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Author Topic: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Legolas joins the party  (Read 1283 times)

Offline Daeothar

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Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Legolas joins the party
« on: April 05, 2021, 10:35:58 PM »
Ever since I had my first experience with miniatures through the Hero Quest game, I've been wanting to marry this hobby with my love for Tolkien's seminal work, Lord of the Rings. The medium of miniatures created a freedom  to recreate all the battles and adventures I had running around in my teenage (at the time) head, that was unsurpassed.

Mind; this was decades before the advent of Peter Jackson's cinematic masterpiece, and all I had to go on was my own imagination and the rereading of 'the book' about once a year. So I was well versed in the descriptions of the characters and events, and with the wonderful way the mind works, all of the blanks were easily filled in with all the accumulated references of my youth.

This way Aragorn, for instance, took on the shape of the dean at my highschool, him being a figure of authority, protection and a mentor. It was only years later that I managed to figure out that my young mind had put that face there, probably because I identified myself with Frodo at the time. Him, on the surface, being the main hero of the story (Nowadays, I see myself more like a Sam though, with my adventuring days over, being a father myself, and having a fondness for good food ;) ).

Eventually, I bought myself the ICE Middle Earth roleplaying game, hoping to get my friends into gaming that setting. But not all of them had even read LotR (*gasp*), and the group prefered to stick with our casual games of Oog des Meesters (Das Schwarze Auge in German. I can't imagine it was called The Black Eye in English though).

So I got stuck with a very nicely illustrated book that, in a lot of ways, augmented my own visions of the setting, and did not clash with them where there was overlap. In fact, the aforementioned Aragorn did actually bear a passing resemblance to that old dean in Angus McBride's artwork on the cover of the book. And to this day, his illustration of GaladriŽl is the best one, as far as I'm concerned.



I never got as far as to buy into the Mithril miniatures though, as I was further sucked into all the 40K and WHFB games, from which I only emerged two decades later.

By then, I had seen the Peter Jackson movies, and even though I loved (almost) every minute of them, and I recognized and respected the grand vision of mr. Jackson, it was clear to me that it was not my vision. In a way, I almost regretted that I had seen them, because they now inadvertedly started to influence my own, carefully built, vision of Middle Earth.

Even though I fought it, it did gradually erode my own imagination because, especially at the time, one could not look anywhere without being bombarded by stills, artwork, miniatures, etc from, or inspired by, the films. Jackson's trilogy was everywhere.

But it has been over a decade since I've seen them now (even though I own them on DVD), and ever so slowly, I found that my own interpretation began to push aside the Jacksonesque imagery. Not everywhere, obviously, and not everywhere as strongly, but I did find that my vision has re-emerged. It has evolved though.

My Aragorn has matured away from that dean. Maybe he picked up a bit of Viggo Mortensen along the way, but he's largely the result of my own musings again, and reflecting my own journey, just like all the other characters, locations and proceedings.

And now, close to fourty years after I first read my first copy, I am finally ready to translate my own vision of Middle Earth into miniature. Hopefully to at some point game with them too.

'My' Gandalf started this whole thing off. Searching for something entirely different some yeara ago, I stumbled upon an image of this miniature and immediately knew that this was him. So I tracked down where it came from, and bought myself one. Turns out it was a bit of limited edition by Reaper.

The Hobbits were another lucky find, when I chanced upon the, now defunct, Sergeant Major website, where they offered the old Vendel fantasy ranges (amongst others). One set in particular though  caught my eye; it had the four hobbits, two wizards and one or two humans. It was the hobbits I was after, but them being located in the US, and not reacting to any of my emails, combined with the quite ridiculous postage kept me from pulling the trigger on that one. Until some years later, I saw them come by in the Bazaar here on the LAF and quickly scooped them up.

Aragorn came about when I first saw the Rangers of Shadowdeep miniatures. They had one in particular that perfectly met my requirements, so when I ordered him, I checked the rest of the range, oly to find that, with a little work, one of the miniatures in the range could work really well as a Boromir too. In particular, the addition of a horn on his belt is required, but an easy fix.

So that left me just a dwarf and elf short of a full nine walkers.

And browsing through all my bookmarked miniature stores (I have a LOT of bookmarked miniature stores ::) ), I inadvertedly ended up on the Reaper site again, and this time I found the perfect elf. I then also picked out a reasonably OK dwarf, and they are on their way to me now. Once they arrive, I will prep the elf, and check if the dwarf is usable. Worst case, I will have to prowl around for that one perfect dwarf some more.



In fact, I'm so close to rounding out my perfect Fellowship of the Ring by now, that I've tentatively begun to look around for additional miniatures for this project. I figured that assembling a small band of Orcs might be a good start to that.

And since his images have been just about cemented into my brain all those years ago, I will be going for a strong Angus McBride vibe with them. In fact, I got myself some Wargames Factory ones (before they closed down and emerged as Wargames Atlantic), to combine with Oathmark Goblins, Dark Age Warriors, and even Roman Auxiliaries. This will be quite the enjoyable kitbash, I reckon.



But first, I am going to assemble all the possible 'official' descriptions of the Fellowship's members (colour of hair and clothing, specific symbols and attributes, etc) so I can, where possible, strictly adhere to Tolkien's own writings. One enjoyable way is to re-read the book yet again (it has been a while), but that's also a quite slow one.

So I'm hoping that some of the well versed in Tolkien lore forum members, such as Hobgoblin or Ethelred perhaps, might point me in the direction of an internet repository of knowledge on this topic. I can't be the first one to want this type of specific information after all...
« Last Edit: April 13, 2021, 07:36:26 PM by Daeothar »
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Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 10:51:15 PM »
Great project! I reckon the world needs many more Tolkien interpretations, in all media, that are not Peter Jackson's!

This site is really good for finding specific descriptions and citations in a hurry. I don't think it's exhaustive, but it's certainly a good start.

Offline Mr.J

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2021, 11:12:22 PM »
Looking forward to seeing this progress. It looks good so far.

Offline Blackwolf

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2021, 11:49:17 PM »
Interesting project mate :)
Unfortunately/fortunately I walked out of the final LOTR film,all three made various heretical transgressions... my favourite bad quote from the films ďthe men are quiet but the horses are restless ď lol And now days I find the books unreadable however I had read them about 30 times,Iím much more of a Silmarillion fan these days(and all that entails),and will pore over obscurities within the canon at length.
Having said all that Iím always up for a new take,and knowing your skills,weíre up for a cracker!
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Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 02:46:27 AM »
Great start, looking forward to seeing this develop mate.
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Offline SBMiniaturesGuy

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 05:42:11 AM »
Hi,
The image links are broken -- can you re-post the images? Love to see what you're doing!
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Online AKULA

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 06:35:05 AM »
It is always enjoyable to see different interpretations of any subject, particularly one with such a high profile set of imagery.

I look forward to watching your progress  :)

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 09:15:52 AM »
 Many thanks, gentlemen, especially Hobgoblin for steering me in the right direction as far as descriptions are concerned. I've already come quite far in establishing a repository of features for each of the characters, but the hobbit companions. There's very little, if any information at all on them, but in these cases, I'll just let the miniatures speak for themselves.

I already decided to make the two bareheaded ones Frodo and Sam, while the two hooded ones will be Merry and Pippin, for ease of recognition on the tabletop.


Hi,
The image links are broken -- can you re-post the images? Love to see what you're doing!

Try using a different browser. I have found that of late, my old-school web-space is not secured (no 's' behind the http), and Chrome will not display the images. Rest assured that you will see them when using Firefox, or even your phone. Can't be helped for the time being I'm afraid...

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2021, 09:12:38 PM »
There's only a small bit of progress to divulge, but with the BSC looming, in which I will be participating again, there is the very real risk that there will be little Middle Earth stuff getting done on the short term, in lieu of getting that Difficult Terrain finished in time... ::)

Firstly, I found an even better dwarf to represent Gimli in the form of the Dwarf Ranger in the Otherworld range, and he's on his way over here now. I can only go by the pictures, obviously, but the proportions on that mini are a lot more in line with the miniatures I had already picked (read: more realistic, as opposed to the now generally accepted rotundness of GW style dwarves).

I can only hope that the elf will fit in just as well.

Then, I could not help myself and I began the preliminary construction testing of my kitbash-orcs. Remember that Angus McBride look I am after? These two are mere combinations of Oathmark Goblins and Wargames Factory Orcs, but I feel they're actually pretty close to the mark already!

For this test couple, I simply spliced WF Orc heads onto Oathmark Goblins, with the addition of some WF equipment. And that seems to work. Their height, when compared to my soon to be Aragorn is about right (granted; I cheated a little by taking away their integrated bases, while I did not do that with the nine walkers, but I felt that the extra mm height difference was required), and proportions are also good.

Aside from the neck connections being incompatible without some cutting and shaving, the heads match the bodies well enough, and mixing arms is also not an issue. Weapon swaps should also not be a problem, although I think I will not be using the WF loose weapons in open hands method; I much prefer the Oathmark cast on weapons, as that simply looks better.

So I will, in those cases, rather cut off open hands and replace them with hands with cast on weapons, or cut away weapons to pin others in place.

All in all not a taxing conversion/bashing proces indeed. I did the above two within one hour, and that's including familiarizing myself with the sprues, bits and construction differences between the two brands and cleaning them up!

Anyhow; here they are, sidling up cosily to wannabe-Aragorn. If only they knew...


Online AKULA

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - First test Orcs
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2021, 09:41:09 PM »
Nice work - I do like that ranger figure...almost bought one last week as the basis for the King Beyond the Wall

 :)

Offline Ragnar

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - Gathering the Fellowship
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2021, 09:57:13 PM »
Try using a different browser. I have found that of late, my old-school web-space is not secured (no 's' behind the http), and Chrome will not display the images. Rest assured that you will see them when using Firefox, or even your phone. Can't be helped for the time being I'm afraid...

Also, right-clicking on the icon and selecting open image in new tab works for Chrome.
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Offline James Morris

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - First test Orcs
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2021, 06:38:07 AM »
Love your detailed explanations and write up.  Looking forward to seeing paint on those carefully picked minis!

Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - First test Orcs
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2021, 07:05:50 AM »
Yeah it is great to hear your thoughts on the subject... and so far they all look the part!

Offline Daeothar

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - First test Orcs
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2021, 07:36:10 PM »
Thank you gentlemen; comments are always appreciated.

Just this evening (during dinner even), my choice of Legolas arrived. So I could not help myself to take the mini downstairs after escorting the Khaleesi my daughter to bed, to check if it would go with my other choices as well as I hoped.

And guess what? It does!

Being Reaper, it came with a stonking big integral base, which I cut away for the most part, and then filed down to the same thickness as the bases I'm using for this project; Renedra plain plastic bases.

I then copied the raggedly cut shape onto the base with a permanent marker and cut out that shape. Then it was a case of checking and fitting till it snugly fit in.

I've done this mayn times before, so I've developed a bit of an eye for it, and the fitting took mere minutes.

Then it was a bit of superglue gel and pressing the remaing metal of the integrated base into the plastic one, making sure the bottoms were flush. and presto; Legolas is ready for duty.

In my mind's eye, Elves were always slighter and a bit shorter than humans, even though Tolkien describes them as being tall, and often indistinguishable from Men.

Here though, I went with my own interpretation ('cuz it's my party, and I'll file if I want to), as evidenced by this terrible picture of Legolas next to Aragorn...


Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Daeothar does Lord of the Rings - First test Orcs
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2021, 07:52:21 PM »
In my mind's eye, Elves were always slighter and a bit shorter than humans, even though Tolkien describes them as being tall, and often indistinguishable from Men.

Here though, I went with my own interpretation ('cuz it's my party, and I'll file if I want to), as evidenced by this terrible picture of Legolas next to Aragorn...

He looks good - and you've got textual support for your interpretation, at least within the context of the Fellowship:

"Aragorn was the tallest of the Company, but Boromir, little less in height, was broader and heavier in build. He led the way and Aragorn followed him."

This comes just after Boromir says, "The strongest of us must seek a way". So for all Tolkien goes on later about Legolas being "tall as a young tree," it's pretty clear that he saw Aragorn and Boromir as being taller and stronger-looking than the elf.

 

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