Tuesday 1 March 2022

The Seeing Seat of Amon Hen

Well, I'm back, to quote Sam Gamgee's understated words at the very end of the Lord Of The Rings book. I first read that book at a precocious age, and about every ten years since. People know the story and the world Tolkien created more from the films nowadays of course. For fans of the book, Peter Jackson's blockbuster was a mixed bag: some locations and scenes exactly how you imagined them and others sadly very much not. At any rate it was nearer the mark than his subsequent The Hobbit.

The film and the Games Workshop figures (superbly sculpted by the Perry twins), got me and my pals skirmish gaming in the early 2000's and of course there had to be some terrain. I made a number of assorted pieces and here is  the first of them, the Seeing Seat of Amon Hen, scene of a dramatic confrontation and indeed scene of some dramatic skirmish games we have had.

A shot that came out better than it had any right to do, with a convincing effect of light and darkness. The pillars were made out of slices of ballpoint pen. The paving is Wills sheet, the steps from a set I made and cast years before. 

Here the Uruk- Hai have found their prey. The main part and support for the platform were cannibalised from elements of the old Games Workshop "Mighty Fortress" plastic kit. 

In the remaining shots the orcs swarm to the attack. There's not much more to say about the making of this structure. The top platform was carefully carved out of a big piece of 2mm thick styrene sheet. The eagles were made the same way. I decided I wasn't going to try and sculpt them as full 3D representations. It gives the impression anyway. Just recently by the way, Forge World have produced a very nice resin model of Amon Hen. It's £145, but not bad value at that, certainly by Games Workshop's standards.

Ah yes, the sky. The slow boat carrying the printed sky backdrop I ordered from China about two months ago finally docked, and the thing has been spray-mounted onto card for my scenic backdrop. It's got a nice fluffiness to the clouds, though the sky is just a teeny bit on the turquoise side for my liking. But mustn't grumble; to be honest it's surreal that you can have anything made and transported from the other side of the world for about £7 including postage. 

The figures were painted by Garry Broom and myself. I converted the Uruks more or less, to give variety and because I wanted them to have the "crooked swords" Tolkien refers to rather than the daft, dysfunctional choppers of Peter Jackson's thinking.

There is more Lord of the Rings scenery to come over the next week or two. By the way I haven't been entirely slacking over the last three weeks when there's been no posts. I have had my rules-writing head on, focussing very hard on producing a set for mass battles of the Franco-Prussian War 1870-71. Most of the hard part is done, and they certainly work, but a binder full of writing wouldn't make much of a picture to show you.



  1. Another wonderful looking model John, every detail is superbly represented.

  2. Great work there John! Many years ago at the old wargames club I went to, we went through a phase of playing the LotR skirmish game, which was very good from memory. Sadly we never had that much scenery to get the best from the rules, certainly nothing like the model shown here.

  3. Thanks, rross and Steve. The LOTR skirmish game was good and I remember some enjoyable games with it. I liked the way there was mostly an objective, more or less related to the story, rather than just "defeat the enemy", because you then have to think about the powers of your characters other than just in terms of killing power. By the way I recently saw that Games Workshop have revised, improved and added to all their scenarios, linked them together and so forth in a new volume, which looks very interesting.

    Mostly we do big historical battles from the Horse and Musket period here at Boadle Towers, but as far as I'm concerned LOTR is "honorary history"!

  4. Great stuff! I never got into LoTR gaming but probably would have if funds allowed at the time. I enjoyed the movies but they do depart from the source in some ways. I do like the swords on your Uruk Hai as well.