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 Post subject: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:52 am 
Ringwraith
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Greetings, everyone.

One thing that I realized that we do not have compiled in one place on this forum is a listing of alternative miniatures that could stand in for GW miniatures. I have seen many great alternatives suggested, only to forget to bookmark them and have to dig through old threads to find what I'm looking for. Argh!!!

There are many reasons why using the GW miniature may not be ideal; they could be out-of-production or cost-prohibitive to collect, you may not like GW or Weta's interpretation of a particular troop type or character, you may want more variety in your army, etc. With that said, I'd like your help, One Ring Community, with compiling such a list, with links to the miniatures so that others could see/purchase the alternatives if they wish. With each entry, I'd like you to include what you believe the alternative could stand-in for and why they would be a good or better fit for a particular profile than the official model, and if you have purchased the alternatives, your thoughts on the quality of the miniature and/or scale issues, etc.

I will be keeping an updated index here in the first post, so that it will be easy to find what you're looking for. I look forward to seeing the gems you uncover!

Alternative Miniatures Index

Wargames Factory
Orc Warband -- Mordor Orcs, Morannon Orcs, Gundabad Orcs, Mordor Uruk-hai
Skeleton Warriors -- Army of the Dead, Ghostly Warriors
Hammer of the Gods -- Rohirrim, Dunlendings, Barbarians of Carn Dûm
Rising Sun -- Easterlings, Variags of Khand
Zulu Warriors -- Far Harad

Gripping Beast
Vikings, Saxons, Dark Age Warriors -- Rohirrim, Dunlendings

Warlord Games
Germanic Tribes -- Dunlendings
Dacians & Sarmatians -- ???

eBob Miniatures
Fantasy Range -- Giant Eagle, Giant/Mirkwood Spiders, Villagers, Bill the Pony, Shadowfax, Elven boats, Camels
Mongols -- Easterlings, Variags of Khand

Fireforge Games
Deus Vult Range -- Dol Amroth, Fiefdoms of Gondor, Variags of Khand

Gamezone Miniatures
Dwarfs -- Dwarves
Elves -- Elves
Zombie Wolves -- Wargs
Running Wolves -- Wargs
Great Eagles -- Giant Eagles, Gwaihir

Scibor Miniatures
Dwarves -- Dwarves
Moscals -- Dwarves

Avatars of War
Dwarfs -- Dwarves
Elves -- Elf Heroes

Mantic Games
Dwarfs -- Dwarves
Elves -- Elves
Basilean Men-at-Arms -- Knights of Dol Amroth

Knight Models
Gandalf
Galadriel

Red Box Games
There are a ton of miniatures on here that could be used as replacements for Lord of the Rings characters and are pretty reasonably priced. The Aelfar, Aenglish and Njorn ranges have several good options. Here are just a few that I found:
Aleandous -- Elf Characters, Gildor
Aurelius -- Stormcaller
Aenglish Range -- Fiefdom Troops/Characters
Gregor -- Orc/Uruk Shaman
Fenris -- White Warg, Warg Chieftain

Wargames Forge
The Azande -- Mahud

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Last edited by Erunion on Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:55 am, edited 4 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 9:14 am 
Ringwraith
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One company that has been on my radar for a while, but I have yet to purchase any of their miniatures is Wargames Factory. The sculpts aren't award-winning but I think that they are decent and the price point is really good. Here are a few of their sets that I think could fit into Middle-earth relatively easily.

Orc Warband -- These could easily stand in for just about any variety of Orc, from your basic Orcs to Morannons, Gundabad, etc. I am actually planning on buying some of these to use as Mordor Uruk-hai.

Skeleton Warriors -- These are a bit more of a stretch, but could easily be used to represent Army of the Dead, or for War of the Ring games could be used as Ghostly Warriors from the Angmar list. Again, not as seamless a fit as the Orcs, but certainly useable.

Saxons & Vikings -- These could very easily work as Rohirrim, Dunlendings, Barbarians of Carn Dûm, etc. The fact that you can get each in armored and unarmored varieties means that you could easily have standard and elite troops for your army.

Japanese Warriors -- In my opinion, these could very easily stand in for Easterlings or Variags of Khand (although lacking a good chariot model). The spears are definitely long enough to make sense with the Easterling phalanx rule.

Zulu Warriors -- I think these are perfect for Far Harad. They would need some kind of alternative to represent the camel riders.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:28 am 
Ringwraith
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Several companies spring to mind immediately, and I believe I or others have mentioned them before but I will gather all of it in the one place.
Gripping Beast
Vikings, Saxons and Dark Age Warriors - plastics and metals, with 44 multi-part plastic Viking Hirdmen for £20 RRP as an example. The comment has been made that these sculpts are slightly more heroicly proportioned and have larger heads than say Rohan or Dunland for whom they could be substituted, but realistically guys, who is going to notice when you have a bunch of them well painted on the table?
http://www.grippingbeast.com/shop.php
Warlord Games (Hail Caesar ranges)
The Tribesmen of Germania could also be added to the Dunland forces - again, very good value at £25 RRP for 43 plastics and metal add-ons. The Dacian nobles and the Sarmatian cataphracts are pretty nice looking as well.
http://www.warlordgames.com/
Ebob Miniatures (Rebellion range among others)
I have a load of these - the sculpts are superb and the proportions very realistic. And his spiders and other fantasy offerings are bloody marvellous. I also prefer his Mongols for Tribes of the East.
http://www.ebobminiatures.com/products/fantasy.htm
Fireforge Games
This is a growing range for their Deus Vult game. With a few tweaks, I could see these as Dol Amroth and other Gondorian vassals/fiefdoms.
http://www.fireforge-games.com/

So there are just a few to get you going.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:43 pm 
Loremaster
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On this topic, I remember someone painting a great looking assassin type figure from reaper that they said was a perfect fit scale wise....But I don't know who it was that painted the figure, or what the figure is. Anyone else remember this? It was some time back, maybe a year or more...
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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 01, 2014 7:50 pm 
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There are several good reaper minis. I like this assassin myself


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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 6:52 am 
Elven Warrior
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This is an awesome idea for a thread, as I am always looking for alternatives to GW minis that suit the LOTR theme.
Here are some companies I have purchased from. I will add more links when I get time.

If you have any questions about particular minis from any of these companies let me know and I can see if I have it and give you my opinion on its quality/suitability. I am mostly buying dwarfs, elves and orcs.

Gamezone
These are excellent quality miniatures made mostly from metal. Reasonably priced too. Just noticed they are now making plastic/resin versions of troops (yay!) – 30 minis for 25 Euros – not bad!

Dwarfs
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/48-dwarfs?

Lots of options for dwarfs. I have most of these. They are the same height as GW dwarfs (28mm scale for most Gamezone minis I think), but have more exaggerated features meaning larger hands and heads. Overall this means a ‘chunkier’ model .

If you want to see some painted up you can visit my non-GW painting thread here
http://www.one-ring.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=26624

Elves

http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/46-elves

Probably some of the best alternative GW elves out there other than Reaper minis (which in my opinion are just as good as GW elves). However, they are also much chunkier than GW elves. I have the elf lancers and some of the heroes. I didn’t get any elf archers because the over-sized bows just look silly. Some of the dark elves would likely suit as regular elves too (http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/51-dark-elves)

Orcs and goblins
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/49-orcs-and-goblins

These are more like GW Warhammer orcs and don’t really suit the LOTR theme. I bought the Orc War Chariot (http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/orcs-and-goblins/210-carro-de-guerra-orco.html) because it looked cool and I can put some regular GW orcs in it. Some of the Black Guard minis could be used as half trolls?

Monsters etc
In the Vampire section there are some Zombie Wolves that could be used as Wargs. See for example
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/vampires/311-lobos-zombis-iii.html

Or if you don’t like these you could try Running Wolves
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/monsters-and-machines/326-lobos-corriendo.html

There are also come really nice Eagle sculpts here
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/54-monsters-and-machines
and here
http://www.gamezoneminiatures.com/tienda/en/53-silvanus

Trolls can also be found at the monsters and machines link above. Not sure how well these would complement GW trolls.

Scibor
Dwarfs
Some of my favourite alternative dwarfs. Beautiful quality resin miniatures. Again, much chunkier that GW dwarfs, but same height.

http://sciborminiatures.com/en_,shop.php?group=139
Also check out some of the Boyar sculpts here – these are supposed to be evil dwarfs I think, but some poses might suit

http://sciborminiatures.com/en_,shop.php?group=138

Avatars of war
These guys produce some nice Dwarf sculpts in metal, resin and plastic. I recently bought the box set of 20 dwarf rangers in plastic. Proportions are a bit closer to GW dwarfs than Gamezone or Scibor. Quality of the rangers was pretty good (detail and cast wise) – however, the capes come as a separate component and attaching these looks like it’s going to be a major pain and require some greenstuff to fill gaps. Other dwarf box sets (e.g. bronze shields) can be hard to come by. I don’t see them come up on Ebay often. I think these guys produce limited runs of particular sets. Noticed they have just produced a new box set of dwarf crossbowmen.

Dwarfs
http://www.avatars-of-war.com/eng/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=79&Itemid=114

Elves
The elf heroes are pretty nice
http://www.avatars-of-war.com/eng/web/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=81&Itemid=116

The orcs are more like GW Warhammer orcs.

Mantic
If you really want to bulk up your army size it is worth checking out these guys. They produce large box sets of dwarfs and elves – and the figures are very comparable to GW minis. I recently bought the 85 figure dwarf box set (for about $50 Australian on Ebay – cheap as chips!). All plastic minis. Fairly good quality, but not the detail of GW Hobbit plastics now (think more along the lines of equivalent detail to earlier LOTR plastics).

I’m just putting the dwarf plastics together now. I’m reasonably happy with the different pose options as legs, torso and head are often separate and allow some mixing – while arms are also sometimes separate. The legs and torso don’t align exactly which means I will have to green stuff each mini to fill small gaps. This is a bit of a pain.
I also have one of the box sets of elves. Proportions for these guys are similar to GW (skinnier if anything). You can see some of these painted up at Crucium Giger’s non-GW thread here
http://www.one-ring.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=39&t=25961&start=20

Dwarfs
http://www.manticgames.com/mantic-shop/kings-of-war/dwarfs.html

Elves
http://www.manticgames.com/mantic-shop/kings-of-war/elves.html

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:19 am 
Ringwraith
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Great stuff guys, keep them coming!

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 02, 2014 2:39 pm 
Elven Elder
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GW orcs with WGF heads and weapons.

Image

WGF orcs

Image

WGF zulu with orc head and weapons. Some LOTR figures that predate GW.

Wargames Factory orcs have lots of extra heads and weapons. I used them with the GW plastic orcs. I also made a head swap with the WGF Zulu warrior. There is no reason you could not swap heads with some of the other Historical lines.

Image

LOTR is High Fantasy. I have many pre Warhammer figures I plan to use.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:19 am 
Elven Warrior
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Here's another one - Red Box Games

I've never bought any of their miniatures, but they have alternatives for dwarfs and for hobbits (which they call 'shirelings' the cheeky buggers!)

Dwarfs
http://red-box-games.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=16

Hobbits
http://red-box-games.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=22

Another company that sells lots of dwarf alternatives are Westwind Miniatures. However, I can't get into their catalog as my internet security program is telling me the website has a virus. I have bought lots of dwarfs from them - all in metal at very reasonable prices. However, the quality suffers a bit. Casts aren't that great (lots of flash, or sometimes mis-casts) but some of the sculpts are pretty cool.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 03, 2014 2:32 am 
Elven Warrior
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We should also have a link to Reaper miniatures.

They have great alternatives for a whole range of LOTR themed characters including dwarfs, elves, orcs, rangers, wizards etc - too many to include a link to each one (I don't have that much time!)

The best ranges to search for LOTR alternatives include the Dark Heaven Legends Range
http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/DarkHeavenLegends

The Pathfinder range
http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/Pathfinder

And the Warlord range
http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/Warlord

The new Bones range - which is cheap plastic/resin miniatures includes orcs, dwarfs, elves etc
http://www.reapermini.com/Miniatures/Bones/latest/page1

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 07, 2014 7:08 pm 
Ringwraith
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Feel this one is worth sticking. Henceforth it is stuck.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Fri Jan 10, 2014 7:13 am 
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Can I suggest that this should be the place to post finished alternative army pictures, instead of in the conversions folder? Just because the figures you may use for alternatives, may not be conversions, but stock figures like the WGF Orcs or anybodys Dwarves or Elves.
For example, I use BTD Saracens in my Eastern Army. There is no real conversion work involved, just some different banners. And I use Tom Meirer's Elves right stock from the package. And several others where the figures are just painted differently.

I just think that anything Alternative should be in one place. Agree or disagree?
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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:49 pm 
Ringwraith
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I think that's a good idea, Nevinsrip. That way people can see the alternative miniature painted up in a Tolkien-theme. Just be sure to include links to the supplier so that anyone who is interested in purchasing some for themselves can find them easily.

Knight Models

Their 35mm Gandalf and Galadriel seem to be reasonably in scale, although the Bilbo would be a bit large. You could also use some of the 70mm minis as statues.

Redbox Games
There are a ton of miniatures on here that could be used as replacements for Lord of the Rings characters and are pretty reasonably priced. The Aelfar, Aenglish and Njorn ranges have several good options. Here are a few that I found:
Aleandous -- Elf Characters, Gildor
Aurelius -- Stormcaller
Aenglish Range -- Fiefdom Troops/Characters
Gregor -- Orc/Uruk Shaman
Fenris -- White Warg, Warg Chieftain

There are tons more as well.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2014 1:02 pm 
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So I didnt read most of this thread but I wanted to show you guys what the wargames factory actually brings to the table.

Image
One thing I thought was really cool with the set was the cool flail. For 22 dollars, or 13.40 GBP and 16.15 Euros, you get like they advertise 24 bodies to make orcs. Wow, less than a dollar per figure HINT HINT some other companies!! LOl

Anyway, for that you get 8 sprues meaning:
-8 giant spear/axe type weapon
-16 2 handed axes(2 variants)
-8 single handed axes
-8 flails
-8 orc bows
-8 quivers for arrows
-32 hand weapons(3 are swords 1 is like a wood stick with a blade the size of dagger on end)
-8 swords that look like theyre in holster(good for bow models)
-16 shields(2 variants)

And in general, you get two bodies per sprue, soooo...
-10 arms per sprue which means you get 6 extra
-7 heads per sprue which means 5 extra
-3 torsos, so 1 extra

A LOT for the price. and the look fits perfectly with the Hobbit/LOTR so I rate this product an easy 9/10. Even their poses are kind of hunched over so they look like the orcs in the movies.

Heres just a mostly built orc to show one, but it doesnt do it justice. You can check out wargamesfactory.com for painted looks.

Image


Image

Next are the viking Huscarls. They are going to be my on foot and converted Sons of Eorl. I never planning on using them in a tourney, they dont have foot models, and I honestly believe that most rohan models look terrible.

So heres one pic to compare the scale to a morannon orc. This one viking is in an action pose, so he looks a little big by comparison. BUT DONT WORRY, because that was the tallest pose..... the other ones were more hunched and not charging on 1 foot but I liked this model.

Image[/url]

For the sprues, you get 32 figures for the same price as the orcs^^.

You get 8 sprues each including:
-4 bodies
-24 arms(16 extra each)
Then for weapons you get 4 sprues containing in total:
-32 shields
-8 longbows and 8 quivers
-48 heads(meaning 16 extra for those nasty rohan models...)
-16 spears
-4 long spears
-16 axes
-4 war horns
-16 swords
-12 swords in sheathes



Image



The heads are great for Rohan, or Dunlendings as well:
Image

How big it is in comparison to LOTR models:
Image

Finally, I bought something they have on sale now. Persian infantry sprue bundles. Buy some while they last! I bought ten!

http://www.wargamesfactory.com/webstore ... n-infantry

Each bundes(6 sprues for 2.40 usd!!!!!)contains a couple bodies you can use as Men of Dunland or something similar, but also the following
-6 large rectangle shields
-6 orc looking shields
-6 single hand axes
-6 daggers in sheath(good for characters with throwing knives)
-6 elven looking bows with quivers
-6 spears
-6 swords/daggers looking things. Can be used as both probably

Personally, I can use all the regular weapons for anything, but Im mainly buying these for Corsairs. The large shields are the perfect size for Corsair Arbalesters(oop). I have bowmen I can convert without hunting them down.

Image


And the heads are cool.....you can use them for Harad and 1 looks good for rohan or wild men of dunland again.

Image


All in all, a fantastic purchase! Great stuff they sell. Hope you guys have 100% clarity on what you think you'll get from them if you order. After this purchase, I would not hesitate to order anything from them again.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 3:52 pm 
Ringwraith
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Thanks for the review, LordoftheBrownRing. That is exactly the kind of thing that helps people find what they want/need. I will probably placing an order with Wargames Factory in the very near future. These kits look like they are a great value!

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2014 8:01 pm 
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How well do Reaper Minis scale with GW LOTR Range?
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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 3:46 am 
Ringwraith
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Left to Right: Red Box Aenglish Wizard, Goblin Town Goblin, Red Box Elf Hero, Khamul the Easterling, Red Box Norse Wizard, Warrior of Minas Tirith

Here is the scale comparison of Red Box minis vs. GW minis that Mertaal requested. As you can see, the scale is pretty much spot on.

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2014 4:42 am 
Elven Elder
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Lord Maedhros wrote:
How well do Reaper Minis scale with GW LOTR Range?


From my experience it's very close. I have 1 that I'll upload tomorrow to show

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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2014 5:25 pm 
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[/quote]From my experience it's very close. I have 1 that I'll upload tomorrow to show[/quote]


Ok Thanks Looking forward to it.
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 Post subject: Re: The OR Miniature Alternative Thread
PostPosted: Thu Jan 30, 2014 7:14 am 
Kinsman
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A bit of a picture-heavy post, so apologies in advance.

Red Box Games are noted earlier on in this thread, I took a series of pictures awhile back when I picked up a bunch of RBG models to use in LotR. I'll repost some of the pics here and also leave a link, so I'm not spamming too many additional images in this thread.

Image
RBG Dvergr with LotR Khazad Guard

Image
Ollander and Frodo

Image
Yvander, Legolas and Edele


Image
RBG Dwarves with Ruler to show height.

[url=RBG with GW LotR Post]http://azazelx.wordpress.com/2011/08/20/red-box-games-size-comparisons-with-gw-lord-of-the-rings-figures/[/url]

[url=RBG Dwarf Size Post]http://azazelx.wordpress.com/2012/08/07/how-big-is-that-dwarf-anyway/[/url]



The other suggestion to add, is of course Mithril Miliatures. Unfortunately, almost all of my old MM collection has been lost to time, but their figures are finely detailed and characterful. They follow the book licences to Tolkien and so have a different look to the WETA-film licenced LotR figures we're so used to. Here's a couple of pics of pretty much the only Mithril figure I have left these days (until I buy more) from an old TOR painting challenge - an Entwife next to GW's Treebeard.

Image

Image

They were always a mainstay in my FLGS when I was in my teens and onward, though I haven't been back there in years, and I'm not sure who carries this range these days outside of their own website. Some of their sculpts are a bit dated while others are still absolutely fine by today's standards. They used to have some really nice Barrow-Wights, but I can't find them on their site.

http://www.mithril.ie/
Honestly though - I don't think the painted examples on their website do the sculpts a lot of favours.

Image
Image
Image
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Another manufacturer is Otherworld Miniatures. These guys are mostly focused on the old-school D&D aesthetic, but they have some great figures for things like Barrow-Wights. He sometimes has supply and communication problems though - I ordered from them once and heard nothing for 2 weeks. When I got in contact with him he replied saying the figures would be sent out within a week, and after hearing nothing for another three weeks I had to ask for a refund (at 31 days of PayPal's 45 days of protection - so even if he had them in stock that day and sent them immediately I would have likely had to start a dispute, since UK-AU takes 2 weeks).

Anyway, aside from that - some truly gorgeous sculpts for LotR - particularly amongst the undead range - perfect for both AotD, Ringwraiths and Barrow-Wights, (I'll let the reader work out which would work for which!) and I hope to find a retailer I trust to be able to buy them from someday (Wayland stocks them)

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Hope some of you find the post useful!

_________________
scipio.au AKA Azazelx.

http://azazelx.wordpress.com/
My miniatures painting blog.
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