I had a hard time sleeping last night, so one of the things I decided to do was organize my paint station and get my models ready. After cleaning it up and tracking down the various paint pots I had lying around the house, here it is, ready to go.
It was not NEARLY this clean last night. It had probably eight different half started projects on and around it, such as the Assault on Black Reach terminators and dreadnought, a Nazgul on Fellbeast, some stuff for a 40K army my wife started years ago, Lumpin Croops Fighting Cocks for Fantasy, Numenoreans, Dwarves for LOTR, and stuff for my Mordheim warband. That's just what I remember. Well, I cleared all of that off, put them into boxes, and stored them away so I can focus solely on this project. Here are the minis I'm starting with.
An observant reader (not that I think I actually have any) will note that I've got 6 Citadel Guards, an extra spearman, two Dunedain with spears, extra heroes, and not enough warriors with shields - only 14 warriors with shields, in fact. Well, first on the warriors. I'm making a couple of transactions via Bartertown in order to get more warriors with shields. I'm getting a bunch of other minis, too - it's a nice way to dispose of excess models that I've got hanging around for models that I don't have. Having worked for Games Workshop (I managed one of their hobby centers for about two years), I have a heap of unneeded plastic and pewter.
Anyway, I'll be using the extra spearman as my painting dummy to see how the paint scheme plays out. The extra Citadel Guard will be easy - painting 6 models takes almost the same amount of time as 5 models, and I may replace a regular spear warrior with a Guard. The Dunedain I might use as Rangers of Gondor with spears - I'll need to see how that works out. I'll put them in the "like to do" priority list. I'll also put additional plastic Rangers (beyond the eight spear carriers) into the "like to do" category, since I already have fully painted metal Rangers of Gondor.
As for the extra Gandalf, I'm not sure if I want to use the old Fellowship/Old Friends Meet Again Gandalf, or the Rivendell/Scale Creep Gandalf. I'll definitely put the Rivendell Gandalf in the lowest priority "might do" slot. As you can see, the old Gandalf is nearly completed - just flesh left to do, and maybe some touching up of the details.
Ecthelion is another issue. I really want to use a converted model to represent the King of Men stat line, but I also know that as soon as I am back to teaching I'll be very short on time. So I'll paint up the Captain of Minas Tirith to the same basic standard as the rest of the warriors. If I manage to finish up everything on my "must do" list, then converting and painting Ecthelion will be my next priority. I'm also contemplating what kind of head to use - I ordered some cool replacement heads from Ebob Miniatures that I may want to use on him after filing down the swan head. Another option would be carving up a Numenorean for the head swap - I think it would look kind of chintzy to just slap a shield on Boromir and call it a conversion.
So my next order of business is assembling the models I currently have that I need. So I'll get the Rangers opened and assembled and the sword carrying warriors assembled. Next I'll base the models, and after that I'll test paint the extra spearman and prime the unpainted models black. I'll then assess how the paint scheme works and change anything I need. Next would be the same process for the rangers. By that point I should have received all of my remaining models and I'll paint the main body of troops. Following that, I finish Gandalf and start the Citadel Guard. Once they are done, I can start on my "like to do" priorities, such as converting Ecthelion and more sword armed warriors from spearmen and giving some rangers spears. Once I've wrapped up that painting, it will be on to more fanciful stuff that I'm unlikely to use, like Knights of Minas Tirith, mounted Ecthelion, and Scale Creep Gandalf.