The Home of the Horse Lords – Part II

Where now are the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?

Is it too early to say, “mission accomplished”? I promised painted models by Part II and here you have it! I realize that having completed five Warriors of Rohan is not a major accomplishment,= but if I’m being honest I’m not even sure the last time I finished a model. It might have been these Waterloo French Line Infantry waaay back in July. And that feels like a lifetime ago. All of this is to say, I am thrilled with the progress so far.

Let’s take a look at the overall project.

Paint Splatter

My goodness, it is good putting brush to model again – it’s been far too long.  For this first batch of five, I leaned heavily on the How to Paint Rohan Warriors Guide from brushstroke77. He makes it clear that this approach is focused on providing a fast method to get your Warriors above Tabletop Standard. Considering how long it’s been since I’ve actually painted, this seemed like a perfect starting point. I added a few elements not covered in the guide – scratches on the shields and additional highlights – and I am delighted with the results. One of my struggles as a hobbyist is overcoming the paralysis of staring at a just primed model and not knowing what to take as a first step. Having a solid paint guide is one of the truly great ways to break that paralysis. Shout out to brushstroke for getting me up and running.

I hesitate to make this commitment but I’d love to produce a full paint guide for these. During the next batch I’ll try to remember to take step-by-step the photos.

I did face a conundrum with the basing. Originally I went with a dark and muddy base using Rhinox Hide and Mournfang Brown. I liked the look, I really did. But I realized it was the same combo I was using for the dark wood on the spears and axes. The combination simply didn’t look right. Maybe the base was too dark? Maybe having the same colors used for wood and mud was creating an argument with the color pallet? Whatever it was, I repainted the bases on the whole batch and I’m glad I did! Using this much brighter, dryer look brings more color to the entire model.

Original on the left, new on the right. Crisis averted.

For the basing I’m using a combination of Vallejo Thick Mud (Brown Mud), Army Painter Battlefield Rocks and GamersGrass Tufts. The Vallejo and rocks go on before I prime and the tufts are one of the final steps. The Vallejo gives excellent texture, perfect for easy drybrushing. The ‘rocks’ (I’m pretty sure it’s cork) provide some height and character to the base. Those are easily picked out with a different color as well to breakup the browns. The finally touch is the GamersGrass and I’m using a collection of various colored followers and shrub. My only concern is with the bigger bases for the Riders, I may need to add additional elements to base. But for that, we will wait and see.

Bases before priming.

Assembly Line

Beyond getting this first batch painted I have been going full steam ahead on assembly. One great thing about these old single-piece metal models – they build quick! In just one Zoom Hobby Hangout session I built six of Haldir’s Elves, nine Royal Guard, Grimbold, Gamling and two command models. Not bad for just a couple hours. One thing has become clear, this Helm’s Deep list is going to be overwhelmingly metal.

One of the issues with the plastic Warriors of Rohan is the plastic throwing spears. They are prone to bending and snapping. What’s an aspiring Captain of Rohan to do? Simple. Replace the plastic ones with metal ones. I picked up a pack of 20 spears from NorthStar with the intent of replacing the plastic ones on the Warriors of Rohan. The only issue is that the spears are waaaaay too long. I had to cut them down to size. It’s not much of a problem but wow are these hard to cut. I need to invest in some more powerful clippers. I just about broke my old GW ones…

The Goal

Just after one month and I’m already adjusting / expanding the goal for this project. My current plan is:

  • Fully painted Defense of Helm’s Deep Legendary Legion.
    • Add additional Rohan Models as I go.
  • Fully painted Rohan themed table.
  • Stretch Goal – Expand this MESBG force into an army for use with Oathmark.

That’s right folks, I’m about to expand this MESB project into a full on army for use with Oathmark!

Oathmark, published earlier this year, is a massed ranks and flanks fantasy battle game. I was immediately drawn to the ruleset and with the addition of some lovely movement trays from Warbases I’ll be able to use my entire Rohan collection as a Human Army in Oathmark. To be clear, I am not changing the focus or direction of my Rohan project, I’m just hyped that I’ll be able to play Oathmark too! Bringing in Oathmark to this project is also extra motivation to get to work on the Rohan table. All of the terrain I have planned – buildings, barrows, stone circles, woods – is perfect for both games. Although it’s a Rohan-centric terrain project, all of the elements will work just fine for the more generic fantasy battles that take place in The Marches.

One of many movement trays from Warbases. I’ve got 5×2, 5×3 and 5×4 for Infantry along with Cav in 5×1 and 5×2.

Progress Report


  • x24 Warriors of Rohan
  • x18 Riders of Rohan


  • x7 Warriors of Rohan
  • x10 Royal Guard
  • x12 Haldir’s Elves
  • Heroes of Helm’s Deep Metal:
    • Aragorn
    • Legolas
    • Haldir
    • Gimli
    • Gamling
    • Elven Standard Bearer
  • Gamling (Royal Standard)
  • Théoden (Plastic)
  • Grimbold
  • Helmingas Standard
  • Helmingas Warhorn


  • x5 Warriors of Rohan (WIP)
  • x5 Warriors of Rohan

The Lord of the Rings Progress

The Fellowship of the RingCh. 8 – Fog on the Barrow-Downs12%

Until next time, Forth Eorlingas!

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