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  • Writer's pictureBlaxkleric

“For I am Saruman the Wise…”

“…Saruman the Ring-maker, Saruman of Many Colours!"

This now long Out Of Production (OOP) 28mm scale metal model of the White Wizard was manufactured by "Games Workshop" as part of their "The Lord Of The Rings" Forces of Isengard range, and was available as Two Towers: Saruman. I believe I bought this figure second-hand at some Wargaming Show a good decade ago, but he’ll now finally take pride and place leading my 500-point strong Isengard army for the “Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game”.


The first of the order of Istar to come Middle-Earth was initially primed with “Vallejo” White and then washed using some water-down “Citadel” Agrax Earthshade. Ordinarily, I always use “Vallejo” Pale Grey to shade anything white upon my miniatures. However, on this occasion I wanted to suggest the stain of Sauron’s influence upon the Emissary of the Valar, so went with a different approach from the normal.

"Once he was as great as his fame made him."

To be honest, the end result’s final look wasn’t really what I was after, especially once I subsequently dry-brushed the wizard’s flowing robes with (more) “Vallejo” White. None of the colours seemed to blend together particularly well, and I was also abundantly aware of some very visible streaking effects occurring. As a result I decided to repeat the entire process again using a much softer-bristled make-up blusher, yet still came away with only a marginally better outcome.


I painted Saruman’s hair and beard with a mixture of “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and “Citadel” Nuln Oil, before lightening these areas up using a dry-brush of (more) “Vallejo” Heavy Bluegrey and later on, White. Lastly, I applied some “Citadel” Abaddon Black to the magic-user’s staff, and dabbed the stick’s somewhat miscast orb with “Vallejo” White and Pale Grey.

"Leave Hitler to me sonny. You ought to be out of London."

Overall, I was rather unimpressed with this model’s painting, but unfortunately the worst was yet to come when my “Vallejo” Matt Varnish decided to transfer White paint over the entire figure, despite my waiting a day before applying it. If I owned a second Saruman I would have certainly rebased and repainted this particular ruined sculpt as a statue, and turned my attention to pigmenting the duplicate correctly. However, as I wasn’t in this position, I painstakingly ‘saved’ the miniature by re-painting his staff, hair, flesh and eyes; albeit the milky varnish can still be plainly seen in certain areas, particularly those surrounding his beard.


In between my frustrating sessions finishing off the White Wizard, I have also completed work on a second plastic model of a Shadow Cat to use as Hawker class British War Walker. This “Catalyst Game Labs” figure was painted quite similarly to my first mech, predominantly using “Vallejo” Earth and Heavy Green. In addition though, I separated the giant machine’s torso from its legs and later re-attached them at a different angle, so as to give the mechanical brute a bit of diversity in its pose.

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undercoat2670
Jun 29, 2021

I can't really tell you had so many issues with Saruman as he looks great to me. He even has eyebrows for goodness sake! Great likeness of Christopher Lee, lovely mini!

Another great mech. I have said it before, but that is a great little project.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Jun 29, 2021
Replying to

Thanks Undercoat. Saruman certainly looks better than he did when I first varnished him, so that is most definitely good in my books. I'm still tempted by the new plastic version though...


Lots more mechs coming, as well as some BatReps now I'm finally in a position to play-test the homemade rules set during the early days of Weird War 2.

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wsd50
Jun 29, 2021

Sorry to hear of your varnish woes, not the first time either if I recall correctly, he looks great now however, especially with his Orc'y mates!


Nice work to on the mech, I like the odd arm and leg, looks like he's been repaired with what was to hand (no pun intended!).


Cheers Roger,

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Jun 29, 2021
Replying to

Cheers Roger. You can certainly see its meant to be Saruman on the tabletop, and that's probably as polite a comment I'm going to make about the paint-job, LOL!!! It is indeed not the first time I've had varnish problems, but is when using "Vallejo" Matt Varnish. As I say elsewhere, I think there was a reaction between it and the "Vallejo" White paint, so I only plan to use that pot as an undercoat in future to see if I can still use its contents. I have an all-white(ish) mech on the painting table currently, and I'm using a new pot of "Citadel" White Scar for that beauty.


I really like the brown and green colour scheme for the…

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planetmut
Jun 28, 2021

Oh man, sorry to read about the varnishing thing. I use Liquitex Matte Varnish and I've (thankfully) only ever had it go wrong once. In regards to painting white clothes, get some Vallejo Off-White and use it as the main colour, then highlight with white. It gives a really good look. The group shot is really good!


I like the mech too, and your choice to go with brown and green colours really works.

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Jun 28, 2021
Replying to

I'd not heard that before Planetmut, but is entirely possible. I'm certainly convinced it is just that particular "Vallejo" White - whether the pot or the paint colour or general. I have used both "Vallejo" White and Dead White with no problems in the past. My fingers are crossed for "Citadel" White Scar.

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wargamesterrainworkshop
wargamesterrainworkshop
Jun 28, 2021

Great work on Saruman Simon, shame about the varnish, but you've made a good recovery. The Mech is looking good

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Blaxkleric
Blaxkleric
Jun 28, 2021
Replying to

Thanks Dave. I may fork out on one of the new Saruman plastic kits in the future as this figure will doubtless continue to irritate me because of the issues I've had getting it on the tabletop. I don't own Grima or a horse-riding White Wizard either, so the cost for the set isn't too prohibitive.

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