More Ruffians… and… more Orcs!

So, not satisfied with the Ruffians I recently finished I decided to do some more in anticipation of our first Battle Companies campaign scenario. I had a few ideas from things rattling around my workshop.

I had previously taken a gamble that some fantasy Napoleonic minis, ie Flintloque would work as Bree area Ruffians. Tolkien and Peter Jackson/Weta/GW have some very broad ideas on fashion in Middle Earth.

I did a little modification work on these bandits but generally they fit the bill and were great fun to paint. To start I used greenstuff to hide the maille armor that was on one of them.

And here is how he ended up…

The next fellow had his ax head removed so he woukd be armed with a club.

This fellow required no changes…

Then there was the crossbow armed Half-Orc. I cut the prod off the crossbow to make it a club. I was guided by the idea of Bill Ferney’s friend and Saruman’s “Orc-Men”. My thinking is that he will play a pivotal role in our revision of the opening scenario of our Battle Companies campaign.

In addition to these fellows I went through the various Bretonnian minis I have and found one with no armor or helmet. I try to make the minis as much as possible “what you see is what you get”. As it stands helmets generally count as armor for us..

One thing with this Bretonnian however was the two pieces of heraldry jewelry it had. My wife immediately spotted them and said they looked like they should have heraldry on them, making the mini look more like a soldier. So I had to hide them. One is under the pouch on his hip, the other I tried to mask with a greenstuff rabbit’s foot. However, that would be one big rabbit! Ferocious rabbit jokes aside, thanks Tim the Magician, I think maybe it is a wolf trophy now instead of a rabbit.

Having won some GW Imperial militia bits in an auction I got the idea to mix them with some GW zombie bits to create some rough looking fellows.

Originally I was going to paint this lot in just greys and browns, having been inspired by watching Mount and Blade Bannerlord videos on YouTube but as I started painting I found myself adding a few other colors. They are much darker than I planned but less monochromatic. I figure this way they can be multipurpose minis, going from evil Ruffians to Good (just misunderstood) Villagers in the blink of an eye, if you will pardon the pun.

Because of how I did the grass on the base it is easy to miss why this fellow is named Viktor the Lame.

The next guy is one of my favorites and inspired by a character in the Guardians of the Flame series by the late Joel Rosenberg. I found that arm like that in my bits box and I knew I just had to use it. I realize I screwed up a bit with the dagger and pouch on his belt, by the time I noticed it was too late. Meh.

And then…

My wife and I have an idea for a house rule to add our own new Villagers with appropriately dismal stats. I am a bit surprised GW missed the opportunity but then they are so tied down to their own miniature line. There are too many cool Villager minis out there to ignore in my opinion, especially the new Fireforge Folk Rabble that I recently received for my birthday!

I also managed to finished a few more Orcs.

The first three at the usual plastic GW Mordor Orcs with some minor conversions. The last one is a metal Orc, I am not sure of the sculptor. I added the hammer and tried to change its face. It had the more GW Fantasy Ork ape look that I am not a fan of. I finally just settled for a greenstuff maille face covering.

And the mounted version of my GW Finecast Dark Marshal Nazgul converted to be a Black Numenorean.

The expectation is that it will end up representing my Battle Companies Lieutenant.

Some other projects on going are… a very inexpensive old toy Dragon I plan on converting to a Cave Drake…

… and some used Ziterdes buildings we got on eBay for a great price. Whilst intended to be Laketown style buildings they will stand in fine for our village in the first scenario of our Battle Companies campaign since we are still waiting for our Hagglethorn Hollow Kickstarter pledge. I have to say I have been deeply disappointed by the delays and generally poor communication from Tabletop Troubadour, the Company managing the project. I keep hoping the final product will be worth it but this kind of thing really puts me off kickstarters.

A lot of the work has been done on the buildings already, either by Ziterdes or the previous owner but more needs to be done. I am not sure about the windows, I may paint them differently. Perhaps using yellows to make it look like they are lit from within. Any suggestions? I want to get these on the table for Saturday…

We are still waiting for the delayed Kickstarter from Mel the Terrain Tutor. I know he has had a tough time of it with his life of late and the current international health crisis is not helping but again another disappointingly delayed project. At least he has been good about communicating and managing expectations.

Also delayed was our TT Combat Stellaris Kickstarter pledge items… but they have finally arrived! First impressions are good but I will need to assemble them before I pass final judgement… look for that in a future blog post!

As always please feel free to like, share and leave a comment. I like feedback and I am always open to suggestions, constructive criticism and advice!


  1. You are a very productive painter! I like the minis you sourced for the Ruffians. They fit really well with what GW made and honestly, GW should have added a couple more variations in their Ruffian poses because they get a little tedious to paint after a while. With that said, this lot looks… rough and ready to cause some havoc!

    If you’re looking for some painting feedback, I’d say try adding a little more shadow and highlights to your skin, especially on the face. If you use thinned down paints and washes, it will help it look more smooth but from what I can tell in these pictures, there isn’t much of a highlight or shadow in the skin showing and if you can add just a bit more, I think it will really make these look that much more lifelike. The face is a focal point on a mini so it is well worth the extra time and effort as well. It definitely takes practice to really master this part of painting faces (I’m still trying to improve in this area myself) but I’d say it is well worth giving a shot!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A friend once encouraged me to do more eyes. His encouragement led me to do eyes more often and I think they have improved. So encouragement to work on highlighting my faces is welcome. I rely heavily on washes and have tried to use thinner paint to reduce chalkiness. It has been successful to a certain degree but yeah, it is still not quite there… largely because I rarely highlight. That is one reason I appear so productive.

    I agree that faces are a focal point. I realized that when I found how much a poorly done pair of eyes can ruin an otherwise great mini. And I know that my poor lighting and photography skills do not help either!

    But yeah, thanks for the honest feedback! I will work on it. I always appreciate the time folks spend to give me feedback.


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