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Author Topic: Book Faithful Easterlings  (Read 2483 times)

Offline jetengine

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2021, 04:31:30 PM »
I find it very interesting that the books suggest more of a mongolian/eastern european look whilst the movies (lets not aargue about quality/accuracy etc etc) go for a more Arabic inspired feel. Do you think it was Jackson and Co taking "Men from the east" a tad too literally?

Offline nicknorthstar

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2021, 05:32:37 PM »
IMPO, Jackson shouldn't be included in any talk about Tolkien. He made Peter Jacksons LotR, and his choices were about what the 'ignorant of Tolkien' cinema viewers would like and what they could make in budget.

The other 'steppe peoples' references are in the Appendices, I've not checked them out for this post, but the wain riders travelling and fighting from wagons can only come from historical steppe people references.

The medieval Russians from Fireforge are not Easterlings for me, they are Laketown, 100%. The drawing of Laketown in the Hobbit looks really Russian/ East European, I'd have them and the men of Dale looking like early Medieval Russians.

I recall someone using Chinese as Easterlings, being inspired by the vision of the chariots. I've no argument against that, it's just not the aesthetic for me.

Tolkien himself talked about being influenced by Roman History, something like someone with his education couldn't help but be influenced by the invasions and ebbs and flows of the history of Rome. I don't think that meant Gondorians should look like Romans (maybe Byzantines), but it does support the idea of Easterlings being Hun/ Avars etc.

On a separate note, although I'm in the 'Easterlings are steppe people' camp, the 1st Age Easterlings I'd definitely use the Frostgrave barbarians, painted with darker skin and black hair.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2021, 06:33:00 PM »
Tolkien himself talked about being influenced by Roman History, something like someone with his education couldn't help but be influenced by the invasions and ebbs and flows of the history of Rome. I don't think that meant Gondorians should look like Romans (maybe Byzantines), but it does support the idea of Easterlings being Hun/ Avars etc.

Yes - and I'm struck by the similarities between Tolkien's description of the Easterlings and his description of the Orcs in a letters as resembling "hideous and repulsive versions" of peoples of "Mongol-type". The Orc description doesn't sit comfortably with modern sensibilities, but it seems to me that Tolkien actually goes to some lengths to say that Orcs don't look like Steppe peoples but like monstrous versions of them.

In any case, the Easterlings are "short and broad" while Orcs are "squat and broad"; and both have long arms and "sallow" or "swart" skin. And Orcs use composite bows like Steppe peoples. In his published works, though, Tolkien, seems to use the archaic swart only for Orcs, not people, who are sometimes "swarthy" instead - perhaps a deliberate choice to separate monsters from Men.

Now, Tolkien's Orc descriptions seem to be very much influenced by Ammianus Marcellinus's famous description of the Huns - "more monsters than men", etc. - and its echoes in later texts (which include an association with wolves). The central event of so many of the Germanic sagas in which Tolkien was steeped is the destruction of the Burgundian kingdom by the Huns hired by Aetius.

So the Huns loomed very large in Tolkien's professional life. To create his Orcs, he seems to have literalised Ammianus's monstrous Huns and then given them the speech and mannerisms of brutish British soldiers - a comparison that he makes explicit in his letters. But while Orcs may have been made from Men, they are not Men - and so there are also Men who resemble real-world Steppe nomads rather than Ammianus's hyperbolic account of them.

But perhaps Tolkien's Easterlings are actually closer to the Scythians than the Huns. Now that I think of it, didn't the Scythians sometimes use chariots? And didn't they also typically wear beards and sometimes use axes (the Sagaris)?

Of course, later Steppe peoples like the Huns were often described as Scythians. But the historical Scythians might offer a way to field miniatures that are very much in line with Tolkien's descriptions.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2021, 06:38:07 PM »
This fellow looks the part, I think:


Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2021, 06:59:10 PM »
Hmm ... 28mm Scythian infantry seems to be thin on the ground. But Victrix Dacians might make quite good "fantasy Scythians" with appropriate paintwork. You'd need to replace the falxes with axes (plenty of those to be had on Victrix Viking or Frostgrave barbarian sprues), but I think they'd do the job if you wanted people who looked more Iranian than Turco-Mongol.


Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2021, 08:22:34 PM »
I wondered about 1st Corps Mongol foot rearmed with axes and maybe round shields.

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #21 on: December 26, 2021, 11:00:20 AM »
I wondered about 1st Corps Mongol foot rearmed with axes and maybe round shields.

The only thing about those is that they're not "bearded like dwarves". I reckon you'd save time, money and effort by using Frostgrave barbarians or kitbashing the Dacians and/or Fireforge plastics with a suitable source of axes (Frostgrave barbarians, Victrix Vikings).

Greenstuffing a lot of beards seems a lot of work!

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #22 on: December 26, 2021, 11:05:43 AM »
The only thing about those is that they're not "bearded like dwarves". I reckon you'd save time, money and effort by using Frostgrave barbarians or kitbashing the Dacians and/or Fireforge plastics with a suitable source of axes (Frostgrave barbarians, Victrix Vikings).

Greenstuffing a lot of beards seems a lot of work!

Thanks, I had forgotten about the beards. Yes the Frostgrave barbarians seem favourite.

Offline Elbows

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #23 on: December 26, 2021, 05:33:08 PM »
If anything it's an opportunity to do "your take" on the Tolkein fiction.  You have stuff like Fireforge's Steppe Warriors, and so many other excellent plastic kits I'd imagine you could assemble a cool vision - just ahistorical enough to be a fantasy army. 



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Offline DalyDR

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #24 on: December 27, 2021, 01:30:25 AM »
Way back when, before Mr. Jackson did that thing he did, Citadel had an earlier line of Lord of the Rings miniatures, and this was their take on an "Easterling".  He's got the axe, and a beard, and a definite Mongol flavor to him.  There was a mounted version too, with a very steppe-ponyish looking horse.  Pardon the poor paint job (I painted it way back when) and the hasty photo.


Offline Grumpy Gnome

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #25 on: December 27, 2021, 06:48:42 AM »
As always it is fascinating to see how different folks visualize Tolkienís work.

Jackson has definitely had a strong influence on Mrs. GG. She has resisted my suggestion to replace some our Jackson based GW LOTR miniatures with conversion pieces of my own inspired by conversations on this Forum and my own personal visualizations.
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Offline Porsenna

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #26 on: December 27, 2021, 01:39:30 PM »
I think there are certain jacksons designs that are great- the Numenorians/Early Gondorian-Arnorian soldiers from the introduction of fellowship are fantastic, as are the Rohirrim, even if i would have preferred to see scale armor on the 3rd Age Gondorians instead of plate. That said, I still think those 3rd Age Gondorian helmets (save the fountain court incarnation) are just fantastic.

Offline nicknorthstar

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2021, 03:01:07 PM »
Remember, the broad, short, beaded axe-wielding Easterling were described as a type never encountered before.

So where the majority of the Easterlings I'd use Steppe people figures to represent, this other group is a whole new debate.

Many, many moons ago, I did the concept work for the Lord of the Rings range by Harlequin Miniatures. These were my ideas for the new Axe Easterlings.

Unfortunately, that company rarely paid designers properly, so although the ideas were there, they are quite poorly sculpted figures. Even though I did the concepts, I was too disappointed to collect the figures themselves.

Offline Emir of Askaristan

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #28 on: January 08, 2022, 12:06:16 PM »
Have you seen the 3D printed Peculiar Companions "Russian humans heavy infantry"?

The infantry are based on muscovites and are bearded and axe wielding and they have cavalry too.

Might be right up your street.

https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-russian-humans-heavy-infantry-187156

Offline armchairgeneral

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Re: Book Faithful Easterlings
« Reply #29 on: January 08, 2022, 12:19:14 PM »
Have you seen the 3D printed Peculiar Companions "Russian humans heavy infantry"?

The infantry are based on muscovites and are bearded and axe wielding and they have cavalry too.

Might be right up your street.

https://www.myminifactory.com/object/3d-print-russian-humans-heavy-infantry-187156

Thanks for the tip. I have seen other 3D printable figures I have liked but not sure how to obtain them without a 3D printer?

 

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