Blog Archive

More new blogs on Guru pigs blog page

Hi everyone my new blogs on:

Can I suggest that those of you who are following this blog switch to the Guru Pig blog as this is now just being used for the Philip Island Gaming Society which you can also follow if you like but it is mainly of interest toi club members.

Change of Blog site

Hi everyone, I have decided to separate the Phillip Island Gaming Society (PIGS) blog from my own. I haven’t yet worked out how to transfer followers so if you wouldn’t mind if you are currently following this blog could you please follow Guru PIG on:

All of the old blogs have been transferred over which allows the club to have a free site and me to do what I want on a paid site with more options. Both sites will remain active although the club is in Covid-19 recess at the moment.

There are about 4 new blogs on the new site for you to have a look at.

Sorry again for any inconvenience.


Orthanc – obode of orcs and a pesky pale wizard

Hi everyone this post was sent in by a lifelong gaming friend John G – enjoy.

The Tower of Orthanc

After the destruction of Númenor in the year 3319 of the Second Age of the Sunthe, the  only Númenóreans to escape were the forewarned Elendiland and his sons, Isildur and Anarion,who led nine ships of the faithful Elendili to safety in Middle-earth. They took their ships up the Anduin River, where many of their people already lived, and founded Arnor and Gondor.

In time Gondor’s five principal cities became Minas Anor; Minas Ithil; Osgiliath; the riverine port of Pelargir; and the coastal city fortress of Dol Amroth. Among other works, during this busy century they would also have built the Tower of Orthanc inside the Ring of Isengard which guarded the Fords of Isen and Gondor’s northwestern border at the southern end of the Misty Mountains.

Things were relatively quiet there for many centuries into the Third Age until Gondor’s waning strength led after the Battle of the Field of Celebrant to the ceding to the Eotheod of the largely uninhabited province of Calenardhon, creating the Kingdom of Rohan in the year 2510. In establishing their kingdom, the Rohirrim dispossessed the Dunlendings, driving them into the western foothills of the Misty Mountains. Gondor made no objection, as to them the troublesome Dunlendings were anathema through being akin to the Dead Men of Dunharrow, cursed long before by Isildur.

Gondor however retained a small garrison in Isengard. Over time the Dunlendings had begun to filter into northern Westfold again, making settlements in the mountain glens east and west of Isengard and mixing with the much diminished remnant of Gondor’s garrison there. The Dunlendings finally grew bold enough to raid the Rohirrim in Westfold and had also infiltrated and seized Isengard by 2720.

In 2758 the Dunlendings, supported by a fleet of the Corsairs of Umbar who raided upriver in force,surprised and defeated the Rohirrim who retreated into and were besieged in the fortress of Helm’s Deep. Gondor sent aid which drove off the Dunlendings in 2759 then assisted Rohan’s new King Fréaláf to besiege Isengard, which only fell when the Dunlendings were starved out late in the year.

Saruman the Wizard, then still of good faith, helpfully offered to settle in Isengard to defend it. As the fortress was still Gondor’s the offer was accepted by Beren, Steward of Gondor. Fréaláf acquiesced as this freed the Rohirrim to return to guarding the Fords of Isen from incursions from the west or upriver.

Things went quiet again until Saruman’s corruption and betrayal led to his assault on Rohan in 3019 during the great War of the Ring. To Saruman’s dismay, after his army had marched away Isengard rapidly fell to an utterly unexpected assault by the Ents of Fangorn Forest, leaving him only the impregnable Tower of Orthanc.

So that’s what I’ve scratch built out of scraps over the past fortnight for my 15mm Army of Isengard.

Tower of Orthanc - 1 - early days

Tower of Orthanc – Early Days

Orthanc was described as four mighty pillars of gleaming black, incredibly hard stone, welded into one. Mine is of foam core pieces glued to a cut down cardboard tube. Tolkien said it was 500 feet high. In 15mm this equates to 150cm so for practicality I’ve made it about a quarter of that height.

Editors note: I think we have an old bottle of spicy tomato source in the cupboard that would make excellent glue as well.

Tower of Orthanc - 2 - basic structure

Tower of Orthanc – Basic Four pillar Structure

At the summit the pillars opened into four gaping horns with sharp points. These are also of foam core. I’ve given the roof a parapet as it was originally used for astronomical observations so a windbreak would have been needed. Orthanc had only one door accessible to the ground by a long stair, with a balcony above it.

Orthanc had many windows, mine has spare dice trays.

Tower of Orthanc - 3 - detailing added

Tower of Orthanc – detailing added

Tower of Orthanc - 4 - ready to roar

Tower of Orthanc – Ready to Roar

So there you have it, the jewel of Saruman’s domain, just waiting for those nasty Ents to turn up and spoil the party! (A really great action pic – editor)

John G. August 2020

Works by J.R.R. Tolkien –

The Lord of the Rings – The Two Towers George Allen & Unwin, London 1954

The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King George Allen & Unwin, London 1955

and J.R.R. Tolkien works edited by Christopher R. Tolkien –

The Silmarillion George Allen & Unwin, London 1977

Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth Allen & Unwin, London 1990

Editors Note: Thanks John for the article, orcs add variety to the posts on Zombies, but I am not sure by how much!!! Love the tower. Don’t you love it when another project bites the dust.

Have a great weekend guys, and I hope to see your latest painting and modelling projects soon.

Another “no brainer”!

The final pile of zombies that were almost finished have now been completed, with still a few more Zombicide expansion box sets not even undercoated. Again just a wash, dry brush highlight, and basing was all that was required.

The army Plague Mutants will support the Third Generation Plague Mutants shown in the previous blog.

I am looking forward to a last stand scenario in my Gotham City terrain – “The last stand at Alley Moe”.


Front view of the Zombicide A-Bomb Abomination (can only be hurt by “fire”)


Rear view of the Zombicide A-Bomb Abomination


The A-Bomb with his followers showing height comparison


Warpath Plague Mutant Army Zombies (1)


Warpath Plague Mutant Army Zombies (2)


“Brains gotta eat more brains”


30 More Zombicide Miniatures


Sunrise before the Apocalypse in beautiful downtown Cowes

“Fruit”, and I thought we double tapped them all.

Even though you might think I don’t have a life (which I cannot confirm or deny on the grounds that I might incriminate myself) the figures in this blog have been around for a long time. This weekend just required a final wash, dry brush and basing to finish them off.

The mutants are all Mantic Games miniatures for their Warpath  game and the zombies are all from various Zombicide box sets.


Third Generation Mutant Army Leader


Third Generation Mutant Army Heavy Machine Gunner


Third Generation Mutant Army Heavy Flamer


Third Generation Mutant Army Grenade Launcher


Third Generation Mutant Army Mortar Section


Third Generation Mutant Army Warhounds


12 Third Generation Mutant Army Troopers pic 1


12 Third Generation Mutant Army Troopers pic 2


3 Zombicide Lumberjack Fatties (bigger zombies)


3 Zombicide Tradie Fatties (bigger zombies)


Zombicide Abomination (even bigger and meaner zombie)


3 pics of 30 more Zombicide Zombies