Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Fomorians, Ushabti and Wolfen

My Other Fantasy Army Factions (Prepped and/or Undercoated)

There are not so many figures in each of these factions, so I will run through what I have prepped and undercoated so far for each of the three armies; Fomorians, Ushabti, Wolfen.

As mentioned previously these will appear as allies to the other LotR factions when used in my own universe battles. I like the idea of some strangeness appearing on the tabletop upon occasion to spice things up a bit.


29 Fomorian warriors
2 Ushabti
14 Wolfen warriors

It would be nice to spring these forces onto an unsuspecting opponent and see their reaction. Without knowing points values and so on, the opponent would be likely very wary of attacking these warriors and monsters, which to me seems so much more realistic than the opponent seeing them and saying: "Oh yeah, they are worth twenty points, my three warriors can take one of those down easily".

I like the idea of the unknown on the tabletop - it makes for a more fun game. Obviously I would not set a very unbalanced/overpowered force against an opponent as that would not be fair; just inject an element of doubt and surprise.

Saturday, 15 June 2019

My Lord of the Rings armies

Now that I have finally got nearly all of my Games Workshop Lord of the Rings figures out of their boxes, cut off their sprues, pulled from their blisters, tidied up and, in many cases, undercoated I will stop and take stock of what I have. There are probably one or two figures that I have missed on the lists, but in the scheme of things those few won't make too much difference to the overall numbers.

I divided the figures up into several themed factions and put them away - into the Kaiser Rushforth storage boxes I have had lying around for many years - based on those divisions. They seem to go nicely into the storage boxes except for a few oversized miniatures (mounted warriors with banners and upright lances mainly, but also the cave trolls and Shelob) which I will have to think about.

Now that the vast majority are prepped and undercoated, I am hoping to start to put some paint onto them and thereby get them ready for the tabletop. This will take me a lot of courage going forwards as my eyesight for close work has deteriorated quite badly over the last couple of years (especially two years ago with a brown out episode of my sight whilst driving!). As I still need to do a little more prep work with regards filling gaps with putty and completing the undercoating of the rest of the miniatures, it may be a while before I get around to actually painting anything. However, I am hoping that the warmer weather and therefore clearer, brighter days in the coming months will aid me somewhat in my endeavours.

Here is the final tally of numbers of figures I have per faction...

199 - Gondor
170 - Isengard
163 - Rohan
137 - Easterlings (85) and Harad (52)
73 - Khazad Dum
69 - Random Free Peoples
53 - Moria
10 - Mordor

874 figures in total.

This is quite a shocking number of figures to be honest. Thinking back on the amount of time, effort and money I spent on collecting these, I am wondering whether my efforts could have been spent better elsewhere? Yes, it is my hobby, but whoa, that is a lot! Admittedly I got the majority of these from the DeAgostini monthly (?) Battle Games in Middle Earth magazine and subsequent orders when the run had finished at a knock down price, so saved a pile there. Then I picked up a load of metals and random plastics on the cheap from eBay. There were not too many I actually bought full price from Games Workshop directly, so maybe the cost tally isn't too bad after all?

If I add in the allied fantasy contingents to these factions, then the total number soars by an additional 45 miniatures bringing the tally to well over 900 figures! This does not include all of the other figures (fantasy, historical, sci-fi) I have lying around - possibly another 4/500? Oh well, I will be busy up to and well into my retirement!

Friday, 7 June 2019

LotR Easterling/Harad Army

Lord of the Rings Easterling/Harad Army (Prepped and/or Undercoated)

I managed to get a lot of this work done yesterday alongside the Isengard stuff, so an early post today.

I have decided to combine these two factions into one post as I think they ally very well. I will be painting them so that they can be used either separately as Haradrim and Easterlings, or together as some kind of combined force that is tied together with the paint scheme.

These two factions combined make for a great themed army, with the Eeasterlings offering up the heavy infantry and heavy cavalry, whilst the Haradrim offer lightly armed and armoured skirmishers and mounted raiders, as well as some interesting one-offs in the form of half-trolls and hasharin.

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the two factions pre-prep...

I did include some EBob Mongols and a couple of other Citadel miniatures I thought might fit in, but have decded now to do away with those in order to streamline the army to just GW LotR products...

This force is made up of the following miniatures...

6 Easterling kataphrakts
42 Easterling warriors
6 Haradrim raiders
36 Haradrim warriors

2 Khamul the Ringwraith
12 Easterling kataphracts
8 Easterling heroes (capatins, banners, war priest etc.)
15 Easterling warriors
5 Haradrim heroes
3 Haradrim raiders
2 Half trolls

This gives a total of 137 evil mannish troops, consisting of 85 Easterlings and 52 Haradrim.

I have a short list of figures I would like to add to these factions just to round out a couple of units, but I am also wondering whether it would be possible to add some kind of artillery to the Easterling forces and perhaps scratch build some oliphaunts with riders?

I envisage the Easterlings as being quite advanced in field warfare, so I think artillery wouldn't look out of place - some kind of large siege/warbows, chariots of some kind (I am not keen on using the GW Khandish, but may appropriate the chariots for an Easterling crew) etc.

With regards the oliphaunts in the movies and what GW subsequently produced I am not able to get around their exaggerated size. Not sure if I am misremembering the first time Sam saw oliphaunts in the books, but I recall it as saying that the elephants were actually of a normal size, but due to Sam being practically half the size of a normal man they would appear twice as big. I will stick with my possibly misremembered theory and try to use some toy elephants that scale in and try to scratch build a howdah of some kind on them.

Thursday, 6 June 2019

LotR Isengard Army

Lord of the Rings Isengard Army (Prepped and/or Undercoated)

This is the first of the main evil armies (Moria is only a small army in comparison, so doesn't really count) to be photographed after being as completed as much as can be with the tools and time available.

I decided to incorporate all of my non-Mordor specific orcs into this army to give it a big boost. Unfortunately, I didn't spot that the bolt thrower has an Eye of Sauron motif on the front of it until I was putting the miniatures away again. Oh well, perhaps I will either not use it or just ignore the fact it is on there. Anyway, here is a pre-prep photo of the army; mostly pure Isengard...

And here is the same army prepped and mainly undercoated with the orc additions...

12 Warg riders
51 orcs
23 fighting Uruk Hai
8 Uruk Hai engineers with 2 bombs and 4 ladders
2 berserkers
24 Uruk Hai scouts

4 Isengard heroes (Saruman ft&mtd, Sharkey, Grima)
4 Warg rider heroes
14 Dunlending warriors (incl: ft&mtd Thrydan Wolfsbane)
4 orc command
3 Uruk Hai command
3 Uruk Hai crossbows
7 berserkers
3 Uruk Hai scouts
3 Uruk Hai heroes
5 orc crew and 1 ballista

This gives a total of 170 Isengard troops, 6 pieces of siege equipment and 1 piece of artillery, making it a marginally larger army than the Rohan faction but smaller than Gondor.

This army is now more than a match for Rohan, so will make for some interesting match ups later. Although Rohan have the mobility, Isengard has a solid core of well-armoured, hard-hitting troops.

I will most likely pick up a few more Rohan elites (Royal Guard and Outriders) and heroes (the new plastic Theoden, Eowyn and resin Elfhelm and Deorwine) when I have got further along the painting path with these, so will probably also pick up a few extra Uruk-Hai or whatever (maybe a siege ballista?) to round out this particular army.

Wednesday, 5 June 2019

LotR Gondor Army

Lord of the Rings Minas Tirith Army (Prepped and/or Undercoated)

Today I think we get onto the big one. This Gondor army has taken on a life of its own and been appended to with third party stuff that, to me, makes more sense.

I had a certain idea in my head about how I wanted this army to look and feel on the tabletop. I was kind of going for a Roman type feel with several branches of troop type that perform different functions on the battle field; after all, Gondor was fighting a war on several fronts against several enemies who all use different tactics.

No previous shot of the pre-prep army unfortunately so just the post-prep and mostly undercoated shot above. This army does look impressive on the tabletop I must say, even though much of it is unpainted and there are several miniatures that still need completing and undercoating.

72 Warriors of Minas Tirith
24 Ithilien rangers
18 Knights of Minas Tirith
12 Swan Kinghts of Dol Amroth

5 Heroes (Denethor, Boromir, 2xFaramir, Pippin)
2 King Elessar
1 Gandalf the White (mtd)
1 Faramir (mtd)
14 Gondor scouts (Faramir, banner bearer, 12xscouts)
2 Prince Imrahil (ft & mtd)
8 captains and banner bearers
14 Citadel Guard (2 heroes, 12 guard)
3 Fountain Court Guard
6 Osgiliath veterans
6 Ithilien ranger heroes
4 warmachines
7 crew

This gives a total of 199 Gondor troops and 4 pieces of artillery.

Gondor, being the pinnacle of the mannish kingdoms, should rightly have all the cutting edge technology in warfare, although Isengard under Saruman's guidance with his cogs and wheels will come a close second.

I have a strong core of foot soldiers armed with swords and/or spears in heavy armour with archer support for the main body, plus artillery, and heavy cavalry in the form of the plastic Knights of Minas Tirith and Swan Knights of Dol Amroth to back them up. For skirmishing there are the rangers and the original metal Knights of Minas Tirith that I will be using as scouts. This faction has plenty of named heroes for leading the troops into battle and Gandalf the White for a bit of magical punch.

With regards the artillery, I was never keen on the Avenger bolt thrower or the trebuchet models offered by Games Workshop, so I went all historical and bought Warlord Games's onager, ballista and a couple of scorpions for battle field support. I am using the GW crew members for them though.

There isn't really much to add to this army list except maybe some fiefdom units. Again, I am not keen on the GW versions of fiefdom troops, so will most likely just give that a miss. They would add a little more colour and more tactical nuances but I think what I have is more than enough.

Monday, 3 June 2019

LotR Rohan Army

Lord of the Rings Rohirrim Army (Prepped and/or Undercoated)

Managed to get some work done on things over the weekend in between running the kids around and various other stuff on my plate, so this post is being published a little earlier in the day than usual.

Due to being my favourite Lord of eth Rings faction, this was the first army I started prepping and painting several years ago. I managed to complete 24 Riders and 36 Warriors of Rohan back then. I even got to play a few games with some of them down at my local GW when it was still open. These miniatures will form the core of my Rohan army and the figures will be used as parts of any force under any commander - kind of generic troops that can fit in anywhere within the army.

I didn't previously take a before shot with these, so here is the prepped and/or undercoated picture of the figures so far; taken today. There are a lot of miniatures here...

There are loads of different types of warrior in the Rohan faction ranging from the standard warriors and riders of Rohan, via elites like Royal Guard, Sons of Eorl and Outriders, to the goodly amount of named heroes. Rohan, as an army, offers a fair bit of variety tactically but the troops are fairly standard, building on a theme of a mounted warrior culture, with nothing really "out there" in terms of fluff like warmachines, monsters, wizards or whatever. That said, it is a solid army and looks darned good on the tabletop - who doesn't like to see a full-on massed cavalry charge?

48 Rohan warriors
36 Rohan riders

3 Theoden (2xmtd, 1xft)
10 Royal Guard (mtd)
2 Royal Guard banners (mtd)
12 Royal Guard (ft)
Grima Wormtongue
5 Gamling (2xmtd banner, 1xft banner, 2xft)

3 Theodred (2xmtd, 1xft)
6 Sons of Eorl (mtd)
6 Sons of Eorl (ft*)

5 Eomer (Marshall (ft*&mtd), 2xmtd, 1xft)
4 Outriders (2xft, 2xmtd)

4 Eowyn (3xft, 1xmtd)

2 Erkenbrand (ft & mtd)
3 Grimbold (ft, banner, horn)

6 Captains (4xft, 2xmtd)
3 Banners (2xft, 1xmtd)

Aragorn (mtd)
2 Merry

This gives a total of 163 Eorlingas: the biggest army so far. I wonder how Gondor and Isengard will compare? Looking at what I have here and the plans I originally had for the army, I don't think I will be purchasing any more figures (unless they come with something else). There will have to be a lot of doubling up of what each figure is used for rather than representing each unit I would like to collect as a separate entity.

The vast majority of these miniatures are from Games Workshop, but a few that are marked * are from Unreleased Miniatures - I discussed these in a previous post. Looking at the plastic warrior and rider miniatures now and comparing them to more modern figures, they seem very basic, with lots of big areas where undercuts could not be circumvented except by straight line fill, but at the time they were cutting edge. There is a certain aesthetic and appeal to these miniatures that time hasn't dulled. I like them a lot.