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Monday, May 11, 2009

Elves and Orcs Ready to Rumble

Ever since I saw these figures back in the early eighties I've always wanted an army of Orcs and Elves sculpted by Tom Meier for Ral Partha. Thanks to the magic of Ebay, I have finally acquired enough figures to make that dream a reality. I have based them for the DBA variant HotT (Hordes of the Things). Though I have enough figures now to make the requisite 24 point armies, the Elves far outnumber the Orcs, but not to worry. Waiting in the wings are about 40-50 more Goblins which I will mount up as shooters and hordes.

This Dragon is one of the few figures in the army not sculpted by Tom. I believe this one was sculpted by Julie Guthrie, but if anyone knows better please let me hear from you. I will most likely play this element as an aerial hero or as a flyer, not as a dragon.

Here we have the Lord of the Nazgul with a wolf rider escort. The wolf riders are sculpted by Tom Meier, and it wouldn't surprise me if the Nazgul was as well, but I'm not really sure. Once again please let me hear from you if you if you know the sculptor

Here are two elements of wolf riders which I will probably play as beasts. These figures are still commercially available, but I found out later that Mr. Meier still owns the copyright to these figures and they are being produced without his consent. They are clearly old molds, as some of the detail of the chainmail on the riders is virtually non-existant now.

These ferocious fellas will represent the general's element of Uruk Hai and will be played as a warband element. The drummer in the front was one I painted way back in the day, and there is no telling how many repaints and bases he has been on, hence the rather grity appearance of his drum.

Uruk Hai shooters. The bow strings are made from horse hair that I stole from an old violin bow.

The main body of Uruks will be played as warband. Once again some of these figures are still commercially available, but apparently without license to be sold. The spearmen are not available and I was thrilled to find an unopened pack of six on Ebay a while back. I have painted them in bronze armor, and being Orcs who are not to concerned with cleanliness, I have given the bronze a green cast from lack of polishing.
The Elven Host

Once again a dragon sculpted by Julie Guthrie with an elf rider sculpted by Tom Meier. I'm thinking aerial hero for this one.

The much feared Elf archers. Most of these are an older paint job, but serviceable. I did add the horse hair bow strings and touched them up a bit.

The Elven knights. You can see here the evolution of my painting style. The blue riders are underoated in black and the armor drybrushed. The Green riders are primed white, and then the armor and other details are given a wash and then highlighted in places. I much prefer the white undercoat and washes as they help keep the colors bright, while still giving good definition to the wonderfully sculpted detail.

The elven horse archers will play as riders. These are once again a mix of old and new paint jobs. I did some touch up work on the older figures, but I imagine it is still fairly obvious which ones were painted a long time ago.

The Elf spearmen are a mixture of figure types. In front are mainly sea elves I believe, and in the back row are converted Halbardiers. I like the halbardier figures, but I just had too many of them and they looked great as pikemen or spearmen, so out came the clippers.

Here are some of the Halbardiers as they were meant to be. The central unit comes from a pack labelled as Starbrow's select. Though I love Mr. Meier's work, these I'm afraid were not one of his best efforts. Some archers came with the pack as well and they are among my least favorite. The last stand is a mix of halbardiers and short spear, which I will play as a blade stand. I just didn't have enough of either figure type to make a homogeneous stand, so though not my favorite stand, it'll do. As of yet, neither of these armies has made an appearance on the field of battle, but Nashcon is coming up in a couple of weeks and I'm sure they will make an appearance there.


  1. I've assembled some of my smaller fantasy armies along the same idea line, 2-6 figures make a unit for 25mm, though I'm using Chipco Fantasy rules. Nice to be able to use up some old single packs of figures for an "entire" unit.

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  3. Beautiful armies! And the use of the classic figs gives ultra plus in flavor:)

  4. Thanks,
    I've really enjoyed being able to put these old soldiers back to work. I have a lot more goblins yet to paint and a good friend has some more elves, so the armies will be growing. Hordes of the Things rules are perfect for this kind of project, where the number of figures available is limited. I would use the rules anyway, even if I had access to tons of figures. The games are fun and fast paced and require a great deal of strategy. Thanks for the kind words,


  5. Wow, those look amazing!! Looking forward to the goblins!

  6. So are you bringing any of this to Nashcon this weekend? I'd love to learn to play. I have tons of 25mm and 28mm fantasy figures that need painting up and being put to work in some game. Since I've come to appreciate DBA via HMGS-MS I'd like to explore this avenue a bit. Hope to see you at Nashcon!


  7. Beautiful. I love to see classic RP minis getting camera time.

  8. I'm late to the game...but I also love these classic Tom Meier Ral Partha figures. I have the chariot, 12 sea-elf pikemen and a handfull of archers. I too was thinking about stripping my old figures and building a newly painted HOTT army. David, great work on these. Do you have any extra figures for sale/trade? I need some archers and command figures to round out the army. I'm also in Nashville! Cory

  9. Hey Cory,

    I appreciate the kind words and encourage you to go ahead and get those figures back in action. I have a few extra figures, but at this point don't think I'm ready to part with them, as I do intend to expand these armies a bit. We play HotT/DBA at Wargames Inc on Trousdale about once or twice a month on Saturday afternoons. Do you ever stop by the shop? If so please join us.


  10. I started working on my Ral Partha guys again.

    You and I have a connection.

    These guys started making those old RP figs...

    Wish I could email you or chat....

  11. Hey Matt. Glad to know your Ral Parthas are seeing the light of day again. If you want to touch base with me I am Photocrinch on the Miniatures page,or as David (not the infamous David Wood) on the old school miniatures facebook page.

    Would love to see some shots of your work. Right now I am finally finishing up the RP Orc War Machine and a bunch of Goblins. The War Machine looks awesome!