My second entry for the painting challenge was for the Nostalgia Bonus theme round - I decided to paint up Gandalf...
When I get nostalgic about my gaming, and think back to those early days and where it all began, there is always one character that shines out above the rest... and that character, is Gandalf.
I think it was back in 1982, when I was 12, that I first read the Hobbit... and that book, not surprisingly fired my imagination and set my feet firmly on the road to eventually becoming a gamer...Gandalf was there in that story, and remained with me as I subsequently read my way through the Lord of the Rings... and those inspirations eventually lead inexorably to the world of D&D and starting to collect and paint miniatures... and back then in the 80's GW brought out an LOTR range long before the movies were ever made... and I started collecting and playing with those figures... found memories, even though those figures are long since sold off, largely due to the recent movie matching range that GW subsequently produced.
And now I find it quite comforting in a way to have come along the gaming road some 30 years later and I am still as enamored of this character as I was back then... the Movies from PJ, and the casting of Sir Ian McKellan could not have personified a Gandalf better that matched the figure my mind had imagined.
I still recall tearing up as I saw Gandalf ride his cart into Hobbiton that first time... and again when he fell from the bridge at Khazad Dum, even though I already knew he didnt actually die then!
I guess I have remained affectionately bound to the character of Gandalf, as these years and still remain so now, and still enjoy watching Sir Ian's portrayal of the character every time I re-watch the movies...
For me there is no better definition of Nostalgia, as Gandalf.
The figure I present is the mounted pose, from the recent range of LOTR figures from GW, matching the movie characters. This pose is relatively rare, and now sadly long OOP. So getting your hands on one is not an easy task, and they still command quite high 2nd hand values subsequently.
I was very fortunate in acquiring this figure last year in way of a trade online, with none other than Tim Kulinski - he of authorship fame of the Legends of the High Seas rules - a wonderful pirate skirmish set, based on the Core LOTR SBG game.
Due to GW's strange business practices... the withdrawal of Warhammer Historical, loss of the product range, and subsequent poor treatment, and lack of any apparent real support to the LOTR/Hobbit games system, Tim had understandably decided to wash his hands of GW, and no longer play LOTR, and thus sell off his collection... and subsequently he offered me his Gandalf, as part of a large bundle of figure trades... and consequently two parcels winged their corresponding ways across the Pacific... and so, there I had in my hands, finally, a mounted Gandalf the Grey.
But with a typical backlog of figures I was working through, Gandalf found his place in the lead pile and patiently waited his turn...
And thus in summary, now I am pleased to have finally finished him and the Nostalgia round was the perfect excuse to get him painted up and finished!
A relatively simple paint job as matches the grab colours the character is named for! Getting the face right was a little tricky under the brim of his large hat, and sadly doesn't show well in the pictures due to the angle of the pose. But its there I assure you! ;-)
I do look forward to giving him a try out in the game, a mounted wizard gives the character better mobility, raised line of sight for spell casting and a bit of a buff to his meager combat prowess, gaining the bonus of a cavalry charge... the 10pts spent on the horse are well worth it!
And though he may have taken what seems an age to grace my game table, I guess I can sum this by quoting the character himself;
"A wizard is never late, Frodo Baggins!..Nor is he early... He arrives precisely when he means too!" ;-)
I am still working away with several models, but my folks are visiting with us at the mo', so hobby time has come to a halt until they leave next weekend. I'll hopefully get back in to the swing of things after that...