If you have been reading this blog then you already know that I can be all over the map with my projects. I like to be able to go back and forth between periods just to break things up. My armies get done slower but it keeps my interest up.
I spent some time working on one of the three warbands for my Rohan army for the September tournament. Since I'm unlikely to actually win the tournament through strength of arms I'm going for the painting win. This is an official GW tournament and as such there is straight forward checklist of items that a judge is looking for when he is judging the paint work on the armies. Conversions, even minor conversions, add huge points to your painting score, but there must be conversions on something like 90% of your army to get the check. With that in mind I'm working on doing at least some minor conversion work on every miniature that will make up the army.
First up is Grimbold's warband made up of 12 Rohan Warriors. These are all plastics from the basic Rohan Warrior box. I'm trying to go very wysiwyg with these guys, so no throwing spears or bows, just shields and hand weapons and since the Helmingas prefer the axe to the sword I have swapped out weapons on half the miniatures. I sacrificed weapons and other interesting bits from a couple of sprues of Hirdmen from Gripping Beast and Bondi from Wargames Factory. I'm not sure I'm happy with all of the head swaps that I made. In particular the heads from the Gripping Beast sprues just seem to be to big, the ones from the Wargames Factory sprues look a bit closer to being the right size. Its a little difficult to use these heads to begin with since the GW LoTR figures are much closer to true 25mm miniatures and the Gripping Beast and Wargames Factory are definitely 28mm miniatures. They may look fine after I get them painted up but if I'm going to make any changes I need to do that now since I will need to resculpt the hair before painting them. Head swaps are usually the hardest thing to do but they really are a piece of cake with plastic miniatures. The same is true with weapons swaps and in this case I swapped out the whole hand, that was much easier than cutting weapons in two and grafting them on to existing hands. Everything else is just the addition of belt knives and pouches. Very minor stuff and very easy to do with plastic miniatures.
I have also run into a problem trying to acquire some of the miniatures for this force. A lot of the models particularly the mounted versions of the Rohan Royal Guard are out of production. My guess is that they will soon be available in Finecast resin. I don't want to wait that long or spend that much money on them either. I spent some time looking at images from the movie and determined that there isn't that much difference between the Royal Guard and any other Rohan warrior. The biggest difference is the helmet. Only the Royal Guard have a crest on the helmet with some horsehair flowing off of it. Two of the plastic Riders of Rohan have this style helmet (with the cheek guards). They will take more work but I'm going to use these two riders as the stock models for converting all ten of the mounted Royal Guard that I will need for Eomer's warband. I will probably do a little extra work on the horses to make them stand out a bit more as well as the horse in the Royal Guard blister is the same horse in the Riders of Rohan box.
Let me know what you think about the heads. Its definitely not to late to change things out and they are only plastic and I have another box to work with if something doesn't work. At this point the work is going smoothly and I'm on schedule to complete the painting in time for September.