Part 2: Games Workshop and the Lord of the rings.
Lord of the Rings and Games Workshop have had a working relationship since the early 80’s creating miniatures that were mainly role play stand ins for generic fantasy miniatures.
In the 1980s, Games Workshop produced a range of miniatures for The Lord of the Rings, using original character designs based on fantasy art popular of the time. This was the first range of Lord of the Rings miniatures that Citadel created, taking over from Grenadier Miniatures in 1985, before the licence passed to Mithril Miniatures around 1987. The earliest releases were semi-solid base, having a small solid base; later releases were slot based.
The current Lord of the Rings range stems from Games Workshop’s rights to produce a skirmish war game based on The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit books and films, in the 25mm miniature scale.(The rights to produce a role playing game version of the films were sold to another firm, Decipher, Inc.) They also have the rights to produce Battle of Five Armies, a game based on the battle of similar name from The Hobbit, using smaller miniatures to enact larger battles (more akin to the Warmaster system). Under this separate licence, the game was done using a 10 mm scale for the normal warriors, and a larger “heroic” scale for the named characters.
with the release of the Lord of the Rings movies back in the early 2000’s Games Workshop released a massive range of miniatures based on the visual styles of the movies, with hundreds of miniatures, starter sets and expansion books.
Four of the game’s designers were in the extended Return of the King film as Rohirrim at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields: Alessio Cavatore, Brian Nelson, and Alan and Michael Perry. They can be seen near the Oliphaunt when Peregrin Took goes searching for Meriadoc Brandybuck among the debris from the battle, and are also on the base of Games Workshop’s Mûmak miniature. Games Workshop created two miniatures of Peter Jackson, based on his appearance as a Breeland man during the Fellowship of the Ring: one is owned by the director, and the other is kept on display at Warhammer World in England. Games Workshop has also released a model of Peter Jackson as one of the Corsairs of Umbar from The Return of the King.
In 2012 Games Workshop released The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which gave new rules and miniatures for characters and races from the Hobbit movies.
2019 brings us up to the new era of the Middle Earth miniatures range and games, with the release of the battle of Pelennor Fields and a pile of expansion books. Forge World have also used this opportunity to go back and re sculpt some iconic characters into fine detailed resin and plastic kits.
Coming soon……..Part 3: Battle of Pelennor Fields