Friday, December 24, 2010

Orcs of the White Hand

Since reading the Lord of the Rings in high school I have been tempted to build an Army of Darkness, that would do the Dark Lord proud. My first attempt was with Minifig half-orcs, Ral Partha orcs, Heritage Warg Riders, and etc, etc, etc. I sold this army in 1984 to help pay for my education costs. At the time it was the thing to do, and I know that this army continues to have a place of honour in it's new home. In recent years I have been inspired by the original LOTR (Lord of the Rings) line of figures produced by Harlequin Miniature (now known as Black Tree Design) and the great line of figures produced under license by Games Workshop based upon the movie trilogy.

I have a secret confession. I have slowly been massing the Forces of Darkness and Monday they shall be unleashed!! Ha, Ha, Ha......Actually, that is a bit of an exaggeration. Monday, I will be meeting with some fellow gamers to play War of the Ring by Fantasy Flight games.



I have painted a 21 figure unit of Orcs of the White Hand. The figures were by Harlequin Miniatures and were very clean and very easy to work with. This unit was put together by winning a command pack and I think at least three packages of Orcs on eBay. The command pack contained the flag-bearer, a musican (with the horn) and a commander, who has a sword in each hand. The flag was made from some foil from a wine bottle. I have to paint the design on it. As you can see from the photos even the regular troops have a variety of poses and show good animation.



Black Tree Design continued to carry these figures as part of their fantasy line of figures until very recently. They were no longer referred to by LOTR trade name.Unfortunately the line has been discontinued but figures will continue to appear on eBay for years to come. I have to admit that I prefer the look of the Harlequin/BTD orc figures to those of  Peter Jackson's vision. It would be my sole complaint regarding his world view of the JRR Tolkien epic as I have purchased the GameWorshop's Balrog, Fellowship, Cave Troll and Warg Riders. In my opinion these miniatures are far superior to any other line that has been manufactured to date.