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I expect this is going to be a long-running WIP thread. My intention is to convert this heap of vintage lead into war games armies to allow me to field forces for a variety of Tolkien situations, using only vintage Minifigs. For those who are younger than me, Minifigs produced this line of Tolkien-inspired figures starting in 1972, and, as far as we've ever been able to determine, it was the first range of specifically fantasy miniatures ever produced. They were the first that I bought as well, and I will freely admit that this is a nostalgia project. I posted a batch of finished elves this morning. Here's what I have left to do: two elf riders, an elf king to form a second command stand, 14 elf swordsmen, and 9 elf bowmen (three of whom have lost arrows and one who's been redone as a standard bearer for the command stand.) For the era of the Battle of the Five Armies, they have some dwarf allies. Here's a dozen, representing all three stock numbers that were produced. Each stock number was a strip of two. I have a batch of seven already finished and based. Minifigs did not issue any specific Lakemen, nor, for that matter, any specific Rohirrim on foot. For the Five Armies-era humans, I'll have to reach into the historical and use some figures from their NS (Norman/Saxon) range with round shields. I've got about three dozen available with which to work. They should also serve as dismounted Rohirrim when needed. Beorn and Gandalf are also available, and a token eagle... To continue with the good guys, there were two catalog numbers of actual mounted Rohirrim. I have two completed so far, and about 22 available, including a few Later Romans or similar Dark Ages figures which blend well. A few spare horses remain to be found. The Gondorians were represented by five different figures, a citadel guardsman, two rangers of Ithilien, a spearman, a swordsman, and a foot knight. I've got at least a dozen of each, plus a total of two dozen of ME53 and 54, Rangers of the North. The Dark Lord's forces can be lead by the imposing squadron of flying Nazgul, of which I have four: I have 18 wargs (plus a few already finished), but only two of the goblin riders: Large orcs came in three poses, with sword, axe or spear. I've got about 85 to be done: Smaller orcs came in four poses, a bowman, a swordsman without shield, a swordsman with shield, and a well equipped armored goblin with shield, spear and bow. Of that latter, I've only got a handful, all completed. Of the first three, I've got about seventy from a recent purchase: There is also one pose of little goblins. I finished a few of them last month. I've got more, but they are sitting in paint stripper at the moment. Sauron's human allies were represented by four poses of figures; there was a Haradrim spearman and a mounted lancer, of which I've got about 30 and 5 respectively: There was also a Southern spearman and a mounted swordsman. I only have a token 3 of the spearmen, so they won't be a unit on their own, but I do have nine of the mounted swordsmen, so they can be. Last, I have a hobbit militia of about a dozen, plus a couple of mounted hobbits. The foot hobbits came in strips of three, and one strip is much easier to find than the other... My basic plan is going to be to play these with Dragon Rampant, which generally uses units of six mounted or twelve foot figures, with provision for heroes and large monsters as exceptions. However, some of the teams will be big enough that I could use Chaos Wars (also in sixes and twelves), and I expect that an actual Battle of the Five Armies game my brother and I have been discussing will take every orc/goblin that we have painted. Edit: Ooops! Forgot the Dunlendings; there are enough of them to make a unit, and given Saruman's forces a bit of distinctiveness...
Since I went ahead and posted the big project WIP for this, here's what I've already got on hand to start with. For orcs etc., I've finished 6 of the man-orcs, 7 armored goblins with spears and bows, 3 "true orcs", and 7 of the little goblins. There are also four wolves and a rider, a "troll", and two Nazgul on horseback that still sport an original 1970s paint job. For my own amusement, every shield so far is unique, although I hope that the running black/red/white theme gives them a related look. By the time I do nearly two hundred more, I expect there to be some duplication. So far, all of the orcs and goblins have been individually based, but for wargaming purposes, I will be switching to three or six figure bases once I've done a dozen big orcs, two dozen middle orcs, and a dozen little orcs. This stand of dwarves was one of the triggers for my full-scale vintage binge; the figures came from a dealer table at Cold Wars in 2015, and I hadn't seen a Mythical Earth figure in a long time. The elf army to date suffers from a bit of indecision on basing. The one scout stand in the front on the 60mm square base was built from the same bag of miniatures that contained the dwarves. I didn't think I'd ever see another. As I work through the remaining figures, I'll need to do one more stand of three to match it, which will do duty as a Dragon Rampant scout unit, but the rest of the elves will be in threes. Anything that doesn't currently work out to a twelve man unit will be mounted individually, like the archer next to the command stand. The two stands of ents and huorns (the range contained two of each for some reason) have been with me since the '70s. I "enhanced" the horns with some Woodland Scenics tufts, but any more that I acquire, like the large Huorn in the middle, will not be so treated. I was playing with him to attempt to make his bark a more typical tree bark gray. I've got five or so ents awaiting attention, and two more huorns are inbound, so Fangorn Forest is well represented. For humans, I've mostly been doing samples to get the feel of working with them. The back row is a little group of really old Minifig Vikings (base code V5). I got about ten of them in a lot, and the ME range has few archers. I expect them to do duty as needed as Dunlendings, Rohirrim, or Lakefolk. In the front row, a historical NS (Norman/Saxon) spearman is a sample of historical who will be adopted for the same block of cultures. Next to him is a slightly later IR (Imperial Roman) range early Dark Ages warlord, who fits my idea of a Rohirrim leader on foot. Then we have two actual ME mounted Rohirrim, in the early versions. (The later versions were helmeted). You only need one Gandalf, at least on foot, and the ME53 Ranger swordsman has been done as my Aragorn figure. Next to him is a basic Gondorian swordsman, and an archer of Faramir's Ithilien rangers. As of today, they would make a rather odd skirmish game, but, given how far along the elves are, I think the first all-vintage-Minifigs battle is likely to be allies of the north against the goblins of the Misty Mountains.
Tolkien Bones/LE advice and future suggestions?
Librariarch posted a topic in Reaper's Product LinesAs you are probably already aware, there is an official Middle-earth D&D 5e setting being released this Summer by Cubicle 7. This will no doubt create strong demand for figures for people's campaigns. I've noticed there are numerous figures already in production that will adapt well. The orcs in KS3, the Mountain Troll in KS2 (a tad Jackson-esque, but perfect for a big Olog-Hai or the like: MORE OF THESE!), the ogres in KS3 (perfect Tom, Bert, and William-MORE PLEASE!), the Balor from KS2 makes a passable Balrog (assuming Balrogs have wings), many dwarves, etc. This is only natural, as D&D is substantially derivative of Tolkien and Reaper's choice of subject matter is substantially derivative of D&D. Now obviously, lacking a license, nothing would be official, and trademarked names would be verboten. However, with this firmly in mind, my question is this: a) which figures already in production do you think work best as Middle-earth characters, monsters, etc., and b) what would you like to see to fill out the traditional Middle-earth bestiary in any potential KS4 or LE KS, bearing in mind that as the actual number of different species of monsters will be more limited, a variety of weaponry, poses, armour, sexes, and the like will be important
In contnuing to play around with painting some vintage lead, here are two early Tolkien-inspired figures. The little guy on the left is a Minifigs (Miniature Figurines, Ltd.) ME-50 goblin, from their Mythical Earth range (around 1973). I believe this was the first commercial line of fantasy figures, so you can see the sort of thing we had to work with, back when dinosaurs ruled the earth. On the right is an early Tom Meier sculpt, from Ral Partha, an E551 Southron spearman from their Wizards, Warriors, and Warlocks range. He's got a 1976 base stamp, so you can see why those early Ral Parthas were so amazing when they first came out. I am also working on a handful of Minifig historicals of similar vintage, so I shall hope to post them for comparison later, along with Sir Forescale.
Tolkien's hand-annotated Middle Earth map up for sale
Pingo posted a topic in General Fantasyhttp://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/oct/23/jrr-tolkien-middle-earth-annotated-map-blackwells-lord-of-the-rings Apparently this was one of the printed fold-out maps from an earlier edition which Tolkien made notes on for illustrator Pauline Baynes to make a big color poster of in 1970. It has various jotted notes in pencil and green ink and is being offered by Blackwell's Rare Books for Â£60,000.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Thrym posted a topic in Off-Topic RampancyIt's 3:30am EST on the 14th of December, 2012. And I have just gotten home from seeing The Hobbit's first installment at the sneak preview. Quite an excellent movie. I won't go into it much as I assume many of us ReaperHeads will be off to add our hard earned Kickstarter monies towards the movie this weekend. Personally, our group had no issues with the 48 frame rate nor the 3D. Everything was spectacular looking. No real grousing to be had from this end aside from the fact that it took some time getting underway. Look for some familiar faces. Couple of them were surprises, at least to me anyways. Let's give it the weekend before posting spoilers and what not. Enjoy the show.