• blaxkleric

“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.