Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Inspired artwork from The Hobbit and other cool stuff

"The Battle of Five Armies"

If you want to see some spectacular artwork inspired by The Hobbit among other things, look no farther than Justin Gerard and his blog and gallery at: Quick, hide here.  The inspiring scene above depicts the point in the Battle of Five Armies when Beorn enters the fray and rescues the mortally wounded body of Thorin Oakenshield from the Goblin host.  Great stuff, but there's more than just that...

"There He Lay"

Of course Justin doesn't stop with just one magnificent piece, he hits a few more of those iconic moments we all know and love from The Hobbit.  There's the awesome scene above of Bilbo encountering Smaug in "There He Lay", as well as "The Three Trolls", "The Great Goblin", and "Riddles in the Dark" with Gollum shown below.

Obviously there are even more great scenes from The Hobbit than just these.  Maybe someday this talented artist will tackle other moments like reading the moon letters at Rivendell, the spiders and elves in Mirkwood, or the house of Beorn just to name a few.

"A Map of the Mountain"

"A Map of the Mountain" is definitely one of my favorites of Justin Gerard's works.  Mostly because ever since reading The Hobbit, this is always were any great fantasy adventure begins (according to my imagination anyway).  With the group gathered around a table in a dark room pouring over a map and maybe a few helpful items planning out the dire journey before them.  Plus I love the Nordic dwarves and Gandalf!

"Lancelot du Lac"

Justin's talents are not just limited to The Hobbit.  His blog includes many other works inspired by a variety of subjects such as:  Beowulf, King Arthur and his Knights, St. George and the Dragon, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Where the Wild Things Are, The Reluctant Dragon. Portrait of a Monster, and a steampunk version of the Wizard of Oz.  Lots of amazing stuff to check out.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Army of Erebor - Gandalf the Grey

I'm a wizard, mind you!

Well shiny or not, here's my Gandalf the Grey.  I figured I'd go ahead and post some pics since the humidity is not going away soon.  Plus I can always edit this later.  Gandalf is a nice addition to any good army in War of the Ring, but I think he definitely fits in with his shorter friends at the Lonely Mountain.

Games Workshop has had a ton of different Gandalfs in their Lord of the Rings line, but I choose the "Rivendell" Gandalf to use with my dwarves.  I do have the action packed Gandalf mini from The Breaking of the Fellowship box, but this one is my favorite.

The fig has that typical "councilor Gandalf" look about him.  The Grey Pilgrim tends to share his opinions freely or just tell the dwarves what to do.  Based on their past, I'm sure they are more than willing to listen.  :-)

You dwarves should watch my fireworks from over there!

It will be interesting to see what new Gandalf the Grey minis that GW releases after The Hobbit movies come out.  In the meantime, I'd love to get this model of Gandalf in his cart although I'm not sure what I would use it for game-wise.

Amazing Hobbit Hole - Bag End Doll House

Well, I was going to post my finished Gandalf mini tonight, but then I went through the horrific ordeal of having my Testors Dullcote spray give Old Grey Beard a shiny new gloss finish!  Aaarrrggghhh!!  Apparently even though it's a beautiful cool night outside, it can still be 77 % humidity.  :-(  (I might post some pics later anyway...)

While I was claiming down a bit, I came across this breath taking hand made doll house of Bag End.  The creator is Maddie Chambers, who honed her hobby skills in Warhammer Fantasy.  Her true love however is Tolkien's Middle Earth, and boy does it show!

The Amount of detail of this masterpiece is almost overwhelming.  In every room you can see the love and attention Maddie had for this project.  Although it took her a year to get Bag End to the point we see in the photos, she still claims it is a ongoing project with "quite a bit of work to do."

You can read Maddie's story here, as she explains the background of the project, and how she worked on it while mothering two twin boys.  She then takes you from room to room in 52 pictures as she explains many of the details inside and out.  Lots of point of view shots.

If you're wondering how she actually made this awesome creation, Maddie covers that as well right here.  In another 24 pics, she goes over all the nuts and bolts and reveals many of her little modeling secrets.  :-)

I certainly had a blast looking through all this amazing Hobbit stuff, and hopefully you'll enjoy it too.  Maddie's next Lord of the Rings project is The Prancing Pony.  The beginning of that project and other Maddie related stuff can be found on her main blog site here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Amazing Miniature Battlefield - Bergbosen Part 2

Even more pics, a short battle report, and other details about the "Battle of Bergbosen" are now posted here.  These are a few of my favorites, but check the link for the whole lot.  Just can't get enough of great looking miniatures and battlefields! :-)

Your opportunity to see this great setup live will come at CRISIS 2011 in Antwerp, Belgium on November 5th.

The guys responsible for all this awesomeness are the Team for Historical Simulation (THS), and their website can be found hereTONS of great stuff on there.

Toy soldiers FTW!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Amazing Miniature Battlefield - Battle of Bergbosen

I ran across this gorgeous 28mm Napoleonic battle over at the Lead Adventure Forum.  It's like a painting or story come to life on the tabletop!  Just the type of stuff that gets the inspirational juices flowing, and what a proper wargame should definitely look like.

The fictional "Battle of Bergbosen" was fought over a weekend using the Black Powder rules.  The game involved 9 players duking it out with around 1,000 miniatures on a huge table measuring roughly 23' x 5' (7m x 1.5m) table.  Looks like they had a blast!

The scenario called for the French army to build a pontoon bridge over a river while simultaneously attacking a superior combined force of Prussians and Russians.  Certainly a bit of multitasking going on...

Everything about this battle is amazing!  From the terrain setup itself to the great looking boards, buildings, miniatures, and other models used for the wagons, pontoons, etc.  To see this in person would've been a treat.

The original post and more pictures can be found here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Horrible Histories - Viking Wife Swap

"Don't be alarmed, I'm just very ugly."


The Army of Erebor - Dwarf Ballista

This is the first of two Dwarf Ballistas for my War of the Ring army.  Another great model in the GW Dwarf range.  Very effective when my dice are cooperating, and a battery of two will be perfect at balancing out the odds.

Might go back and redo the base if I ever get around to magnetizing the army, but the "sitting on top" look is fine for now.  Plus the opportunity to turn my ballista bases into mini dioramas is temping.

As wounds equal models in War of the Ring, I've added an older metal dwarf warrior for my third crew member.  I think he fits in nicely, and three crew looks better in my opinion.

Like all the metal minis in GW's Lord of the Rings line, the price of the Dwarf Ballista is pretty steep at $20 a pop.  It's really only a blister of three "short" models, so I was happy to snag my second one at a discount.  For my future Easterling army, I'm already eying some ancient Roman ballista plastic models along with some plastic Easterling minis to stand in for an Orc Siege Bow.

Coming next, an "Old friend."  :-)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Amazing Terrain - Tabletop World

A Tabletop World Town

During my Internet wanderings last year, I ran across a very nice online wargames terrain company called Tabletop World.  They sell 28mm European/Medieval/Fantasy buildings and accessories that have been scratch built and then cast in resin.  Today while doing a Google image search I happened to run across them once again , and I must say their current products are pretty amazing.  Not that their original stuff wasn't.  :-)

Some might consider these terrain pieces a little pricey, but when you see the exterior and interior detail as well as the furniture and accessories that come with each piece, the prices seem reasonable to me.  Either way, their stuff is very inspirational to say the least, and I hope to become a customer in the future when I can afford to.

 When I say scratch built, I mean SCRATCH BUILT.  According to their website, Tabletop World are a couple of friends in Rijeka, Croatia who started making their own gaming terrain back in 1997.  Over the years they started to get crazy and turn things up a notch or two (possibly all the way to eleven) constantly challenging themselves to get better and better.

They decided along the way they wanted to make terrain that was as realistic as possible, so they build their buildings literally stone by stone.  Yes, those are real stones in these WIP pictures that they cut and shape themselves.  A very time consuming process that produces great results  Amazing stuff!!

In 2007 they started casting and producing their high quality terrain in resin, and have been offering great stuff ever since.  Here's a few shots from their website (I hope they don't mind) that gives you a good sample of their current product line.


More pictures (inside and out) of this awe inspiring stuff can be found on their website, and their Coolminiornot gallery.  Last year Tabletop World acquired a new vacuum casting machine and changed their casting technique forcing them to discontinue the older products as the molds where now unusable.  However, for the sake of pure inspiration I've included a few pics of their old stuff below.

Tabletop World also has a thread on the WarSeer forums that you can check out here as well.  Sounds like they are currently finishing up a Graveyard terrain piece and have plans for a new Blacksmith's Forge after that.  There's also hints of larger connected houses in the future and more partially destroyed buildings too.

Like I said before even if you don't purchase their stuff, it's still a great source of inspiration.  So check 'em out!  I'm definitely impressed to say the least, and certainly looking forward to seeing what else these guys create in the future.  I wish them the best of luck!

Bonus video!