Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Work In Progress: Knight of Minas Tirith II

First off, thanks to everyone who commented on my Knight of Minas Tirith post, it helped motivate me to get working on another one! I need to make one correction to that post. I missed one of the biggest differences between the old metal box set and the new plastic one. The old box only came with 5 knights, while the new one comes with 6! This means I actually have two less than I thought I did, but maybe that’s for the best!

One issue I have encountered when working on this project concerns the horses. In the early days of The Lord of the Rings miniatures game, GW only produced two different plastic horses. While that’s a bit disappointing, it’s not a huge deal. A bigger problem is that one of those horses only has one point of contact between the horse and its base – basically the whole miniature is balanced on one back hoof. That’s fine as long as your rider is also plastic and weights basically nothing, but as soon as you put a metal miniature in the saddle, it begins to droop.  Droopy knights are something I just can’t take.

So, I did a little searching and made a delightful discovery. Warlord Games produce a set of plastic horses for their Pike andShotte line that are nearly the same size and have nearly the same saddlery as the GW Minas Tirith ones. The only thing missing is the leather cover for the horse's head, but I can live without that. Even better, these horses can be bought in sprues of 4 for £4. I picked up a few sprues, and I think you’ll agree from the photo that they are good match for the knights. They are actually just slightly bigger than the GW horses, which I believe actually makes for a better match with the knights. The downside to these horses is that they come on integral bases, so some work is required to cut them off of those bases and attach them to GW bases.

As I mentioned in the last post, I’m no fan of white metal spears and like to replace them with steel ones. These can be purchased from a lot of companies – usually they are sold as pikes. In fact, you can see some in the link to Warlord Games given above. They need to be cut down to size, which requires some serious clippers to cut through the steel, but isn’t too much of a challenge. It might also be advisable to cut or file down the top, as the ones I’ve got are quite sharp and easily capable of spearing a wayward hand or finger.

While getting this figure ready it occurred to me that I had really made life hard for myself with my last knight. For that guy, I took his original hand, cut off the spear, drilled through the hand and put in the steel spear. It never occurred to me that at 28mm most hands look more or less the same, especially if you are going to paint it as a glove, and there was really no need to drill through a metal hand when I have plenty of much easier plastic ones lying around. So this guy got a plastic hand. With a hand drill it only takes seconds to put a hole through the hand and glue the spear in place. Slightly more challenging is attaching the hand to the arm. I drilled more holes in the hand and the wrist and inserted a bit of the steel pike I had clipped off to get the length down. I once again got a little cavalier with the glue – I really need to get a better dispenser – so he once again has a ‘thick’ glove hand.

Still, all and all, I’m really happy with how the figure is going so far!


  1. Well spotted on the alternate horses they look a nearly perfect match

  2. Great idea these alternative horses!

  3. When encountering balance issues for miniatures in wacky poses I usually pin the model to the base. The alternate horse, however, looks better for him then the GW original IMO.
    Also this post reminded me that I have a ton of metal "pikes" somewhere. That solves a conversion project issue I've been struggling with, thanks :)

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