Monday, August 12, 2013

Conversion: Mounted Rangers of the North

Dear Reader,

Slight pause on Operation Tuckborough: I was clearing space on my desk so that I'll have the necessary space to work on Brandywine Bridge (which is going to be over 16" long; I'm pretty stoked, :) ), so I decided to attempt a model that I've thought about using for my Grey Company army, but the Perry brothers have not made yet: mounted Rangers of the North!  When doing my research on the conversion, I found two examples of people who had converted RotN into mounted models, one using a plastic model, and one using a metal RotN model.  I wanted two different poses, and decided to strike out on my own for this project.

In this post, I want to show the conversion process, and in the next post I'll highlight a bit about tactics and utility in an army (along with two other Ranger of the North conversions I'm working on, and the other 8 Rangers of Arnor I've added to my crew).

In terms of materials, I highly recommend using a razor saw, as they make slicing through the plastic at the center extremely easy and was more dexterous and maneuverable than it looked at first sight.  Other than that, I used a mercury-based super glue made my Mercury Adhesives, two Riders of Rohan, and two Rangers of Middle Earth.

Choosing the Riders of Rohan was pretty simple: I wanted two poses that would work well on the ground, and specifically two poses that would be in melee combat, as archers don't get a lot of pictures in battle reports, and I like having my converted poses pop up in battle reports (as craftsmanship is a bigger pride for me than victories).  I had plans in the works to turn one of the Riders of Rohan with spear into a banner, so he was already off the table, as were the two archer poses.  I settled on the other spearman and the axeman because I thought that their poses would work better for a foot soldier than the swordsman pose, and in retrospect I think that slicing him would have been extremely hard because of the angles, so I'm glad I didn't, :)  Looking at the ranger models that come in the Rangers of Middle Earth set, I settled on two of the sword poses that I thought would make for good poses for riders, and would provide legs that could work well for Rohan warriors.  The other two sword poses will be used in my next set of conversions for Rangers of the North, so stay tuned to this site for those conversions.

To begin, I sawed the models in half, being careful to match my cut (more or less) with the pommel of the saddle (as that would be present on a footman if it ends up on the top half of the Rider of Rohan, which would look odd) and the quiver and bow on the back.  Since all four models boasted a quiver and bow on the back, having part of a quiver not attached to your actual quiver would be somewhat awkward on a model.  So as best I could, I just opted to take the quiver with the guy.  The end result looked like this:

You can see here the riders and rangers, as well as the two horses
that the rangers will ride.  They were happy not to be cut in half, :)
After that, I matched up the rangers and riders to figure out which sets of legs I wanted to use with which model, and trimmed the bases/tops so that they would match well with each other.  The result:

Pretty basic, very straightforward.  I was surprised by how well they fit each other!
With that done, it was a simple matter of basing, and the Rohan Warriors came out like this:

I really like how they turned out.  The spearman is looking (and facing) toward the ground because of the angle of the cuts, but honestly I don't mind that all that much, 1) because I fight a good number of goblin and dwarf armies, so he might be more realistic than his compatriots, and 2) the pose is still very believable, so I don't mind the pose.  The axemen turned out very well, I thought.

With these two additions, my Rohan infantry force is now up to 51 models (including 18 spears, 17 swords, and 16 bows) + 1 banner + 6 Rohan Royal Guards.  Add in 12 Riders of Rohan and a handful of heroes, and I'm pretty excited about my force.  More on the paint jobs on these guys in a future post.  The rangers turned out like this:

Pretty nice, right?  I love how both poses turned out!
And here's a side shot before painting:

I've always wondered what the right-hand ranger's left hand was doing
in the original model: now I know!

And here's the final product after painting:

So, anyway, something I've been working on for the last 24 hours, :)  I'm pretty excited about them!  More on how to use them in a future post, but I'll say for now that I was originally completely against mounting these guys, but am now very much in favor of it for a hero or two in a game.  I'm hoping to have a post up soon on Operation Tuckborough, hopefully by the end of the week, that will show the progress report on my Shire terrain.  The smials are done (well, except for determining whether I want to do gardens in the yards; we'll see), the pipeweed house for the marketplace is close to being done, as are a number of the merchant stands.  Next up: Brandywine Bridge.  Until next time, you'll find me...

Watching the stars,


"We watch the skies for the great tides of evil or change that are sometimes marked there." ~ Firenze, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix


  1. Niiiiiice Glenstorm. I really, really like the way the RotN turned out. Almost makes me wish I ran a GC army just so I could try my hand at making some of those.

    I see these guys having unusually long lifespans simply because I wouldn't want to seem them leave the table. =P

    1. Hey - if you want a few models, I may be open to selling a few, :)

      ...And I'm not opposed to you choosing to let them live, either. They're a major chance buy, but in my tactics post I'll discuss why it is a good move in certain circumstances to take these guys. More on that over the weekend, hopefully, :)

  2. These look perfect! Great job!