It’s been WAY too long since I blogged here, so I decided to dive back in with a passion project I’ve been working on… a Games Workshop Lord of the Rings 25mm Legolas and Gimli figure! This mini is one of my all-time favourites in the LotR line, in no small part because the Legolas/Gimli dynamic never fails to crack me up.
I begged a hand from my boyfriend who prised apart the two pieces for me. I cleaned off the green stuff, and reassembled using 5-minute epoxy glue. I then filled the gaps in the horse using milliput (a two-part epoxy putty like Green Stuff, but with a longer working time), and sculpted new details on the left side, to complete Legolas’ and Gimli’s waists where the two pieces fit together. Also resculpted a portion of Legolas’ bow, which was split in half for molding. The arm was the most difficult part. I used a hand and forearm I had from a “Breaking of the Fellowship” Legolas, attached it to a pin to extend it to the right length, pinned it to the shoulder, and then sculpted the upper arm and shoulder from scratch. I also wound up having to sculpt some of the bracer on his forearm.
Once the sculpting and filling was complete, I gave it a quick base coat in grey to see how the details were shaping up.
I began painting with the skin (I like to start my models from the skin and work my way out, layer by layer until I reach the outermost layers of clothing and weaponry). I’m just going to say this, I HATE PAINTING WHITE. It’s the worst. Single most challenging colour to get right. I know Arod, Legolas’ horse, is white/grey, and I was sorely tempted to paint it brown instead (because I actually enjoy painting brown horses), but wanted it to be as accurate as possible. I decided to go with a grey/white. Starting with a medium grey base, I used thinned paints in many layers to slowly build up colour, getting lighter and lighter until it was almost white. I did the same thing along Arod’s legs, but getting darker and darker grey. I hit the mane with a nuln oil wash to darken it, and then used thinned black paint to add the gradient effect on the mane and tail.
After that I began painting the dwarf and elf skin, which involved a flesh base colour and Earthshade wash. Later on I built up the colour on the skin in several layers with a very fine brush. I even painted the eyes (which I avoid like the plague on 25mm figures, because their eyes are so unbelievably tiny, and it’s difficult not to make them look bug-eyed) using an 18/0 brush. A trick I like to use for painting such tiny things is to hold my breath, pay close attention to my heartbeat, and actually stroke the brush between heart beats so that my hands are as steady as possible. A bit of a pain, but it helps! Used the same trick for painting the hair. I’d tell you how I did the blonde hair, but I honestly couldn’t say. I painted and repainted it so many times in so many layers that I completely lost track over what was still showing. I almost ripped out all of my own hair in frustration, but ultimately reached a colour I could live with. Each bunch of hair was painted individually with the 18/0 brush.
The finished model used several different shades of brown for clothing and accessories, as well as reds, greys, and greens. I couldn’t for the life of me find a paint colour in any brand that was the right colour for the Elven cloaks. Those cloaks are something between a grey and a green, in a natural shade that is apparently impossible to acquire. I broke down and mixed a custom colour, two actually. The base colour was a 50/50 mix of dark grey and green paint, followed by a nuln oil wash, followed by a 50/50 mix of medium grey and green as a highlight. I opted to use natural stones for basing because I like the random and realistic look it adds. A quick spray with Testor’s Dullcote to seal it, and it was finished!
This mini presented a couple of pretty significant challenges (replacing an arm, painting white, painting blonde hair, and painting Elven cloaks among them), but was very rewarding. It has only fueled my love for this range of models, looking forward to painting something else!
Thanks for Reading!
This is a blog for my artistic endeavours... as I experiment with new mediums, styles, and techniques, I'll post here.