Aragorn and the Dúnedain

Len suilon Ninjabread readers. I’ve painted a set of Dúnedain Rangers in order to play some Fellowship of the Ring games set on the borders of the Shire.

Citadel Middle-earth RPG Aragorn and the Dúnedain Rangers
Eleven Rangers – enough for a whole football team. Like Rangers F.C. I know football.

With the exception of Aragorn, Dúnedain Rangers don’t appear directly in Tolkein’s Fellowship of the Ring book, or the Peter Jackson film adaptation. They’re just noted as lurking in the background being mysterious.

in the wild lands beyond Bree there were mysterious wanderers. The Bree folk called them Rangers and knew nothing of their origin. They were taller and darker than the Men of Bree and were believed to have strange powers of sight and hearing, and to understand the language of beasts and birds. They roamed at will southwards and eastwards even as far as the Misty Mountains; but they were now few and rarely seen.”

– The Lord of the Rings, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony
This is no mere Ranger. This is … oh wait, yes, it is a mere Ranger.

Six of the miniatures (all the ones with masked faces) are Citadel’s ME-25 Rangers of Ithilien, but I’ve repurposed them as their distant Dúnedain cousins, as Tolkein is sparse with descriptive details. Modern Games Workshop also produce a set of “Rangers of Middle-earth” that they recommend you use as any type of forest-lurking human group.

This is no mere Ranger. This is Aragorn, son of Arathorn. And you owe him your allegiance.

Attached to the group is the ME-12 version of Aragorn, in his Strider the Ranger persona. He’s a really strong sculpt, with a weathered nobility on his face. A nice detail is that his left hand is clutching a second sheathed sword – the pieces of Narsil that he carries as an heirloom of his family and to symbolise his birthright to the throne of Arnor.

This is no mere Ranger. This is Halbarad, son of Halbaron. And you owe him twenty Euro.

In command of the Rangers is my slaphead with an earring rendition of Halbarad. The sculpt’s expression of withering disdain is his main tool for keeping the group of strong-willed loners together. Thanks to Jesper Moberg over on the Oldhammer Community for identifying the figure as a C04 Thief.

Sing about the Rangers lads we`ll sing another song,
Sing it with the spirit that we’ll start the world along,
Sing it as we used to sing it 50,000 strong,
While we we’re marching to Ibrox

I’ve added some further variety to the group with a pair of Citadel’s Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Thieves, and a wannabe Hobbit ranger to impress on players they’re not just anywhere in Middle-earth, but defending the borders of the Shire. I’m excited to see how they get on in games against the Nazgûl and other nasties.

More from Ninjabread’s version of Middle-earth soon! Novaer!

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Curis

Curis has painted for Games Workshop, Forge World, Warlord Games, Mantic Games, Avatars of War, Wargames Foundry, Studio McVey and many others. He's won at Golden Demon and Salute. He publishes monthly painting tutorials on Patreon.

14 thoughts on “Aragorn and the Dúnedain

    • November 26, 2019 at 4:33 pm
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      Thanks Riot!

      Reply
  • November 26, 2019 at 4:22 pm
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    Received wisdom is that pre-slotta figures are shapeless mounds of lead, whilst slotta figures are beautifully crafted works of art. I’ve found it very rewarding to seek out pre-slotta figures that fit the vibe needed for a particular project, and your painted Ranger leader has never proven the point better – some pre-slotta figures are brilliant sculpts and fantastic inclusions for a collection.

    This is a wonderful grouping of disparate models to all fit the same vibe. Great stuff!

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    • November 26, 2019 at 6:43 pm
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      Thanks axiom! I’ve found it a roll of the dice with preslotta. My own experience is they’re more prone to lead rot (had to bin a trio of Hobbits recently because of that) and flattened detail (like another Ranger I recently bought). But plenty of gems lurking out there! And I like that it’s an unexplored area of Citadel’s history – there’s a magic to discovering old models you never knew existed.

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  • November 26, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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    Marvellous. That’s a wonderful Aragorn, and you’ve winkled out every ounce of character from him. Masterful painting on that face. Man of the match, as it were, must be Halbarad. I expect great things of him. GREAT. THINGS.

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    • December 2, 2019 at 6:44 pm
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      Thanks Dave! There’s a lovely vein of sculpts like Aragorn running through Citadel’s Lord of the Rings. Really subtle features and masterful proportions. Sadly they’re not attributed to any sculptors in the old Citadel Journal pages, so I have no idea whose they were.

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  • November 26, 2019 at 6:40 pm
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    Hurrah Hurrah we bring the jubilee! HAHAHAHA These are gorgoues Curis, and hopefully they could team up with my Misty Mountain Patrol sometime.

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    • December 2, 2019 at 6:45 pm
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      Knowing you, I’m unsure if the Misty Mountain Patrol are a Tolkien thing, or a set of GI Joe themed people in giant plastic vehicles. Please advise.

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  • November 26, 2019 at 11:36 pm
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    Stunning. The way you made the minis stand out is great; you can read the expressions on both Aragorn and Halbarad’s faces. The crispy details make the difference here. Gorgeous work!

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    • December 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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      Thanks Suber! I was hoping to get the same level of character on the AD&D pair, but their casting were a bit too clogged with enamel paint to come out as nicely. Never mind.

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    • December 2, 2019 at 6:46 pm
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      Cheers Warbie!

      Reply
  • November 30, 2019 at 3:32 pm
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    Great work and I second the praise of some pre slottas. I detect a football theme in this post and comments I didn’t realise you were a follower of the boys in blue from Govan which is my birthplace and old home old home. No forests in Govan just Elder Park and the last shipyard.

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    • December 2, 2019 at 6:49 pm
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      Nice one, John! I wanted to make some Dúnedain / Dundee F.C. jokes, but I figured the references might go over people’s heads – just like that ball did on Heart of Midlothian’s keeper at the weekend.

      Reply

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