Thursday, November 8, 2012

Grey Company Update: Conversions, Naming Schemes, and Units

Dear Reader,

Greetings again from the Forge!  I've decided that November is going to be Grey Company Month, so I'll be working with everything and anything Dunedain (which includes some LOTR Online gaming, so I may not be posting very often, :-D ).  For starters, I've done a number of conversions, some of which are basic arm/hand swapping, but others (and one in particular!) are new grounds for conversions that I have never gone before, so the last couple of days have been very exciting.

1.  Hand Swaps

The Hand Swap is an easy trick, though it can make a huge difference in the look of a unit.  Take these guys, for example:

The guys on the extreme ends are the original models, and the boys in the middle switched hands.  My favorite new unit has to be the new spearman, as he has that "Oh snap, I'm charging you all hardcore with a spear in my hand, ready to stab you" look about him. :)  In this photo, the first and third units from the left are painted as Dunedain units, so they will cost 25 points (including the spear).  The second ranger is how I paint my Rangers of Arnor, using Snakebite Leather and Mournfang Brown for their torsos and belts, with a lighter green for the cloaks.  The ranger on the far right is how I paint my Rangers of the North, with armor, Caliban Green for the cloaks, and a dark blue for their vests.  I experimented with The Fang for their cloaks, but switched back to Caliban Green because I wanted the darker green color.

2. Arm Swaps

In addition to the pivoting you'll see in the next picture, I've also done some arm turning, especially for archers (which will be seen later in the post).  Some of the transformations were straightforward arm rotations, like these guys:

The soldier on the left is in the normal pose, and the one on the right has his sword arm rotated so that it sits in toward the body, not back.  I then added a shield to the original warrior, courtesy of my buddy Zorro (by the way: if you have any more, I have a few other units that could look awesome with shields, too, :-D ).  I will never field a large number of rangers with shields on them, but it helps to spice things up a bit in my army.

This is as good a point as any to mention something important about this post:

These are purely cosmetic - they will not become D5, and they will not be able to shield.  I get that.

So, there, :-)

With that said, let's look at some of the new armory upgrades and cosmetic changes I've done for this crew.

3. Armory Updates

The most obvious changes are the shield units:

While Tolkien never mentions whether any of the Dunedain were "sword and board" fighters, 1) LOTR Online uses them, 2) I highly approve of the idea, and 3) if it doesn't affect game play in LOME or Warband, who cares?  So, I gave them shields.  Because shields are cool.  And I like cool.

I also experimented with satchels, purses, and even a bedroll.  You can see some of them here:

For some of the guys, additional bags, small purses, or in the case of the front guy, a new hood (and, yes, it kind of looks like a turban...oh well...), these help to differentiate them from their identical counterparts.  On the left you can see one of my archer arm rotations as well - since gangster ranger is just epic, :)  You can also see one of the shieldmen here - I've begun experimenting with painting gloves on some of my rangers to help with differentiating them as well, which you can see there on him.

4.  Unit Conversion: Dannassel

But probably the coolest conversion I did is for a ranger named Dannassel.  This transformation did not require arms to move or new pieces to be added - it required the ranger to slim down and change its physiology, because...

Dannassel is a girl.

Okay - lay aside any thoughts you may (or may not) have against warrior chicks - I thought this would be a stretch for anything I've done at the Forge, and if you're taking offense, I'll warn you in advance not to read my post on my Bretonnian Army, because I'll field a Damsel with Sword in that post, :)  So, how did I do the transformation (and, probably the more pressing question: "How did it turn out?")?

I started by trimming back the gut of the ranger:

...It actually hurt a lot less than it looks, :-P  I then used putty and painted it Mournfang Brown to fill in her hair, as her counterpart has short hair:

Using my knife, I then slitted her hair to make the strands more apparent:

Then I slimmed the sides of her torso...

...And cut back her skirt for more of an "Artemis" look (which, by the way, is the right way to dull your hobby knives, because you are cutting into a lot of plastic that is not supposed to be cut into, just FYI).

And believe it not...

...It began to look like a woman!

So,'ll see her base painted and everything trimmed up later in the post, but this was probably the prime achievement of the night - a very new look for a ranger, :)  What follows next are some of the units I field, some of which also now have names!

5.  Wrap Up

First off, courtesy of an amazing deal online, I now own 12 actual Dunedain models.  Six of them are below:

These models came pre-glossed, though they have six compatriots who are not glossed.  I then added a Mournfang Brown coat to the bases of the units, and covered that with Elysian Green for a neutral, healthy green that would not conflict with the four other colors of green that my rangers are using (Grrrr...).

On a separate, unrelated note: if anyone is looking to buy up Dunedain cheap, I'd likely be willing to sell either set of 6 units, as I'm pretty happy with my plastic guys (and gal).  The only reason I bought them is for the other guy that came with the set on eBay: Halbarad, bearing the Banner of the Evenstar!

You can see Halbarad, Dannassel, and my three Rangers of the North here.  Torchirion and Culang are characters from LOTRO (Culang for the win!!!), as is Dannassel.  All of the names of the rangers in LOTRO are made up by Turbine (as Tolkien only names three: Estel, Arathorn, and Halbarad).  Cadan, on the other hand, is my own creation, taking from "Cathol," meaning "blade" or "sword," and "Adan," from "en a dan," meaning "of the king" (hence the name, "Dunadan," or "Dunedain," meaning, "guardians of the king").  So, for Cadan, "Blade of the King."  The word "Cuthol" also stems from the word for "blade," hence the root word in Culang's name ("Man of the sword and bow").

I also have three Dunedain of the North - the lighter versions of the Rangers of the North.  Standing with Elrohir and Elladan, the twin sons of Elrond, you have (from left to right) Daerdan, Forchon, and Astuil - again, all taken from LOTRO.  If you need some decent brawlers for heroes, may I recommend any of the guys in this picture, with an emphasis, naturally, on the Twins.

Finally, no Grey Company army would be complete without an Aragorn!  I love this pose (bought it on eBay for close to nothing, and I cannot even figure out which set he originally came with!  I love it).  Here you can see him with a few rangers (including the guy with the bedroll, mentioned earlier, and Torchirion, the Ranger of the North).  As you can tell, I'm also doing work on a set of Osgiliath Ruins, which will likely make more appearances in battle reports as I finish the terrain.
So, anyway, after completely nerding out, there you have my current edits and additions to my Grey Company army.  I look forward to a few new faces (Malbeth the Seer being the foremost), some tactical posts, and definitely battle reports in the next month!

Until then, may the grace of all good men go with you - and travel light, :)

Watching the stars,


"I watch the stars, for they are mine to watch, as it is your's to remember." ~ Glenstorm


  1. Love. love. love the conversions. Dannassel is pretty epic. I can't wait to see it in person.

    I have that Aragorn too (although I haven't painted him yet =P) . It was from some TTT set (OOP now) - and he also came in a blister by his own I think. It is my favorite of the bazillion different Aragorn poses.

    When you finish with your conversions, you need to do a group shot of the Grey company in all it's glory. ;)

  2. Very nice. Some of that is real simple but it makes a huge difference to the feel of the battle company.

    Don't want to steal your fire on the cool idea bro, but I've actually had female gondorian rangers on the mind for awhile. But you beat me to it. Great minds thinking alike and all that. ;)
    I actually may be interested in those rangers. I'll get back with you on that.

    Until next time, on the field of battle comrade.

  3. @Zorro: I'll be sure to have a pic out soon - I'm having a buddy come over tonight to test out my Uruk-Hai against my new force, so I'm sure you'll see that in a battle post soon, :)

    @Tavros: Like minds think alike - what can I say, :) I look forward to seeing where you go with your Gondorian forces!

  4. Try giving them a wash. They are very flat looking, I would also recommend putting some effort into the bases, a bit of sand and grass goes a long way.