Monday, November 28, 2011

LotR scale problems, and some Warriors of Rohan "vikings"

I needed some warrior models that looked like they'd fit in a dark ages-type setting for my D&D game, in a good number. Ideally, a legion of paint elves would produce an endless stream of bearded sword and spear-carrying miniatures for my party to hack apart. What I got for my birthday was a box of the Lord of the Rings "Warriors of Rohan." These miniatures are nearly perfect for my application, but were moderately irritating for a number of reasons.

  1. Broken parts: Flimsy spears broke in the packaging. I emailed GW customer service about this, but haven't heard anything back yet. It was over a holiday weekend, so I'm not surprised I haven't heard anything yet. Broken spears are not a deal breaker.
  2. Mold lines: A great deal of messy mold lines from poorly lined up molds, often crossing directly over the soft detail of the face and helmet. This is really irritating. Soft facial detail is one thing (where does the cheek plate of the helmet end, and his face begin? On some figures its impossible to tell), but having to scrape a line of plastic out from beside the nose, lips, beard, helmet-eye-shield-thingie, and over the top of the helmet? Suck.
  3. Scale creep: I'd picked these figs out from internet pictures, and by comparing the scale of my Red Box Games figures to the only LotR figs that I own: a ringwraith and the Army of the Dead box set. The weapon sizes, head sizes, and height measured up favorably, within a mm or two. I was thus very surprised to find that the Warriors of Rohan were so much shorter when I had them in hand. Both the standing and crouched warriors of Rohan measured pretty close to 25mm from sole of foot to eyeball, compared to 28mm for the Dead and 31mm for the Ringwraith. That is quite a difference from the older sets to the newer sets, and quite noticeable on the battlefield.
  4. Poor definition: I'm used to painting GW plastic orks and space marines, so I'm used to a certain amount of "soft" detail around the sides and edges. I really wasn't expecting the high degree of soft detail that I found on these figures. On the shoulders, waist, and leg, the transition between scale armor to sleeve to cloak to hair was one blurred flat field. On many of the figures, the detail of the armor totally disappeared from the figure as you left the very front of the chest, leaving large flat spaces devoid of any sculpted detail.
Overall, I'd say these are relatively mediocre figures, but at $33 for 24 of them, I'm not too unhappy. They aren't exactly a pleasure to paint, but they'll fulfill their function. I'll be using them as NPC warriors and enemy combatants in place of printed out tokens, so its an upgrade on what I have so far. I've ordered some Warlord Games Celts and some Wargames Factory Vikings to do some comparisons and pull duty as allies and enemies both.

Here is the "viking" posse so far. The front five are mostly finished to table-top quality, while the four in the back are mostly just base-coated with shields untouched.

Edit: another pic for scale comparison, added 11/30
Left to right: GW Ringwraith, GW Rohirrim, RBG fellow, GW Army of the Dead, RBG fellow, RBG caster type, GW Rohirrim, RBG warrior lady.

Thanks for reading,

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