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Musings of the Welsh Wizzard

What happens when dilution of the hobby becomes homeopathic

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April 22, 2021

An Unexpected Journey – Speed painting Uruk-Hai

Following on from my last post where I brought a lot of Lord of the Rings figures (here) I decided to make a start painting some of them, which I know is a novel approach to wargaming (normally we just buy stuff and never use it)

in total I have 5 armies that I could paint up, together with a lot of character figures but I decided to start with a simple one and went for Isengard. Over the last month I’ve painted up a lot of figures so I thought I’d share my painting recipe in case anyone wants it.

now before we go any further I have to make it clear that I went for a simple method of painting these minis, the Uruk-Hai are a mass infantry army and I wanted a quick method to get them ready for the table. I wanted a way to get them painted quickly so went for block colours, minimal highlights and washes to achieve this. I also wanted the figures to look dark, dirty and menacing, so the palette was intentionally drab

I started off with the armoured Uruk-Hai that appeared in the Two Towers at the attack on Helms deep, these are plastic minis and are very simple sculpts but are really effective en mass. in the armies I had picked up there were a few painted models that gave me a head start but I did have to spend some time touching up these figures and getting the flesh tones to match my palette, howeverI still had over 100 models to complete myself

so the first job was to undercoat in black and then I gave each model a light ‘wet brush’ of a gun metal color. to explain wet brushing is a similar process to dry brushing but you have more paint on your brush. The idea is to get the colour on but not go into the lower detail, the under coat should still be visible in places

next up I gave the armour a wash of black and let it dry

now I started block painting the other colours, I used a deep red/brown for the flesh (Foundry Conker Brown to be exact) and black for the hair

then a Drab brown for the cloth, leather colour for the belts and straps and a highlight was also applied to the flesh

then I applied washes, the flesh was given a wash of GW Reikland Fleshshade

then the plate armour, the greaves, sword and shield had a wash of Agrax Earthshade

once dry the mini can be based and it’s ready to be used.

so whilst this is a really simple method the effects work well, here’s some pictures of the figures once they are finished and based up

a similar process was used for the berserkers and leaders as well



8 Responses “An Unexpected Journey – Speed painting Uruk-Hai”

  1. Avatar
    Per Broden
    September 15, 2017 at 11:53 am

    Scary guys! Brilliant! Nice Uruk-Hai Fudge Cake recipe, I might steal it!

    • MikeH
      September 15, 2017 at 12:17 pm

      steal away good sir, but I wouldn’t suggest using it for 6mm 😉

  2. Avatar September 15, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    That’s some pretty effective work.

    I have missed what rules you are using these for, War of the Ring? And what is the purpose of the larger bases for the characters, denote leaders?

    • MikeH
      September 15, 2017 at 2:08 pm

      The rules are some homebrew ones myself and a couple of mates are playing around with, however I’m doing the armies so they could be used for WotR if needed
      the larger bases are to show leaders as you thought

  3. Avatar
    Steve Williams
    September 16, 2017 at 8:48 am

    A very effective paint job for such a straightforward technique. I may have to borrow the recipe.

    I have to confess that in the weeks preceding your discussions on the podcast, I’d been digging out my dwarf and goblin armies – I’d forgotten how many I’d accumulated.
    Comsequently, when buying a few Mordor orcs for D&D, I may have purchased a couple more than absolutely necessary (123). I blame it fairly and squarely on the podcast.

    • MikeH
      September 16, 2017 at 11:31 am

      I think owning 123 orcs for a role playing game is perfectly fine 😉

      if you wish to blame the podcast, please take a ticket and we’ll call you forward once it’s your turn

      currently there are 98 people wishing to blame us in front of you

      please stay in the queue your blame is very important to us 🙂

      • Avatar
        Steve Williams
        September 16, 2017 at 8:33 pm


  4. Avatar September 23, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    So, I guess I’m also in the queue.
    A friend of me is selling of part of his excellent painted LOTR miniatures. And yes, I’ve bought already part of it (Gondor).
    And thinking of buying the others too, though I already have far too many.
    If I count all the other LOTR miniatures (Heritage, Mithril and the likes) toghether with the GW ones, I’m far above 1000…

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