This boxed set was the second set of miniatures I ever bought, the first being the well-known “Tomb of Spells”. I bought them when I was in 6th grade. Like all of the miniatures I painted back then, I covered them in Testors gloss enamels and thought I did a swell job. Many years later, when I discovered things like acrylic paints and shading, I realized they looked truly horrendous and stripped them with the intent of repainting them later. Years passed and they languished. Then came Warhammer, and all my painting time was taken getting my armies ready for the table. I wanted to paint them last year for WizarDecember, but couldn’t find the time. Now, at age 43, they have finally been repainted.
I painted these first five to resemble the Istari, the five wizards of Middle-Earth. From l-r: Pallando, Radagast, Gandalf, Saruman, and Alatar. Who are Alatar and Pallando, you ask? Well, they are the Blue Wizards, referred to by Tolkien as “lesser” wizards, of which little is known other than their names. After their arrival in Middle-Earth, they quickly “passed into the East”, where nothing was ever heard from them again.
Of course, Iron Crown Enterprises, who once held the license for the Middle Earth RPG and the Middle Earth: The Wizards CCG, did much to expand (i.e. create) the lore of these two wizards. In the CCG, players take the role of one of the wizards. Pallando is portrayed as a diviner/seer, and many of his card effects allow some sort of precognitive ability. Alatar is a very martial wizard who can dish out some heavy damage. So I chose the Illusionist miniature for Pallando and the Druid (with shield and sword) for Alatar. The others were also fairly easy choices: Radagast is a “Druid with dart”; Gandalf (Enchanter)has the big floppy hat, and Saruman (Sorceror) is holding a crystal ball (a palantir?).
I don’t normally rebase these old classics, but I decided to make an exception with this set. I considered adding a sword to Gandalf to represent Glamdring, but chose to leave him unmodified.
The remainder of the set is above. From L-R: Wizard, Cleric, Archmage with spell, Magician, and Warlock. The wizard was my least favorite miniature to paint because his detail is somewhat ambiguous; there are times I didn’t know what I was supposed to be painting. His “familiar” on his shoulder is horribly sculpted as well. I have no idea what it’s supposed to be. The Archmage comes with two “spells”; the hand shown above and the head of something so poorly sculpted it also defies description. I chose the hand. The Cleric and Magician models are my favorite miniatures in the set, and to this day when I think of a wizard or cleric these guys come to mind. Last is the Warlock; not one of my favorites but I did what I could with him. I decided to paint him as a Bright Wizard; someone who can fling a fireball or two. I hate painting orange, but I think he turned out ok.
Painting old school miniatures like this is always fun. I think I’ll paint another Grenadier boxed set soon.