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Lord of the rings

I have no idea how popular this Games Workshop game is though as they have recently released the Battle of Pelennor fields box set so there must be a market I guess. Of all the GW products I have always thought that the LOTR miniatures are the finest they have ever made having gained this impression through visiting Warhammer World and seeing the huge range on display. The sculpting is phenomenal with the character figures actually looking like the actors. This must be very difficult and is noticeably not the case with some ffg miniatures from another Galaxy far far away…

As such I am always happy to get commissions for LOTR and recently have painted a few Rohan figures, plastics and resins, and enjoyed them all. First up some Rohirrim Cavalry.

The design of these miniatures with what looks like the Sutton Hoo helmet and Late Roman/Byzantine scale type armour is arresting and puts me in mind of both early Saxons and Romano British. The green cloaks and shields unite the units visually as well. They have a real Dark Ages warband feel about them and again make me think of an Arthurian warlord such as may have inhabited the ruins of the Roman fort at Birdoswald.

As an aside my great uncle William Henry Johnson served alongside JRR Tolkien in the same battalion in WW1 until Tolkien was invalided out in 1916. Tolkien was the Signals officer for the battalion and had a team of around 15 Signallers handling communications within the battalion area, mainly using runners I imagine and my great uncle was one of those signallers. Unfortunately WH Johnson was killed at the end of October 1918. Weirdly my father was also a signaller and ran for the Army and my daughter is an Elite level runner….

Returning to the Rohirrim there were also foot figures matching the Cavalry in every way. In my pictures I separated them into men with Hand weapons, those with bows and those with spears as below

The Characters These figures were done slightly later than the previous when I was experimenting with a black background – jury still out – and are resin. I don’t know if this is the finecast resin or something new but it was sharp and easy to work with so no complaints. The arrows and spear were a bit wobbly but it was easy to cut and almost as smooth as the plastics.

Here we have a grizzled vet reaching for another arrow having fired all his straight ones. Centre has an axe armed hero strangling a goblin whilst shouting for somebody to bring another goblin because he has broken his. Finally on the right a warrior either blowing a horn or taking a swig from it, not clear.

King Theoden (Bernard Hill)

One of my favourite characters from LOTR with Bernard Hill delivering a great doomed king hoping to rejoin his son Theodred in whatever passes for Rohirrim heaven. The miniatures sre astounding with more details revealing themselves as you paint them, mainly horse based detailing! The mounted version which was built with the helmet on though I think a bare headed version is available – for Theoden not the horse. The horse is the famous Snowmane which rather clumsily falls on Theoden at Pelennor fields. Probably did loads of good stuff in its life and is remembered forever for one mistake…

... JRR Tolkien (the unedited version)

Arise, arise, Riders of Théoden! Fell deeds awake, fire and slaughter! spear shall be shaken, shield be splintered, a sword-day, a red day, ere the sun rises! Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor! And try not to let your bloody stupid horse fall on you!

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