Saturday, 3 July 2010

Fellowship of the Ring Box Set Advert White Dwarf #72 December 1985

Fellowship of the Ring Box Set Advert

A classic John Blanche illustration of the Fellowship, on the edge of Hollin country, taking their first glimpse of the Misty Mountains.
The swift-flowing clouds lifted and melted away, and the sun came out, pale and bright. There came a cold clear dawn at the end of a long stumbling night-march. The travellers reached a low ridge crowned with ancient holly-trees whose grey-green trunks seemed to have been built out of the very stone of the hills. Their dark leaves shone and their berries glowed red in the light of the rising sun. 
J.R.R. Tolkien - Fellowship of the Rings

Credit goes to Blanche sticking to the text and incorporating many of these details into the environment, and restraining his dungeon-punk aesthetic a little. Most of the characters are costumed in a reasonable mix of Errol Flynn's Robin Hood and Hildebrandt-esque travelling clothes.

Incidentally the Hildebrandt brothers were portraying Gimi with a red beard way back in the 1970s.  The Fellowship image is one of the earlier pictures by Blanche portraying a Dwarf as being a red-head, the other appears the same year (1985) on the cover for the The Dwarf Lords of Legend box set, where Kimril Giantslayer has the trademark orange Mohawk of the Troll/Giant/Dragon-slayer Berserker class (this artwork was also reused for the Autumn 1985 Citadel Journal cover) . Whereas the 1984 Dwarf berserker "Juggo Joriksonn" drawn by Blanche for 2nd Edition of Warhammer  has very attractive bright blue hair. Whether the orange hair idea stemmed from the Tolkien influenced sources or not,  the red headed dwarf meme continues in GW products right up to today.

Games Workshop also got more mileage out of Blanches Fellowship image as the cover of Warlock  - The Fighting Fantasy Magazine #7 (Dec / Jan 1985)

This issue of Warlock includes an article "Fantasy in Miniature" written by non other than Rick Priestly which highlights Citadels Lord of the Rings range, accompanied by a small black and white photograph of a ME54 Easterling and the 3 ME Corsairs of Umbar. I'll be revisiting this article (and scouring my collection of Warlock Magazines for LoTR miniatures photos) in the not too distant future!

...and a slighlty belated addition - used as an illustration for an article on Middle Earth Role-Playing by Grahame Staplehurst in White Dwarf 79 (July, 1986):

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