© North Star Military Figures Home Latest North Star Crusader Artizan Great War Siege Works Torriani Games Stargrave Shieldwolf Previous Page Next Page click here to order click here to order The Dol Guldur Great Orcs have Dwarven bodies – the straight, chainmail bodies of the Dwarf set – with helmeted Goblin heads. The arms were all goblin arms with axes and heavy weapons, plus Goblin shields. North Star Magazine home page
During the recent heavy lock down period Kev Dallimore  and I managed to cooperate on a joint personal project  whilst managing to keep socially distant. It was hard on us  both so the question is,  why did we do this? Having both been inspired by the release of the new  Oathmark rules by Osprey (and written by Joe  McCullough) we thought about playing a few games and  wondered what we’d use to do this. So we did a quick  assessment of our individually owned fantasy ‘armies’:  Kev’s was more recent than my own but largely  comprised bits and pieces, whilst my own – while  extensive – was like something out of the ark: it’s over  forty years old and contained a lot of aged Minifigs,  Kriegspiel, Citadel, Chronicle and Ral Partha from the  period. It’s also in need of some TLC...  MOVING ON Fun as all of that stock take was, we decided that we  needed a fresh approach. The new plastic Oathmark  figures from North Star and Osprey seemed like a good  starting point so we looked at the boxes in the range and  what we had available between us and made some plans.  The first decision to be made was ‘background’ or – dare I  say – ‘period’. Did we want to do build armies based in  the Author’s bespoke Oathmark background or did we  want to base it on something else? Or could we do both?  We decided to generate units that didn’t break any of the  tenets or rules within the Oathmark system and therefore  could be used as (for want of a better term) ‘straight’  Oathmark Armies. However, we wanted to theme them  as something different that we both enjoyed: they were to  be firmly Tolkien based armies and were to be true to the  Lord of the Rings, the Silmarillion and so forth. The  books, obviously, rather than the films... WHO, WHEN & WHERE So – after a general theme (Oathmark friendly and  Middle-earth) – the next decision was ‘period’: what slot  could we find in the canonical material that would enable  us to field two decent sized armies from the figures  available? We postulated a point in time we called an  ‘Interwar period’: some period between the White  Council’s forcing of The Necromancer’s withdrawal from  
OATHMARK EXPRESS
Above. Dol Guldur Great Orcs.
Dol Guldur to a time slot just before the actual War of the  Ring. So, roughly around 2940 to 3019 in the Third Age.   Location wise we also thought that the Anduin river  between the Misty Mountains and Mirkwood would give us  a splendid spot for conflict. For the good guys there are  Elves available from both Thranduil’s realm in Mirkwood  plus, perhaps, Lothlorien as well as men in the shape of  local Beornings and Dwarves from the Iron Hills. There  could also be Lakemen and Rohirrim if we went far  enough, geographically speaking, but for the latter we  didn’t have any suitable mounted figures (yet) so that was  all moot. For the combined forces of bad guys – the Axis of Evil, if  you will – there could be the Orcs of Dol Guldur (greater  Orcs and lesser Goblins in the service of Mordor); Orcs or  Goblins from the Misty Mountains (lesser breeds, for the  most part, but good cannon fodder); Wargs (and Goblins  mounted on them) also from the mountains; plus the  beginings, perhaps, of Saruman’s clandestine forces.  These would be made up from Uruks and Man Orcs (or  Half Orcs) which we thought he might be serupticiously  testing the water with. Of course we could also have  spiders, trolls and a bear but… well, maybe that’s for later!  WHAT COULD WE MAKE? With those forces in mind that I’ve outlined, we looked at  the Oathmark Boxed Sets that we had to hand and  assessed what we might be able to achieve in the time we  had available. We had one box each of Goblin Wolf  Riders; Humans; Dwarves; Armoured Dwarves; Goblins;  Armoured Elves plus a couple of frames of the new Light  Elves.  We wanted three things from this project: two armies or  around 1500 points; all of the troop types covered; and we  wanted them quick. Our two builds – performed safely and  separately, of course, taking advantage of a necessary  drop off on the way to a supermarket for food – needed to  happen in a single weekend! A similarly speedy painting of  these figures would come later, and this will be covered in  the next article, but those were the objectives: within the  constraints of what figures we had and the time we had  available, it was fast and safe! 
THE OATHMARK ARMY LISTS Middle-earth Armies for the Interwar period 2940TA to 3019TA 
PICK AND MIX As we wanted a greater variety of figures than what we  had available in the boxes, we thought about doing some  mix and match. For example, we wanted to use the Goblin  sprues for regular Orcs and Goblins (albeit quite large  ones) but, for the Great Orcs, Uruks and Half Orcs, we  wanted something different. Uruks are described by  Tolkien as ‘almost man height’ with round shields and  straight swords. The Half Orcs are used as spear or  pikemen by Saruman and, I’ve always thought, are one of  the differing racial ‘mixes’ that  Saruman attempted (them  being, perhaps, slightly more ‘man’ than ‘goblin’ in his  breeding experimentations than the Uruks were). The  Great Orcs – like Sauron’s commander Grishnákh in the  Lord of the Rings – are described as shorter than  Saruman’s Uruks but very broad and powerful. Our  conundrum was, how to achieve this variety with the  models we had?  The answer was a series of head, arm, weapon, shield  and body swaps. Where possible, this was done with  simple plastic-to-plastic, ‘cut and stick’ (with liquid-polly  cement) but – where necessary – greenstuff ribbon epoxy  putty was used to fill gaps. Typically this was needed on  awkward head transitions (or should I saw ‘orc-ward’…).  For example the Goblin heads – which stick onto a peg on  
WHAT DID WE DO? Here’s a list of the ‘cut and shunt’ performed:  Uruks had Goblin bodies and heads, plus  Armoured Dwarf, round shields with human straight  sword arms (with the odd one from the spares box: Kev  found a Ghost Archipelago sword arm that worked very  nicely!). The mannish Half Orcs have human bodies  including their square shields; a mix of arms – some  human and some Goblin but all with spears – plus  Goblin heads, and all needing some putty work to make  them fit. Some of the heads for both these and the Uruks  came from the Goblin box but some also came from the  Wolf Riders box – you get a lot of spare heads which is  great! 
NEXT (PAGE 2 There are plans for other add-ons to the forces:  Kev has a very nice new Oathmark Wingless  Dragon for a cold drake that he’s itching to use  but that would have to be balanced by something  like Beorn for the good guys (and he’s not short of  bears...). However the next step is, of course,  painting: they must get a paint job and we’ll cover  that in part two. Pandemic or not, the day either of  us put an army on the table unpainted is a day  that just isn’t going to happen. Even if we have  paint in separate houses and – eventually – play  the game two metres apart! 
North Star Military Figures OATHMARK: BATTLES OF A LOST AGE. Fantasy Mass Battle Game from Osprey Games. Miniatures by North Star and Osprey.
Building armies under duress: Part 1
By John Treadaway
FORCES OF EVIL Orc Commander (General) 250pts 10 Dol Guldur Great Orcs (Line Breaker) 180pts 10 Dol Guldur Orc Warriors (Orc soldier) 130pts 10 Uruks of the White Hand (Line Breaker) 180pts 10 Orc Spearmen of the White Hand (Orc Spearmen) 140pts 10 Mountain Goblin Archers 100pts 10 Half Orcs of The White Hand (Orc Spear) 140pts 10 Half Orcs of The White Hand (Orc Spear) 140pts 5 Goblin Warg Riders with Spears 100pts 5 Goblin Warg Riders with Scimitars 100pts 5 Goblin Warg Archers (Scout) 120pts Total 1580pts
FORCES OF GOOD Elf Commander (General) 329pts 10 Beorning Militia (Human spearmen) 130pts 10 Armoured Dwarves – Kings Body Guard (Line Breaker) 200pts 10 Shielded Dwarves (Dwarf warrior) 170pts 10 Light Wood Elves with Bows (rangers) 250pts 5 Armoured Elves with Bows 120pts 5 Armoured Elves with Spears 110pts 5 Armoured Elf Warriors with Swords 130pts 5 Armoured Elf Guard – double Armed (Line Breaker) 150pts Total 1589pts
the shoulders of the Goblin body – don’t fit neatly onto the  dish shaped shoulder/neck interface that features on the  human bodies or, for that matter, the flat interface on top  of the dwarf bodies: all the heads stick on in different  ways and this leads to gaps. Fortunately Tolkien’s Orcs are quite hairy so a green stuff  blob was employed as both a glue and then teased out  into straggly hair with sculpting tools and a scalpel, which  worked well to hide gaps –and gaps there certainly were!  We also used putty to add extra fur and hide some gaps  on the wolves/wargs and to mask the odd bisected body  join – specifically where the two halves of the head meet –  but more of that later. Greenstuff does have its limits though. Sometimes –  especially if you have a ball of greenstuff ‘on the go’ for a  while as you perform your ‘Doctor Frankenstein’ style  surgery – the putty can go off enough to lose it’s initial  stickiness. Then, a head that looks to be stuck on well  using just the putty, might well drop off later in handling  and clean up – as some of ours did! Fortunately, the two  halves of the join – the underside of the head and the  greenstuff ‘socket’ it sat in – are a perfect ‘male/female’  joint and stick back together seamlessly and tenaciously  with a drop of super-glue. 
The Dol Guldur Great Orcs have Dwarven bodies – the straight, chainmail bodies of the Dwarf set – with helmeted Goblin heads. The arms were all goblin arms with axes and heavy weapons, plus Goblin shields.
Above. Dol Guldur Great Orcs.
The mannish Half Orcs have human bodies including their square shields; a mix of arms – some human and some Goblin but all with spears – plus goblin heads, and all needing some putty work to make them fit.
Above. Half Orcs of The White Hand (Orc Spear).
The Dol Guldur Great Orcs have Dwarven bodies –  the straight, chainmail bodies of the Dwarf set – with  helmeted Goblin heads. The arms were all Goblin arms  with axes and heavy weapons, plus Goblin shields.   In all of these units we tried to make leaders look a  little different (as is required by the rules) so, for example,  the Great Orc leader (Grishnákh’s brother or something…)  has a heavy Armoured Dwarf body and Dwarf arms, just  to make him look exceptionable. Extra colour and texture  was also added on leaders – horse tails on Orc and Uruk  Leaders, and plumes on the Elves, for example.  The Warg riders were assembled pretty much  straight from the Wolf Riders box with a little remedial  putty work. There’s three units: five with bow (as Scouts);  five with spears and five with scimitars. The leader is  identified by having a pillion hanging on for grim death:  not a fighting advantage as much as an uncommon act of  kindness! 
The Goblin units are pretty much straight from the box though with head and spears sometimes selected from the Goblin Rider box just to add variety.
Above. Orc Spearmen of the White Hand (Orc Spearmen).
The Goblin units are pretty much straight from the  box though with head and spears sometimes selected  from the Goblin Rider box just to add variety, and some  given Dwarf shields.  The Beornings have the Human bodies and heads  but with the plain, round Dwarf shields and are  exclusively spearmen. Shields aside – with an Armoured  Dwarf shield for the leader – they are a pretty straight  build, but then they are generic, low ranking men: they  could be the older, remaining Rohirrim infantry such as  were left in the defence of Helms Deep, or Lakemen just  as easily so they are deliberately quite generic.  The four units of armoured elves are similarly just  built from the box. I did a little work on the double armed  guys to get a variety of poses and weapons – the leader  has a battlefield trophy of an orc scimitar in his left hand  from the Goblin box – but the only reason they are  double armed is to signify them as the Kings Guard (in the  list they are categorised as ‘Line Breakers’) but the other  
three units are equipped as a sword, spear and bow unit.  The Light Elves are Elf Rangers and built pretty  much straight from the sprue by Kev.  The Dwarves have had a little work, which we split  between us. I swapped armoured dwarf and unarmoured  dwarf arms around a little and I added the boar helmet  crests (and I added a special big one for my leader with  the boar from the standard attached to the dwarfs helmet  for a really obvious command figure) but they are all fairly  standard.  The Leaders for both armies got the most work and  Kev did those: the Elven leader has an upper body from  an Armoured Dwarf added to an Elven lower body with  elven arms and weapons and a Frostgrave cloak (from  the female soldiers set) again taken from Kev’s capacious  spare box (and which fitted surprisingly well). The Great  Orc leader also has an armoured dwarf  body (the  whole thing, though) plus a head, shield, and long scimitar  from the wolf rider box.
•	The Goblin units are pretty much straight from the box though with head and spears sometimes selected from the Goblin Rider box just to add variety and some given Dwarf shields.
Above. Dol Guldur Orc Warriors (Orc soldier).
The Goblin units are pretty much straight from the box though with head and spears sometimes selected from the Goblin Rider box just to add variety and some given Dwarf shields.
Above. Uruks of the White Hand (Line Breaker).
Uruks had Goblin bodies and heads, plus Armoured Dwarf, round shields with human straight sword arms (with the odd one from the spares box: Kev found a Ghost Archipelago sword arm that worked very nicely!).
Above. Mountain Goblin Archers.
The Goblin units are pretty much straight from the box though with head and spears sometimes selected from the Goblin Rider box just to add variety and some given Dwarf shields. The Warg riders were assembled pretty much straight from the box with a little remedial putty work. There’s three units: five with bow (as Scouts); five with spears and five with scimitars. The leader is identified by having a pillion hanging on.
Above. Goblin Warg Archers (Scout).
The Warg riders were assembled pretty much straight from the box with a little remedial putty work. There’s three units: five with bow (as Scouts); five with spears and five with scimitars.
Above. Goblin Warg Riders with Hand Weapons.
Above. Light Wood Elves with Bows (rangers).
The Light Elves are Elf Rangers and built pretty much straight from the sprues by Kev.
Above. Beorning Militia (Human spearmen).
The Beornings have the Human bodies and heads but with the plain, round Dwarf shields and are exclusively spearmen. Shields aside – with an Armoured Dwarf shield for the leader – they are a pretty straight build.
Above. Armoured Dwarves – Kings Body Guard (Line Breaker).
The Dwarves have had a little work, which we split between us.
Above. Shielded Dwarves (Dwarf warrior).
The Dwarves have had a little work, which we split between us. I swapped armoured dwarf and unarmoured dwarf ams around a little and I added the boar helmet crests (and I added a special big one for my leader with the boar from the standard.
Above. Armoured Elf Guard – double Armed (Line Breaker).
The four units of armoured elves are similarly. the only reason they are double armed is to signify them as the Kings Guard (in the list they are categorised as ‘Line Breakers’)
Above. Armoured Elf Guard – double Armed (Line Breaker).
The four units of armoured elves are similarly just built from the box. I did a little work on the double armed guys to get a variety of poses and weapons
Above. Armoured Elves with Bows.
The four units of armoured elves are similarly just built from the box. I did a little work on the double armed guys to get a variety of poses and weapons .
Right. Elf Commander (General) and Orc Commander (General).
The Leaders for both armies got the most work and Kev did those:  The Great Orc leader also has an armoured dwarf  body (the whole thing, though) plus a head, shield, and long scimitar from the wolf rider box. OATHMARK: BATTLES OF A LOST AGE. Fantasy Mass Battle Game from Osprey Games. Miniatures by North Star and Osprey.