Saturday, 22 September 2018

“Much that once was, is lost...”



In the dim and distant past, before I lived where I live now, before I did what I do now, before this blog ever existed, I began collecting Lord of the Rings miniatures when the game was first released.



Lord of the Rings has always been my first love in terms of nerdish fandom, easily beating the likes of Star Wars, Batman and other nostalgic delights. I also loved the films. They were pretty much as good as movies of the books could get. Therefore the Lord of the Rings Miniatures Game seemed to be the perfect gaming project for me.



I painted the Fellowship, some Nazgûl, Arwen, Saruman, some Elves, a few Numenoreans, a host of Moria Goblins and even a Cave Troll.



I had a paint queue that included Uruk-Hai, a second Fellowship (although second Boromir was in the process of dying), Warriors of Minas Tirith, another Cave Troll and even a Balrog. I had my eyes on the Two Towes boxed set too.



And then something happened...I joined a gaming club for the first time in my life.



It was full of really fantastic people, most of whom are still friends to this day. They played Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer Ancient Battles, Blood Bowl and Flames of War. They drew me into smaller games like Saga, away from the bigger games companies and encouraged me to become the ecclectic gamer you know today.



But they didn’t play Lord of the Rings.



My collection lay unused, and my paint queue remained unpainted. Slowly, but surely models were diverted to other projects. Second Legolas joined the ranks of my Warhammer Wood Elves as a unit champion, dying Boromir became part of a unit filler diorama in my Bretonnian infantry, and the Nazgûl sold their swords in the service of my Vampire Counts.



The unpainted models I owned were sold to fund other projects, and finally I exchanged my painted models for some unpainted Napoleonic British. All that I kept were the Fellowship of the ring and those few models that I was using in other armies.



It is the only painted ‘army’ that I have ever sold, and I’ve regretted it ever since. I didn’t even do anything with the British.



History passed into legend, legend passed into myth, and my interest in gaming the Lord of the Rings passed out of all knowledge of those that I gamed with. Until, when chance came, it ensnared new victims.



The new edition of the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game was released and Pete expressed an interest in dong an army, Minas Tirith specifically. Mike started working on some Khandish chariots he had bought for another project. Wes surprised us all by buying the Pelennor Fields boxed set and Matt casually mentioned that he still had the Hobbit boxed set sitting unopened.



And the old desire to game Lord of the Rings came roaring back into my soul.



The Fellowship were dusted off (literally, they’ve been on a shelf for fifteen years), given a quick wash as they were painted before Agrax Earthshade (aka ‘Liquid Talent’) was invented, given some base attention, and a couple of coats were redone in slightly less garish colours.



Given that I did these so long ago, I was surprised how good they were in comparison to a lot of my earlier painting. I really must have taken my time with them, or my eyes were just better back then. I particularly like Boromir’s coat and the cloaks and robes. These are genuinely some of my favourite models that I’ve ever painted.



And so, I’m back into Lord of the Rings. The bits box has been scoured for the few remaining models, the Nazgûl shall return to their rightful role (joined by some Wargs that were used as Dire Wolves), eBay has already been hit for some second hand miniatures, and I’ve watched all three films in the space of a week.

At some point, I’ll probably need to buy some rules...

14 comments:

  1. Very nice, and a trip down the time tunnel to boot. Good luck with the renewed project. :)

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    1. Cheers. I enjoyed writing this post more than most.

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  2. https://therenaissancetroll.blogspot.com/2018/09/creating-ranger-for-rangers-of-shadow.html Joe McCullough is about to release a small scale set of rules suitable for solo play which I am re-purposing some Lord of the Rings figures. Small figure count and playing area.

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    1. Thanks for the link. I’ll have a look.

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  3. Great stuff Kieron! Incredible brushwork for your first ever minis, every single figure looks amazing! I too have gotten the LOTR bug with the release of the new rules :)

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    1. Thanks Ivor. They weren’t my first ever minis (those were skeletons for my VC army), these were just my first LotR minis. Sorry for the confusion. They’re still better than a chunk of stuff I’ve done recently. I think I’m getting sloppy.

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  4. Welcome back into the GW sideshow! I still hold that the LOTR SBG is Games Workshop's most elegant ruleset, though best used for low model count skirmished rather than mass battles.

    My advice would be to pick up an older version of the rules on ebay. The a5 blue-covered paperback has all the rules and profiles you'd need (I think it was the Mines of Moria rulebook?). There are some more up-to-date rules out there, but I don't think they'd warrant buying the rather pricey books (and in fact I think you might have most of the new stuff in the Hobbit starter set).

    Instead, I'd invest in the Battle Companies book - perfect for starting off armies with some home-developed characters!

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    1. Thanks for the advice. It’s the new edition that’s prompted the interest in our group, so that’s what we’ll be focusing on. As I have the advantage of having a ready made force in the Fellowship, I’m not too worried about cost of rules.

      However, I’ve been watching a few games online and it’s amazing how much I remember.

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  5. Great work on these miniatures, Kieron. I missed the boat on the GW LoTR game and consequently, the miniatures. I'm not usually a fan of miniatures or book covers that use the likenesses of actors, but this line is a notable exception. Glad to see you're finally going to get some use out of them
    Also, I laughed aloud at the Agrax Earthshade = Liquid Talent remark. Well said.

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    1. The metals of the range were always nice. Unfortunately they moved to finecast later on - something I’ve never had the ‘pleasure’ of working with. The plastics are a bit more ‘meh’.

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  6. Brilliant work on all of them, Kieron. As for me, LOTR and Star Trek via is near equal terms as most loved 'nerdish' works of fiction.

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    1. Thanks. For me, this is the one to rule them all.

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  7. Lovely Work on the fellowship set one of my favourite releases they did. I so wished they had stuck with metal.

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    1. So do I. Fortunately the part works magazine they did means there’s plenty of metal floating about on the second hand market.

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