago a friend urged me to have a game with his brand new The Two Towers boxed game. 15 years ago that I started my journey leading to where I am now!

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Following that game with a friend was a frenzy of collecting, hobbying and battling. The release fo the films alongside a massive influx of related materials just spurred me further into a love of the universe. The Lord of the Rings SBG gave me a creative outlet to focus this sudden interest and I dove right in. Converting my own characters, creating scenery and even building a massive cardboard Osgiliath in my living room. It eventually led to a job in Games Workshop and the other games, Warhammer and 40k. From there, as you can imagine, I fell right down the rabbit hole and have never looked back. I owe a lot to Lord of the Rings, the one game that started it all!

I continued to play Lord of the Rings for many years, but slowly started to drift away. Tyranids and Hordes of Chaos Warriors began to draw my attention. Not to mention the slowing releases and lessening excitement surrounding Lord of the Rings SBG. I spread my hobby seed far and wide, sampling a whole slew of games, never really finding one to settle on and in the last few years I’ve not really had any game were I could get my hobby fix. Playing games like X-wing that come pre painted and built led to a bit of a slump in my own hobby activity and enjoyment of the games I was playing. I hadn’t even realised it was the hobby itch that needed scratched.

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It wasn’t until an old friend started to get excited about the imminent release of The Battle of the Pelennor Fields box set that I even thought about what I thought was a defunct game. I hadn’t been following the game at all so was totally ignorant of the Hobbit releases, Forge World getting involved, nor of a new edition being launched. I wasn’t even aware that there was still a very active scene surrounding the game, but I still wasn’t sold. My love for the universe had faded with the buzz of the films and I wasn’t sure I could get into painting units I wasn’t keen on or had tackled plenty of times in the past.

That is until we all had a wee refresher game. As soon as the action started rules came flooding back. It was a half hour of gaming that started with me being as disinterested as they come and ending absolutely psyched for the game again.

I immediately began researching what was now available and what army I would be collecting. This opened up a whole host of possibilities that I had not seen until now. The Hobbit releases in particular caught my eye, as I was a big fan of a lot of the design elements in the films, particularly the monsters. I love some gribblies. This was it, this was when I knew that this was the game for me. It was a joy to feel so passionate again about the game that started it all, and from what I’ve experienced about it so far I know I’ll be playing for a while.

Come back soon as I’ll be taking a look at the armies I chose and why.

A Month in Pictures – October

This month saw a huge boost to my numbers, mainly because I got stuck into my own Middle Earth SBG force, Azog’s Legion. It’s been a while since I’ve had that level of enthusiasm for a project of my own and it’s a joy to have it back. So much so that I have managed to paint up a full 800pt force! Just a unit of Gundabad Orcs and I’ll have 1000pts. Next up will be some allies and the start of my good force.

I also painted up a few of the Nighthaunt models from Soul Wars for a guide in this months issue of Tabletop Gaming magazine. This gave me the oppertunity to try a few different schemes. Of all of them the monochrome was definately my favourite.

Models Painted: 46

Total painted in 2018: 151

 

A Month in Pictures – September

September had a couple of milestones to celebrate. The first of which is over 100 miniatures painted in 2018! If I’m honest I was hoping this would have been acheived a lot earlier in the year but my focus has been on other, more important, things. I’m still very happy with it and I know if my recent painting spurt is anything to go by,  that total will be shooting up! The second milestone is not really painting related, but it see’s my return to playing Middle Earth Strategy Battle game from Games Workshop. Me and Lord of the Rings have a history in the hobby, which I’ll be writing about soon. Anyway onto the models from this month…

Models Painted: 12

Total painted in 2018: 105

A Month in Pictures – March to August!

For something I wanted to keep up to date with I dropped this surprisingly quickly, but nows a good as time as any to jump back on board. So without further ado, let’s take a look at the models I painted over the last few months…

March

Models Painted: 9

Total painted in 2018: 48

April

Models Painted: 10

Total painted in 2018: 58

May

Models Painted: 12

Total painted in 2018: 70

June

Models Painted: 6

Total painted in 2018: 76

July

Models Painted: 14

Total painted in 2018: 90

 

August

Models Painted: 3

Total painted in 2018: 93

 

And that’s us all caught up! Not as much as I would have liked in a few of the months but it’s been a fairly hectic year since March, hence the massive gap between posts.

A Month in Pictures – February 2018

The second month roles by and it seems to be the month of franchises, with Star Wars, Dr. Who and Batman all being represented.

I’m happy with the progress I made this month. Nothing to really challenge myself, or an attempt at a new technique though, so I need to ensure I pursue this in March.

Let’s take a look at all of the models I painted this month…

Painted in February: 22

Total painted in 2018: 39