From the Pleistocene to Mordor

30 thoughts on “From the Pleistocene to Mordor”

  1. Great job on the neanderthal loincloths, haha! Though now I’m realizing what I had remembered as “loincloths” were actually “tummy warmers”!! 😛 Ok, so back to the minis…good job on getting the neanderthals wrapped up and I like the markings you added to the fur. It makes it look like animal prints, which is pretty cool! The rust….so rust is kinda all over the place in the real world. But I think I would add some darker brown rust spots. Though I typically dot with dark brown, orange/red, and very sparingly yellow. The darker rust spots add nice contrast and shadow underneath. But like I said, rust can look really different and you might be trying to mimic something that looks very different. Ok, lastly…the Ring Wraith. All I have to say is that it’s a great looking mini and very, very nicely painted! I’ve heard of that trick of taking a b&w photo before. It appears to have worked out really nicely for you too! 😀

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    1. Haha, I suppose they are tummy warmers! Its amazing how much bare skin these guys have considering the cold weather during the Ice Age! I don’t have a ton of experience painting animal stripes or spots and I think there is definitely an art to it and I look forward to experimenting with it more in the future.

      As far as the rust goes, I agree that the darker rust doesn’t show up that well. I think part of that is the color I painted the container but the dark rust paint doesn’t seem to apply as well as it should. Its a little thin and watery so that doesn’t help. Since its an oil paint, I’m not sure what I can do to improve it but I’ll certainly give it some more thought.

      I’m glad you liked the Ringwraith as well. I would say the photo trick definitely works. For what its worth, GW’s ‘Eavy Metal team used the technique on their version. I checked out of curiosity 🙂

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      1. Thanks for sharing this! I’m always amazed at people who make stuff from scratch using cardboard. My brain just doesn’t work like that and can’t figure out how they manage to do it 🙂

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      2. There’s some pretty good tutorials out there, but it’s also an art unto itself. Once I see it, then it makes sense….but most of these people are able to take the most random stuff and create something really cool! I’ve been holding onto a few scraps that I someday want to use for terrain. Similar to what Matt has done on his pmpainting blog. But finding the time has been tough, garage is pretty cold right now (though it will probably be too hot in the Summer!), and I still have some Fantasy minis that I really want to get done.

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      3. I knew someone who isn’t as active in the hobby lately but they used to build GW tanks using only cardboard. It was mighty impressive! Once things warm up, I’ll be curious to see what you do end up building. Its a skill I admire and respect but likely will never have myself, if you know what I mean.

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  2. I think Faust’s said everything and more that I was going to say! 🙂 Minis are all nice and the Fallout ones look really good as a group! 🙂 My favourite in this post is the Neanderthal though! Sounds like you’re really enjoying the gaming as well!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Cheers, John! It was great putting the finishing touches on the Neanderthals and they’ve been about as fun as anything I’ve painted this year. I’m certainly luck that between tabletop and video games, I’m never lacking in fun things to do!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice job on all these! Really cool to see all the Neanderthals together, and that Ringwraith is looking great. I’m a broken record at this stage, but those new middle earth plastics are just so good.
    Really cool to see all the fallout minis together too, I’m a bit lucky in that I have a fair amount of space at home and I’ve setup display cabinets so I can have my finished projects out all the time! It’s a great feeling seeing a mass of models together!

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thanks, Nic! I’m glad to hear you like how the Ringwraith turned out. You’re spot-on that modern GW plastics have incredible details on them. They’re definitely worth the hassle to assemble!

      You are very lucky indeed! I would love to have a display case setup like that but I suspect that if I don’t stop painting so many display projects, I’ll never be able to pull it off 🙂 I hope that you show off your cases and what’s inside them one day!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Great work on the crate Jeff, I wouldn’t worry too much as not being the same as the others, as rust doesn’t follow a set plan in real life. Fantastic work finishing your prehistoric men, some great variation in the group shot. Off to a cracking start with the ringwraith and look forward to seeing what you do with it.
    With your group shot of Fallout I didn’t see your Deathclaw in the shot !

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    1. Thanks, Dave. I agree that the crate doesn’t stand out too much (thankfully!). If I manage to get the ringwraith’s display base done, it will be due in part to the advice you provided a while back. Cutting up and sanding down definitely takes time and muscle to complete but I’m hoping it will work out well in the end. You have sharp eyes on the Deathclaw too! I accidentally forgot it and didn’t even realize it until I saw your comment. I don’t keep the Deathclaw in the Citadel case (because it doesn’t fit) so that is the one mini that missed out on the group photo with his chums haha!

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  5. So much to love in this blog post mate. Brilliant work as always, great sculpts brought to life by your painting skills. I like the spots on the fur for the blonde leader. As for you enjoying that game… not much of a surprise that you like something with synths, er I mean androids…. 😉

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thank you for the kind words as always! Haha, I suppose that is a valid point. I’ve never considered myself much of an Institute sympathizer but I guess I don’t mind an android much either 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  6. All the fall out stuff looks good and I totally get the “ more than I thought but not as much s I hoped.” Though I will say that routinely get that dopamine burst for seeing a whole collection out at once bc I tend to play bigger games that use the entire collection at once. 😀

    All the cavemen look great too.
    The Nazgûl looks more blue than black in the pictures but it’s a lovely paint job. Though I hate the sculpt. I really don’t like GWs individualizing the Nazgûl bc in my minds eye they’re all clones of each other (except for the witch king). The ones from 20 years ago were perfect. I know I sound old. 😀

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That is true. If you play an “army” sized game like yourself, then what I am recommending isn’t all that special 🙂

      The Nazgul is meant to look bluish as I was trying to capture the look in the Fellowship of the Ring where they are looking for Frodo in the moonlight. The actual robes are most definitely in black and grey in sunlight (like near Rivendell) but the lighting in the movie gives them a bluish tint so I went with that.

      The old sculpts were what I would call a “drybrush special”. Great for getting them painted up quickly for a game but not much to work with if you want to paint it a little nicer than that. With that said, it doesn’t seem like the sculpts are that old and yet, they are 20 years old… Where does time go?

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Some good looking stuff there, mate.
    The shipping container looks good but I have to agree with you regarding the rust.
    The fur on the neanderthal looks superb and is the first thing I noticed when I saw him. The hair looks very realistic, though on my pc it looks more of a grey than blond.
    The Ringwraith’s sword looks plenty good to me, nice NMM! Love the black to blue highlights, they give it a sense of malice I think.
    Sorry, can’t say Nier: Automata would be for me. I have so many games waiting on my Steam account to play already, so something that doesn’t really jump out at me and slap my face, just doesn’t get a look in these days.

    Great roundup as usual, Jeff, look forward to the next one.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, mate! I’ll try and do better on future shipping containers for sure.

      The sword was definitely the trickiest part on the mini so I’m glad you like how it looks. I wanted to capture the look of the Ringwraiths that are chasing after the Hobbits in the Shire and at Weathertop so I’m really glad to hear you like how it came out.

      I didn’t think Nier: Automata was for me either and I gave it a try and the rest is history 🙂 If you see it on sale for a good price on Steam, it would be more than worth getting…

      Thanks for giving it a read, Justin. I figure between the two of us, we’ll make sure that nobody is lacking in longer articles to read 😀

      Liked by 3 people

  8. The finished shipping container looks great – and even better alongside its fellows. If I can give a small bit of unsolicited advice, I think a bit of dirtying-up around the bottom parts of all of them would make them look tht bit more realistic and blend them into the mat and terrain a lot more. Just some weathering powder or even a bit of drybrush and wash around the bases. Maybe some extra chipping/wear on the corners as well. If you google image search “worn shipping containers” you’ll see what I mean – but even as is, they look great.

    Love the group shot of all the Fallout models. It’s been awhile since I’ve group-shotted anything outside of the monthly round-ups, but I certainly want to do so with the Zombicide models/survivors/etc once I get more of them done. I’m awaiting a prop for my Winter Guard models and plan to do one for the Crisis Protocol box once I get Spidey completed (as well as some more road tiles).

    Love the pose on that final Neanderthal – I can imagine you making that pose once you completed him! Nice work on the hair and the fur effect as well – and again the group shot looks very cool.

    The Ringwraith model looks excellent. The highlights are very effective and I do loke the deep blue-green used in the shading – gives almost an animated or comic-book effect to the model.

    I’ve got Nier (on PS4 and XBox these days) but am yet to get around to starting it. Just like minis (and TV, and Movies, and…) I have a huge backlog of both games to start and games to circle back around and finish. And even when I find time top play games, I spend much more of my gaming time in co-op games with M, so maybe one day…

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    1. I hadn’t thought about it and I completely agree some extra dirt on the bottom and some extra chipping along the edges makes sense. I should be able to go back and add a bit to these containers. I’ll have to write myself a note to do that so I don’t forget! I started up a project that will likely take me a couple of weeks to finish.

      Thanks for the kind words on the group shot and I look forward to seeing your MCP one as well!

      It was a great feeling to get the last Neanderthal done. I wasn’t planning on finishing them all this early in the year but I’m happy to have done so. One less group of minis kicking around the backlog!

      Thanks for the kind words on the Ringwraith as well. Really glad to hear a fellow LOTR fan likes it! Hopefully the display base comes together too and I can get that done in the nearish future.

      I was hoping one person would say they would try Nier or that they’ve played it so you made typing all that info about the game worth it. I don’t know for sure if you’ll enjoy it as much as I did but I did walk away thinking it is a well-written and thoughtful game.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m sure you’ll remember every time you check out this post! 😉
        Speaking of group shots, I need to force myself to get those last few Drizzy Drizzle Boardgame models done, and then I’ll have another set. They’re just so crap it’s hard to motivate myself. 😀
        Have you decided which side project will replace the neanderthals? It can be nice to have “side” models to paint when working on larger projects, and it sounds like the Ringwraith is one of those right now.
        I’ve only heard good things about Nier, hence why I (re)bought it on the Xbox platform recently – it’s just with so many games to play/models to paint etc.. you know how it goes. I started playing around with Fallen Order a little while ago, and have Shadows of War as a game I started, then put down (and AC: Odyssey in the same boat – oh, and Watchdogs Legion, etc etc.
        I also understand that to really get the most from Nier and it’s story you need to go the New Game+ route since things change and become different. Or is it three playthroughs? So that’s a daunting task – like a TV series you’re interested in that already has five seasons of 10+ episodes…

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      2. Yeah, if you can keep this comment thread going for a couple of weeks, I probably won’t forget! 😉

        I think you should do another group shot for Dungeons and Drizzles. The sculpts aren’t great but you still do a great job with them and they’re all new to me too 🙂

        I think Hellboy minis of some kind will be the side project. The minis are the fastest to paint in my backlog and that is often what I like to do on the side or to relax during a display project.

        I really enjoyed Fallen Order (to my surprise) so that is well worth putting more time into. I don’t think I’ve played any of those others, if you can believe it. You can beat Nier once in about 10-15 hours. The second and third playthrough take about the same amount of time, maybe a bit less. Honestly, if I could do it over, I probably would have beaten the game for the first time and then take a short break before playing the second and third. The second playthrough was similar enough to the first that it wasn’t as exciting. Hopefully that info helps you understand what’s entailed with the game overall. Its kind of confusing because there are 26 different endings but most of those are bad endings and you can see almost everything by beating it 3 times in around 35 hours. Having said that, 35 hour long games aren’t as easy to finish as they used to be….

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  9. Wow, this is quite the post.

    I’m always a fan of seeing a whole collection out in one go, so it was definitely sweet to see your Fallour minis collected together. You should get some friends round and play some kind of battle royale scenario!

    The neanderthal chief looks great alongside his friends; I like that he’s a bit of a more imposing mini without just being comically oversized. Did you find it hard to paint him as it looks like he’s originally a fairly mediocre boardgame quality mini.

    The Ringwraith looks great. How long did you spend on that black coat to get it looking so nuanced? It certainly puts my ‘just slap Nuln Oil on it’ approach to shame 😛

    I appreciate the review of Nier:Automata. It’s been on the fringes of my mind for a while now so perhaps I’ll take the leap next time I see it on sale. I love that setting so much!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully in a good way! 🙂 I’m glad you liked the Fallout pictures and your idea sounds like a blast to me. I probably should get some more painted up before a battle royale like that could take place but I’ll get there one day.

      The Neanderthal took a bit longer than I expected but was otherwise pretty easy to paint. Its definitely lacking in details but when I can get the drybrush out, that usually means I’m painting something quicker than usual and I don’t mind that at all.

      I would guess I spent something like 6-8 hours on each side (front and back) of the Ringwraith. Maybe a little more than that. It takes thin paint to get smooth blending so that is why it takes a while. This probably won’t surprise you but I never use Nuln Oil (or any other GW washes) unless I’ve watered it down with some medium. Its just too heavy and puts too much shadow the mini, in my opinion. Its definitely well worth playing around with thinner washes on anything you paint. I wouldn’t be surprised if you like the results!

      I’m glad to hear you’re thinking of checking out Nier! If you’ve got the time, its well worth it and I’m sure it can be had cheaply. I’ve played post-apocalyptic games and Japanese games with mechs but never one as cool or memorable.


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