Thursday, October 20, 2011

Tutorial: Khandish Horsemen

All right! Back to some Middle-earth goodness.

This time around, I'm painting up a couple of boxes of Khandish Horsemen. The men of Khand were allied with Sauron during the War of the Ring...but that doesn't make them all bad, does it?

These are metal models, with the rider cast with the horse. Due to the spin casting process, this sort of model requires a set of horse legs to be cast separately. Honestly, this sucks. The mould gaps are uniformly terrible.

Case in point. Yuck.

Well, there's nothing for it. You glue and then gap fill with green stuff. Now, I hate using green stuff...and filling gaps in general. Any way I can get around it (e.g. epoxy glue, gap-filling CA glue...whatever), I do...and have. However, this time around, the gaps are just too egregious.

Here is a horseman glued, filled, filed, based and ready for paint.

In are the lot of them.

I started by airbrushing on the handy-dandy new Vallejo acrylic black primer.

Then I did some under-shading (or whatever people are calling the technique these days). Essentially, you pre-shade the model by spraying white just from the top. I kind of like it.

One of the advantages of having the rider sculpted with the horse is that you get these wonderful, dynamic poses you wouldn't get with a separately cast rider.

I then did a light airbrush of dark brown over some of the horses...just to lay down a base coat. The under-shading is very noticeable.

Too bad I'll overpaint a lot of the shading subtlety later in the project.

I then airbrushed some other blocking for the cloth, yellow for the leather and red-brown for the saddle cloth.

Getting down to brass first. I used the Foundry Oriental Skin set. I spent a little time on the face of each figure. I've found over the years and if you can get a passable face onto a figure, the rest of the painting project is gravy...or something like that.


I then moved onto the cloth. I used a darker blue for the cloak and a slightly lighter blue for the flag. Leather and metal were next.

Switching gears, I moved to the horses. All of these guys are riding pretty dark mounts. I did several black horses, some bays, and a dapple grey for the leader. Generally, horse painting started with a dark wash over the undercoat and then once that was dry...highlight layers of paint. Tack got red-brown and then the white tassels were added. I then put some white blazes and socks on a few of the horses.

I then went back to the rider and freehanded on a crescent moon symbol to each flag (I'm using these figures in my Middle-earth RPG, and the moon symbol has some significance for the players). I painted the saddle cloth a complimentary dark orange to set off the dark blue of the main figure.

The last things to do were the bases. Same as always here...brown, orange, off-white and then static grass. A shot of Dullcoat and these boys could be put to bed.

Now, to be honest, I really didn't put as much effort into these guys as I should have. I got part-way into the project and came to the realization that the casts were really rough. I hadn't done a great job getting all the pieces cleaned up for painting, and as a result, the whole project started getting a little ramshackle. That's fine by me. In the end, these are simply table-ready enemies for use in our RPG game. To that end, they get the job done, and they provide the Middle-earth flavor I'm looking for.

I'm not too surprised that these figures weren't up to GW's normal casting standards for their Lord of the Rings line. The Khandish figures (which didn't make a single appearance in any of the movies) have to be at the bottom of GW sales pile. Nonetheless, I think the sculpts are characterful and I was happy to knock these guys out.

Dwarves are on the table next!

'Til next time.


  1. i quite like th Khandish figs, they need some work before you get to paint them but i think you have done a great job. Have you tried the new liquid greenstuff - it works really well and makes gap filling a breeze.

  2. Kiwi,

    Liquid Greenstuff? Never heard of it...time for an internet search. Thanks for the tip.

  3. Wow, Kevin. Those are lovely. Any sense of how long it took you to do this? The air brushing is amazing!

  4. Hey Bob,
    Normal amount of time to do, that would probably be about 90 min to 2 hours cumulative time each I guess. I did the lot over about 2 and a half weeks, working about a half hour to an hour at a time. These took a little longer than normal cavalry pieces because of the blasted flags. However, I skimped on the horse painting, so I guess it all evened out in the end.

    Regarding airbrushing, I have a couple of friends who can pretty much do a whole 28mm model with an airbrush...but I have no idea how they get good detail and demarkation between color areas. Mystery to me. I'm not up to that skill a long shot.

  5. Thanks for the tutorial. You are right: I don't think GW sold a lot of these, so they are "out of print" and hard to find.