My Summer in Rohan

IMG_0373 (Edited)Like an unfortunate number of people, I’m currently furloughed from work, unable to return to a grant project I started a month before the pandemic shut down New York. Given that the work is being done at a local university, it is probable—given from what the state and the university have stated—that I might not be back to work until late August or September when the fall semester begins. So, for the first time since college and probably for the last time until retirement, I have “summer vacation.”

As a miniature wargamer, I have shelves of unpainted models that need attention. I’ve been working away at the pile of shame for the last two months and I’ve made progress, but there’s still a lot of miniatures—mainly from Game Workshop’s line of Middle-earth figures—that require painting. I’ve decided then to spend the summer of 2020 working my way through one of my favorite regions of Middle-earth: Rohan and the surrounding environs. I have ambitions of one day reenacting the War in Rohan on my tabletop, and that’ll require a LOT of models to accomplish.

Last night, I pulled some things off the shelves, grabbed a few reference books, and got stuck in. In the weeks ahead, I’ll show off my progress as Rohan transforms from a sea of gray plastic and unpainted lead into the proud army of the Rohirrim and the foul minions of the treacherous Saruman.

Wish me luck: there’s a lot of horses in my future!

An Unexpected Hobbit

My The One Ring campaign celebrated its 1st anniversary at the beginning of the month. We lost one player due to real life obligations, but the remaining five—which is more than enough for TOR, or so I’ve learned—remain invested in our ongoing tale of fell doings, massing orcs, and mysterious happenstances that suggest larger forces have a hand in the fellowship’s doings.

Our latest adventure took us back over the Misty Mountains to Rhovanion in an attempt to diffuse a war that was brewing between the Beornings and the Woodmen. In preparation for the return to the Wild, I pulled my reprint of the original 1937 edition of The Hobbit off my shelf and started reading through it. It stirred up the urge to do some painting of my backlog of Middle-earth miniatures, this time focusing on some of the characters from The Hobbit.

I broke open my Escape from Goblin Town starter set, which had been languishing largely because of my less than enthusiastic attitude towards the movies, and got to scrubbing down the plastic sprue of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. Once it dried, it was time to get Bilbo from Games Workshop grey to something suitable for the game table.

bilboI have this to say about 25mm hobbits: they paint up quick! In an hour or so, I had Bilbo looking ready to leave Bag-End. A couple more hours were spent waiting for the base to dry, but then a fast drybrush and some static grass clumps and the burglar was ready to burgle something. Only thirteen more dwarves and a certain wandering wizard (or maybe two since I have a Radagast the Brown in that box too) and I’ll be well prepared for the next time I have an urge to take a stab at more faithfully recreating the events of the book than the movies did. All in all, I’m pretty chuffed how Bilbo turned out. I’ll never win a Golden Demon, but I’ve managed to develop painting chops sufficient enough that I’m not embarrassed to field one of my own paint job on the tabletop battlefield.