I wanted to show off this recently-finished figure because it is such a beautiful illustration of the point I was trying to make yesterday with my Deliberate Purchasing post.
This figure is one of the original, all-metal, Knights of Dol Amroth miniatures sculpted by the Perry’s for Games Workshop’s The Lord of the Rings game, and I think it is a stunning piece of sculpture. Despite the small role played by the Swan Knights in the book (and their disappointing absence from the movie), they have always been one of my favourite parts of the story. In a tale filled with heroes, these guys are the literal ‘Knights in Shining Armour’. They are the most elite warriors in all of Gondor’s army
And yet, despite all of that, this figure languished for years in my lead pile, gathering dust in its blister pack. Why? Basically, I was too scared to paint it. I knew it would be hard to assemble and difficult to paint. More importantly, I knew it would take a lot of time, and I didn’t have a lot of time. I had hundreds of miniatures to paint, I couldn’t afford to spend a great deal of time on any one…
Well, with the huge backlog of miniatures gone, this guy quickly joined the queue of miniatures waiting to be painted. Without the pressure to ‘get things done’, I was able to take my time, trying to enjoy every step. That’s not to say it was a complete blast (note to self, when painting a horse with caparison – paint the legs before gluing it together!), but instead of getting frustrated, I just took my time, savouring every little win.
I completely painted the horse first. I tried a couple of different decorative edges for the caparison before I was happy. Then I painted half of the rider before gluing him on to the horse to finish him up. I added the shield last, after many, many corrections to the white paint.
All-and-all it took me about 4 ‘sessions’, maybe 6 – 8 hours to get it from blister to finished model. If I was just going for numbers, I probably could have finished 3 or 4 other figures in that time, but I wouldn’t be near as pleased with myself.
I am proud that I have given it my all and tried to do justice to this incredible sculpt and to my love of the Knights of the Dol Amroth. I’m not saying that I’m ready to paint up four or five more right now, but I think there is a strong possibility that I’ll pick up another one down the line, and who knows, maybe one day I’ll have a unit. Or maybe not. I’m not going to worry about it. I’m just going to appreciate what I’ve got.