At its head there rode a tall and evil shape, mounted upon a black horse. The rider was robed all in black, and black was his lofty helm; yet this was no Ringwraith but a living man. The Lieutenant of the Tower of Barad-dûr he was, and his name is remembered in no tale; for he himself had forgotten it, and he said: ‘I am the Mouth of Sauron.’ But it is told that he was a renegade, who came of the race of those that are named the Black Numenoreans. – The Black Gate Opens [Book 5, The Return of the King. J.R.R. Tolkien]
This is a metal Citadel miniature. Like a more recent version I’ve seen (based on the movie), the figure doesn’t match the actual book text. Numenoreans (Black or Dunedain) are human, and shouldn’t have skeletal faces with large or overexposed teeth. But if I was following the text, he should have tanned skin and not red eyes! I also felt that completely black armour would be a bit boring. I wasn’t sure what colour scheme to follow, but was originally thinking of a range of greys.
I’d previously painted hands and face, so I started with a light grey over all the armour, helm, pants and boots. I experimented a little with some other grey on sleeves and wasn’t satisfied. Then I decided to treat his pants like leather on some of my skeletons and so they got a brown (Burnt Umber) with a black wash. Later I went a bit darker brown on the bottom of his “jacket” (okay), then a hint of purple (not so good), and after checking LotR this morning added some black.
Recent painting with Azazel has shown me how “inks” work. (I’d heard about them, but never used any) Soon after that I knew what I was going to do here – he got a “wash” with (‘the Army Painter’) Dark Tone ink. This brought out the lines (and especially the ‘eyes’) on the armour and detailed his hands and face very well. It also helped pick out the parchment. A bit of purple on the sword scabbard and green on the hilt. White skulls, his real eyes in red, black on the helmet and arms. Most of the ‘eyes’ on the armour are too small to properly detail so I went with the large eye on front and back – white base, yellow, red centre, then some orange over the yellow. The larger of the small eyes are all just yellow with a bit of red in the middle – 3 at the front, 2 at the back, 1 on helm, and 1 each shoulder. A hint of yellow and red for the eye on the parchment and some red for the ‘M’ rune on it.
I’ll come back and touch up the rest of the parchment – I want to remove some of that red running across the front, and have it less grey. There are two small skulls on the helm that for some reason have a protruding spiked ‘nose’. I’m not impressed by their look and may take the nose off and make them a standard skull, like the belt buckle.
For completeness: I have counted 63 visible ‘eyes’ on this figure. That’s not counting on the sword or parchment!