I really cannot say enough positives about War of the Ring.
It's so awesome that Fantasy Flight games put out a hyper expensive limited edition painted version. For roughly A BILLION ZILLION dollars to buy new. Sad thing is, the paint jobs were quite garish and a bit poo in all honesty. Thankfully I had saved all that money by buying an unpainted set and painting it myself (until someone points out that 100 hours painting if I had paid myself $4 an hour I would have lost money)
I PAINT BECAUSE I LIKE TO!
Ahem! Anyways. I painted my War of the Ring to a "Looks good on the table" standard. The models are pretty poor quality in all honesty. The plastic is soft and droopy and the detail is not so good. Not to mention the Nazgul who overbalance very easily. But a painted set looks 1000 times better than an unpainted set, it also makes it a lot easier to play as you can tell which guy is Rohan and which is Gondor.
Saurons units are the Nazgul for leaders (Only evil faction with leader units), Orcs for regular troops and Olog-Hai for Elite troops.
This is a pretty mediocre photo, but you can see i went for a dead flesh look for the Orcs and Nazgul and a very deep scaly green/black mix for the Olog Hai.
Isengard (That's the forces of Saruman) have Uruk-Hai for regular troops and Warg riders for elites.
The Uruk-Hai are the worst models in the game. Big silly mouths and a weird pose, its hard to make them look even passable. the Wargs on the other hand are great, a nice dynamic pose and some simple brown with brown ink on the Wargs and the look quite good.
I'm not gonna lie, the Haradrim are by far my favorite models in the game. The Infantry units are a nice simple sculpt with enough detail to work with and the Elephants (or Olliphants ain't it?) are a great unit on the table. Extremely characterful and decidedly chunky compared to everyone else in the game.
Finally, we come to the Character models for the bad guys team.
On the left we have Saruman the white wizard.... who i believe was the first model I white spray painted to undercoat in 10 years. I hate painting white, especially guys in white robes with white beards. I think he turned out ok, just enough grey to darken the shadows and give some definition.
The dude in the middle is the Witch King of Angmar and is a totally badass model by the games standards. I painting him, and the Mouth of Sauron (Phwoarr... dirty) in much the same style, dark, metallic, menacing.
I think the key to painting boardgames is to know the limits of the models. They tend to be far worse quality than your GW/PP wargaming models.... so don' paint them the same way. Just get them to a nice respectable level, dont spend hours on them.
Spray, base coat, ink, simple highlight, detail, base colour ring to show faction.... THAT'S IT
After that you have ever diminishing returns on your time.
I'll continue this series with part two, the good guys from the core game...... at some point I really should paint the expansion.