Monday, April 29, 2013

Oaken's Twelve: Rounding out the Posse

Naturally, the Company of Oakenshield isn’t complete without a Wizard and a Thief…

My Gandalf and Bilbo figures are, as you might expect, not official Hobbit figures, although they are from Games Workshop’s Tolkien license line. Gandalf is one of five or six metal variants on the character (including two mounted and one on a cart), and is simply the easiest and most appropriate to use. This being a LotR version, there’s no silver scarf as mentioned in the book, but short of making one from green stuff, this will do – the important elements, his hat, staff and sword Glamdring, are present, and you can’t ask better than that.
Bilbo, on the other hand, is not Bilbo at all, but Frodo repainted and chosen for his pose and for having his sword/letter-opener Sting in hand. In his other hand ought to be the One Ring on a chain, as supplied by Bilbo himself, but as this was not present in The Hobbit I’ve remodelled things slightly and used the opportunity to include the scarf Bilbo wears in An Unexpected Journey. The green cloak loaned by Dwalin is, of course, not present in the movie (for shame!), but I’m happy to include it here, and the backpack is a nice touch and a happy accident, as the movie most definitely features one. No walking stick as seen on the big screen, however, but I’m not worried.

Bilbo, it has to be said, is not really just Frodo with different coloured hair. That said, I’ve not made any attempts to bulk up this hobbit or change his physique too much, hoping instead that a judicious paint job on his face will soften the more sculpted cheekbones and jawline of Elijah Woods circa 1999 and nod towards something closer to Martin Freeman circa 2011.
My base for Bilbo here incorporates some Mirkwood leaves – using the old modeller’s trick of dried birch seeds. I’ve not mentioned this before, but my original intention with these figure conversions some five years ago was to portray the company as they were making their way through Mirkwood – hence Fili’s grappling hooks, and giving me a reason to keep weapons like bows on the models (bows and knives being the weapons Beorn gives the non-sword-bearing party members in the book.) My birch leaves date from then, so they’re getting pretty withered now, and I’d based the figures originally with medium-grain local beach sand and herbal tea leaves – all of which needed to be scraped off after moth larvae took a shine to the Raspberry Zinger (or whatever it was I’d used.) Gandalf, of course, doesn’t accompany Thorin’s team through Mirkwood, so that idea is now laid to rest.  

And so, with the Company complete, here’s the whole gang gathered at last:

Next time: I’m still not done with Dwarves!

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