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Author Topic: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?  (Read 521 times)

Online Hobgoblin

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Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« on: June 23, 2022, 11:55:26 AM »
For my 15mm Pelennor project, I'm going to include some Olog-hai trolls (on the assumption that the 'mountain trolls' wielding Grond also stayed around to fight).

There are three key descriptions of the Olog-hai in The Lord of the Rings:

Quote
[At] the end of the Third Age a troll-race not before seen appeared in southern Mirkwood and in the mountain borders of Mordor. Olog-hai they were called in the Black Speech. That Sauron bred them none doubted, though from what stock was not known. Some held that they were not Trolls but giant Orcs; but the Olog-hai were in fashion of body and mind quite unlike even the largest of Orc-kind, whom they far surpassed in size and power. Trolls they were, but filled with the evil will of their master: a fell race, strong, agile, fierce and cunning, but harder than stone. Unlike the older race of the Twilight they could endure the Sun, so long as the will of Sauron held sway over them.

Quote
Trolls were abroad, no longer dull-witted, but cunning and armed with dreadful weapons.

Quote
[There] came striding up, roaring like beasts, a great company of hill-trolls out of Gorgoroth. Taller and broader than Men they were, and they were clad only in close-fitting mesh of horny scales, or maybe that was their hideous hide; but they bore round bucklers huge and black and wielded heavy hammers in their knotted hands. Reckless they sprang into the pools and waded across, bellowing as they came. Like a storm they broke upon the line of the men of Gondor, and beat upon helm and head, and arm and shield as smiths hewing the hot bending iron.... Beregond... fell; and the great troll-chief that smote him down bent over him, reaching out a clutching claw; for these fell creatures would bite the throats of those that they threw down.

Then Pippin stabbed upwards, and the written blade of Westernesse pierced through the hide and went deep into the vitals of the troll, and his black blood came gushing out.

And then there's this description of Ents:

Quote
[There] came forward out of the trees three strange shapes. As tall as trolls they were, twelve feet or more in height....

So ... the Olog-hai should be roughly 12 feet tall, essentially naked, scaly and armed with hammers and round shields. The cave-troll in Moria is also scaly and has the further details of being dark and greenish  and having a flat, toeless foot (a pair, presumably, though only one foot gets into the Chamber of Mazarbul).

In 15mm, a normal-sized 28mm humanoid should do the job. The best I've been able to find so far are these North Star Fomorians (originally from Grendel, I think):



I'd have to paint on the scales, but these are largely unclad and armed more or less appropriately (axe and mace heads can be swapped; round shields can be used instead). They certainly look nasty and agile enough, and they're around the right size. I reckon I could get two on a HOTT 40 x 40 behemoth base.

Then there's the old Minifigs hill troll:



It's clearly based on the book description (though it needs a buckler), and would probably work quite well in 15mm. There is, however, only the one pose.

A third idea would be to kitbash Frostgrave Snakemen with orc heads (or similar); the Iron Mitten blog has some great Fomorians done this way. The Snakemen are a bit heavy on body ornaments and clothing, but they'd be easy to convert with dwarf hammers and round shields. Again, they'd work two to a behemoth base in 15mm.

Alternative Armies do 15mm trolls with hammers; they're quite nice, but more like D&D or Warhammer trolls:



The Vendel/Sgt Major trolls are perfect (and small enough to work as 12' tall in 15mm), but they're hard or impossible to get on this side of the Atlantic:



But is there anything else out there that I'm missing? Stocky lizardmen with easily removable tails? Underdressed orcs who could be made scalier with paint? Burly, skyclad goblins that might be roughened and re-armed?

I'm probably going to go with the Fomorians, but I thought it was worth consulting the LAF hive mind first! Any pointers much appreciated!

Online Gibby

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2022, 12:26:30 PM »
Hobgoblin,

Are you aware of Battle Valor Miniatures? They are an ever increasing range of 15mm (though they are more on the 18mm end of the scale) fantasy miniatures, and they have a UK stockist called Dragon Frog Games.

Whilst I am not sure if they do anything to resemble Olog-Hai specifically, I did spot these whilst grabbing the link:

https://www.dragonfroggames.co.uk/product/frigian-ice-trolls-10-figures-

It might be that among that range you might find useful stuff for other Middle Earth denizens.

Though be warned, they group their orcs and goblins separately!  ;)

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2022, 01:04:04 PM »
Thanks, Gibby!

I do have quite a few of the orcs and wolfriders, which I'm planning to use as Isengarders in 1/72 (at that scale, their short and stocky stature is perfect). I'll certainly peruse the range again; the trolls and ogres are both attractive for this purpose in some ways. Given Battle Valor's exasperating naming conventions, there may be other treasures lurking undetected!

Offline WitchQueenofAngmar

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2022, 03:36:00 PM »

But is there anything else out there that I'm missing? Stocky lizardmen with easily removable tails? Underdressed orcs who could be made scalier with paint? Burly, skyclad goblins that might be roughened and re-armed?



Reaper has some troglodytes that might work; some back spines, but they're pretty scaly and don't have tails.

Splintered Light Miniatures also has some Rock Trolls in 15mm that may be an option.


Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2022, 04:40:52 PM »
Those rock trolls are a very good option - and they're now available in the UK. Thanks!

Funnily enough, I thought about the troglodytes yesterday and rejected them as too big and too froggy. But having dug them out, I think you're right - they're about twice human height in 15mm (and these two are the biggest - I'm not sure where the smaller guy is). And because they're Bones, they'll be incredibly easy to convert with superglue, plastic dwarf hammers and orc/goblin heads. Many thanks - I reckon I could get a couple of these onto a 40mm base too!

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2022, 08:35:59 PM »
I just had a look at Pendraken's 10mm stuff. These fellows are 27mm high, apparently, and look readily convertible to be hammer-wielding and buckler-toting:



They're even a bit scaly (or leafy, at least).
« Last Edit: June 23, 2022, 08:45:13 PM by Hobgoblin »

Offline Ockius

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2022, 09:00:59 PM »
I think these by Khurasan are a very good fit if you want some very heavy looking, armoured trolls.

Found here https://khurasanminiatures.tripod.com/15mmfantasy.html where their 'The Great Enemy' range is basically Sauron's Mordor army.
My armies:
- Henry VIII's army (WIP) 15mm
- Ancient Germans (28mm)
- Ancient Belgae (Gauls with German allies) (28mm)
- Massilian Greeks (Greeks and Gallic mercenaries/subjects) (28mm)
- A few EI Romans (28mm)
- Handful of WW2 British (15mm)
- A load of old 1993-1999ish Warhammer Orcs and Goblins

Offline jeffreythancock

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2022, 01:11:45 AM »
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 01:13:41 AM by jeffreythancock »

Offline Diablo Jon

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2022, 08:44:18 AM »
Copplestones 10mm war trolls? 20-22mm in height so bigger than 15mms but maybe still a tad to small for you. However they do have scaly skin, bucklers and hammers.




https://www.copplestonecastings.co.uk/prod.php?prod=215
« Last Edit: June 24, 2022, 08:47:57 AM by Diablo Jon »

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2022, 01:53:06 PM »
Thanks, all - interesting suggestions!

The Khurasan guys are a bit heavily armoured for my tastes. For this project, I'm looking for things that fit the book descriptions while (where possible) subverting some of the 'received' images that have come down from illustrations, games and films. So, while the 'close-up' of the Olog-hai is at the Morannon, I'm using that as the basis for the Pelennor trolls. I'd always thought the Khurasan figures were aimed at the First Age - don't they do a Morgoth type as the leader? Great figures in any case, though!

Ditto with the Dark Alliance trolls - the hammer-wielding types are heavily armoured. I use those in 1/72 generic HOTT, and they're very big - I have them one to a 60mm base as behemoths (in which role they work very well!).

Thanks very much for that comparison link, too - very handy!

Oddly enough, I have a few of the Copplestone trolls, which used to form a couple of warband elements in my old 15mm HOTT army - until I rebased them on 60mm bases, along with all the orcs. This was part of an abortive project to use 15mm figures on 28mm bases for mass effect; it proved too time consuming, and was killed by 1/72. The trolls are very nice and clearly based on the book description. As you say, though, they are a bit on the small side in 15mm.

That said, I sometimes wonder if Tolkien intended the trolls to be quite that tall. The description of the Ologs at the Morannon ("taller and broader than men") doesn't quite sound like how one would describe something almost as tall as an elephant. And then there's the suggestion (in writings published posthumously) that while the stone trolls were 'counterfeits' (essentially robots), other trolls (presumably the Ologs) were made from human stock (which might explain those half-trolls). If one follows that line, there's a case to be made for Ologs that aren't 12' tall but merely 'taller and broader than Men' - in which case, the Copplestone trolls are dead on.

In game terms (for HOTT), I'm planning to field the trolls as the house-ruled 'brute' element (a doubled warband, essentially) - unless they really are elephantine in stature, in which case they can be behemoths. The double-warband approach makes the trolls adept in rough ground, which matches the description of them springing into pools and wading across when the orcs were held back.

In 28mm, I think the two-hammer wielding fellows here are the best that's ever been done. I'd love to find their like in 15mm!

Anyway, thanks again for all the pointer (and keep any fresh ones coming!) - lots to think about here!






Offline WitchQueenofAngmar

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2022, 03:23:35 PM »
That said, I sometimes wonder if Tolkien intended the trolls to be quite that tall. The description of the Ologs at the Morannon ("taller and broader than men") doesn't quite sound like how one would describe something almost as tall as an elephant. And then there's the suggestion (in writings published posthumously) that while the stone trolls were 'counterfeits' (essentially robots), other trolls (presumably the Ologs) were made from human stock (which might explain those half-trolls). If one follows that line, there's a case to be made for Ologs that aren't 12' tall but merely 'taller and broader than Men' - in which case, the Copplestone trolls are dead on.
 
I think 12' is a good upper limit but everything in Tolkien is larger than life.

Today the Netherlands has the highest average height for men at 5'11", while Eomer, Boromir & Faramir are 6'4", and Aragorn is 6'6".  Elendil was the tallest man ever and got up to 7'11". Denethor and Theoden are described as tall, and I believe that that's meant to be tall for us the audience rather than tall in perspective.

For example, Sam describes the oliphaunts as bigger than a house, and Tolkien writes that their modern kin are but small echoes. Putting this together with Tolkien calling so many people tall, I really think he wanted the reader to feel that these are mythic paragons who would be almost giants today in stature and prestige.

I think olog-hai that are 9' tall would be good but shorter than that risks losing some of the majesty Tolkien intended to convey.

Offline Ethelred the Almost Ready

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2022, 06:52:28 PM »

Online Hobgoblin

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Re: Ideas for 15mm Olog-hai?
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2022, 08:28:28 PM »
I think 12' is a good upper limit but everything in Tolkien is larger than life.

Yes - that's an excellent point. And it's also true that Tolkien's "off the page" descriptions sometimes don't match up well with what's on the page in the main text. Aragorn is an excellent example. Today - more so than Tolkien's time - 6'6" is massive. Anyone of that height who walks into a room is going to draw attention. And somebody of athletic build (as medieval warriors tended to be, judging by the bone evidence) is probably going to come in around 16 or 17 stone at a minimum - perhaps much more. Yet when the Hobbits meet Strider in Bree, his stature goes unremarked throughout the initial description, although we have already been told that rangers are taller than the "rather short" Bree-men.

Now, "rather short" would probably be read by Tolkien's intended audience as something like 5'6" or even 5'4"; anything taller wouldn't have been "rather short", as the average male height in the UK was 5'7" in 1954. But if Strider is a foot taller than the Bree-men, it seems really odd that it doesn't go more remarked by the narrator or the other characters; Gandalf's description of him as merely 'tall' might imply 5'11" or 6' or something in that range.

Then there's that bit where he seems to grow taller. How tall? 6'10"? 7'?

For example, Sam describes the oliphaunts as bigger than a house, and Tolkien writes that their modern kin are but small echoes. Putting this together with Tolkien calling so many people tall, I really think he wanted the reader to feel that these are mythic paragons who would be almost giants today in stature and prestige.

I think olog-hai that are 9' tall would be good but shorter than that risks losing some of the majesty Tolkien intended to convey.

Yes - the only way the various descriptions circles can be squared is to assume that everyone is much bigger in Middle-earth than in the modern world - which means that everything just cancels out!

On the ologs: I think that as long as they're 'taller and broader than Men', they're OK; the hill-trolls at the Morannon do seem smaller than the cave trolls in Moria, although that's only based on inference ('taller and broader than Men' vs 'huge' and 'great').

In game terms (in HOTT), there's an advantage in not having the trolls as behemoths but as warband or double-warband: it stops them merely duplicating the mumakil!

 

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